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Celebrating Pride with Dr. Martens and Slimfit

“Queerness is about differing from the ‘norm’, and during pride, we celebrate that

Samantha Tjon Sien Foek, also known as Slimfit, is the Amsterdam-based DJ exploring genre through the art of connectivity and storytelling. Building sets around the motivation of movement, if Slimfit is on the line-up, you know a good night is ahead. Celebrating Pride Month with Dr. Martens, we spoke with the devotee of sound about the meaning of Pride to them and why nightlife is so vital within the Queer community. Wearing the Audrick Nappa platform boots, we hit the streets of Amsterdam with fellow DJs Sukubratz and Eurowitch. Want to see Slimfit in action? This year Glamcult will be hosting an event with Dr. Martens at their 9 Streets store, Hartenstraat 16 Amsterdam! Join us for free drinks, good music and dance between 14:00-19:00. 

Let’s begin with your DJ practice and sound!
My sound is oriented around a lot of different genres; from post-club to techno to GQOM to Neo Perreo and so forth… My primary DJ practice is focused on blending these different genres into one set as I like the variety in music and the many cultural associations of sound. I am also very focused on making people move on the differing rhythms

What does the word ‘Pride’ mean to you?
Pride is about being proud. It is about being different, whether it be sexual orientation or gendered-ness, or people of colour who do not align with the normativity of whiteness, conservatism or masculinity. Queerness is about differing from the ‘norm’, and during pride, we celebrate that.

It’s a beautifully diverse word, and everyone has a different association. Nightlife and club culture are important spaces for the Queer community. Why do you think this is?
Nightlife can be a flee from society (which is often filled with neo-liberal and capitalistic pressures that also align you with ‘normalcy’). The club is a space where you can partially escape that feeling, and encounter other people who are also looking for a room to express themselves freely. The club as a safe space is a culturally hybrid space where a lot of interesting encounters can happen.

How are you able to express yourself, and your identity, through music?
Because I play many genres, I show many aspects and versions of myself. Even when I listen to a track, I identify myself with that style and envision myself being in that realm of sound. Through switching genres, I also switch up my ideas about myself… its a creative, fluid process.

It’s also very vulnerable…
Thank you. Before a lot of sets, I am still anxious, you have to put yourself out there and there is this God-like aspect that people associate with DJ-ing which can sometimes feel narcissistic and weird. I love attention and I’m a born entertainer but I’m also a sound nerd and I’m keen to stay with my genuine interest in music, balancing these two sides of myself out while playing.

Dr. Martens has been a cultural symbol of self-expression and freedom throughout history. When you think of Dr. Martens, what comes to mind?
When I was around 14 years old, I listened to more punk music. With punk come comes clothing as well, which is where I first encountered Dr. Martens. I remember thinking “That’s fucking edgy. I want those shoes”. I think getting my first pair became the catalyst for my fashion expression, moving into a more alternative way of dressing.

What was your first pair?
It was the classic 1460 lace-up boots with a shine. I also had a DJ-friend who at an after-party also offered me a pair… I wore those every day too!

As the city celebrates Pride together this month, what are some of your favourite places to play and party in Amsterdam?
I feel like more people should go to Pamela! I very nice Queer bar run by Queer people. At Milkshake festival they also hosted a stage where I played, which was so fun. On Friday I will also be playing at Melkweg, which is going to be a Pride special edition and at NOL, a queer party at Levenslang. The week after I will be playing at Paradiso for their Pride Is Not Over party which is a celebration of Pride after the official Pride weeks because pride should always be celebrated.

Words by Grace Powell 

Photography by Esmeralda Engels 

Learn more about Dr. Martens Pride here!