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Pop Princess

Lez Pop’s trance techno beats bring diverse crowds to the dancefloor.

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Growing up, Meaux thought she hated music. From classical piano lessons to one-on-one acoustic guitar sessions with her dad, no matter what instrument she played, she just didn’t feel a spark. What made Meaux always feel inspired was putting together party playlists of all her favorite pop divas, an early omen of her future career as a DJ, producer, and artist.

It wasn’t until Meaux transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall of 2017 that her passion for playlists grew into a downright desire to DJ. Early into her time in Richmond, Meaux met Mo — a DJ with Ice Cream Social, a queer artist collective that throws inclusive parties to raise funds for mutual aid. What began with a crush and a request to borrow equipment quickly blossomed into a loving relationship that still endures five years later.

“It was all kind of by chance, because if I hadn’t met someone like Mo with the right equipment I probably wouldn’t have taken the leap to become a DJ,” Meaux says. “I would use her equipment to teach myself, and for the first time, I was able to blend songs together I thought would flow well.”

When local club scene icons like DJ Archangel began booking her for shows, Meaux knew she needed a stage name. Her search for a pseudonym that would show her pride led her to Lez Pop.

“When you’re a lesbian you’re often judged as someone who can’t get a man; society defines your identity by the absence of men,” she explains. “Being a fat lesbian is awesome, and there are ton of us who are all in it together. I want to help people feel comfortable enough to let their hair down for a few hours and just dance. Because we live in an awful world full of stressors for the queer community and people of color.”

The more Lez Pop played at parties, the more she yearned to make her own tracks. With her love of electronic dance music locked in, she began saving up for fancier software, learning new techniques via YouTube, and collaborating with friends who were producers.

“I got to the point where I was like, ‘Fuck it,’” Meaux says. “I’m making all of these new songs, so I might as well see if people love it or hate it.”

Lez Pop headlined her first dance party at Fallout in 2019. She only had a few months to revel in her success before the pandemic shut everything down and her DJing went digital. The online parties were better than nothing, but Meaux quickly burned out and took a break from performing.

“It’s so much more energizing and exciting to play to a live crowd, and I missed that dynamic too much to keep performing virtually,” she says.

After the downtime spent honing her skills at home, Lez Pop landed a residency at Godfrey’s this July. Her several parties a month fluctuate due to her increasing number of bookings outside the commonwealth, including an upcoming New York City debut.

Lez Pop’s next big blast is Dirty Pop, a dance party at Fallout with a jam-packed lineup of local talent. Those looking to attend must be 18+ and bring proof of vaccination.

Kicking off the night is the live debut of DJ Yung Pastel, who started spinning virtual sets of “fun, really gay music” from their bedroom during quarantine. Richmond music legend Trapcry is up next with a set of original songs designed to “make people want to go wild, dance, and make out.” Afterwards, Lez Pop will take to the stage blending originals with personal favorites. DJ Deep Clean (aka Sofia Lakis) will close out the night with some downtempo pop.

“Only the best, hottest people show up to party all night so I'm excited to bring it back and have it become a recurring event,” said Meaux.

It’s been two years since Lez Pop put out any original tracks after her last album, Shades of Green. “That album was really heavy for me because it was about healing from trauma,” she says. “I literally put my heart on the floor, so it really wore me out.”

New music that takes a more trance techno turn is brewing, albeit slowly. With the toxicity cleansed out of her system and the five year anniversary of her DJ career on the horizon, Lez Pop is gradually returning to the place of radical self-love and joy that first drove her to pursue music.

“Growing up, I knew there were parts of me that were different, but I could never put my finger on what felt off,” says Lez Pop. “Once I got older, came into my sexuality, and found out from medical professionals I had an intersex condition, it opened my world and made me love myself more. Body positivity is a thing I have always struggled with, but at a certain point I realized this is all I have.”

Dirty Pop featuring Yung Pastel, Deep Clean and Lez Pop, with a performance by Trapcry, takes place at Fallout on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Show at 9 p.m. $5. Proof of vax needed. 18 and up.

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