BBZ London is a relatively new queer friendly night in London, held at the family owned eatery and creative space, Buster Mantis. BBZ is quite young at the ripe age of only 6 months but have taken London by storm. It is a space where you can be free and be your authentic self, while dancing to some amazing music. BBZ is the brain child of photographer Tia Simon-Campbell and filmmaker Nadine Davis. Since their debut in May they have hosted four nights and have even collaborated with queer friendly girls night, Magic Clit. I had the absolute pleasure of having a quick catch up with them at their South London home.
How did you guys meet?
Tia: So, Nadine was doing a really bad music video for a uni project *laughs* and we had a mutual friend (I didn’t know Nadine at the time) who was in the music video and the other model dropped out. My friend asked me to get involved so I went along and it happened to be at Nadine’s house. Met Nadine and thought she was a spice. It turned out that she had been stalking me on Facebook for two years anyway. I ended up moving into her house and when she didn’t move to me, I had to move to her.
Why did you start BBZ?
Nadine: I’m a big fan of raving, not even going too hard just enjoying myself socially with queer women. I never really found a space in all my time in London where I felt completely comfortable, usually I was forcing myself into a mould to be in that space. I went San Francisco in summer 2014 and after experiencing the nightlife there I wanted to create something similar in London. I kept chatting shit about it and Tia eventually was like lets just do it! When Buster Mantis popped up it was the perfect space and that’s why we did it there. T introducted the exhibition element of it and then BBZ just took off.
How much do you have to know about art to attend BBZ?
T: I think that it’s a space where you don’t have to know anything about anything, you can literally just come along and the extent of your art knowledge has to be “that looks pretty” “that doesn’t look pretty” you don’t have to know anything about art. The really good thing is that all the artists are there, so if you do have any questions or something does prick a bit of interest in you then all of the artists are more than happy to talk about what their thought process was and all of the artists are PoC which means that a lot of the work is influenced by their own personal experience. Anybody that rolls through can on some degree relate to it, because it’s a reflection of themselves. The music is banging in the beginning, it’s like bedroom DJs, the majority of the people sit outside listening to music and enjoy the vibe.
What kind of music or art influences you?
T: Musically at the moment I’m really into jazz, we’ve been going to a few live jazz gigs which has been absolutely mind blowing because I’m not used to it. Ive gone to a few classical music gigs and been like woah did not know this existed! I’m interested in jazz, not that I know anything about it.
N: I love grime, I am a bedroom grime MC. There are alot of influences, it’s just endz, it’s just road, it’s just home. I love the feeling of it. I have such an affiliation with South London, my childhood and adolescence. British hip-hop is banging at the moment with artists like, Jessie from Essie, Hawkhouse and 808 inc. There are so many amazing artists from London.
You recently teamed up with Magic Clit, who will you be collaborating with next?
T: Goldsnap, maybe Pussy Palace and something more nostalgic to the queer scene.
N: I do want to get hold of people that run Booty and amalgamate the vibes but it’s about finding a way in.
T: Swagger like us!
N: Swagger like us is in a tiny dive bar at the end of the mission zone in San Francisco, beers are $1 and it’s filled with everyone and anyone. Any
shape,any mind. It’s almost no longer about race but just a culture of good vibes and queerness, theres no boundary. Everyone looks beautiful, feels beautiful. If you were to throw any shade and do any shit, you would be out of there in seconds. It feels like a comradery, a family of partygoers. They know how different they are and how when they’re walking through the world maybe in different but because they are there they can be free.
What will BBZ be doing 1 year from now?
T: We will have our own platform that sells artwork or anyone that’s been involved in our previous events and maybe start our own festival.
BBZ will be providing artwork for Siren’s Event on Saturday 20th August