Did you notice? Park MGM is catching some serious R&B vibes. Headlining shows from Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars. DJ residencies from Questlove and Mark Ronson. Is this the most soulful spot on the Strip?
It would explain why Samantha Duenas (aka SOSUPERSAM) is bringing the six-year anniversary tour of her 143 party—a monthly R&B jam in LA that has expanded along with her reach—to JEMAA, the NoMad Pool Party, on Friday, May 24.
SOSUPERSAM has spun in Vegas before, Downtown at Commonwealth and at Hakkasan’s Ling Ling Lounge, but this will be her first time “throwing my own party,” she says.
“We’ve been trying to bring our party to Vegas for years, and I’m really excited it’s finally happening,” she says during a stop in Detroit. “I have been able to experience more of the local music scene in Vegas, and I really, really like it. Actually, a lot of people come to my party from Vegas every month.”
143 is a real party, too, not just a DJ digging through your ’90s-era faves. “It’s very interactive. I try to keep it silly and get the crowd involved and singing along, and I’m usually on the mic singing while DJing, really getting into it and trying to get everybody else loose. This is an especially fun genre to sing along to, and we’ll hand out something random like Cheetos or pizza and keep it fun. That’s probably how it’s going to go down.”
It should be noted that Duenas is a pretty awesome singer. She actually got her start as a dancer, performing and touring with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kelly Rowland and Vanessa Hudgens, so when she’s busting moves behind and in front of the booth, you’ll have to keep up. She broke through as a DJ around 10 years ago and started dropping mixtapes including her own original music in 2016. Check out the Priority EP for a quick dose of her sugary bass-pop, especially the sexy “Good for It.” She tempers the heat with a goofy video, always keeping it light.
“I started in the performing arts through singing and dancing, so for me it just felt like going back to my actual roots—very natural,” she says of stacking singing and songwriting on top of DJing. “It’s definitely a challenge and a big change, because when you’re talking about live performance, the times are earlier than club hours and you’re dealing with people who are in a different headspace if they’re coming to enjoy live music versus get drunk off their faces and be really rowdy.”
But SOSUPERSAM and 143 are all about catering to the crowd, so she’s enjoyed interacting in a different way while sharing her own music and a different set of skills. And her stuff goes down super-smooth.
“When I started writing, I thought it would be a lot more neo-soul, but what actually does come out is a lot more dance-driven, pop-sounding music,” she says. “And I’m embracing that, because in the end I want to be able to sing and dance at the same time.”
SOSUPERSAM May 24, 11 a.m., $30-$40. JEMAA the NoMad Pool Party, 702-730-6784.