“A Club Called Rhonda Is LA's Pansexual Party Palace” - Thump (Vice)

We interviewed Loren, Goddollars ahead of his Rhonda Queen of the Dessert party on Rhonda and what personal style really is.

Who are you?

My name is Loren, I'm the co-founder of Rhonda International. I’m the resident selector of Rhonda INTL and I go by the name of Goddollars.

What do you do?

I do whatever it takes for our lady Rhonda.

In the documentary above, people talk about “awakening”, feeling a “sense of belonging” at A Club Called Rhonda. It is a place where all sorts of people “come together and be friends”. How do you create and continue to maintain the feeling of a safe place?

That's an interesting question because by default what we set out to do was to create a space for ourselves. I tend to hesitate when people use the words “safe space” when it comes to nightlife. Of course we create a safe space in a grand scheme of things.

For instance when we go into a new venue, that isn’t familiar with our fabulous community, the first thing we do is let security know that everyone is welcomed through the doors. We also tell them to treat them with respect and make our family feel welcomed.

Nightlife is supposed to augment your dreams and coalesce connections that you didn't know you were even going to have. There is an inherent nature to nightlife that if you lose that danger and edge, then you are kind of missing the point.


At A Club Called Rhonda

House music started in a sweaty box in Chicago with a bunch of gay men of color smiling with the biggest smile because they found a place where they could be with other like minded people. A place where they fit in. EDM is safe but it's important not to lose that sense of sexy danger because it should challenge us and create our own spaces and not just “safe spaces”. We have to assert ourselves and muscle ourselves into places we don't belong. When people own and make a place where they belong, I feel like that's more empowering than creating a safe space but creating a space that's our own.

People can call Rhonda their own because at our parties you can challenge yourself and express yourself. Self-expression is most robust when its squeezed and teased out of yourself, on your own terms. Write your own narrative and create the person that you want to be and want people to be. It's not just a safe space but a platform for you.

Wow, I love the the idea of a “platform that’s our own” instead of a “safe place”. A platform is much more empowering. Can you describe a little more on the community you have helped create around Rhonda?

The community that grew around Rhonda started as an extremely spontaneous but yet organic unity. It grew with such a diverse collection of people. We came together to reveal our best versions of ourselves under the safe haven that is nightlife. It’s amazing to see introverts become extroverts, and extroverts becoming more extra. What united everyone in the room is this egalitarian form of self-expression and it comes together and manifests itself differently in every person.

Where would Rhonda go shop for her clothes?

Love when people come to the club in things in clothes they make on their own. People come in looks that are totally theirs, with sewn together from vintage pieces or repurposed things that don't belong together, which is why Rhonda the best. We spend so much time dressing the venue and they spend time dressing themselves and it shows.

Definitely not the closet.

5 words:
1.EXPRESS
2.YOURSELF
3.OR
4.DIE
5.TRYING

What is self-expression? Is personal style self-expression?

Pure truth and deep self-expression are the heights of what personal style can be. You should always feel free to be yourself and try your own version of yourself. You can’t be afraid to be that person you’ve been curious about and have been scared to show people. When you become your genuine self, that’s when personal style comes alive.

It takes a lot of self-confidence and self-love to show the world who you really are and not care. We have to make sure to embrace your own beauty and until you get to that point, your style isn't personal.

Thank you for having the gender-neutral, all-inclusive bathroom. Partying can be political, too, and I hope we are making progress. We shouldn't and cannot forget what our elders sacrificed throughout history so that we can take these steps now. What are some next steps for Rhonda?

IIt's a beautiful thing that in the current climate, despite all of the hatred floating around generally speaking, everyone in the spectrum is in a much better place when it comes to self-expression than they ever were.

But the culture that created this and made it happen at the inception of the equal rights and gay rights movement was such a clandestine, beautiful, brave, and daring culture. We should never forget that. How many 16-year-old kids in the spectrum know about the hanky code or know what happened at Stonewall. Don’t let the culture get so far from that.

What is Rhonda's advice for the younger generation who are lost but furiously trying to figure out a purpose in this world?

Be yourself but, don't ever be seduced by the easy way out because you will only be a dull version of yourself. Fight to be yourself and what you want to be, and be brave. You will find a community that will make your soul sing. Last thing, don't settle for anything less than that. Challenge yourself.

ON GODDOLLARS

Why is music important to Goddollars?

I would say that that's like asking why air is important to me. Music is the thing that allows me to exist in this world and when I find beautiful specimens I can't wait to share it with the people I love.

What were your early influences and passions?

The biggest influences in my life is my uncle, who's record store I grew up in. He taught me how to be a punk. My is also another major influence - through his records and turntables I learned to do what I love.

What are some of your favorite artists?

There are so many artists doing beautiful things but what excites me right now are people in LA doing things in a big way, like new Body, PC kingdom, Gabriels, TEED, Sonns, & Father John Misty.

Track on repeat currently:

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

Favorite thing to wear right now:

More Male Jewelry

How would you describe your style in 5 words?

1.Cute
2.in
3.a
4.stupid
5.ass
6.way

It’s 6 but deal with it.

What is your style inspiration?

Bryan Ferry Roxy Music

How do you style reflect your music?

I'm always experimenting with new ways to be extra. Challenge yourself, challenge your audience. Shatter your ego, shatter your expectations and give them hell.

Last but not least, what are you wearing to the Coachella party?

It doesn't matter what I'm wearing. It matters what you're wearing.


Don’t miss out on Goddollars’ set weekend 2 at Coachella: Sound + Rhonda INTL Presents Rhonda Queen of the Desert.