Kat Hudson - Fraîche Talent DJ FF#21
Kat Hudson is a London based Pop-surrealist artist, illustrator, Curator, Promoter and DJ. Kat’s personal Art practices encompass painting, collage and illustrative work. Her curatorial practice explores the work of her peers, popular culture and context of the contemporary art and club scene in London. In 2016 Kat co-founded pop-up gallery space ‘The Retro Gallery London’ which provides an accessible space for artists to show their work in central London. In 2017 Kat co-founded Femmetopia club night and arts collective at VFD. She also co-produced London's first non-binary drag competition the following year with artist Katayoun Jalilipour , now an annual event. Among all these attributes, she also took to the decks and took up DJ-ing, and we’re super excited to have her warming-up the basement for this coming weekend’s Fèmmme Fraîche. Kat has kindly provided us with the fourth of our Friday Feels spotify playlist ready to kick start the weekend. We had a quick chat with Kat before this Saturdays party.
KAT HUDSON INTERVIEW
Hi Kat. So we’re uber thrilled to have you warming-up the basement for our forthcoming Fèmmme Fraîche on Sat 23rd Feb. And also hugest thanks for the fab playlist. To give us an idea of what musical treats you have in store for us, summarise your predicted set for this Sat in six words…
I’m excited too! Thanks for having me! Haha that’s a tough one, how about:
''Punk-ish lambrini grrrl pop disco trash''
I recon that just about sums it up.
Yey Perfect summary! So how long have you been DJ-ing? and how did you first get into it?
I’ve actually only really been DJing properly for about a year and four months or so. I fell into it by accident really. My friends are DJs and they encouraged me to pursue it as a fun way to help fund my art in the beginning. Little did I know it would become so much more than that!
When I moved back to London about four years ago, I had just come out and landed myself a job at a fab lil gay bar called Retro Bar. That’s where I met DJ Lesley Lush who runs the bar, and my friend Josh who was (and still is!) a well known professional DJ. Lesley fills the jukebox at Retro with such great stuff I was always discovering new music at work. Josh would take me along with him to his gigs after my shift and that’s where I really learned the ropes and fell in love with it. I’ve only been DJing properly for just over a year but I’ve been behind the booth for about four years.
Amazing, so tell us about your first ever DJ set.
My first ever real DJ ‘set’ was at my own Birthday party at the warehouse I was living in and running nights out of a couple years back. I made two CDs will all my favourite disco/house music on them and played a half hour set for a room full of friends. It was a great way to start!
Yep, that's a pretty fab way to start. So what’s been your most memorable or favourite set to date and why?
That’s a difficult one! I obviously loved all my nights at Femmetopia, we had such a special crowd there when we started. But I think my favourite set to date would have to be the last Female Trouble gig I played - Dykes Against Microplastics! I played a tonne of Riot Grrrl classics as well as new music from our lil queer femme rebel scene. I love being able to mix music like that which was released over 20/30 years apart, the energy in the room was so fab!! It really feels like something’s happening at the moment don’tcha think?!
Absolutely, I was there and have to say your set was Fab! So as well as being a DJ, you’re also an artist, illustrator, curator, club promoter and all-round creative cool cat. So tell us a little bit about your art; How would you describe your works and what kind of projects do you work on?
My personal practice consists of painting, collage, and illustration at the moment. I’ve been making a lot of work for myself recently as well as the occasional club night poster. I’m really drawn to surrealist ideas and practices, pop-surrealism and other modern surrealist work. It’s a way for me to reflect and communicate with myself as well as with others. The majority of my work across all practices at the moment, be it personal visual work, club nights, or group exhibitions, works towards the ideal of the feminine in society being held up as equal to the masculine across all genders. That’s the dream, my ultimate utopian goal. I do my best to carry that with me in everything I do. I try not to take myself to seriously though, it’s important to have fun with it all.
You’re desired utopia sounds pretty similar to ours! So it has to be said, you're also quite the Queer-Scene stalwart, co-founding Femmetopia club night, as well as co-producing London’s first non-binary drag competition; give us a bit of background on those events and any other’s you might have up your Sleeve.
Aw thanks so much, that’s really sweet of you to say! Again putting on nights is something I got into through my friends. I used to put on a night in the warehouse I lived in near Manor House to raise money for arts projects before I even started DJing myself, my friends would DJ and I would run things and promote. The nights you mentioned all started really when I got a part time gig running the social media promotion for VFD nightclub in Dalston. That’s where Phoebe and I developed the concept for Femmetopia and where I met and started working with Katayoun on Gender Fvcker. It’s a really versatile space and it gave us a lot of freedom to experiment. I had just curated an exhibition on the past, present, and future of queer nightlife in London for the National Trust before I started my job there, so had spent a lot of time that year with my nose in club culture archives. It really lit a fire under me!
Nothing hugeee planned right now club-night wise although we may do Gender Fvcker again this year. We would certainly like to! Katayoun and I have talked about it. If we do, it will be towards the end of the year this year so keep an eye out! I’m focusing on something else pretty special right now so just DJing at my friend’s nights for the time being and doing a lil set at Retro Bar occasionally.
I’m honoured to be personally privy to the knowledge that you’re in the process of setting up a fab new Femmme focused Queerzine called ‘Lesley’ tell us a bit about that.
Ah yes that’s the pretty special something! It’s very early days! We’re in the process of completing an application for Arts Council funding at the moment, to hopefully put on an exhibition to launch the magazine this summer. We hope that eventually Lesley can become a free monthly magazine for and by LGBTQIA+ women, trans, GNC, and friends. With extensive events listings for relevant arts events, nightlife, and other community activities. For now though we’re aiming for one issue this summer alongside an exhibition to help gain interest from potential advertisers. We hope that will lay the ground work for things to come!
We had our first meeting the other week and were really blown away with the response we’re getting from the community so far. If anyone would like to be involved please do get in touch.
It's super exciting and we'll def keep an eye out and share news on this. So finally, where else can we see you DJ, your works of art, or deets on any nights, projects and other such malarkey you have going on in the near future?
Next Tuesday 26th I’ve teamed up with Art Model Collective to bring you Riot Grrrl life drawing! We’ll be playing a tonne of classic Riot Grrrl music as well as modelling poses from album covers, gigs, and zines. There’s a bar at the gallery and we often pop down the pub after too, really great bunch the AMC gang. Saturday March 2nd I’ll be back DJing at Retro Bar, for my lil chill early eve gig there Kat Does Retro Bar’‘ 8pm-11pm.
Art-wise, I’m working on a piece for an exhibition my friends are putting on over pride this summer. AMC and Satanic Mojo are putting on a Saint Sebastian themed show at the Horse Hospital, there are some really exciting artists involved already!
That’s all the most immediate stuff for now, but you can always stay up-to-date with where I’m DJing/ showing work by following me on Instagram @kathudson_
Can’t wait to see you all Saturday!
Same, can't wait for Saturday! we're absolutely lovig the plylist too, so make sure you press play below! as well as follow Kat on on her socials below!