I love music! Not only do I love music, but I think + that without music, life would be void of meaning. And not only would life be void of meaning,but good music is like the oxygen that the soul needs to breathe. Do you know when a DJ is good; (well a DJ is good) when you walk into the room and without even seeing him, with- out even reading a flyer or any promotional material, you know who it is, by their way of playing. Then you know that the DJ is not just one “masturbating” — you know what I mean: when the DJ is simply playing with himself (or for himself, same thing really). jojoflores is the real deal; 20 years plus later, and still a “house head”, he is the self proclaimed ambassador of all things house (and soul). Now with a new Social Club PEOPL. in the party capital of the world: Montreal – Mr. Flores has landed.
KA- Who better to create a music and art space than a DJ! How did Peopl come about; was it planned?
JF- It wasn’t planned. I was offered partnership at Club UN, where I had a monthly residency. In order for me to accept, my conditions were to have creative control over branding, staff, and music. The first step was to close Club UN and re-open as a new venue. The name Peopl. came from a weekly Sunday tea dance I co-founded. I went through hundreds of names, until I realized that Peopl was IT.
KA- You wish to not label your space as a “club”, why is that?
JF- I would love to avoid calling it a club because of its nega- tive associations, (drugs, alcohol, gangsters) but at the end of the day, it is what it is… a club. The trick was how to re-define it. How could I take something that’s been around for decades and make it different? It’s funny how life works. One night, while I was in the studio working on music, out of nowhere the answer popped into my mind- a boutique club. A design club; where the artwork, merchandise, furniture, and DJ equipment will be for sale. A club with a curator (Gene Pendon from HVW8). A daytime or early evening space, for pop-up Yoga/Ayurveda sessions, Capoeira, Salsa lessons, designer sales, live music and private events. All these different elements will make Peopl a “culture club.”
KA- The emphasis is on the music; where the music bar is the largest and the most prominent feature in the space. Was this intentional?
JF- Yes. Music at Peopl is what it’s all about. Music defines Peo- pl. In my opinion, we play great non-commercial music, and the djs (local & international) are some of the best in the game. The artwork, sound and vibe reflect the respect we have for music.
KA- When we are at Peopl, there is a marriage of lounge meets upscale club, with design blended nicely. Do tell, what is the philosophy behind such a space?
JF- It’s all about being comfortable. I want someone who is dressed chic, or someone who is dressed stylishly down, to feel at home. My end goal is to make Peopl a design space; that lends itself to enjoying an incredible cocktail by mixologist Lawrence Picard (GQ Nation’s Most Inspired Bartender Decem- ber 2012), or just getting down. The amazing sound system will definitely help you get down!
KA- The jojoflores name is global, yet you chose MTL for your flagship space. Where would you like to see the next Peopl?
JF- The next obvious location would be Toronto. I’m really feeling Toronto; it’s my second home. I have a larger fan base there, than anywhere else in the world. It’s where my corporate con- tacts and grass roots following mesh well together.
KA- With Peopl comes a new night, “Industri”. What is the con- cept behind it?
JF- The concept behind INDUSTRI, is to bring together creative professionals for a networking session unlike any other. With the Fashion, Arts, Music and Tech worlds as your neighbors, ev- erything is possible. Bi-weekly, we host innovative happenings, bringing behind-the-scenes to the forefront and allowing brands to meet people (or other brands), for further exploration. Now that’s synergy! Because it takes place from 5pm – 9pm, you have the time to fully unwind after work, and still make it home at a decent hour to be fruitful the next day.
KA- Are you planning on putting some live elements in the mix?
JF- Definitely! I’m a huge fan of live music. I want to start a Thursday weekly soiree, called “Le Chic”, with my long time promotional partner, Claudy Philius. This will be a night where live music meets DJ. It’ll be The Flores Brothers (Toddy Flores & jojoflores), & guests providing the beats in between and after the band’s sets.
KA- You have traveled around the world and back again. Where have you recently been that would fit nicely into this design issue of KA Magazine?
JF- Belgrade, Serbia. The architecture there is beautiful. I stayed at this amazing design hotel called Square Nine. I highly recom- mend it.
KA- What would be the next surprise from jojoflores?
JF- I always wanted to open up a Café. So perhaps a Peopl boutique café?
KA- What’s on your current playlist?
JF- Boddhi Satva, Manoo, Grace Jones.
KA- You were in the second issue of KA, and one of the very few peopl(e) that we have had the pleasure of featuring more than once. Well actually, I think this is your third time around! (Three’s a charm!) We ask the question for the third time: Who is jojoflores?
JF- Simple but complicated, social but quiet, loyal, patient, spiri- tual, foodie, lover of good music & DJ extraordinaire.