The DJ as an Artist: Auntie Venim
DJs are a crucial aspect of hip hop culture and one of the most easily identified. This role has evolved in a lot of ways and spread to other genres. Volumes sat down with Atlanta based EDM DJ Auntie Venim to discuss his role as a DJ outside his appearances in the Athens hip hop community the past year.
“I’m more of an artist than just a DJ. The way that I perform is through my turntables. I string together all of the songs that I’ve heard that I enjoy, and I try to make it into like a cohesive start-to-finish journey of sound,” said Auntie Venim.
Becoming a hip hop DJ on the side happened by accident when he met local hip hop group BYV at a Rowdy Dowdy party last year.
“I was hanging out with some friends, and Will Weber was leaving for California and had his Dowdy Party. As soon as I walked in the door was when [BYV's] performance started. Their whole performance grabbed me, and I’ve seen a ton of performances but I’ve never felt stuck in one spot to watch somebody. I met one of them outside and was like hey I like what you guys do, I would really want to see what we could do together,” said Auntie Venim.
Last summer as Auntie Venim started forming a relationship with the Athens hip hop community, he was also solidifying his EDM career in Atlanta. He started playing shows last year in April and continued with weekly shows through the summer. All of this culminated in a performance spot in front of 300-400 people at Imagine Festival.
“100% the coolest thing I’ve done was getting to go there. I was on the main stage watching one of my favorite DJs and looking out over tens of thousands of people. It was like what am I doing here, they’re going to be here for me at some point. I hope. I feel like it was a big confirmation for me. In July, I quit my job. Then Imagine Festival happened and somebody came up to me afterwards and got my autograph. It was just like so much gratitude to everybody that was there that enjoyed my set and then came up to me afterwards. I still talk to so many people that I met because of that performance,” said Auntie Venim.
That weekend, he had the opportunity to headline at Iris, a weekly EDM event in Atlanta. It seemed to be an off weekend with a lot of people sitting around, but as soon as Auntie Venim went on everyone flocked to the stage. Afterwards, everyone was standing in the parking lot stating that they would have left if it wasn’t for his performance. This experience gave him the confidence he needed to fully commit to his music career.
“Up until that point, I believed in what I was doing, but I wasn’t for sure. I feel like everybody that does any kind of self-promoting work goes through this kind of like roller coaster of ‘Oh I’m doing really well, I’m super proud of myself’ and then you kind of ride that for a couple weeks and then after a while it’s like ‘Oh man I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m going to ruin my life trying to do this.’ Two weeks ago I was like, maybe I should just get a job. Maybe I’m not supposed to be doing this. Then this week, I sat down completely randomly and ended up making a new song. Wild, sounds amazing, it just came out. I love this song. Man, this shit has me so hype because I haven’t made anything like this,” said Auntie Venim.
Preparing for a Fall release, Auntie Venim has seven or eight songs he’s been working on since his laptop got stolen back in November. His previously planned album never happened because all of the music was on a laptop that was stolen along with his car. Despite these obstacles, Auntie Venim has been making more music to officially release an album the weekend of the upcoming Venom movie release.
“I’ve been just trying to fine tune everything. I’ve been going to school and taking classes on production, sound engineering, mixing, and mastering,” said Auntie Venim.