What does Anthology of Booty, She Rex, and OverEasy Ladies Tea all have in common? Two words…Ebony Dumas. If you have attended any queer party in Washington, D.C., chances are you have danced to the music of DJ Natty Boom. This popular DJ and Washington, D.C. staple is saying farewell to the D.C. area with a “Bye Boom” party on Sunday, August 9.
Before she was playing the many stages in the city, she was attending school at University of Pittsburgh and performing as a drag king.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a profession, so I started thinking about which cities drag king troupes I wanted to join. It came down to D.C. and Chicago. I decided to move and join the DC Drag Kings because they were much more diverse than Chicago’s troupe. I also knew a couple people here, so that helped with finding housing and getting to know the city,” says Dumas.
While getting immersed in the LGBTQ scene, she was performing as a drag king, working odd jobs, attending punk shows, hosting a show on Radio CPR, and starting Girls Rock! DC, an organization that aims to create a supportive, inclusive and creative space for girls to develop their self-confidence, build community and stand-up through music.
Her love for music continued in 2007 when she played her first gig at a house party in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C. During this party, Dumas met her “crew”, which became the four other members of Anthology of Booty. Soon after, they were on the same DJ line-ups at different house parties and fundraisers. Their appeal to different communities exposed them to larger audiences and events.
Over the past seven years, Dumas has played such events and venues as Brightest Young Things parties, Homo/Sonic, Booty Rex, Be Bar, 9:30 Club, Black Cat, iBomba in Brooklyn, Chola Art Bar in Peru, and the VIP after-party for Ellen Degeneres’ 2013 Mark Twain Award at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, just to name a few.
“I’ve been a popular DJ because I connect with people, not just play for people. I don’t organize or DJ events because of the perceived sexuality of the crowd. I don’t get invited back to venues because of my sexuality,” says Dumas.
After her farewell party, Dumas has her sights set on New Orleans where she will be attending graduate school. “I believe New Orleans is one of the few cities in this country that still has a distinct culture, especially musically, that hasn’t been whitewashed or squashed completely.”
Though she is looking forward to new opportunities in New Orleans, she will miss the “big city and small town feel” of D.C.
“[I will miss] the powerful and inspiring people who have become my chosen family. There’s still some space to create whatever you want. You just have to have ambition, creativity and ingenuity,” says Dumas. ” I’ll also miss the free museums, working at 9:30 Club, and catching a Go-Go band while walking down U Street.”
If you want to say your goodbyes to DJ Natty Boom, join her favorite DJs and bands Sunday, August 9 at Union Arts, 411 New York Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.