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Label Of The Month: HE.SHE.THEY.

HE.SHE.THEY. (HST), the dynamic London-based inclusive party collective and record label, stands at the frontline, promoting diversity and equality in the dance music scene. Founded by Steven Braines and Sophia Kearney, HST was born out of a desire to address the lack of representation within the techno, house, and disco communities. Join us as we celebrate their journey and the impact they’ve made on the global dance floor. This is the sound of HE.SHE.THEY., our Label Of The Month.

Created just six years ago, HE.SHE.THEY. emerged from the frustration founders Steven Kearney and Sophia Braines felt while traveling with artists and observing the homogeneity of dance floors and lineups. “Quite often, I was the only female manager in the room,” said Kearney in more than one interview. Their vision was to create a space that truly reflected the diversity of dance music’s origins, bringing together a multitude of voices and identities.

Since its inception, HST has grown exponentially, hosting events across over a dozen countries and offering a refuge for radical self-expression. Their events, featuring artists like UNIIQU3, Honey Dijon, Peaches, SYREETA, and Miss Kittin, are a testament to their commitment to diversity.

The collective’s 5th birthday at Ministry of Sound was a significant milestone, marking their survival and growth despite the challenges of the pandemic. Performances by Peaches and other prominent artists highlighted the night, creating an unforgettable experience for attendees.

HST’s record label, launched just before the pandemic, quickly established itself as a platform for both established and emerging artists. Their first EP by LOUISAHHH and subsequent releases like Wax Wings ft NIMMO’s ‘Reclaim Me,’  remixed by Maya Jane Coles, set the tone for the label’s eclectic and inclusive approach. The label’s roster includes other notable artists such as Anja Schneider, Rebekah, Cakes Da Killa, and Eris Drew, reflecting HST’s genre-spanning taste.

Originally planned as a fashion house with occasional parties, HST’s fashion ventures were hindered by the pandemic. However, their partnership with Harpies, Europe’s first LGBTQIA+ inclusive strip club, during London Fashion Week showcased their commitment to trans inclusion. The event, featuring a powerful speech by Harpies co-founder Lucia Blayke and performances by DJs like Dorian Electra, drew significant attention and underscored HST’s advocacy for marginalized communities.

HE.SHE.THEY. has been instrumental in pushing for systematic changes within the nightlife industry. Their events at renowned venues like Amnesia Ibiza and fabric have set new standards for inclusivity, from implementing gender-neutral bathrooms to achieving a balanced representation of artists and attendees. HE.SHE.THEY isn’t a safe space necessarily; we call it a brave space,” Braines once explained, emphasizing the collective’s aim to create environments where all individuals can feel represented and respected.

As HST continues to evolve, Kearney and Braines remain dedicated to their mission of inclusivity. Their future plans include expanding their fashion line and continuing to host events that challenge the status quo, highlighting the importance of collective effort in promoting diversity within the music industry.

HE.SHE.THEY.’s journey over the past five years showcases the power of culture and action to drive change. By creating spaces where all identities are celebrated, Steven Braines and Sophia Kearney’s HST is not only reshaping the dance floor but also paving the way for a more inclusive future in electronic music.

Follow HE.SHE.THEY.: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

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