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24 Feb 2009 Articles, Features, Music Honey Collective

5/24/2009 11:27 AM


Vapors Magazine - Street - » News Archive » Honey Collective

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Honey Collective (l to r): DJ Eque, Shelley Oto, DJ Rashida, Monica Payne Words by: LJ Knight Anyone who receives the seal of approval from Prince himself is a force to be reckoned with and definitely someone we should all know about. Therefore, there is a lot to be said about The Honey Collective: Monica Payne, Shelley Oto, DJ Rashida and DJ Eque. These ladies are infamous for throwing some of the hottest events at some of the hottest clubs. Their events are so fresh and popular that one has to wonder what their formula is. Something has to be said about a party that is so on point that no one wants to leave even when a pipe bursts and the [literal] funk starts to take over. At any given Honey Even you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with hip-hop legends like Slick Rick, DJ Quik, Busta Rhymes, D-Nice, Mc Lyte and Talib Kweli to name a few. I took a moment to speak with the Collective about their formula for success, advice for anyone looking to throw the next hot party and exactly how good Prince’s pancakes are.Vapors: How did The Honey Collective come to be? Honey Collective: We all met at a live music venue, “The Temple Bar,” where we all worked at one time. Rashida left to pursue DJing full time. She landed a gig at the House of Blues as a resident DJ and through that opportunity, she met Prince. One night Rashida invited Shelley and I out to Dinner with Prince, and from there a conversation arose about creating the world you’d like to live In. Prince expressed and acknowledged that between all of us, we knew “everybody,” and we have experience in music, art, dance and night life. He said we could make an impact on the LA scene if we wanted too. We all walked away from that conversation considering the start of a new night and seeing how it went. We began the process. Finding a name we all liked, finding the right venue, envisioning what we wanted our vibe and clientele to look like. We also began strategizing on how to make it happen and meet our goal. Rashida brought Eque in, mentioning she was one of the best female DJ’s she knew of in this town. We met Eque, liked her, and the circle was complete. Honey was born. Vapors: How do you maintain the bond without the drama? Honey Collective: When you have a group of passionate people working together, there’s bound to be some drama. There are different perspectives and disagreements at times. However, we like and love one another. We deal with one another with honesty. I happen to think a little drama can sometimes tighten a bond, especially when you communicate and try to see where the other person is coming from. You reach a level of understanding. You learn how to work as a team. There’s a lot of respect here at the end of the day. We’re all good at what we do. Vapors: How did each of you get into your respective fields? Rashida: Love of MUSIC! I started clubbing in high school, and at 18 decided I wanted to be able to mix. So, I put the word

5/24/2009 11:27 AM


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out in my circle that I needed decks; soon after they came to me. I spent my life savings on them (haha!), which was very little at the time, and with no expectations of where It would lead me, I began. Monica: I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was about 11 years old. I met Andre Harrell and Heavy D. when I was a teenager In South Carolina. They noticed my talent and suggested I come to NY when I graduated high school. I did just that and my career in music began. I’ve been blessed to have been able to work with some of the best producers and artists. I became a member of the first “New Jill Swing” group produced by Kyle West and Teddy Riley, called The Gyrlz. We wrote, arranged and co- produced all of our material as teenagers. The group went on to back up Al B. Sure, and become the opening act on the” Heart Break Tour” with New Edition and Bobby Brown. The Gyrlz then became a duo, Terri and Monica, signed to Epic Records. Terri and I have sung back ground and penned lyrics for many artists. Getting into events was an easy transition. I knew a lot of people in the Industry and creating musical experiences gives me a lot of joy. Honey has allowed me to tap into another business side of myself that I’m really enjoying exploring right now. I love being around music! Shelley: I’ve always enjoyed production and concept development! In addition, I’ve always had a passion for the arts. I started dancing In the Bay Area, fell in love with it and then pursued it professionally in Los Angeles. Then I started a magazine called “One Cypher”(www.onecypher.com) with my business partner Dennis Infante. We featured tons of talent through the years and that’s when I began throwing events at age 18. Since then I’ve done commercials and modeling while actively pursuing my dance career; due to my love for the arts, entertainment, and production. The Honey Collective has provided me with an outlet to tap into all the things I love. In addition, I currently work for Disney Interactive Media Group as an events producer and love it! All of my interests combined came together like a perfect storm. Eque: I started in college in Texas, hanging out with the DJs who did all the campus parties. One day I said I would like to learn how to DJ, saved up and bought turntables. Vapors: DJ Eque and DJ Rashida , Do you ever find it difficult to work in a mostly male dominated field?

Rashida: Difficult no, but there have been some funny-style situations with the other-half. I would say the most challenging thing has been dealing with the machismo and condescending attitudes that some men have towards women. And of course the uncomfortable situation having someone you’re supposed to be working with trying to get at you. But at the end of the day it has less to do with them being male and more to do with their lack of character. Vapors: What do you do to make the experience a memorable one for party goers? Monica: Paying attention to details. People appreciate details. Vibe is very Important. You have to care about what you’re doing. We are our brand and our work reflects us as a team. Caring about everything from the music, the atmosphere, the food, etc. There must be an experience upon entry, kind of like listening to a good song. There’s always a beginning, middle and an end. You feel like you’ve been on a ride and you can’t wait to go again. When we are creating something for a client, it’s very important that you listen to your client and pay attention to their style. Our goal is to then enhance their vision with all the important details and make sure the right mix of people is in the room. Vapors: What is the craziest thing that ever happened at one of your parties? The Honey Collective: The bathroom pipes exploded at a VERY high-end venue in Hollywood that we had a residency at. The house was packed, the party was JUMPING, the venue was filled with celebs and our beautiful Honey crowd, but the entire place smelled like…let’s just say not sweet. (laughs) The fire Marshalls came and tried to shut the night down-being that it was a health hazard. The funny thing is people were still partying and were not trying to leave! What are three things that every party needs? The Honey Collective: 1.A sexy venue 2. The right crowd 3. Great Music

Vapors: Has Prince ever made the Honey Collective pancakes? Rashida: Yes but it’s actually his cook that prepares the pancakes. He makes really good eggs.

Posted By: Yo Mama |

5/24/2009 11:27 AM


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Tags: DJ Eque DJ Rashida Honey Collective Los Angeles Monica Payne Pancakes Parties Prince Shelley Oto « John Robinson MADE FOR SKATE PARTIES: SF, LA… SIMI VALLEY? »

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5/24/2009 11:27 AM


Honey Collective Interview