Ask any London-based promoter and they’ll tell you the same thing: running a party in this town is no mean feat. So while it tastes considerable gumption, it’s also helpful if you define yourself with a clear musical objective and a shrewd booking policy. Step forward then Fake Society, a dual party promoter and label that sticks to a strictly discerning script with a sound that leans toward the more interesting and cutting-edge corners of house and techno. Their Sunday day-time party is a case in point, with their expert resident Cem Ozden joining Bucharest native Cezar and the equally intriguing booking, Turin’s Topper. Running from 2-10pm and going down at Hackney Wick’s The Lot, it should provide a suitably joyous occasion for fans of the good stuff. But what of the guys’ story? Well, we caught up recently with both Cem and his fellow Fake Society promoter, Selin Duren following their recent move to London to find out what it takes to run a successful party and label in 2022…
Tell us a bit about your history in electronic music – how did you get into it and at what stage did you realise it was something you really wanted to dedicate yourselves to?
Cem: I got into electronic music thanks to my father, who’s a big music head, when he bought me CDJs as a birthday present when I was 13 years old. I was playing at birthdays and house parties with friends, going to clubs that played electronic music and eventually started playing at them even though I was underage. Especially at a club called Anjelique that we used to go to almost every weekend where they played deep house and I think it really shaped our taste in music. When I moved to Boston and started playing in clubs, it became more clear to me that I wanted to be a DJ.
Selin: Music has been a constant in my life since I was a kid and I was really interested in showcasing art in different forms. I used to put together talent shows in school and play the drums in a band. I got hooked on electronic music in high school and eventually started booking Cem to some clubs and felt a strong connection with the scene. Fake Society was born out of our common vision, so it was just natural to have him on board as a resident, we weren’t looking for anything, it all happened naturally.
On that note, how did you first meet each other then? And can you tell us a bit about who does what etc?
I met Selin when we were in 8th grade and we became very close friends. She was also very passionate about music and we started going to clubs together. We used to exchange tracks, show each other new artists,labels and go to festivals . We decide almost everything together about Fake Society in terms of events and releases. Selin also manages our artists and is responsible with the art direction of the label, flyers and our clothing line. We think artwork is really important to how you present the vibe of your party. We’re glad to hear you like the designs as Selin is behind them!
Is the name of the party, Fake Society, titled as a sort of social commentary?
Yes, it is actually. Our logo symbolises the same message as well. We believe in staying true to yourself and never compromising from who you are for something in return or to fit in. We try to surround ourselves with people who have the same values.
How important do you think parties are to a city like London then? Do you think enough is being done to preserve London’s nightlife? And do you think it’s generally in a good place?
Parties and nightlife in general play a huge role in a city like London. We think there’s a lot of people who put time and real effort to make things happen which should be appreciated. I think a challenge would be the number of parties and promoters in the city where you have to think about many aspects before organising a party, which weren’t much of a concern in other cities we lived in before. At the same time having so many like minded people who share the same passion is one of the reasons we decided to move to London.
What parties have been especially influential to you guys? And what is it about those parties that played such a big influence on you?
This is a tough question since all of our parties mean something to us and hold a special place in our hearts. From the top of my mind , our first party at our homebase minimuzikhol in Istanbul with Cezar , Galerie Kurzweil in Germany with Barac, Unmute Miami and Bushwick Afters New York with two of our residents Cem and Camelia and finally the recent vibe at Lion and Lamb.
So many parties to get inspired from! We try to learn at every occasion we attend , however to name some of them, Cem’s first gig at Gazgolder Club in Moscow, Sunwaves23 when we were all together with our artists, Phonox London with Rhadoo, CDV and finally the last ToiToi at Fold, London which felt like a proper rave from the 90s. The common thing in all these parties was the general attention to detail. You saw proper effort from the organisers’ side, everything was perfect. Proper booths, proper sound systems, professional attitude , carefully selected music which automatically brought the vibe to all of them and made them special each in their own ways.
You’ve got an awesome line-up coming up for your Sunday party, featuring Cezar, Topper and of course, yourself, Cem. How do you settle on who to book? Is there a particular type of artist you’re after?
There isn’t a particular type of artist when it comes to who we book in our parties but a common denominator would be artists that we believe in, who understand and respect the art of DJing, properly digging and what dance music in general represents and stands for.
Do you take any steps to preserve the vibe of the crowd?
The crowd is really important in every party and we believe is a reflection of its originators. We don’t do anything in particular to preserve the vibe but we think similar energies attract and find each other eventually, especially with music.
Can you tell us a bit about the venues in Hackney Wick? What made you settle on The Lot?
We don’t have much experience about all the venues in Hackney Wick to answer your question, since we are still relatively new in the city. However, the reason we chose Hwk was because of its capacity, location, open air availability for the summer and a custom built sound system.
Can you tell us a bit about the label and what you’ve got planned? And a few of the label’s key releases so far?
Our first two releases by Camelia and Haokah are very special to us and saw a lot of support from the community. Our next release by ARDB with a Silverlining remix which should be hitting the shops in the following months. I believe all our tracks we release are defining us as a label and this is what we aim for, so it is pretty hard to pick one. We want to keep promoting the music we believe in and stay true to our core values in everything we do. We are very excited for our upcoming plans which we will announce soon, so stay tuned!
Fake Society with Cezar, Topper and Cem Ozden takes place Sunday 22nd May at Hackney venue, The Lot. For further information and tickets, see here
Also look out for their 10th July party with Zendid, Harry McCana b2b Sam Bangura and Cem Ozden b2b Elia Nafzger
Keep up with Fake Society on Instagram