When was the last time you went to a really FUN party? If it was not a DADDY ISSUES party, then you are missing much! YASS Magazine interviewed OLLYWOOD and BORJA PEÑA who are the founders of the grand queer party that is taking over the world and is making us crazy. Learn everything you need to know about the party everyone is talking about.
“Daddy Issues is tongue in cheek, cute and sexy. We operate a zero intimidation policy at our parties and strive to make everyone feel included. No matter who you are. We want to connect everyone with great music and dancing.
Daddy Issues started as a small dance party in a sweaty basement club in East London in June 2016 and has now grown into a full on international queer brand. Founders OLLYWOOD and BORJA PEÑA now manage the brand from opposite sides of the world. Borja running the parties in London (in a larger venue) and Madrid and OLLYWOOD looking after Los Angeles, San Francisco and soon New York.
Last November we launched our first venture into print media by releasing Issue 1 of the Daddy Issues Zine. This was a collaboration with photographer Christopher Sherman and Pure for Men. The full colour NSFW, 52-page pocket size zine was a limited edition, collectible ode to the beauty of a diverse range of men. Proving sexy comes in all shapes and sizes and colours. The zine was a huge success, getting coverage on every major gay media platform. Issue 2 is even bigger, better, featuring the work of over 20 different queer photographers from all over the world and was released March this year.”
What is Daddy Issues?
BORJA PEÑA: Daddy Issues is a party that two friends started in a basement in Dalston, we have lots of friends in music, fashion, performance art, design etc so we asked all of them to collaborate and this pink beast was born. We are especially thankful to @heyrooney for his amazing illustrations and to all our friends that keep coming to dance with us wherever the party takes place. They are daddy issues, we just get them together with lots of love.
OLLYWOOD: We started as just a London party, now we are in several cities. We now have merchandise; 7 tees, swimwear and hats. Last November we launched issue one of the zine too, so we are very busy.
What makes Daddy Issues one of the most successful and popular parties in London, Los Angeles and Madrid?
BORJA PEÑA: We just really want to make a party where everyone is welcome and where everybody is celebrated and people are responding really well to the concept.
OLLYWOOD: We try really hard to make a party that’s sexy but never intimidating, I spoke to a lot of guys who sometimes felt that they were judged when they went out and so creating a super safe atmosphere which is cute and fun is very important.
Who are the genius minds behind Daddy Issues?
BORJA PEÑA: Ha. I wouldn’t call myself a genius! You guys are funny! I’m just someone that has been partying for a long time and knows what I want when I go out, good music great crowd a bit of eye candy and queens bringing the looks and good energy!
OLLYWOOD: Yes, myself and Borja have been working together on several other parties on and off for years before we decided to have a baby together.
How did the concept begin?
BORJA PEÑA: I was involved in other parties before and this has been an evolution, I basically brought everything I liked from my previous experiences and I teamed up with OLLYWOOD that I have worked on the past in several events because we shared a vision and most importantly sense of humour.
OLLYWOOD: I had an idea for a brand I wanted to develop that was a joke on masc for masc culture and then when Borja came to me with the idea of doing a party I figured it could all merge together.
Do you feel you have contributed to the gay nightlife of London/Madrid/LA?
BORJA PEÑA: I think everything has been done pretty much in parties, it’s difficult to innovate but we are always on the lookout to find the most interesting djs performers host or dancers, that bring something special to the night we really work hard to give a platform to queer artist to express themselves through our party and Zine, we always collaborate with the people we find that share our vision in the city where the party is happening.
What is the recipe for a successful party?
BORJA PEÑA: Good music, great crowd, a really good venue where you feel free to let go and go wild, a reasonable cover and drinks that are not super expensive and a good photographer too so you don’t have to bring your phone into the dancefloor.
What shall we expect to see in the Daddy Issues zine?
OLLYWOOD: The first issue was a collaboration with 1 photographer, the next issue has work by over 20 different photographers from all over the world. We had photographers shooting in Australia, India, London, Nye, LA, France, Spain and maybe some more countries that I didn’t even know about. I focused a lot on bodies in the first one and this one focuses more on skin. Different types of skin, not just colours, but textures, hairy/smooth, old young. I’m super proud of the diversity of the models in this issue. It will be out in March.
How do you manage to collaborate with such big names for your zine and your parties?
BORJA PEÑA: I have been djng for 10 Years and I have produced some music too, so I have friends in all the wrong places! It’s a good excuse for my dj mates to come to London or for me to go visit my friends abroad… is all a big happy family!
OLLYWOOD: Same as above I’ve been working in photo production for magazines for years, so we have a lot of talented friends in the industry.
Tell us about the international buzz you had recently.
BORJA PEÑA: People love our merch, our tees started popping all over the world and people that came to our parties started to talk… suddenly we start having request from different clubs all over the world, and we are slowly trying to get the party everywhere we can! It takes time, but we are working on it so watch out for our events by following our insta @daddyissuesparty
Is the London audience different to the Spanish and the American ones?
BORJA PEÑA: All places are different, London is home for us super fun crowd family vibes, Spain is super sexy and has a crazy energy those guys DANCE and the US is really cool with great looks and super friendly and HOT.
What music will we hear in your parties? How would you describe the party vibe?
BORJA PEÑA: You might hear a song from a new producer you never heard off or a 90s anthem you forgot about or some wild techno that raises up the energy, it’s whatever the dj feels the crowd needs, we let them do their thing! They know their shit and that’s why we book them.
Do you have daddy issues?
BORJA PEÑA: I think I qualify as a daddy, but I wouldn’t mind to have one myself anyone that can teach me new tricks and cares for me is a daddy in my books.
Daddy Issues T-shirts, zine, music… What is next?
BORJA PEÑA: Daddy issues the musical? No seriously more merch, more parties, lots of music… we just need a bit more time!
OLLYWOOD: We are hoping to take the party to new cities this year. We are working on our NYC debut in April. I defiantly want to make at least 4 issues f the zine this year. If it doesn’t kill me.
Who would you like to see wearing only a Daddy Issues T-shirt?
BORJA PEÑA: Angela Langsbury
OLLYWOOD: Ricky Martin
Which is the top 3 of your favourite party music playlist?
- Pimp on / Dj Deeon
- That’s when we will be free / Super Drama / Super Drama remix
- anything by zombies in Miami
Who is the ultimate daddy?
BORJA PEÑA: Tom Sellec
OLLYWOOD: Francois Sagat
How should we dress up to come to a Daddy Issues party?
BORJA PEÑA: Something that makes you feel super hot and if its pink even better
OLLYWOOD: Yeah, we love it when people come wearing pink and we try to encourage that – but come however you feel and you will be welcomes with open arms.
What are your future plans?
BORJA PEÑA: Daddy issues Mars … the first queer party in outer space
OLLYWOOD: planning our birthday parties in June, it will be 2 years old in London and 1 year old in LA.
More Daddy Issues here:
*all images are courtesy of Daddy Issues.