To see DJ Nina Flowers is an experience. But to hear him is an adventure. After this Puerto Rican gender-bender made a name on RuPaul's Drag U and All Stars, he returned to her first love, music. These days, Flowers has been sprouting up in clubs across the country and points beyond.
Born Jorge Luis Flores Sanchez, he started his drag career in San Juan gay clubs. The exposure from RuPaul's show led to personal appearances throughout cities in North America. But his first love had always been music.
He started spinning in clubs even before he performed drag. By age 19, he combined both skills to create a unique persona in the DJ booth. If his Nina Flowers' creative fantasy makeup give him a unique one-up in visual effects, it's the music that makes the crowds scream his stage name.
You can discern the Latin rhythmns in the beats and grooves, but there's a lot more going on. The overall effect is as striking as Flowers' make-up — a late-night House techno syntho sound that's also perfect for any hard-driving main floor.
Maybe that's why Flowers has been holding down multiple residencies, including such prestigious venues as Tracks in Denver, the city where Flowers lives with partner Antonio Purcell de Ogenio in between gigs; Epic Saturdays in Boston; two in San Francisco; and the now-defunct Viva at New York's Studio 48. He has also played at many major events, such as Miami Beach Pride; Hydro in Puerto Rico; and the mammoth One Magical Weekend in Orlando.
Late in 2009, Flowers released his first original production, "Loca," which was mixed by Joe Gauthreaux and Manny Lehman. The next year saw his first album of six original productions, Start Your Engines. Other songs have followed, helping build Flowers' reputation in the larger dance-music world.
And the world beyond that: In 2009, the mayor of Denver declared May 29 "Nina Flowers Day" in recognition of his stature in the local LGBT community. Not to worry: He continues to keep it as real as those layers of pancake, shimmer, shadow, glitter and gold that make Flowers so unique to see — and to hear.