A play-by-play of a night of ‘raving faith’ by Samantha Howard
At this festive time of year, we celebrate some of the most important things in our lives. Our family, friends and for many, faith.
The presence of faith in the church creates the same experience that many have on the dance floor. The religio-spiritual element of electronic dance music culture that has been studied immensely in the past and present proves that dance music is as religious as Christianity is to a Christian or Hinduism is to a Hindu.
To ‘club’ or to ‘rave’ as explained by theorist and researcher Graham St John exemplifies the cultural phenomenon of religion. Some define the dance floor as a healing experience or as a syncretic ritual, where one can reconnect with their spirit or bask in the glory of life. The event is comparable to the church, the DJ is the shaman or priest and a community is built from the dance floor.
This is exactly what we got to experience on Friday at Sunshine the DJ’s event which was a celebration of a huge project she’s been working on for quite some time- Midnight Mass featuring Amanda Perry and the Disco Faith Choir.
Sunshine’s original sound is a fusion of two things she loves dearly- techno and gospel. ‘I’ve been fascinated by gospel churches, especially the black gospel churches and how they dance around,’ Sunshine says.
Although it wasn’t your usual time to gather together to sing and dance to gospel tunes, we were happily treated with the sounds of the Disco Faith Choir at 2am on Saturday morning.
Sunshine premiered for us her new track called ‘Here to Stay’ which was the first production of her major project which combined her melodic disco tunes with the addition of Amanda Perry’s soulful strong voice and the Disco Faith Choir’s ‘full happy party vibe’ as Sunshine explains.
Sunshine had always wanted to do a gospel-techno project ever since she started producing her own music around four years ago. She wanted to incorporate live instruments with techno and turn it into a live show with tambourines and vocals, and that’s exactly what she did.
It wasn’t the easiest of tasks attempting to get a choir together Sunshine told us, as many choirs from traditional gospel churches she had contacted to get involved weren’t all that keen on working at 2am in the morning, understandably. But Sunshine had a vision and she knew that there would be gospel lovers who wanted to combine their love for gospel and the dance floor, and it wasn’t long before Disco Faith Choir was born. What Sunshine and her dedicated team had created, who were committed to creating a community of people passionate about celebration in music, was a combination of disco and faith, and an opportunity to bring people together to celebrate life, sound and dance.
The event was definitely a spiritual experience. Whether people had come to Sunshine’s event because they froth her music and wanted to get really gacked and get down on the dance floor or whether they wanted to celebrate faith with the heart-warming voices of the Disco Faith Choir is completely up to each individual’s intention and interpretation of the night.
What we are sure on is that Sunshine has created a vibe and sound unlike any other. The club is a form of church, dance music is a religion and Sunny is our preacher.