Inside Out — Mostbeautifullest
On Thursday, August 12, enjoy happy hour in the museum's outdoor sculpture courtyard with a DJ set by Pittsburgh's Mostbeautifullest.
Bring your appetite, too! Regional food trucks and a bar created by Café Carnegie offering custom snacks, kid-friendly treats, local beers, delicious wines, and more will be on-site.
While you’re at Inside Out, participate in art-making activities for all ages.
Inside Out events are FREE, open to all ages, have limited capacity, and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make a day of it and reserve your timed tickets to visit the museum before or after you enjoy Inside Out!
Mostbeautifullest in conversation with Inside Out Co-Producer Lauren Goshinski
LG: Hi HUNY! Always a pleasure. You started DJ-ing regularly before Covid, but over the pandemic your project Mostbeautifullest (MoB) really took shape on your Twitch channel. Tell us what your hopes for MOB are in the future. Who is MoB for?
HUNY: Hi LG! Yes, Mostbeautifullest was born during the pandemic last year while we were livestreaming. But we’ve been in operation since 2017 under our former moniker Darkness is Spreading. I changed the name in June of 2020 because “Darkness is Spreading” sounded far more ominous than I intended, given the pandemic and the state of the world. Mostbeautifullest is a hip-hop reference and says a lot more about who these parties and events are for, what we hope to embody, and how we want our crowd to feel, too.
The MoB collective, which is an ever-expanding and evolving roster, centers Black women and queer & trans people of the global majority (BIPOC). These are the communities I’m a part of as a Black queer femme and that I didn't see centered or prioritized in any of the recocurring parties in Pittsburgh when I moved here from NYC. I couldn’t find any parties with all Black women lineups in this city in 2017, for example—very little intersectionality. It’s still extremely rare, but we do it regularly and intentionally. There are more than enough lineups with all cis men, all white men, etc. There are more than enough parties where they are the majority.
MoB parties are about being free in your body, feeling safe and respected, being c*nty and fierce, turning a lewk, and not feeling like an outlier in a city that is still very segregated, racist, homophobic, and transphobic. We have the type of parties and events that you can come to alone and make friends right away. Wear that outfit that mainstream society says is “not for you.” We cheer for uniqueness and individuality. We rave. We go awf, we sweat, we commune. We are also not genre-specific: you’re going to hear techno, house, hip-hop, jersey club, baile, vogue/ballroom, dancehall, and more at a MoB event - if it makes you move, we’re gonna play it. Dance music. Music with origins in the Black diaspora that reverberates throughout your entire body.
I hope to continue building this movement with more residencies (we had 3 pre-pandemic, but only 1 at the moment) and regular events so our crowd always has a place to go and be with each other. We’re shifting the culture in this city along with a small handful of other collectives, and I want more venues to get on board with it and be intentional about welcoming the Black and brown LGBTQ+ community. I’d really love to start traveling with our parties, too—Pittsburgh is not the only city where white cishet men still dominate and control nightlife.
LG: HUNY, Josh, Grace — if you had to pick one sample to use in a mix for the rest of your life would it be:
- a) a HA clap
- b) a Janet Jackson vocal
- c) other ___ write in ___
H: I do love a Janet Jackson moment; I will forever stan. But I’ma have to go with the vogue crash. That distinctive sound makes the ballroom girls catwalk, duckwalk, and dip; they know immediately it’s time to werk. It’s so centered in movement and Blackness and queerness and I could not live without it in every set I play.
D: Janet, because besides the sheer range of her music, I honestly could listen to Kaytranada’s “If” flip for the rest of my life. -JO
LG: Drop some knowledge. What are the sources of your music inspiration? Or, is there anything you wish people knew more about Pittsburgh music & nightlife?
H: I grew up in a musical household. I went to more concerts with my parents and brother before I was 15 years old than a lot of people have probably been to in their entire life. So a lot of what I love about music is rooted in memories and nostalgia—I dig remixes, edits, and blends of 90’s R&B, hip hop, and house songs the most. I love creeping into them in a set—when the lyrics or a familiar melody comes in, people start recognizing it and collectively lose their shit. I’m also deeply inspired by the intersection of Blackness and queerness. A lot of what I play is independently released music by Black producers in the LGBTQ+ community. I wish more people outside of this city knew that there’s an abundance of talent here and some of the most talented DJs and artists in the country live in Pittsburgh. Period. What I really appreciate about this city is that you can play a set with zero recognizable songs or top 40 hits and people are still gonna live for it if you play it right. You can be very experimental as a DJ here, and the crowd is probably going to go up for it.
BG: A lot of my inspiration comes from being able to blend genres. I wish more people in Pittsburgh knew that there are people trying for more black queer spaces and wish that more non-black community members could help advocate for that.
D: My mother, my friends, my family, tracks I come across when I’m learning about how different facets of humanity express themselves in different contexts — the sources of my music inspiration are the people and moments which shade my life with the vibrance that makes existing worthwhile; anything that makes me feel and that makes me feel like moving. “What’s something you wish people knew about nightlife?” Just how much work goes into making sure that whenever inspiration hits -- whenever people get an inkling, an inclination, or an urge to go out -- that there’s something to do. For most people, nightlife activities are a passive experience; there’s some things they expect to happen each week, some things they vaguely know about, some things they look up on a Friday night when they’re deciding what to do…. Those experiences, those moments, and the settings which play host to those memories are orchestrated with lovingly excruciating effort. Weeks -- months, sometimes even a year or two can go into planning an 8-hour affair, and that doesn’t include the time spent working an event, cleaning up afterwards, or settling.
LG: How can people help music & nightlife in Pittsburgh recover from Covid, and come back better? Anything on the horizon folks should attend or support?
H: Event production is extremely hard work, sometimes months of it for just one party, and the average party-goer only witnesses the end result. So if you love a specific party or venue or collective, do your part to make sure they survive and thrive by helping get the word out about events (that can be as simple as sharing them on social media and telling your friends), attending, and being vocal about and voting on legislation that supports the vitality of nightlife and it’s workers. There are no devoted nightlife venues for Black queer people in this city anymore, so I would love for people to help me get the word out more about Mostbeautifullest in particular. Our IG is @mostbeautifullest. And please get vaccinated.
BG: Wear a mask, support the artists, donate if you can't attend. Look out for all of huny’s events and also an event called Oasis!
D: GO OUT! Visit venues and see artists you haven’t heard of! See artists that you’ve heard of but maybe haven’t had the chance to! Donate to the NightLifeLine Fundraiser! All in all, there is a healthy variety of venues and groups in Pittsburgh that do a lot of work around event planning and organizing — Jellyfish, Honcho, Mostbeautifullest, Ou_rs, Spirit, Cobra, and Goldmark to name a few…. I would ask you to follow the artists on this lineup on their socials, and ask us about vibes you’re looking for or events you wanna attend (My instagram is @JoshuaOrange)***
LG: For you, why is music & nightlife an essential part of culture at large?
BG: It's a form of healing, and creating these safe spaces is very important.
D: Nightlife (and *daylife* as well) is an essential part of culture at large because it is the roots and branches of our collective zeitgeist and a representation of society at any given time. It encapsulates social dynamics, and also presents opportunities for transformation. It is the setting for the discourse and camaraderie across demographics which lead to change//paradigm shifts. I never cease to be amazed at the kinds of people and chance encounters we have when we go out. Every single person is a complete individual outside of whatever dance party or event we might see each other at. It’s beautiful to me — this sort of brilliant collage of literally everyone. I know some of the most productive conversations I’ve ever personally had, have been facilitated by dance parties. This is especially true of queer spaces, which have always had a revolutionary legacy of providing a space for organizing -- but I do feel that as we become more cosmopolitan, I’m delighted to find most of the events I attend make an effort to reach back and support the communities that sustain them. Dance floors can change the world; those places where we make space for joy — allow ourselves to let loose, and be vulnerable, or ecstatic, or just our actual selves, serve as hosts to a more honest and benevolent reality. (A superorganism//gestalt chimera that evolves by interacting with, and reflecting upon itself. In my eyes, nightlife is how we bring heaven here.)
LG: TRACK ID. Name a track you’re rinsing right now, that we might hear at CMOA.
H: “Foli Djembe” by Krywald & Farrer
BG: “Wildside” by Normani. She snapped!
D: “If I’m in love” by MoMa Ready
LG: Describe a MoB night or your sound in 5 words or less :)
H: Wild, sexy, c*nty, transcendent, queer
BG: Redline, percussive, sharp, c*nt, black
D: Vibrant, Intimate, Refreshing Warm Waves
About the Artists:
Mostbeautifullest (aka The MoB) is a Black queer-women & femmes-led artist collective with a mission to create inclusive and intersectional experiences that center Black women, femmes, and the Black queer & trans community in Pittsburgh and beyond.
About Inside Out:
Inside Out is Carnegie Museum of Art’s new outdoor summer event series celebrating and supporting Pittsburgh’s rich cultural landscape. Running from June 5 through September 4 on Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m., the museum is partnering with over 28 regional artists and small arts organizations to transform the museum’s outdoor Sculpture Courtyard into the season’s go-to destination with a robust schedule of pop-up performances, DJs, art-making activities, local food trucks and beverages, kid-friendly treats, and more. See the full schedule of events here.