Jasmine Infiniti tells candid stories about her life through hard, fast dance music. “Music is an extension of ourselves and a way of communicating with people,” she says. It’s a soul-baring outlook that can be felt in everything she’s put her mind to: as a DJ, producer and promoter.
Born in the Bronx and based in Brooklyn, Jasmine Infiniti’s sound is a mesh of underground styles that New York City artists have long-shaped. Her DJ sets and original music oscillates between ballroom, hip-hop, house, industrial and techno; racing between fury and euphoria to create cathartic moments. Take her 2020 debut album ‘BXTCH SLÄP’, which roars into life with the formidable ‘Bxtch Släp — Queen Of Hell’. It’s a thrill-ride in track form, built with the kind of white-knuckle intensity that’ll send your stomach into somersaults. That’s until a hint of something calmer, more forlorn, seeps through — only for the next track to start and the whole ride to begin again. Her uncompromising DJ sets also fuse motifs picked up at pivotal points in her story. She’s brought all of that together into New World Dysorder, a club night, artist collective and, most recently, record label.
Growing up, Infiniti was part of a four-piece vocal group called Black Rain. They were clearly talented, as record labels caught wind of them, but Infiniti’s mother wasn’t keen on them signing a deal and so the group’s moment fizzled out. “It just put a damper on music for me,” Infiniti remembers, “but I always found other ways. I used to draw, I studied fine art, I started painting — I found all kinds of outlets. I feel like I was searching for the perfect one, though. None of those really felt like it.”
In her late teens, Infiniti also found the ballroom scene — the music, the dancing and the culture of it was awe-inspiring, so much so that she became part of the House Of Infiniti. She keeps the name today to honour the House, but plays around with others. A friend coined her most familiar one, ‘Queen of Hell’. Her discovery of the ballroom scene came alongside other explorations of New York City’s nightlife. For a time, Infiniti would visit gay clubs like Splash, but she soon realised that, as a feminine being, she wasn’t super comfortable being in these “hyper-masculine gay spaces”.
At 23, she was going through a difficult time. She had dropped out of school and been kicked out of her home for transitioning. Serendipitously, she went to live with her female cousin, who “magically” answered an advertisement for housing that Infiniti had posted on Craigslist. Their union marked a new chapter for Infiniti, and her discovery of the “queer underground”. “I say ‘queer’ because it’s a mélange of people, which is often something you don’t see in actual clubs. They’re all like, ‘This is a gay club’ or ‘This is a straight club’,” she explains, “but in the underground it was such an awesome melting pot, even in the music.”
One of the first parties she went to during this time was GHE20G0TH1K, the noted underground party hosted and DJ’d by Venus X, who Infiniti would later intern for. “When I discovered GHE20G0TH1K and Cherrybomb, I was wowed,” she remembers. “I thought, ‘These people are playing techno, they’re playing hip-hop and ballroom music. They’re mixing it all together. The crowd is straight people, gay people, artists, fashion people — all kinds of people coming together’. I thought it was amazing.”
New York City is Infiniti’s hometown, but it wasn’t until she moved out to the West Coast that things truly started to come together for her. “I met all these amazing queer people; my daughters, trans women,” she beams, about the Bay Area. “That was one of the first times that I’ve had actual trans women as friends, besides my gay mother. We were all queer and trans and we went to all kinds of parties: Burning Man kind of parties, underground parties, raves.”