Being owned and managed by artists is one of many the ways that the Flat, a music venue and lounge in the heart of Montrose, is unique. Managing partner DJ Sun, whose off-stage name is Andre Sam-Sin, was a regularly scheduled performer in thespace before he stood at its helm.
Sam-Sin was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Suriname in South America before settling in Houston as a teen. It didn’t take him long to become a fixture in the city’s music scene. His DJ career began in 1993 – and he has been recognized multiple times as DJ of the Year in the “Houston Press.”
DJ Sun’s palette of funk, soul, jazz, disco, early hip-hop and more modern genres, like trip hop, has won him a wide range of fans and opportunities to perform with well-known acts. “I had opportunities to open for acts like Tricky, Morcheeba, Moby, Groove Collective, Maxwell, Roy Ayers and many more, during a time when having a DJ as the opening act was still relatively uncommon,” he said.
In 1995, he started a radio show called “Soular Grooves” on KPFT 90.1 FM, which explored soul and jazz genres. He later became a music producer as well. DJ Sun is a recent inductee in the “Houston Press’” Music Hall of Fame and his debut album “One Hundred” was named by the Press as “Best Album by a Local Musician” in 2013.
Now DJ Sun is charged with the music programming at The Flat – and has already hosted DJ Day, King Britt, Rich Medina, Vikter Duplaix, Dam-Funk, DJ Nickodemus, Stretch Armstrong, Tony Touch, Toy Selectah and Chancha Via Circuito.
“I want to create an environment that presents the ultimate experience for someone looking for great music and a fun dance environment,” he said.
He still plays at the Flat on Friday nights and during special shows. “We have also added some exciting monthly programming featuring some of the best Deep House DJs like Josh Dupont, Henry Chow and Amanda Robinson,” he said. “And we’re booking some great local DJs on our event calendar.”
But the musical line-up is not the only feature of the Flat that reflects DJ Sun’s personality.
“I hail from Suriname, a South American former Dutch Colony with a socio-political and economic identification/leaning towards The Caribbean, where rum is king,” he said.
Rum is stepping into the limelight on the Flat’s drink menu. Also DJ Sun wants the Flat to be the type of place that is welcoming to all types of people.
“The Flat is friendly to all citizens of this world, which is only natural since I was born in The Netherlands, raised in Suriname, traveled the Caribbean and Europe and settled in Texas,” he said. “Our customer service reflectsthe warmth of a mix of Southern hospitality and Caribbean sun-kissed happiness.”
About the Flat
Located at 1701 Commonwealth, in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood arts enclave, the Flat serves up cocktails with a focus on high-end rums. There is also a wide selection of wines and local beer on tap. Thelounge is known as a great venue for music and a space to show off moves on the dance floor. The food menu features wings and unique, gourmet pizzas. The bar is open seven days a week – from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sundays. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and all day on Monday. Sunday offers reverse happy hour from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.