Dancing With the Dirty Girls at Austin’s Groundbreaking Sucia Party

Photo: Javier Aguilar

Saul Mojica has big goals for the gay dance scene in Texas.

The 28-year-old former army brat began DJing under the moniker DJ Boyfriends while revamping the San Antonio gay scene in 2012. It was his first time ever playing for a gay crowd. Since then, he’s made it his mission to create dance floors in unlikely spaces, and make sure everyone feels welcome to fully showcase and be themselves. His regular Austin, Texas dance party, Sucia, is designed to make everyone feel like a star.

We spoke with Saul about his influences, vogueing, and the importance of getting to know your neighbors.

How did DJ Boyfriends come about?
I came on to help one San Antonio club start their drag shows. It was me and my boyfriend at the time, and it was the first time I actually DJed for a gay crowd. Before, I was closeted and living in Kansas, so it wasn’t until I was 23 or 24 that I experienced gay nightlife. I was doing a ton of shows, and the best part is that no one was telling me what to play. It was the first time the gay clubs in San Antonio got to hear different kinds of hip-hop and freestyle stuff, or anything outside of more commercial remixes. It was really exciting.

Who are your favorite artists?
I draw so much inspiration from up-and-coming producers and musicians on SoundCloud. I used to hang out on Diplo’s Hollerboard, and it was really exciting to hear DJs take Top 40 and make it their own. I like to hear a really good flip of a pop record. I’m very much influenced by DJ AM. Just growing up pre-American dance music boom stuff, he was really creative with the ways things flipped.

Was the disconnect between what was happening in the scene and the potential you saw your main motivating factor?
This started before the whole EDM craze, or before the queer DJ thing exploded. There weren’t any guidelines. In my mind, I wanted my sets to feel like a block party. It already felt like I was there with family. In San Antonio, there’s such a unique population musically. Some people are really into freestyle music and new wave, so they were very open to listen to something new. We were having fun, but I always thought, it’d be so much cooler if someone dropped some Lil Suzy or the newest hip hop record right now.

Photo: Javier Aguilar
Read more

Tell me about how Sucia began.
I was DJing all over San Antonio, and everywhere I played had different rules. Some places wanted me to push toward more commercial stuff, but then when the EDM thing was happening, I tried to push that. At the same time, I was hearing all of these SoundCloud artists that I wanted to play in the clubs, too.

I moved to Austin, and it’s very different from San Antonio. There wasn’t a lot of edginess or flavor in the gay clubs. I had some friends that were doing a house night, called Deep Inside at The Vulcan, and it wasn’t popping off like they thought. Instead of them canceling it, I suggested doing it in our own space and doing our own thing instead. So many times, I had to play by someone else’s rules. They weren’t fair, or right, or culturally significant. I was over it. I wanted to bring in cool people and make a statement.

Photo: Javier Aguilar
Read more

So my friends and I decided, let’s try something different. Let’s bring our friends together, let’s create a space where people can give looks if they want to, they can be themselves if they want, and they don’t have to worry about someone in the corner side-eyeing them. That’s what we were running from.

Why “Sucia”?
I think it’s a perfect name. It represents how so many of us felt about ourselves, and how I felt about myself in the nightlife. I was looked upon like I was weird, and made to feel unwanted and that what I was doing wasn’t right. So at Sucia, we’re the dirty girls and we know it. We’re not doing what you think is right. That’s our feel.

The Sucia logo is modeled after Selena’s logo. Is there a special connection Sucia shares with the world of Tex-mex and Tejano culture?
That’s where Sucia’s heart really comes form. In San Antonio, we see so many different cultures meshing as one. We’ve got the Tejano and the vaquero dudes, the drag queen scene, the label whore people, the down-low dudes, and all of those people are all a little Sucia. They all do things on their own terms. We’re all the outsiders.

It’s still difficult to have Sucia in different venues. A lot of club owners are older white guys. They’re the ones with the money behind these places. They’ve all had a commercial interest in Sucia, and there’s a lot that gets them really excited, but they don’t understand it. At the end of the day, they just think about the numbers.

Where can people find Sucia?
I move them around a lot. Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin has always had my back, and they’ve been really helpful. We started Sucia outside of the gay bars because they weren’t giving us the space that we wanted. Moving it around keeps it exciting and fresh for everyone.

You call Sucia a “transcuntinental” party. Can you explain what that means to you?
It’s just our style. No-holds barred, worldly, anything goes. Musically we reach Brazil, Mexico, Baltimore, Jersey, and overseas stuff. My friends are really into the fashion scene. The way they wrap their looks is international. Every color of the rainbow is welcomed at Sucia.

Saul Mojica. Photo: Javier Aguilar
Read more

At most of the Sucia’s I’ve been to, I’ve seen a lot of vogue happening. Is that something you’re intentionally incorporating?
I worked a lot in the drag show scene, and that introduced me to vogue. I really loved the music, and I met a lot of people who would hear me sneak in a vogue track here and there amid commercial stuff and would come up to me and say, ‘Bitch! Did you just play that?’ I just want to bring that experience here and let people have a stage to do that.

What else can people expect at Sucia?
Sucia is supposed to be a comfortable space. Having the right throw backs and the right edits is important to letting us get to enjoy these moments now without having to worry about getting our asses kicked. Now we can enjoy it in a safe space. That’s the luxury that a lot of people don’t realize others don’t have. I want everyone to feel included. I just wanna dance and catch everybody up.

Photo: Javier Aguilar
Read more

I try to be as visible as I can with this. I want to influence other people to do similar things. It’s not about partying to get messed up, it’s about getting to know your neighbors. I just want everybody to feel comfortable, and I want it to happen everywhere.

I want there to be something, whether it’s Sucia or not, to take charge and be everywhere. Making it a scene and inviting new DJs in and letting them showcase their talent and letting people know there’s more going on outside of their community. Sucia has brought people like Teen Witch Fan Club out here, and doing that showcases him as a star. I want people to feel like stars because that’s what they are. They’ve done amazing things for other people.

Photo: Javier Aguilar
Read more

I would love to see something like Sucia happen in Kansas! When I lived in Kansas, I was so afraid and closeted. I remember having my iTunes set up on the network in the fraternity I lived in, and I remember people asking me why I had so many Britney Spears remixes. There was nowhere for me to even sneak off to to be myself. I know there are people today who feel like that. I just want more people to go out there and say, let’s get together.


Catch the next Sucia on April 25th at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, Texas.