Almost a month ago, over 6000 people came out to celebrate music at Giant Step's annual SummerStage showcase. We were thrilled to bring New Yorkers an awesome lineup featuring Hiatus Kaiyote, Jose James, and Shuggie Otis. The mood, the merriment, and good weather were all undeniable. Watch our video above for clips from each performance as well as sit downs with Maurice and each act.
For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein talks about bringing our legendary Giant Step club to Los Angeles! Were you on the west coast for one of these? Let us know what you remember!
This was the debut of Giant Step Los Angeles, which we held as a bi-monthly for a few months. We teamed up with Brass – the equivalent of Giant Step in Los Angeles or our LA kindred spirits, you could say. Brass was run by Orlando Aguillen, Daz, Blackurn, and Marques Wyatt.
When we came out, we brought with us Jazzy Nice, our emcee Jamal Ski, and Richard Worth on flute - all were part of the Giant Step crew. Camella Ehlke of Triple 5 Soul acted as our fashion muse and styled everyone at the time.
It was great, and the first time I really got to see the scene in Los Angeles. We saw how positively people were responding to the music out there and realized the opportunity to grow this on a national level.
The Los Angeles crowd was a little more laid back than NYC. Another thing I remember is that everything closed so early – the party ended at 2AM. For our club in NYC, 1:30AM is when everyone would arrive – we’d open the doors at 11PM, but it wasn’t really until 1:30AM that the party would start. 1:30 to 3:30, 4AM – that was the real time to be at our party in NYC. But for this LA event, everything was pretty much winding down at 1:30AM. So, getting into the difference of the rhythm was interesting.
The overall vibe was great – great dancers, really wonderful people. I was very impressed.
We couldn't have been prouder to produce such a spectacular event for the NYC leg of the ABSOLUT X experience where art, cocktails, and music come together. RSVPs reached record highs and a line wrapped around the block hours before the event.
Upon entering, guests were greeted by futuristic ladies with trays of masks marked with a bold "X." Party goers glady donned the silver and black masks while several folks stunted with elaborate masks of their own.
The space was brilliant; Bright spotlights drenched the room and Sanford Biggers' striking art - including a colossal hula girl and a cloud installation on the ceiling - created a breathtaking display.
Master mixologist Naren Young was constantly surrounded by a large huddle of people eagerly awaiting his concoctions, which he also happened to make and distribute with impressive speed and ease. Our personal favorite drink included an Açaí berry puree (genius).
Stationed atop a grand balcony of his own, Questlove had the party going with nostalgic hits and new bangers alike from jump. And once Santigold hit the stage, the energy only compounded. Complete with three wardrobes for both her and her dazzling backup dancers, Santi put on a performance that made you pay attention. And of course her backup dancers weren't going to leave home without an array of rad props like umbrellas, ropes, and a large mammal. Yes.
Roseland Ballroom was undoubtedly the place to be last night. Thank you to all that came and helped make it the night it was! For those that missed out, watch the photo slideshow below!
The famed Offline party presented by Q-Tip and powered by Giant Step kicks off as what is now a weekly on July 17! Brooklyn’s Output, hailed by Rolling Stone as a Best New Club in America, will be the new residence and we couldn't be more excited!
This party isn't your average shindig, either. Q-Tip shares, "The concept of Offline is a party that brings all elements of New York club culture together with great music, diverse people and no bottle service.”
Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein adds, “This is the first weekly we have done since the original Giant Step parties over a decade ago, and only Q-Tip could have persuaded me to do it. I'm really excited to see it grow and flourish.”
The Standard Culture recently conducted a wonderfully thoughtful interview with Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein about the start of Giant Step.
Maurice discusses his early affections for soul and jazz music growing up as a Manchester native, his entry into the NYC music scene and the first Giant Step show as Groove Academy, the launch of Giant Step records and how it relates to the company's venture into marketing, as well as a couple funny tidbits about a call to Bootsy Collins and a miscalculated road trip.