Baronhawk Poitier is Honey Soundsystem’s new breakout star

© Bernard Farley

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We premiere the lead track from Baronhawk Potiter’s upcoming EP Temperado Tornado.

Baronhawk Poitier is far from your average DJ. Based in Washington DC, he’s not only the co-founder of queer night The NeedlExchange and the producer of some of the most singular club music in the DMV, but is also involved in the nonprofit dance school Urban Artistry and has now teamed up with Honey Soundsystem. If all that wasn’t enough, in 2015 he received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to study under Baltimore legend Karizma, learning firsthand the tips and tricks that have made him one of the greatest artists the city has ever produced.

Now that wealth of experience is bearing fruit in the form of Temperado Tornado, a four-track EP on Honey Soundsystem Records. Due for release on 10 April the project looks set to introduce the world beyond the Baltimore/ Washington metropolitan area to Baronhawk’s multifaceted talents and light up dancefloors with his singular energy.

Today, we premiere the EP’s title track, alongside a video starring and choreographed by Baronhawk himself. Inspired as much by 70s anime soundtracks as the club world he calls home it’s an infectious, relentlessly energetic slice of drum work and swirling, almost Nintendo-worthy melodies. Watch it below and read our chat with Baronhawk after the jump.

What was the inspiration behind Temperado Tornado?

I’m a big anime fan and there are several official soundtracks all chocked full of jazz, disco, classical and samba from the late 70s – which all inspired Temperado Tornado. It’s a high energy, dancefloor-focused track I’ve found to work perfectly bridging organic-sounding tracks and harder elements mid-set.

How did you get involved with Honey Soundsystem?

As the TNX events started growing in numbers we began booking bigger acts. Since Bil Todd already had a tight connection with Jacob [Sperber], we reached out to lock down HSS in 2011 to headline our first warehouse party. Over time, Jacob heard my production skills develop through self-releases under the “Bag Fries” alias and random demos I’d send over. He asked if I wanted to put together an official EP to release, to which I couldn’t say “YES” fast enough!

What’s the ethos behind The Needlexchange?

Celebrate the freedom in the groove, take care of other folks even if you don’t know them and check in on eachother both on & off the dancefloor!

© Bernard Farley

How did you first meet Karizma?

I linked up with Karizma through an apprentice/master mentorship grant by the Maryland Traditions State Art Council. K’s always been one of my favourite producers! Getting the chance to work with him one on one, pick his brain for advice and just kick it as a homie was incredibly self-validating. That project will release late 2020… look out!

What’s the mission behind Urban Artistry?

The performance and historical preservation of urban dance art forms. We trained to be ambassadors in our dance communities. Performing on stage as a professional company, competing in battles/competitions within the underground scene and teaching/mentoring others to pass on the folklore of these urban movements.

Listen back to Baronhawk Poitier’s mix for Honey Soundsystem’s residency.

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