Inclusivity. Open-mindedness. Acceptance. Love.
These core values draw vagabonds and outcasts to dance music — and they are the same values that Miami-bred duo Boiish have infused into their latest house heater, "Do Too Much." In the continually widening maw of house releases in recent years, this track brings a sense of precise rhythm and delivers a tight-knit groove that keeps the listener guessing.
Even before Boiish came into being, those values defined Kristin Robertson, 27, and Amanda Senft’s, 27, musical approach.
Growing up in South Florida, Senft lived in a multicultural environment that was home to an eclectic music scene.
On the other hand, Robertson spent the first 17 years of her life in a small Rhode Island hamlet where her sole outlet for self-expression was music and she learned to play piano, bass, drums, and guitar.
When Robertson arrived in Miami, she was fascinated by her new surroundings.
“I couldn’t get enough of exploring, discovering, and experiencing the many facets of South Florida’s vibrant music scene,” Robertson tells New Times. “It was a dream for me.”
Roberston explored the city through music venues likes Club Space, Revolution, Culture Room, and Churchill’s Pub, eventually landing a job working for Ultra Music Festival alongside Senft. As colleagues, they bonded over a mutual love of house music.
“Throughout the day, before we became close, I would play music from my computer, and that’s how we started talking about artists and genres and swapping new tunes,” Senft says. “I really danced and sang my way into her life.”
Their shared love of music established, Robertson, who had always wanted to play in a band, invited Senft to her place for a collaborative session on Ableton (yet another musical skillset Robertson was starting to hone) last fall. Between Robertson’s skill as a musician and Senft’s fine-tuned ear, the music-making process was seamless.
“When we started working on music together, something just clicked instantly," Robertson explains. "Amanda and I have been able to align ourselves on this vision organically, and I am just really excited to be on this journey."
And so Boiish was born. With their self-evident chemistry and no-frills approach, Robertson and Senft bring the pure joy of collaboration to every release and every set. They make music together and they make music to enjoy together.
Since the project got off the ground, Robertson and Senft have found considerable success in a relatively short amount of time — and despite the hurdles presented by the COVID-era musical landscape. They topped Spotify’s revered Dance Rising playlist earlier this year with their remix of “Crème Brûlée” by the femme-power duo Kaleena Zanders and VenessaMichaels. Last month, they performed on Space Yacht’s Tech My House stream and were featured on Diplo’s Revolution channel on Sirius XM — a particularly meaningful moment for Senft.
“To hear your project coming out of Channel 52, playing original tracks — honestly, I lost it," Senft admits. "I purposely asked a friend to drive the car that day because the range of emotions — singing, yelling, dancing, crying. It was chaotic. I really just want to keep pushing forward because it doesn’t stop here.”
“Do Too Much,” released on UK record label He.She.They, is proof of that forward momentum — not just for the Boiish project, but for their efforts toward inclusivity. Beginning as an event collective, He.She.They. initially focused on curating lineups with more female, trans, and nonbinary artists from all races and backgrounds. These values then translated to the label, where Boiish has become the latest female-identifying act to join its ranks.
At its core, He.She.They's mission is to “create a planet without prejudice for people to be people” — an aim Boiish embraces.
“It is our mission to encourage and empower ourselves and others to seek out and live our unique, uncompromising truths,” Robertson says. “We want to continue to highlight, celebrate, and collaborate with artists and institutions who we feel are doing the same. We are excited to be releasing this on He.She.They and to become part of this international collective, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the dance community."
As women artists who've worked at a dance-music powerhouse, Robertson and Senft are well aware of the gender inequalities that exist within the dance-music scene. But inclusivity is what drew them to the dance floor and to one another.
“We are fortunate to be living in a city that does celebrate diversity and inclusion, but we are still often challenged by hateful forces that separate us,” Robertson says. “In those moments, if we can find grace and maintain hope, we can fight hate and anger with understanding and compassion and build a unifying vision for a better, more inclusive future.”
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.