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Annelies Rom

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We Need To Talk About Venbee

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We Need To Talk About Venbee

On March 17 , we’re getting a new Venbee track. After hitting the charts with tracks like ‘Low Down’ and ‘Messy in Heaven’, ‘Gutter’ promises to be another real and raw track about the artist’s experiences in life. On this new song, she narrates key moments in her life growing up and how life goes by so fast, produced by Whyjay & Litek and Shapes

Ever since her self-released first track ‘Low Down’, Venbee has been making a name for herself in the drum & bass scene. From getting her first track ‘Low Down’ remixed by Pola & Bryson, signing to Columbia Records, and collaborating with goddard. for her second track ‘Messy in Heaven’, it’s fair to say it’s going well for this Kent based artist. Having finished her UK tour, she’s now getting ready to hit the big festivals this summer. 

Venbee’s music is all about expressing raw feelings and dealing with difficult things in life. It’s about creating a safer space for people, about being okay with not being okay. And while creating tracks with themes like addiction and mental issues, she’s been paving the way for other people to talk about their own emotions and problems. Even though Venbee’s only been active in the scene for about a year, she’s already making a real impact.

How are you doing?

I’m doing really well and I’m having a lot of fun! At the moment I’ve finished my first tour. It’s a very different experience getting to show your music to people in real life, it makes everything so much more real. 

Thankfully my audience gives off the same lovely energy as they do on the internet, maybe even more so in person. It’s a weird concept to think of, blowing up online. It’s been an unreal journey so far, but I’m so thankful for the community that I’m building through my music. A lot of people who listen to my music have had difficult times, I think, it’s a big community of people that have experienced the same shit.

You’re speaking about building a community, is that an important part of making music for you?

It’s very important to me, to be able to express the things I go through in my music. I haven’t written a song that isn’t personal to me. I think that when I write songs, that’s the only way that I can deal with the stuff going on in my head. Every song I write is a little bit of my brain, of myself, of my story, because it’s hard to get it out in any other form. My tracks are all stories, they all mean something.

So tell us more about the story behind ‘Gutter’, your latest track.

‘Gutter’ is my life story through my ages, and in what situations I was from 15 to 22 years old. When I was 15, that’s when things were starting to get really difficult and when I got off the rails. ‘Gutter’ is about my growth and about what happened. In the chorus I’m asking myself ‘How am I still alive?’. I think a lot of people feel like that, like ‘Oh my god, I did this or that when I was 16, how am I still here?’, and that’s what the song is about. It’s a very personal one to me, and I think when I’m ready to talk about the certain situations that happened, I will. For now it’s open for interpretation.

With being so open, do you want to create a safer space for your audience to also be more open? 

Yeah, I want to create a platform, I want people to feel okay with things not being okay. It’s okay to not have a clue about what you’re doing. Whether you’re a Prime Minister, Justin Bieber, me, you, my mum, we don’t have a clue about what we’re doing. We’re all just finding out how to deal with things in our lives. Especially kids coming out of school and young adults, they’re just starting to find their feet in life, it can be hard. 

I remember coming out of school and feeling like a failure, because I didn’t have the best grades and no ambition other than making music. But really what I was, was a real girl trying to figure out my life. I just wanted to write songs, finding the right root to go down. I would often write songs and then not know what to do with them, that was the cycle that kept going round.

What did you do before music?

I had my personal training, I was obsessed with that. That was the career I chose to take on at that time. While I enjoyed it, I also felt very lost, but I never gave up. And I think that’s the most important lesson, the fact that I had that resilience. Because it can take 20 years, 10 years, one year, or a day, it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t give up on things. Everything can be gone tomorrow as well, and I’ll start from scratch again, right at the beginning.

 

Your personal training career didn’t last long, because in 2022 you blew up with ‘Low Down’, a track that changed it all. How did that feel?

It was the weirdest feeling of my entire life, watching the track blow up. I felt so much excitement, joy, rush, it was mental, I don’t know if I’ll ever experience that feeling ever again. I’m gonna give a bad comparison, because I quit smoking for some time now, but it was like my first cigarette, that nicotine rush, it’s so addictive. I was overwhelmed by the amount of love that people were showing me, it was just crazy. When we dropped the full song some time later, my life changed. One week I was opening the gym at 6AM, dealing with customers and clients and situations, and the next minute I’m leaving my job to do my dream full-time. All that happened in the space of a month. 

What was I thinking when putting that first clip on TikTok? I didn’t have any thought process, really. I only had the chorus, no verses whatsoever. It had been written down, but all we had was a voice-note. How it went was like this: I sat in my backgarden and I put the clip on TikTok, but thought nothing of it. From there it just blew, so I thought “let’s get the entire song released.” 

After a while, you signed with Columbia Records. How did that happen? 

‘Low Down’ was blowing up, but I didn’t want to sign right away. I wanted to release it on my own, because I had a point to make to myself, I wanted to do it on my own. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need a label or their support and money to get successful with my track. I had faith in the platform, in the people following me on TikTok. I wanted to know what I could do on my own first, before signing. 

In order for me to continue my career, I signed with Columbia Records, and it’s with them that I released ‘Messy In Heaven’. It went pretty much the same as the release process for ‘Low Down’, other than the fact that I now had a wonderful team behind me supporting me and helping me with promo and other stuff. They also managed to get ‘Low Down’ remixed by Pola & Bryson, which I was so excited about. I love that remix so much, it’s one of my favourites. 

You mentioned ‘Messy In Heaven’ being the first track being released with Columbia Records. It was this song that made you blow up even more than before.

When we released ‘Messy In Heaven’, it did well the first week, and then during the second or third week it really blew. It was one of the most crazy experiences I’ve had in my life. I think what was different from ‘Low Down’, was the story. The track started a conversation, it had controversy behind it. Another thing was the fact that I was very nervous because I didn’t know if it was gonna do as good as ‘Low Down’. No artist is safe in this game, you start from scratch every time. I didn’t expect it to do as well as it did, I’m through the roof. 

‘Messy In Heaven’ is another message in my journey, in my story, and in this song I talk about substance abuse. I think it’s a very serious issue, and a lot of people close to me have struggled with it. One person in particular has really struggled with cocaine abuse. I had a dream the night before writing the song, a very weird dream, and it inspired the idea of the first line, “I heard Jesus did cocaine on a night out”. The person close to me was dealing with substance abuse, and I thought they were the greatest person. The way I was raised was that Jesus was the greatest person, so Jesus was the only person I could’ve fit that metaphor to. 

Not at all did I sit in the studio thinking ‘I’m gonna piss everyone off, I’m gonna offend people’. I was just storytelling in my own words, it’s completely metaphorical. With this track, the reason I chose to do that and the fact that the verses are all so raw, is because substance abuse is also heavily used in raving, and it’s very unsafe. People can die from taking one pill, and I’m very passionate about talking about that stuff. I’ve had my own issues with them, and I think that it’s important, with alcohol and smoking, that you’re aware of the consequences. It’s important to talk about. So many people go through it, but it’s almost like ‘Oh, that’s normal’, but it’s not. And that’s why I decided to write that song. 

I got so many reactions. Loads of people got it and loved it, but there were also lots of people not getting it, and that’s fine. I can only say my side of the story and whether or not someone gets offended by it is outside my control, they have every right to be. But at the same time I have a right to say how I feel. By no means do I want to upset anyone, but I’m also not here to make people comfortable. I’m here to make people think, that’s a really important part of my songwriting. If I can make you think, I’ve done my job.

Follow Venbee: Spotify/Soundcloud/Insta

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Drum & Bass

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