MUSIC: VENUS X INTERVIEW (SUPERSUPER! VOL 2 #003)
Green-haired DJ/producer Venus X is #HOTSTUFF in music right now. Founder of New York’s uber-cool underground club night, GHE20GOTH1K, she champions a HYBRID CULTURE attitude in life as well as her mixes. 2K12 is gonna be coming up green…
SS: Hey Venus! How’s it going?
VX: Very good! i’m in LA right now. I came out here to work with a vocalist but the stars didn’t align, and I ended up meeting a lot of great people, and taking some time to breathe and catch up. This year has been wild and I just had a crazy car accident, cops said I should have died in, so I’m just trying to make sense of it all, feels ominous.
SS: You blend styles and sounds on such an insanely huge scope in your mixes – do you always know what the result’s gonna be, or is it more about the process of experimenting with different styles?
VX: Well right now I feel like you have to break it, the industry, music, the wave, down to build it up. Not in a destructive way, no bad energy, but in a way that will allow you the space to make new sounds. Essentially my point was to prove that you could make something out of nothing by making nothing mean something again. Basically I wanted to create a space where things actually were different, the sounds, the style, the people dancing. And luckily it all came together on account of the soundtrack actually being different. I think the approach to music is very punk. It’s anti-authority, anti-tradition, anti-order. I try not to beat match, but instead to match something else in my head… match ideas and desires via music. I do what I want on the decks. I play according to how I feel and what is going on in my life and in the world. I deliver information and try to plant seeds for things to change in music maybe one day.
SS: What are your thoughts on him as an artist? We’re predicting big things for him next year…
VX: I think he is a great lyricist and thinker. He is telling the New York story, what’s its like to be in New York post war. We were born in the 80′s so we experienced crack, violence, DMV, Biggie, police brutality and Guiliani. We watched the city be numbed and a lot of men go to jail, and a lot of people die. It changed what it meant to be from the hood, and I think he music is redefining what it means to be a young black man in America, where gangster culture is in the rear view mirror, but the recession is not. The lack of resources among the poor is still extreme so people are angry, but subdued by weed and promethazene or pop culture and alcohol.
SS: Last time we spoke, GHE20 GOTH1K was really starting to get attention as a really significant club night to take notice of. A year later, how are things now? Do you think the night has grown/changed/evolved in any sense?
VX: Its definitely gotten better, the crowd is amazing. More young kids, older people, the worlds are merging the hood, the art world, the fashion world and the college kids. Even my brother comes and works the door sometimes too. It’s really real and I love where it’s at now.
SS: One thing that’s struck me about you is how you champion LAYDEEZ in music (which is great <3) – should more women be involved in DJing/producing? Why do you think this isn’t the case yet?
VX: Yes more women should be involved in everything that isn’t hair, makeup, heels, babies, cooking and all that other very fun but restrictive shit. Girls need more hobbies so that they stop making men their primary focus, and start adding to all the histories that they are not equally a part of. I find it really hard to work with women in music because they aren’t taking it seriously, they aren’t nurtured to be the decision makers, to pave new ways or to make noise. They need someone to tell them its ok to do everything you wanna do, and team up with other women and take over.
SS: In your opinion, who are some of the most important people working in music right now, and why?
VX: Everyone is part of the story, but I think my friends and my favorites are really onto something new. Hatsune Miku, 2Chainz, Future, Kendrick Lamar, House of La Dosha, Fatima Al Qadiri, Nguzunguzu, Total Freedom, Kingdom, Physical Therapy, Mykki Blanco, Nadus, A$AP Rocky, Drake. These artists are killing it right now, taking risks or telling truths that are new in this era, and refreshing and pushing the sound boundaries. It’s gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out.
SS: I saw on Twitter you’re not pleased about Azealia Banks dying her hair green…
VX: It wouldn’t have mattered if she hadn’t tweeted it at me. That makes me think its sketch but I don’t care, i’m green whether my hair is or not… I doubt she is, given the content of her songs, but who am I to judge. GREEN HAIR DON’T CARE.
SS: What are you working on at the moment? What do you think 2012 is going to bring for you?
VX: I just did a top ten music list for ART FORUM that everyone should go read. I am working on Future Brown a musical collaboration between Fatima Al Qadiri, Asma Maroof and myself. I’m writing a lot of music, raps, songs, taking vocal lessons, singing in Spanish, I want to try Japanese and Arabic. And hopefully this will be the year GHE20G0TH1K gets to go to all the places it goes to musically, starting with North America bringing it to LA, HOUSTON, AUSTIN, TORONTO, BALTIMORE, MIAMI and ultimately international too.
SS: And what do you think 2012 is going to mean for music?
VX: It’s going to mean whatever we want it to mean. I hope that pop artists start taking more responsibility for their work and being more involved in the content and ideas, instead of just being vessels for other people to create commercially viable robots through. I hope it will mean GHE20G0TH1K might become pop and change the game in a real way. I hope that all my underground friends blow up and take over the airwaves, and I hope the worlds merge, high and low, black and white, east and west, all that. HYBRID 2012
Interview: Charlotte McManus
Photography: Brooke Candy