Finn & Lauren New Mix & Interview - Creatives, Artists & DJs
by Herb Essntls
A year ago
Meet Finn Jones and Lauren Maruda - our Musical Hosts this week. They have collaborated between Brooklyn and Los Angeles (that’s where they happened to be when the lockdown began…) to put their mix “Missing Your Love Games” together. The mix is made to reflect their party “Love Games” usually hosted at Good Room in Greenpoint.Originating from England and Australia, Finn & Lauren have found their home here in NYC over the last few years. Lauren is among other things the co-founder of L&L&L Record Club and Finn is an actor with both movies and global hit TV-shows under his belt.
Listen to their brilliant mix below or on our SoundCloud page and check out their thoughts on New York City, DJing, music in general and more in the Q&A below.
Can you describe the L&L&L Record Club - and maybe help our readers by describing what a “Record Club” (or Record Pool) used to mean and what it means today?
LM: Record Pools were started by DJs in the 1970s as a way for DJs to share music they got from the labels with each other. L&L&L Record Club was started in 2016 by Lauren Goulet and Laura Marin at Kinfolk and the idea was for attendees to bring records to the party. This made it an inclusive experience for everyone there, not only did you hear the DJs records but you could hear your own on a good soundsystem. When I joined L&L&L in 2017 the girls had moved away from that style and it became more club focused.
You are both creatives in other ways than just DJ-ing. Lauren, you’re a writer and Finn, actor - how have your creative endeavors affected how you approach DJ-ing and your music interest?
LM: When I was working as a journalist I would interview DJs and I loved hearing about their passion for music; hearing about their favorite songs and what drives them to do what they do. I was doing this for years before I started DJing myself, so that was a source of inspiration for me to start DJing. I was also obsessed with reading everything I could about disco, books like ‘Love Saves The Day’ by Tim Lawrence and ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’ by Bill Brewster which taught me a lot about the art of DJing, taking people on a journey and keeping the vibe right.
FJ: Music has always been more of a personal experience, a kind of guide to which I have found direction and friendship. Over the years I’ve noticed that despite the direction my acting career has taken me, music has always been the one constant to help ground and navigate me.
You’re both from other countries - what has New York City given you in your lives, and why do you choose to live here?
LM: I love the freedom that New York gives you. You can walk around the city being 100 percent yourself and no one gives a fuck. This is a very different feeling to other cities I have lived in. I choose to live here because of disco. There’s no better place in the world for it, from the records to the parties to the people, I love it all.
FJ: I moved my life from London to NY at a drop of a hat, I had an acting job and didn't think twice. I came here not knowing anyone, no ties - and over the past four years I've found a home - a community, a cultural sense of belonging and life long friends. NY is a city of incredible diversity to which I feel nourishment that I've not found anywhere else.
What impact has the NYC nightlife scene had on your music passion and your DJ-ing?
LM: When I moved to New York in 2014 the first job I got was working for Good Room. Through this job I’ve been able to work with musical heroes of mine like Danny Krivit, Nicky Siano, Douglas Sherman, on a regular basis. Seeing them play has inspired me immensely. They play for up to 8 hours at a time and their ability to take dancers on a journey and keep the dancefloor moving is next level. That’s what I aspire to as a DJ. I’m also a little sneaky and shazam during their sets.
FJ: Living in London as a teenager I would listen to the music from NY, most of my favourite artists came from there. From Rock and Roll to Disco - growing up it was like this mythical metropolis of self realisation and musical experience. I never thought I would end up there, but here I am, and since being here it has welcomed me with open arms, as if for all this time it was just there, waiting for me to join the party. Being on the dancefloor with generations worth of experience around you, not only expands your musical knowledge and gives you respect for what has been before it, but helps you understand the necessity of a DJ to help continue to cultivate and share that energy for future generations to come. Keep that fire burnin’.
Your GoodRoom Podcast blurb said that you come from “The Loft style DJ-ing” where every record is played like the musician intended. What has The Loft party meant to you and your passion for DJ-ing?
LM: The thing I love about The Loft the most is the feeling of community. We enter the party as individuals but once inside, we’re having a shared musical experience. There will always be one song during the night where everyone erupts on the dancefloor together. Bringing people together in that way, that’s something I aspire for when I DJ.
Another way that The Loft inspires me when I DJ is to DJ based on track selections. So many DJs are focused on perfect mixing but at the end of the day, track selections are what is most important. At The Loft, the musical hosts let each record play from start to finish then they start the next track. As a DJ, if I can’t mix a song, I’ll let one play out and then just drop the next song in. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t mix two tracks together.
FJ: The Loft is hOMe - It’s a tribe with 50 years of experience, it finds you - It’s a place where you can let go and truly be yourself.
Finn, I read in an interview focusing on your acting that you said this about being in a theatre class when you were younger:
“It created a safe space for us to be silly and experimental and not give a s–t about what other people think”.
The music-first-nightlife scene seems pretty opinionated as well, how important is it to not give a shit what other people think while DJ-ing?
FJ: Creating non judgmental spaces for people to express themselves in, is very important to me. I think if you’re playing from the heart, away from ego, then you have nothing to worry about.
Let the music play you, listen to the room - connect, have a good time and aspire to create unity and joy.
Tell us a little bit about your party at the Goodroom. What was the purpose/idea behind it - and who is it for mainly?
LM: Love Games is made for dancers. From the records that we play to the decorations, the outfits, the baby powder on the floor, we always have the dancers in mind. Finn and I had been friends for a while when I invited him to start Love Games with me. Musically we’re very much on the same page. We knew we would have fun together and we wanted other people to have fun too.
FJ: The party is for everyone, i’m always amazed at the crowd we pull - genuine music lovers - dancers of all shapes and sizes. Never any bad vibes - it always feels like something special is going down when we get together.
As we’ve had the pleasure to dance together at various parties - how do you keep the dancing up these days? And how much do you miss the real thing?
LM: I have been missing dancing at parties a lot! I miss dancing with my friends and giving them hugs when our favorite songs come on. During this quarantine I have been very lucky to have a little rooftop out of my bedroom window. When a good set comes on I’ll go out there and dance in the sun for a few hours. It’s been amazing to see what an impact music has played on my mood during this time. One Saturday I woke up in a pretty terrible mood. The Hacienda was doing a 12 hour livestream so I put that on and started dancing around my apartment. Pretty soon I was dancing on the roof for four hours. It made my day. I’m so thankful to all the people doing live streams and putting out mixes right now.
FJ: It’s hard - I know all of us are feeling a real loss not being able to get together at the moment. But music always finds a way of bringing people back together again and I have no doubt in my mind that when we do all come back together, it will be stronger and groovier than ever.
How much do you work together as opposed to individually? What are the obstacles and opportunities DJing as a team?
LM: Finn and I really just love getting together and playing music. So often we’re on the same page that we take the same record to the party, he’ll put it on and I’ll say ‘damn, I was gonna play that one’, and we laugh about it. I think playing together as opposed to separately brings a different energy to the booth and the dancefloor. We feed off each other’s tracks (we never go into a night with a planned set). And when I’m playing Finn will be on the floor dancing his little heart out cause he loves what I play. I think we’re so lucky to get to play together.
FJ: Yeah, the reason me and Lauren throw these parties together is because we collaborate well. We usually play 3 records at a time each, but over the course of the night when we really get into it becomes a free for all.
What would you like to see more of in the NYC nightlife scene when this social distancing is over?
LM: I’m hoping that people will start showing up at doors, none of this, turning up at 1am to be cool. The quarantine has made us miss the dancefloor so much, I am hoping people will be there from start to finish after this. And I’m also hoping for more hugs on the dance floor.
FJ: New York you’re perfect please don’t change a thing.
We ask all our Musical Hosts to set the mood with their creation - what made your specific mix what it is? What were you aiming for and what do you think is important with it?
LM: This is the first mix that Finn and I have created separately. He was working in LA when the quarantine started and I am in Brooklyn. It was a really interesting experience creating a mix apart. He started by sending me a few songs he had in mind and I sent back some I thought would match with them. We went back and forth a few times then Finn put it all together. But I think it came together really nicely. We wanted to put the energy of our party into a mix. We are missing playing for people so much, we wanted people to be able to throw their own little Love Games at home.
FJ: Yes, this mix is Love Games to it’s core - fun, feel good, soulful.
Names: Lauren Murada
Resides in: Greenpoint (Brooklyn), New York
Occupations: Resident DJ at Good Room with Love Games and L&L&L Record Club, Marketing Manager at Good Room
Name: Finn Jones
Resides in: Ridgewood, New York
Occupations: Actor, Resident DJ at Good Room with Love Games