Just a few weeks back, when the calendar still showed 2015, we had the ultimate pleasure of catching VenessaMichaels‘ live set at Vinyl Nightclub. After her playful, inventive, and oft-bass heavy showcase, we sat down with her in the green room to talk about everything from how she became a musician, to some of her dream collaborations.

TMN: Hey Venessa! Thank you so much for sitting down with us tonight, and for being our last Resident Artist for 2015. Also, welcome to the Mile High City! Is this your first time playing here?

VM: Thanks! It’s my first time in Denver, in general, and I’ve heard a lot of great things. I love it here! Good people.

TMN: We just premiered your latest remix, which is an amazing interpretation of “Are You That Somebody. How did you land on that song as your next project?

’Are You That Somebody’
VM: Well, I’m a 90’s kid at heart, and it’s definitely inspired my music in general. Honestly? It’s a classic, just like “Say My Name.” I don’t think you can know anything about the 90’s without knowing about Aaliyah and Timbaland and “Are That You Somebody?” It’s just the truth.

TMN: For our readers who don’t know what you’re #2090 style means, can you fill them in a little bit?

VM: #2090 is basically my interpretation of this future 90’s style. I’ve taken a lot of influence by nature. I’ve genuinely become influenced by the 90’s just by growing up with that kind of music. The remixes are a good example of what #2090 is, but my originals and the artists I’m working with were written with a 90’s style topline, but with a new sound underlying it.

TMN: Even looking past your two latest 90’s remixes, we can hear that style carried throughout your other tracks as well, including “Whatcha On.” We heard that everything just kind of fell into place with that track, which is incredible because the production and vocals seemed like they were made for each other, stylistically. Care to elaborate on how that all went down?

’Whatcha On ft. Tay Jasper’

VM: I was invited to a studio session with a friend, Amber, and another friend Tay was invited as well. So, there was a group of people in the studio, and I was working in the back. There’s an A section and a B section. I was working on something in the back, then came to A, met Tay, and we exchanged music. I was instantly like, “we have to work together!” The next day, we started working and ever since then, Tay is like family.

TMN: Can you fill us in on what your musical upbringing was like? Did your parents encourage musical education, or was it something you approached based on your own curiosity?

VM: My family definitely encouraged it, my Grandma and my Mom. I’m so glad because I don’t know what I would do without it. My mom put me into piano at 3, which is ridiculous. I stopped after a few years and started playing classical guitar in early high school. From there, I got my white MacBook, got Garage Band, chopped up old vocals, and yeah – haven’t stopped!

TMN: What about producing? Was there one particular live show, one particular moment, or one particular song that pushed you into downloading a DAW and starting your craft?

VM: I would have kept using Garage Band if it wouldn’t have been for a friend who gifted me Logic. A friend actually gave me that and got me into seriously producing. Then, I switched to Ableton.

TMN: So, thank you “Friend X!”

VM: Yes, thank you! Shout out, Jason!!

TMN: As you start to collaborate with other artists, whether it be on a tour, or in the studio, who are you most eager to work with?

VM: I’m going to be bold and honest. Missy Elliot. Beyonce. Honestly, I would take it back to Destiny’s Child and just use all three of them. I would love to work with T-Pain. That would be amazing. And Timbaland!

TMN: The surge of producers over the past decade has been nothing short of staggering. For someone who has a well-defined sound and unique style, what kind of advice would you give for anyone interested in giving it a go?

VM: It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted. Music evolves, so I can’t even say this is going to be my sound forever, but I definitely feel like it’s my sound now. So, to future producers starting now: listen to a shit ton of music. See what you feel. What you vibe with. If you can be genuinely influenced by a certain sound, then take certain elements, but do something original with it.

TMN: What’s on deck for 2016? Hopefully some touring?

VM: Definitely! I am looking forward to releasing original music and touring a lot more. Both of those things are key in 2016.

TMN: Alright, time to get into some random questions. We like to do this at the end of each interview, just to change the pace a bit. Seeing as how you love all things 90’s, we’re going with an all 90’s set of questions. First up, if you could guest star on a re-make of any classic 90’s cartoon – Doug, Rug Rats, Bobby’s World, etc, which would you choose?

VM: You already know it’s Rug Rats! Doug is amazing though. It’s a close second.

TMN: Why didn’t any clothing companies make a pocket big enough for a CD Walkman?

VM: I’m still asking myself that question. I used to ride bikes and hold that in one hand.

TMN: Speaking of CDs, what was the first one you purchased? If you’re embarrassed to answer, mine was Boys 2 Men – II.

VM: I’m pretty sure it was No Doubt – “Tragic Kingdom.” I love that album.

TMN: What did your pog collection look like? Any sick slammers you care to give a shout out to?

VM: I did have pogs, but I was more of a Pokemon kinda girl. But, do you remember the pogs from Burger King’s kid’s meals?

TMN: (Laughs) Don’t believe so!

VM: Ok, I’m going to go off topic here, but I feel like everything they had was amazing. The Rug Rats watches were my favorite. I ordered some off EBay a few years ago. The Tommy one says, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do.”

TMN: Are you wearing it right now?

VM: No! I lost it. I need to order another one.

TMN: Last but not least, what was the ultimate after-school snack?

VM: Gushers. What do you think?

TMN: Was always a fan of Dunkaroos and Bagel Bites.

VM: I love Bagel Bites. I’m glad they’re still around. Shout out #2090 for being relevant.

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