Hype List 2024: Venbee: “My dream is to play Brixton Academy”

Venbee weaves narratives of life in modern Britain with a hugely charismatic take on D&B. 

Words: Martyn Young.


In a banner year for a new generation of British artists making thrilling dance music, Venbee has been leading the charge. Continuing to rise since her breakout in 2022 with chart smash ‘Messy In Heaven’, the singer and songwriter from London has been refining her craft and her skills as shown on her dynamic and varied debut project ‘Zero Experience’. 

“It’s gone really fast,” she begins as she attempts to summarise the last couple of years. “I haven’t had much time to process it because it feels like everything has happened at once. The journey has been wild. It’s not something I ever expected would happen to me. Now that I’ve got a project out, I feel relieved. There were times I didn’t think this project would come out. I’m excited to see how people react to it. I’m proud of the body of work that I’ve done.” 

It’s important for Venbee to emphasise the mixtape as a real cohesive and structured project that tells a story. The rising drum’n’bass scene that is storming the charts has loads of killer singles, but Venbee is breaking out and showing her supreme talents as a songwriter and lyricist, making resonant songs that speak to life for a young person in modern Britain like inspiring anthems ‘Gutter’ and ‘Die Young’. Telling stories has always been at the heart of her creative expression. 

“The first song I wrote was a rap about climate change, and I didn’t know what climate change was,” she laughs. “It’s never seen the light of day. I was 8, though; I just found the word climate and started to rhyme it with something. I just never stopped after that.” 

“The first song I wrote was a rap about climate change, and I didn’t know what climate change was. I was 8”

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While spending her childhood experimenting and writing with the support of her family, the time afforded by the pandemic allowed Venbee the clarity and environment to truly refine who she was as an artist and a writer.

“My mum, dad and my grandad would listen to my songs and say, ‘Oh, that’s really nice, Erin, well done’. I knew I always wanted to be a songwriter for a career, but the first part of me that believed I could actually do it was when lockdown hit. I took that opportunity to run with that and that situation.”

For an artist so young, the progression in Venbee’s songwriting is striking. “With anything, over time, you improve,” she says. “When you’ve been doing something for a really long time, you’re just going to get better and better at it. Practice makes better. Over time, my songwriting has developed, and it’s going to continue to develop. Who knows what the future holds? I’m just going to keep writing about what I feel. I don’t really think about it too much. I just write about how I feel, and then the song comes out.” 

The songs collected on ‘Zero Experience’ highlight this instinctive and personal approach. “These are situations that I’ve been through and stuff in my life story. How I felt about situations that have gone on and about life in general, which is why I called it ‘Zero Experience’,” she explains. “No one has an absolute clue what they’re doing in life. No one does. It’s a misconception in society that everyone knows what they’re doing. There’s a lot of pressure on adolescents and kids in school as well as adults to have it all figured out by the time you turn 16, or when you turn 18 or when you turn 21, and you’re supposed to be a proper adult. I’ve never had a clue what I’m doing in any part of my life, and I don’t think I ever will, so I just want people to be ok with that. It’s essentially just my life story.” 

“Who knows what the future holds? I’m just going to keep writing about what I feel”

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One of the most important elements of Venbee’s artistry is her capacity for collaboration and fluidity, being able to work with a range of different people, whether it’s established legends in the game like Rudimental or the rising crew of inventive female and non-binary musicians that make up the thrilling Loud LDN collective of which Venbee is a driving force. 

“When I collaborate with people, I like to give creative freedom,” she says. “I look for good people, and everyone who has collaborated so far with me has become a really good friend of mine. I’ve worked well with them for the last year and a half now. A lot of the time, it’s me writing a song with a couple of friends or even on my own and then going, ‘Okay, who can we send this to to elevate it?’ And that’s how it works.” 

It’s an inspiring time for artists like the Loud LDN collective with a pioneering spirit for musical exploration married to a sharp pop sensibility with everyone lifting each other up. “It’s very exciting for the drum’n’bass community, and I’m so gassed to see some of my friends do really sick things this year. I just get gassed for other people when I see the”Who knows what the future holds? I’m just going to keep writing about what I feel”m doing well. There’s a lot of new music coming out now, and it’s great. The world’s a better place with music.” 

Looking forward to 2024, Venbee has a clear plan for what she wants to achieve. “I’m going to keep releasing music, playing shows and doing what I’m doing, and hopefully, it gets bigger. I’m going to write a lot of songs and then hopefully an album.” 

There’s one ambition she has, but Venbee is typically to the point as she outlines her future dream. “I have goals. My dream is to play Brixton Academy, but there’s no way I’m doing that next year being realistic,” she admits. “I’m very logical with my train of thought, and that’s one thing I feel not many people are like. I’m delusional as fuck, but I’m also very logical. For next year, I’d like to collaborate with some other artists and maybe dive into other fanbases. Just vibe with it and go with the flow.” 

Taken from the December 2023 / January 2024 issue of Dork.