Singer, DJ, and magician Jelly Jells doesn’t consider himself a Renaissance Man. Instead, he modestly says that his many talents are just different forms of expression. “I’m all about bringing thoughts to fruition,” he says. “but those thoughts are never limited to one genre.” Through his production company, Little Fish Big Heart, Jells (born Giovanni James) records tracks with his band, The Harlem James Gang, and produces television shows and movies.
His latest project is a music video for his single, Downtown King, which featured legendary hip-hop artist Fab 5 Freddy. “It was specifically made for New Yorkers and all their hot spots in the city,” he says. And this is a man who knows his hot spots. Between working the door at Manhattan’s white-hot Top of the Standard, manning the turntables at La Esquina, and performing with his band at exclusive parties across the city, one could easily assume that Jelly is spread too thin, but he swears he’d have it no other way.
“As long as you’re alive,” he says, “you have to seize every opportunity that comes your way.”
Photo: Therese + Joel]
If this film doesn’t make you want to go out and paint the town red, you are officially BORING. BlackBook intern Caroline Seghers pulls back the curtain and reveals what exactly the kids are up to these days. Exposing the debauchery in these salacious boîtes de nuits is no easy task, but this is guerrilla filmmaking at it’s most fabulous. Mostly filmed over the past two months, Seghers features nightlife partygoers and party-throwers (such as Terry Casey, Michael de Guzman, DJ Vikas, and host Lindsay Lowe) and hops around to hopping venues like Hotel Chantelle, Le Souk, Webster Hall, Top of the Standard, and even a secret afterhours spot.
“Boom Boom Room was not pleased with me filming inside. John Mayer was at the table next to me and apparently he’s a VIP guest, or whatever. Don’t worry John Mayer, you didn’t make the cut,” says Seghers, sassy-like. “The important thing is that it’s undeniably New York City — the people, the music, the atmosphere, the performances; and for a lot of people, this is just a typical night!” Warning: kinda NSFW.
I Love the Nightlife from C.Seghers on Vimeo.