Vixen Q&A: Venus X on Empowering Women + DJ Sets at the Whitney Museum
Venus X is a well- respected fixture on NYC’s party scene having spent nearly half decade building a reputation as one of today’s foremost female DJs. You probably saw her in A$AP Rocky’s “Peso” video rocking a greenish- blonde pageboy and a white bandana headband circa the Tupac years. Venus X first caught our eye because of her dominant DJ presence at some of the most exclusive parties on an international scale. VIBE Vixen was able to catch up with her at AirWalk x Project Fathom Agency event featuring Venus X and MellowHype of Odd Future this past Wednesday, where we discussed female empowerment in the music scene and the perfect DJ set to play at the Whitney museum for visual artist K8 Hardy’s Untitled Runway Show.
We had a conversation on Twitter in which we were discussing the patriarchal status quo, I always really respect your tweets and your whole MO because I am very much about empowering women. In noticing that trend, does that have a lot to do with the fact that you don’t collaborate with a lot of male rap and hip- hop artists?
I think a lot of it has to do with their desire to collaborate with me, I’m a DJ so I play music, I throw parties but my career is developing in terms of production and writing and so men tend to want one very specific thing from you and if something comes then that’s fine but there’s not too many relationships that are just natural and like organic to form with these men and you can hear that in their music. They’re just talking about strippers, they’re not collaborating with female vocalists or lyricists or even putting different characters in their videos, girls are pretty much objects and that’s it. I think it would be interesting to see how my friendships grow with these people over the next couple of years because I think it’s going to come to the point where its going to get exhausting hearing about boys hating girls all the time and theyre going to need to collaborate with people around them but its taking time and I think its interesting. I didn’t think I would do a second A$AP Rocky video but I did and so the time is just extending itself on what was, initially, just a very natural, random occurrence. I was down the street while they were shooting that video and they caught me and were like “can you come through” like it wasn’t planned, I wasn’t hired it was really random so it’ll be interesting to see like how we grow, if we grow side by side or like start to weave in our sounds, or at least ourselves with art. I think a lot of people are booking us together so its this whole thing. I think people are afraid to take risks in the industry right now so they’re not working with women because they think women are risky and they don’t know how to like mold them properly so you only see Lola Monroe, Nicki Minaj, you know the very specific sort of vixen, and Kreayshawn. Those are your two ends of the spectrum, getting like beautiful, smart or different kinds of girls in the middle range so its kind of weird.
Your last event was with visual artist K8 Hardy, right?
Yeah, that was at the Whitney Museum. That was an interesting collaboration; she hit me up a couple weeks ago and she didn’t, I guess, have her sound figured out for the show and she had asked me if I could put together a sound track for her that was like an experience, kind of like a mind- f**k for her because it was supposed to be a show about fashion that was dealing with the issues of class and taste and what people can afford and what that says about them. Just the narrow- minded way of thinking about fashion and the cost so she was trying to push everyone’s buttons on that end so what I did was I made this sound piece, I mixed music with commercials and like Neutrogena ads and beauty secrets and nail tutorials, and anything that was sound- oriented that had to do with fashion and beauty and just try to make something abstract that was going to take her viewers on a little journey. Like if you’re going through the street watching TV, online and in your head at the same time like the sound of all that together so it was pretty cool. But it was really interesting because that kind of setting is just a whole [different] set of pressures.
What was your music choice like for that set? Ambient, uptempo?
I kept it really true to me so it was like Arabic [and] Spanish music [mixed] with news clips from like when the Jordans came out on Black Friday and people were killing each other over them and then mixing that with these girls talking about how to tye- dye your nails over the “House Party” beat, by Meek Millz, so it was just like a lot of sound- clashing. Urban with the internet, conversations about money, with everything, all the things that you’re thinking about, all the things that your supposed to be thinking about [and] hearing, seeing as you walk about in the world.
Are you currently working on any new projects?
At the moment I’m just travelling a lot and learning to produce and just kind of taking a break from performing as much and kind of preparing to work on an EP.
Have you specifically mapped your next move or are you just exploring all these options?
[I] think with music that’s the issue right now, people know what they’re doing. They’re doing 4- minute songs and its getting kind of redundant, nobody gives a s**t for more than three weeks and so I just want to make music and kind of fall into whatever I’m supposed to naturally even if it means learning how to drum for the next 6 months. And I don’t know, if tomorrow I pick up a drum I don’t know if I’m going to want to just do that and go from there. I’m just lucky to be able to to do that in the midst of this also.