Intro by: Ari Tietolman Interview by: Jenna Melanson
Jenny Carmichael, AKA: DJ Vilify developed a passion for hip-hop and bass music at a fairly young age. She grew up in Toronto with her father who sang opera, her mother played the violin and her brother was a heavy metal fanatic. It wasn’t long before these influences led her to starting her own career in the music industry.
For almost a decade now, Vilify has been packing dance floors across the globe and has become well recognized for her unparalleled versatility and unique ability to mix live DJ sets that creatively combine a number of music genres including: Hip Hop, DNB, dubstep, dancehall, trap, jungle, break-beat, metal, and more.
Today Vilify holds a residency at the popular Montreal nightclub, “Le Belmont”, and she is well known as the host of her very own weekly event: “Bass Drive Wednesdays”, which has been running solid for the past 5 years straight. It’s no wonder why she has been voted Montreal’s #1 Best Club DJ for the past two years in a row (Mirror, Cult MTL).
Are you ready to find out more about this talented young Canadian DJ? Earlier this week I had the privilege of conducting an email interview with Vilify, and here’s the scoop…
How did you first get into DJing?
DJ Vilify: I grew up in Toronto, which had a thriving DNB scene. I was going to DNB and jungle parties from the age of 14 and one night out at a show I realized, I want to do this. Saved up, bought turntables & the rest is history.
How old were you when you started?
DJ Vilify: I got my first set of decks at 18, a few months before heading to University.
What made you decide on Dubstep?
DJ Vilify: I don’t really play that much dubstep these days… I love that most shows I play I have the freedom to play whatever I want, from hip hop to trap to jungle to metal, etc. I think that’s what keeps this fresh and exciting for me.
What exactly is Bass Drive Wednesdays?
DJ Vilify: Bass Drive is Montreal’s longest running underground bass music night offering a stage to local and international artists as well as a home to Montreal’s bass fans who come support the night each Wednesday.
What would you say makes you unique in this scene?
DJ Vilify: I think my eclectic sound as well as drive to always discover new music and stay fresh is what sets me apart. It’s rare that I’m in a club and hear a DJ plays many, if any, of the same tracks that I do.
Do you find being a female in the DJ scene has helped or hindered your career?
DJ Vilify: I can admit I’m sure being a female has had its appeal and advantages. But I really just feel like ‘one of the guys’.
You were featured in Karl Wolf’s video, “DJ Gonna Save Us” dubstep version, is there any other Canadian artist that you’d like to have the chance to work with?
DJ Vilify: Frase W from FM HI LO, Lunice, Thomas White & the whole RAW Records crew, Wicked Fat Noize & Krimer
What has been the biggest achievement you’ve made in your career, so far?
DJ Vilify: The 5 year anniversary of Bass Drive last week still hasn’t really sunk in. I have grown and experienced so much in these last 5 years and am so grateful for the people who have supported me, and the night. The fact we’ve managed to stay on top for all these years and are still going strong is by far my biggest achievement.
You have had gigs all around Canada, and also in Europe, where would you love to go next?
DJ Vilify: I have some pretty amazing gigs coming up over this year. I’m getting ready to head to Reunion Island off the coast of South Africa, and looking forward to being back in Europe soon.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into Djing?
DJ Vilify: Musically – stay true to yourself. Technically – learn to mix on turntables or CDJs first. Understand what it means to mix before you jump on some program and use the sync button.
What can fans expect from you next?
DJ Vilify: Big things coming this year. They’ll have to wait and see.
Now, in true Canadian Beats fashion, we have included a portion of “fun” questions that may help your fans learn something new about you.
What is the first track you remember hearing that got you hooked on Dubstep?
DJ Vilify: I can’t remember an exact song but it was here at the SAT listening to Sase One while he played a ragga dubstep set and it all just clicked.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
DJ Vilify: Hrm… I definitely have a sweet tooth… I love Felix & Nortin cookies.
What could we find you doing in your spare time?
DJ Vilify: Music is my life. If I’m not DJing, I’m on Ableton & if I’m not on Ableton I’m finding new music.
And of course, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
DJ Vilify: Infinite love & gratitude for all the years of support. My fans make me feel so blessed every single day.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.