At 17 years old, DJ Velvo’s coming on strong as an EDM (electronic dance music) DJ and producer to know in the Twin Cities. Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, DJ Velvo’s headlining THE GARAGE’s annual EDM fest, Wub Wub. Expect a unique performance, as Velvo blends beats from house to Afro-Caribbean.
When asked to describe himself, he said, “Music is my passion and love! I love the hype and crowd more than anything else!” After reading this interview, I don’t think anyone could get any different impression.
THE GARAGE: What’s your sound and who are the artists who influence you?
DJ VELVO: To be honest with you, I’m still trying to figure out my sound too *laughs*. But I would have to say my sound is a mix between Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki. Umm Daft Punk was really how I got into House and Electronic music so I have a lot of respect for them. But Deadmau5 was really the reason on why I chose to do this. His sound is so amazing and very diverse, but what really did amazing me was his stage presence and lighting. But I’m a guy with a lot of energy so I got to express it, and that’s when I saw Steve Aoki. Stage presence is crazy and hype as how it should be!
THE GARAGE: What should the audience expect from your performance this weekend at THE GARAGE? And is there a particular song you’re most excited to play? Why?
DJ VELVO: Expect A lot of jumping *laughs* I can tell ya that. But as for a particular song, I have one in mind, but it’s a surprise.
THE GARAGE: Here’s a big question: What makes a song good? What is your perfect song, or which one comes closest?
DJ VELVO: Wow this is a tough one. Um, I think a perfect song really has to have sweet melody that will never get old through time, a classic if you will. It’s all about the feel and vibe! The only perfect composition I have ever heard and actually call it perfection, well there’s two. One would have to be “Strobe” by Deadmau5—that one is really close to perfect. And the actual perfect song to me would have to be Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z. Absolute amazingness.
THE GARAGE: What’s your process when putting a song together? How do you practice or prepare for shows?
DJ VELVO: I put myself in the position of a fan. As a fan I want to see a hype show with crazy music! So I try to pick songs that keep the party going till my feet hurt. I love to do certain actions to certain song so I try to sync my act with the music.
THE GARAGE: Excluding THE GARAGE, what’s your favorite venue to play? Why?
DJ VELVO: Myth is a pretty insane place to rage! Not that much space to jump around and go ape but I love the crowd, for sure!
THE GARAGE: This is a different direction, but is there a piece of technology that’s indispensible to you (aside from the obvious, like mics, amps, computer, etc.)?
DJ VELVO: Oh my gosh, “Leah”! Leah is my Turntables *Laughs* but besides Leah, my lucky grey beanie! It’s a must have thing for my shows; call it my trademark I guess.
THE GARAGE: We had a great interview with Give It Up last year. How did you get Josh Sweiven (vocals/bass) on “Tonight” and what was it like to work with him?
DJ VELVO: First I want make a shout out to Give It Up, they are just an amazing band with amazing music, and I know they are going to make it BIG in this business! And well it was just kinda random to ask Josh to hop on this track! At first I didn’t think he was going to do it because it was EDM, but turns out he was down to be in the track, so I’m thankful for that! And I know that this will be a hit and this WON’T be the last time I work him or Give It Up! SHOUT OUT TO JOSH!!!!!!
THE GARAGE: Besides you, what local artist deserves more attention?
DJ VELVO: ELECTROKINETIK!!!! That is the man with the music plan, my man! I had the pleasure to do a show with him and to watch that guy play live, WOW, blew my mind! His music is the best but to hear him live is amazing! We have plans on the music side of the business, so expect something big from us and him!
THE GARAGE: What are you listening to right now?
DJ VELVO: *Laughs* I was listening to the Wiggles a while ago due to Pandora problems! But I’m currently in between listening to “Icky Thump” by The White Stripes and working on my new future single “Colors”.
THE GARAGE: Do you have any advice for a fan who wants to start making music?
DJ VELVO: Ask yourself if you really want to spend nights working music, devoting your time to your career, put all your attention towards music? Be sure you want to do this and actually spend time and money you probably won’t get back. Music isn’t for everyone! You can’t just make music, you have to love what you do and it has to be a passion not a hobby. Also never give up on your dream, doesn’t matter if it’s music or something else, never give it up and always keep your head up no matter what. Good vibes!