What happens when two Burning Man veterans – one who attended law school and the other an underground icon – form a union? You get Megan and Behrouz Nazari, founders and owners of Miami’s Do Not Sit On The Furniture.
“This is a mom and pop shop,” Behrouz says with a chuckle. The couple moved from San Francisco to Miami twelve years ago as a matter of convenience. “Miami is a good hub for a DJ who’s traveling all the time. You’re one flight to South America, Europe; two and half hours you’re in New York and when you fly towards the west, you gain time,” he adds.
Behrouz has contributed to the electronic music scene for decades and has blessed music fans with upwards of ten-hour performances. Though accessibility played an important role in the Nazari’s move to Miami, it was a decision of which reaped rewards. Thus, Do Not Sit was born organically. He states, “Nothing was planned. It’s made with love to create something good and give back to our community.”
With a capacity that maxes out at less than 150 persons, the Miami-based nightclub proves to be one of the most intimate venues in the world. “A lot of times us DJs will travel and play festivals and big rooms, we lose touch with music – real music. I wanted to create a place where even if you’re a big DJ, you can sometimes go to a smaller room and get connected with people. It’s like being a Rolling Stone and playing the dive bar, then the next week playing for 50,000 people.” DNS caters to the insatiable hunger of music lovers that crave a blend of burgeoning artists and big names. Artists – all hand-picked by Behrouz – such as Danny Tenaglia, Richie Hawtin, Guy Gerber, Seth Troxler and more have graced the decks of DNS.
Miami is one of the toughest markets for launching a nightclub. “If you last here six months, you did good,” Behrouz states. “We had to think outside of the box and not do everything everybody else does. I’ve been going to Burning Man for the past 14 years, I wanted to retain a little bit of that vibe into Miami at the time. Everything here was more digital – EDM with the whole models and bottles thing. Nothing had any substance. I wanted to create a place where if you’re 21 or 60 years-old, you can come to this place and properly listen to music – not based on what everybody else is playing.” Upon opening DNS in Miami, Behrouz says “people were laughing at us because our music was completely different.” They also lost money the first few shows. That has since changed. “Instead of me competing with other clubs to get the big DJs, I kind of created my own source. It was like, these guys have talent. Why don’t we push it? We’re all about good music.”
DNS is more than a nightclub. It’s a movement that’s impact is being felt all over the planet thanks to the record label and traveling showcases of the same namesake. Behrouz adds, “So basically, we’re creating an environment that we can make a musical movement with a lot of these new artists and bringing new talent to the scene. It’s not just about one sound, but the label is just about original artists. We haven’t had anyone doing remixes because I want the original artist to get the full praise. It’s easy to do a remix because you have all of the parts. With us, because we do showcases and have a club, we invite these artists to play in Miami. When we do showcases around the world, we invite them to come with us.” As is the case with most artists in the music realm, Behrouz is further inspired by visual art. Regarding who the masterminds are behind some of the DNS cover art, Behrouz says with a laugh, “It’s the secret sauce you have in your kitchen.” The artwork of each record cover will be presented during Miami’s Art Basel.
So, why not sit on the furniture at your fave night spot? Behrouz recalls one of his first gigs upon moving to Miami as a venue with couches and furniture in the center of the dance floor. He recounts, “I asked the guy, Are you guys going to move this? He said, ‘Oh no, we’re going to leave it.’ I thought, well, that kills the whole aspect of the club and dance music. Anyway, I opened up a place just to make it funny and get a kick out of it by calling it Do Not Sit On The Furniture. You go to clubs to dance, not to sit on the furniture.”
[Photo credit: Lito Vidaurre]
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