For the past six years, the popular MFAH Mixed Media party series has come to you under the curatorial direction of DJ Sun. We sat down with Andre Sam-Sin—aka DJ Sun—to find out more about the man behind the music and his funky, no-frills nightlife spot, the Flat.
You started curating Mixed Media in 2014. What is your driving concept?
Mixed Media allows me to pair a musical act, usually an internationally renowned DJ, thematically with the exhibition of the moment. For instance, we booked Kraak & Smaak from the Netherlands for Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art. Mixed Media parties are a chance to showcase exhibitions in a fun environment, with the feel of a dance party or live concert.
Who are some of the other musical talents you have invited to Mixed Media?
In 2014 we started with Dâm-Funk because he had been highly popular at a SXSW show I attended; he’s from Galveston; he fit the aesthetic; and he had recently been on my radio show. That Mixed Media party sold out, creating excitement and anticipation for the shows going forward. I tapped the network of artists I had built, including King Britt, DJ Day, Rich Medina, DJ Nickodemus, and Quantic. Increasingly, I go beyond that network to secure acts like Judge Jules, Karsh Kale, Machinedrum, Miguel Migs, and Riton, among others.
You have a unique background: You were born in the Netherlands, grew up in Suriname, and now live in Houston. When did you start thinking about Houston as a final destination?
I came to Houston at age 19 to attend the University of Houston. Once I graduated, I remained, and as I pursued the field of music through DJ-ing, hosting a radio show, producing live shows, and building a studio to produce music, I found immense support from Houston audiences and never had an inclination to leave.
What led you to the Flat?
I started at the Flat as a DJ when it opened, and when the opportunity came to purchase it, I agreed to take over. That was January 2014, the same month as my first Mixed Media!
Are there any works of art in the MFAH collections that strike you personally?
What always draws my interest when I visit the Museum is the Arts of Africa collection because of the time I spent in Suriname, which has a rich connection with West Africa through the culture of the Maroons.
► See DJ Sun in action! Catch the MFAH Virtual Happy Hour on Facebook Live, Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m.