Five Minutes with venbee: The viral hitmaker leading the British drum ‘n’ bass renaissance

Ahead of her debut Glastonbury performance on the Lonely Hearts Club stage, we revisit our January interview with rising star venbee.

Erin Doyle, better known to her fans as venbee, is a Kent-based drum ‘n’ bass artist who has been making one hell of a noise this past year. Following the success of her debut tune ‘Low Down’, her single ‘Messy in Heaven’ hit the UK Top Ten and marked her second-ever release. The artist never expected the track to become a hit, however, after a snippet went viral on TikTok, fans weren’t just waiting for its release, they were demanding it. Since then, she’s continued to make huge waves in the British dance music sphere, touring with fellow drum ‘n’ bass electro dance-pop artist Piri in 2022.

The hot hitmaker is no one-hit-wonder either, and we can assure you she is only just getting started. Despite finding her home in drum ‘n’ bass, venbee’s love for songwriting and storytelling isn’t restricting her from future exploration. Her vivid songwriting takes inspiration from the experiences of her and her friends, tackling Gen Z hot topics such as substance abuse. With an upcoming UK tour and highly anticipated accompanying EP, the artist’s momentum is set to continue all the way through 2023. Here, venbee sits down with HUNGER to discuss her love for Madonna, piano passion, and her unique approach to songwriting.

How would you describe your sound in five words?

Messy, boppy, honest, provocative, D ‘n’ B.

What kind of music were you inspired by whilst growing up?

My grandfather used to play the piano daily, and his passion inspired me to be a musician. I’ve always loved the storytelling of singer-songwriters; that’s why I put so much emphasis on my lyrics. 

What was the first album you bought/listened to?

Justin Beiber – My World.

How would you describe your creative process at the moment?

I always start with lyrics; I use inspiration from my past / current experiences or my friend’s experiences to come up with stories. Once I have the concept, I build the composition and melody around that. 

How would you say your music has evolved over the last few years?

My songwriting has improved incredibly throughout the years. When I started writing music, I tried every single genre to find my sound. Once I discovered my love for D&B, everything happened really naturally, and I accelerated from there. Having a song on the charts has also opened up the calibre of collaborators I work with, who inspire me and push me to be a better writer. 

Is there any artist whose trajectory you’d like to follow?

I’ve always been fascinated by Madonna’s career; she always pushes the boundaries for art and is never afraid of the outcome. A true icon. 

What’s been the most surreal moment of your career so far?

Having a top 5 record! I was shocked, baffled, excited and overwhelmed. That was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever felt, not only in my career but in my life. It’s such a nice feeling to make your family proud. 

What’s been on rotation in your playlists recently?

‘Escapism’ by Raye has been on REPEAT. I’m obsessed with that record, her EP & her as an artist. 

Are there any other sounds or genres that you want to experiment with in the future?

I’m excited to eventually record and release a more stripped-back and raw song to really show off my songwriting. 

What advice would you give to your younger self who’s just starting to make music?

Know that not everyone will like you, and that’s ok. Also, don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do. 

What would you say is your end goal within music?

To live a comfortable life, provide for my family & to have my stories heard. 

Is there anything you have coming up that we should be aware of?

Yes! A ton more shows with a tour across the UK and loads of new music with an EP out sometime next year.

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