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PAPER Presents The Tear: x3butterfly

PAPER <3s NY and PAPER <3s the DJs that keep us moving. That’s why we’re proud to present The Tear, our new mix series highlighting the best DJs spinning in the city we call home.

Since the pandemic, NYC has experienced a nightlife boom that has further solidified it as a global capital of club culture. With a nascent scene in Brooklyn exemplified by world-class clubs like Basement and Nowadays and with troves of ever-buzzing DJs, producers, organizers and creatives, it’s not surprise that millions come from all over the world to have a twirl on our dance floors. What makes NYC nightlife special is not just one sound, look or style, but its diversity; from house to hard techno, from bass to Jersey Club, from a cocktail swirl at Public Records to a late night dive at Unter, from a cute night at Bossa to another glorious spin upstairs at Paragon, there’s always more to do and more to see when you’re in the city that never sleeps.

We’re thrilled to kick off our new series with x3butterfly, who you can catch spinning on some of our favorite dance floors every month. Named to the first class of residents at beloved Brooklyn club Paragon, x3butterfly is well known and respected for their sound which is eclectic, vibrant and always buzzing with a joyous fervor. Always a lover of fusion and genre-blending, x3butterfly exemplifies the best of NYC, a city of creative cross-pollinators, collaborative communities and always jittering dancers. Their mix for PAPER is all of that and more, an hour-long twirl through sounds and styles, a bubbling soup of all this melting pot can offer, hot and ready for consumption.

Listen to x3butterfly’s inaugural mix for PAPER’s The Tear below, and hear a little about the sounds, places and people who inspire one of our favorite DJs.

The prompt for the mix was “the past, present and future of NYC nightlife.” What sounds inspired you for this mix?

This mix is a nod to the multitudes of subcultures NYC nightlife contains, as well as the emphasis of fusion. Fusion I believe is the present and future. There are so many incredible productions that are a byproduct of cultural and historical crossover. Witnessing the creative process that is unequivocally personal and authentic to so many individuals I admire was the inspiration.

Where was the first set you played in NYC?

I’m unsure if this was the first set, but shortly after I moved to NYC, my friend offered me a residency at the Manhattan staple Home Sweet Home. My world in music was relatively small at the time, so I was incredibly grateful for that residency. It provided me a way to explore and play without the stress that some of my larger performances induce, as well as have some endearing moments with my friends and partner at the time.

What’s your favorite NYC nightlife memory?

One that resonates with me was last year during Soul Summit’s Fort Greene Park event. Everyone was dancing, and it just started to pour torrentially. The DJ was playing a soulful house track, and everyone began cheering. I really love those moments of collective euphoria.

Favorite set you’ve ever played?

Not sure of my absolute favorite, but my Boiler Room in 2022 at Paragon still makes me smile every time I come back to it. The energy was propulsive, and I was surrounded by so much love, which was just what I needed because my physical health was very unstable that year. It also felt like a solidification of my career because it was finally a moment where I was like, “I can definitely do this. I believe in myself.”

What is your biggest nightlife pet peeve?

My pet peeve is that I over commit to too many projects and coordination roles in relation to gigs (for example: wristbands, guest list etc.) and I still haven’t learned my lesson. But it also gives me endless joy to know everyone is accommodated and enjoying themselves.

Biggest DJ inspo?

Witnessing my friends grow, expand sonically while taking risks, and have an impact on the nightlife scene globally. It furthers my own ambition.

What makes NYC nightlife unique?

The combination of people, array of venues and looks. Even though every nightlife scene has their own relationship to fashion, NYC has so many diverse personalities within creative expression. I want more full-out fashion at the club for 2025!

Biggest hope for the future of NYC nightlife?

Witnessing more interdisciplinary projects in unexpected spaces.

Photography: Kelly Hebestreit

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