The duo's call for self-love reaches beyond the ballroom.
Photo courtesy of Saliou Khoule.
New York based producer Celestial Trax and Florida-born vocalist and dancer Rozay Labeija first met when they shared the same bill at a Brooklyn nightclub. After releasing their fiercely combative debut EP New Flesh, earlier this year, the duo took to the stage at SXSW and Boiler Room, showcasing their defiant, ballroom-influenced sound.
Today, they share their second EP, Roaches, an unapologetically honest homage to queer people of color. With Rozay's empowering lyricism backed by Celestial Trax's synth work and brick-hard beats, the EP is a call for unabashed self-love and an embrace of fiery femininity. Enlisting Queens rapper Dai Burger for hard hitting club number "GTBO," and performance artist Keijuan Thomas for a poignant spoken-word interlude, the EP illustrates the struggle for proper representation and the proud ownership of one's identity. Although much of the queer community are perceived as the "roaches" hiding in society's underbelly, Celestial Trax and Rozay Labeija remind us that roaches can thrive despite all odds.
Celestial Trax had a few words to say about the EP. "For me, this release takes off where New Flesh left off. Since that self released EP earlier this year, me and Rozay have done a whole bunch of shows together: SXSW, Boiler Room, MoMA PS1 and a ton of smaller club shows here in NYC. The first three tracks represent the sound and the energy we create live, dipping into Rozay's background in the ballroom scene and our mutual love of raw club music. The last two are more political and have more of a storytelling vibe to them."
Roaches is out today, December 6 via Loveless Records sub-label, Materia.