After a long time away, one of Miami’s most cherished weekly parties will make its grand return tomorrow night at the Ground.
Peachfuzz, the once-weekly hip-hop and R&B party series that burned up Grand Central’s dance floor and its patrons’ alcohol budgets, is coming back this Friday, November 22, following an extended hiatus. Tomorrow’s event will see Peachfuzz fixtures DZA and Silent Addy manning the decks, in addition to an appearance by Jamaican reggae fusion artist Wayne Wonder.
DZA, one of the cofounders of Peachfuzz, tells New Times he looks forward to bringing back “Your girl’s favorite party” at a location where it’s never been staged before.
“I think the room is fun to be in and cool to play around with,” he says, noting the Ground’s layout differs from that of Grand Central, the Thompson Hotel, and the Miami Beach nightclub Basement, all venues that previously hosted the party.
Photo by Yesenia Hernandez
“Musically, we’re going to make a concerted effort in bringing acts,” DZA adds. The new iteration of Peachfuzz will be a seasonal affair and is scheduled to run weekly through the end of March 2020. “We’re only going to be around for a few months, so why not make the most of it?”
Peachfuzz began after DZA and friends were invited by Jake Jefferson and Aramis Lorie, two of the cofounders behind the Miami nightlife institution Poplife, to spin at Grand Central, the much-missed downtown Miami venue they owned and operated. The first Peachfuzz took place shortly afterward in the Grand Central Green Room, which would later become known as the Garrett.
As weeks passed and more and more bottles were popped, Peachfuzz became extraordinarily popular among Miami’s more debaucherous after-hours fiends. DZA remembers several instances when some of the city’s most celebrated musical heroes attended the party.
“[During] Art Basel 2013, we had Uncle Luke perform at the Garrett,” he recalls, calling the 2 Live Crew frontman an icon. “The energy was insane. I remember looking through the window, and the line wrapped around Grand Central. He had me start his set with Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’ because ‘The chicks love this shit.’ What a legend.”
Photo by George Martinez
DZA regards Peachfuzz’s closing party at Grand Central as another one of his favorite moments from its history. To mark the importance of the occasion, rapper and native son Trick Daddy hosted the occasion.
“What a fucking party,” DZA says, noting it was the first time Peachfuzz was held in Grand Central’s larger downstairs room. “It felt like there was 3,000 people in there even though capacity was 1,000.”
Peachfuzz has also been visited by nonlocal creatives and tastemakers, including a certain Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper from Compton, California.
“One of our first cool moments was when our old host Ashley Outrageous brought Kendrick Lamar — I think it was early 2012 — to come by the party,” DZA says. “It was cool to see a rising star in his element like that. [Lamar] got on the mike, said a couple of words, and people went crazy.”
DZA says Peachfuzz’s organizers recognize that the party’s longevity and continued popularity — even among several interruptions and lulls — can be attributed to their willingness to evolve and redefine exactly what Peachfuzz is and can be.
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
“Being able to adapt and bring a crowd to different venues has been a challenge but one I feel we’ve been able to take on and succeed,” he says. “Music changes so much in ten years; the goal was to take the spirit of the party and keep that going while musically evolving.
“People change too, so you have to try to capture a new demographic every couple of years. It’s challenging, but it’s cool.”
Even as it has changed venues and sounds, DZA says the consistency of the Peachfuzz party itself is what’s allowed it to come back time after time. Following tomorrow’s event, Peachfuzz will celebrate its eighth anniversary Friday, November 29, with the assistance of Major Lazer member Walshy Fire.
“I think those who have been coming for a long time know what they’re getting, and the people who experience it feel comfortable there,” he says. “We aim to make the experience as consistent and fun as possible.”