|Also known as||Merlin|
|Born||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Origin||Aylmer, Quebec, Canada|
|Genres||Industrial rock, rap|
|Occupations||Musician, artist and photographer|
|Associated acts||Ma, NAM:LIVE!|
Merlin Bronques is an American musician, artist and photographer originally from Brooklyn, NY, United States who grew up partly in Montreal, but primarily Aylmer, Quebec, Canada. He is best known as the controversial nightlife personality behind the website lastnightsparty.com. Based in New York, he is the site’s founder and sole photographer and travels frequently to Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and a host of other party destinations to photograph events, nightlife, and the party people.
As a musician, he enjoyed popularity during the mid-1990s under the moniker Merlin. His 1993 self-produced first album A Noise Supreme was a blend of industrial rock and rap: "acid-dipped/metal/jazz/grunge fusion" according to Billboard. The album received critical praise and generated a fanbase in Canada, partly due to MuchMusic airplay of the video for the single "Pusher."
In 1996, Merlin released the album Merlin's Arcade, "a most enjoyable slice of ear candy" according to AllMusic. The single "The Playboy Interview" also received some airplay on MuchMusic. He also founded the pop-rock band Ma, whose album Cool Chicks and Other Babes drew comparisons to Weezer. Perhaps in reaction to criticism that his new sound was a dramatic departure from his industrial/rap origins, Merlin released the industrial album Viddy Well Little Brother in 1997. In 2001, he released his major-label debut Milkbar Stereo.
He later formed the group NAM:LIVE!, which he disbanded after finding success as a nightlife photographer. He claims to have no formal training and was first introduced to photography by his father who is a studio photographer.
Bronques's photoblog, LastNightsParty.com, offers a behind-the-scenes look into the most exclusive parties around the world. It was launched in 2004. LastNightsParty.com’s galleries of hipsters, models, and the fashion community has a global audience. LastNightsParty is also an Abrams book released worldwide.
Bronques has been featured in newspapers and periodicals including Rolling Stone, in which LastNightsParty.com was proclaimed the world’s hottest website, Newsweek, The New York Times, Vogue Italia, British Vogue, URB, GQ Germany, Stuff, The Village Voice, Fader, and I-D. Bronques has regularly contributed editorial work to magazines including Spin, Ocean Drive, and BPM and shot ad campaigns for Nokia, Nike, Diesel, Converse and Ben Sherman and others.
Some notable celebrities that have appeared on the site include Madonna, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne, Paris Hilton, Marilyn Manson, Dita Von Teese, Perry Farell, Kevin Federline, Kanye West, Kelis, Travis Barker, Nas, Rose McGowan, Debbie Harry, David Grohl, Karen O, Moby, Ashley Olsen, Heidi Klum, Hilary Duff, Flavor Flav, DJ AM, Dennis Rodman, Billy Idol, Jay-Z, Seal, Michael Stipe, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Beyoncé, Juliette Lewis, Public Enemy, Good Charlotte, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Lil' Kim, and many others.
A book of his photographs, lastnightsparty: Where Were You Last Night? (ISBN 9780810949027), was published in 2006.
Recently Bronques launched LastNightsParty.tv as a source of video and blog content.
Bronques's photographs are praised for their ability to capture in pictures the "energy" of a party.
- Smith, Caspar Llewellyn (17 September 2006). "Creature of the night". The Guardian (UK).
- LeBlanc, Larry (4 Feb 1995). "Canada: Who's Who". Billboard: 80–82.
- "Merlin's Arcade (review)". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- NY Times Article
- Gothamist Article
- Duran, Jose D (Jul. 2 2010). "Q&A with LastNightsParty Photographer Merlin Bronques". Miami New Times.