Across the United States and around the world, the name Kim Anh has become synonymous with the sounds of emotive and liberating house and disco.
As a DJ, she’s been billed alongside dance music’s most prominent names including John Tejada, Roy Davis Jr., Omar S, Todd Edwards, Junior Sanchez, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, to name a few, and notable appearances at Berlin’s Kantine am Berghain, London’s Egg and New York City’s Output.
But from behind the scenes and in her studio, Kim Anh has achieved a diverse catalogue of music including collaborations with Massimiliano Pagliara, Peaches, Oliver $, Joyce Muniz and Sam Sparro. Former Vice publication Thump dubbed Kim “LA’s club queen”, as she found herself positioned as a true mover and shaker of the city’s underground scene.
The international artist gets her roots from her Vietnamese mother and Sicilian-Mexican father; she grew up in Florida but and decided to venture to the Big Apple in her early twenties. Her involvement in the 90s club scene became her livelihood, and the house music trifecta of Chicago, New York and Detroit is what kept her motivated through influence.
Her contribution and support for the LGBTQIA+ community around her has been accounted for through her parties like Booby Trap! (LA, NYC), YOWSAH (LA, NYC, London) and most recently in LA, her underground party series called Tendencies.
Kim’s latest output sees her collaborate with Eli Escobar for ‘Take Me’ which is out now on his label Night People NYC. In celebration of their latest release, and in continued celebration of Pride Month, we asked Kim to share her top 10 tunes that exude the ‘Power of Pride’.
Alison Limerick, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales 'Where Love Lives'
You would be hard pressed not to hear Frankie Knuckle’s influence in any queer club night around the world. He did something radical by infusing tenderness into the late night sounds of the underground. This beautiful collaboration with Alison Limerick and David Morales tells a story of loss and love, which I think truly resonates with our community.
Sylvester 'Over and Over'
‘You Make Me Feel (Might Real)’ is probably the most identifiable Pride anthem for over 40 years, but this Sylvester cut off the self-titled album also exudes so much power. The gospels and lyrics transcend, sending us into a state of celebratory ecstasy. It’s a song that has created countless moments of collective pride & joy. I have eternal gratitude for what Sylvester’s legacy has given us.
Patrick Cowley 'Surfside Sex'
I can’t mention Sylvester without mentioning Patrick Cowley, the musician and producer behind many Sylvester masterpieces. Cowley’s knack for fusing hi-NRG and disco into synthy bangers has led to countless spins in queer clubs around the world and left an indelible mark on San Francisco’s queer history. This sensual cut is from his ‘Afternooners’ album harkens back to a world of forbidden vices and was used on a 1970s gay porno soundtrack.
Aretha Franklin 'A Deeper Love' (Morales Mix)
The Queen of Soul gives us a powerful Pride anthem with a message that represents some of the hardship we’ve endured as a community. She’s talking about self love. She’s talking about how “it ain’t easy, but we have the strong will to survive”. Written by Clivilles and Cole, the hit makers behind many diva dance anthems.
Planningtorock 'Let’s Talk About Gender Baby'
Gender-queer/ non-binary artist Planningtorock isn’t afraid to expand the limits we live in both sonically and creatively. They’ve been a strong and visible advocate for the LGBTQ+ community for many years. Weaved throughout the groovy electronic landscape, the song urges us to talk more about gender, pushing for a more open society.
Tronco Traxx, Ralphi Rosario 'Walk 4 Me'
When speaking of PRIDE we have to acknowledge the influence of ballroom culture on pop culture. Not only was it a radical act to participate in ball culture, it created a safe space for queer folks, primarily black and latin, to express themselves. This track celebrates all walks of life – including the butch queens. Ralphi Rosario has many Pride anthems within his repertoire and is an inductee of The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.
Kim Anh 'House of Virgo'
This song was written as a love letter to my LGBTQ+ community. It’s a sort of invitation into my “fun girl” world. All are welcome into the House of Virgo, no matter what your sign.
Carl Bean 'I Was Born This Way' (Larry Levan’s Live Edit)
This is a song about queer joy by Carl Bean, a minister who broke the mold with this anthem. Any Larry Levan edit transports me deep into my imagination. I’ve been collecting his live recordings for as long as I can remember just hoping to relive what it would be like to dance on his floor at Paradise Garage.
Virginia has been a steady force in the dance world. Along with her partner, Steffi, they’ve established their own label and are long time residents at Berghain / Panorama Bar. This album really transports me to Panorama. For me they’ve always represented the new school of the queer underground, paving the way for people like myself.
MFSB 'Love Is The Message'
The title says it all. This track has probably been sampled hundreds of times since NYC’s Salsoul Records re-envisioned it as ‘Ooh I Love It (Love Break)’. Love has always been the message of the LGBTQ+ community and that’s never gonna change.
Eli Escobar feat. Kim Anh 'Take Me' is out now. Listen here.