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Meet Venbee, the artist creating relatable, chart-storming drum ‘n’ bass

Venbee creates drum 'n' bass that will fill dancefloors, but adds a real depth to the genre too.

By Nick Reilly

Venbee (Picture: Press)

“I heard Jesus did cocaine on a night out, Eyes wide open, dilated, but he’s fine now,” came the opening line of Venbee’s 2022 hit ‘messy in heaven’, which has become a staple of club dance floors across the UK for the last 12 months.

The song, which, as you can see, deals with the most surreal of images, is the perfect encapsulation of what Venbee is all about. The 23-year-old who hails from Kent, deals in drum ‘n’ bass hits that can fill the dancefloor, sure, but have a real depth to them too.

Just as ‘messy in heaven’ dealt with a dream she had about Jesus in that unlikely scenario, the emotionally charged ‘Die Young’ – a duet with Rudimental was inspired by a conversation with her grandmother.

But when it comes down to it, Venbee – real name Erin Doyle – has a keen ear for chart-storming drum n’ bass that is helping the genre to become a true mainstream proposition once again. You can read our full interview with Venbee below.

You’ve had a whirlwind twelve months with the success of ‘Messy In Heaven’. Have you been able to take stock so far?

The last year has been absolutely mental. I still can’t fully understand & believe the reaction people have had to ‘Messy In Heaven.’ It changed my life, flipped it upside down and to be honest I’m still processing it all. I went from writing songs in my bedroom to writing and producing with my idols, photoshoots, music videos, interviews and touring around the world. These are things I only dreamed of as a kid and now it’s my reality. 

For the uninitiated, how would you describe your sound?

In short my music can be described as sad songs, you can dance to. I start all of my songs on guitar but once I take it to one of my producers we turn it into drum & bass. However, this new project shows some other softer sides of me. I like to make up beat music but I’ve definitely stripped it back a bit for a few songs. 

Can you tell us a bit about your songwriting/creation process? You’ve spoken before about how dyslexia has directly impacted it.

I’ve been writing since I was 8. It started off as something fun for me and as I’ve gotten older it’s the main way I process my emotions. I get inspired by everything, my friends & family, other artists, things that happen around me. When I’m out and about or alone and I get an idea I’ll save it in my voice notes app. Technology definitely helps me write as someone with dyslexia because there are so many apps and tools you can use to ‘write.’ Once I have something I really like, then I’ll turn it into a tune. I usually write really quickly, so most of my songs have been written in 20 minutes. I guess you could say once I get started I can’t stop haha. I also love collaborating & writing with friends because you get to learn other people’s stories and find ways to tell them. ‘If Love Could Have Saved You’ was written with my friend Charlotte Haining about her brother, and it’s so special because that song would have never happened, had we never had a conversation. 

Who has inspired your journey in dance and drum & bass? Was there any specific artists you looked up to?

I got hooked on dnb when Rudimental’s first album ‘Home’ came out. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to it on repeat. After that I started listening to SHYFX which really drove me deeper into the dnb world and I’ve never gone back. I love chaotic music, it calms me down. 

You recently released ‘Die Young’. What’s the story behind that song?

It’s written around a conversation I had with my nan a few years back. I was in a difficult place and my nan was a faithful woman. It’s a conversation that’s always stuck with me and I wanted to write about it. When I brought the idea forward to Rudimental, they loved it and wanted to collaborate. It was amazing, especially since I’m such a big fan of theirs. I hope other people can relate to the song and appreciate it as much as I do.

What’s the next step of your career? What are you working on?

My mixtape ‘zero experience’ just came out on October 20th which is so mental. I’ve been sitting on these songs for a year and a half so it feels really good to have them out into the world. I’m also doing a UK/EU tour to celebrate with all my ven bee’s from Oct 24-November 12th and then I’m going to take a nice loooooooong holiday. Next year, 2024 I’m going to start writing my album (so exciting!). I think that it will take up a good chunk of my time but I’d also love to go back to Australia and do a headline tour as well as open for someone I admire. Overall, I just want to keep growing, day by day. This is all still so new for me, I don’t know what to expect but I’m looking forward to the unknown.