Lady Venom blends genre's better than you can change channels. Dedicated to the art of moving butts for over 15 years she can be found locally in rotation all around Cape Town. Check out her mix and read her interview below to get to know her a bit better.
What drew you to DJing? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
I discovered very early that I’m basically unemployable and so have always had a string of “entreprenuerial activities” that kept me fed. When I was 19 I started a (VHS!) kung fu movie distro company called Lady Venom Distribution. Wu Tang was busy multiplying like Gremlins in a pool so I sourced the original kung fu movies they sampled from and sold them to hip hop shops. I got the name Lady Venom from one of the titles in my catalog, The 5 Lady Venoms which was a very shit remake of the 5 Deadly Venoms movie. Most shops back then had a mixtape case near the cash register which gave me the idea to add local (Vancouver BC) dj mixtapes to my catalog as a way of getting them known in other cities (pre-internets). I even got a few mixtapes into Bobbito’s Footworks in NYC!
Being exposed to the gear and the whole mixtape process gave me a better understanding of djing than from what my religious devotion to clubbing was teaching me... though that taught me a lot too. Djing as a means of putting artists on that may not otherwise be heard at the same time as curating flow and communicating on that primal level with other humans. Unable to afford gear for a home studio I learned live, basically publicly humiliating myself by making cringe worthy mix mistakes over and over until my hands caught up with what my ears wanted to hear. And I still fuck up during sets, all the time but I'm not in it to conquer the techonology so I don't stress it too hard. I just want to create space for people to dance and let go, if I take the tech side too seriously I disconnect with the crowd and then what's the point? Technical skill for me is about being as seamless as possible so that I can disappear into the music and invite the crowd to join me.
How would you describe your evolution as a DJ and the sound you push?
At first I have to admit I was pretty scared to range outside of hiphop. Being the only Lady in sight I felt the need to prove myself more than I felt the need to enjoy myself. As my mixing got less awful I got braver with my selections and more and more I’m giving myself the freedom to approach my sets as a dancey fantasy playground; creating mixes that span many genres but still speak to that place where my energy and the crowd’s converges on the dancefloor.
What kind of journey are you taking us on in with this mix?
Well I didn’t want to make it a blatant. token or novel thing but I have just been really appreciating the oft unrecognized feminine contribution to music lately and I wanted to do a tribute to that. Like in film, “feminine” can get stigmatized as being light, soft, fluffy or whatever but my experience of the feminine is deep, wild and boundless so I wanted to bring that across in the mix. Also super sick of rampant unchecked mysoginy in industrialized culture so made some mashups for the mix that surplant hate lyrics with words that lift and support… ha! Get it? Lift and support? Like a braaahaahaaaa! So basically this mix is about letting the booby cups runeth over.