V and Jen Live @ Mardi Gras 2002. The Graduate San Luis Obispo
Club91's very own Velanche is celebrating his 10 year anniversary of Urban Landscapes (www.urbanlandscapes.org) radio show and a birthday this month! Club91blogspot decided to do an interview with the legend in honor of his achievements, contributions, and inspirations to music. Velanche was the first person I met at KCPR, consequently, during his Urban Landscapes radio show way back in 2002. He encouraged me to join and eventually to pursue DJing as a lifestyle instead of a hobby. V has been doing his damn thing long before the Decknicians were assembled. When we form like Voltron, V forms the head. Understating that Velanche has had major impacts to all of us and will continue to do so for a long time. Please please please check out his website and be on the lookout for Velanche at a party near you!
C91: Who are you? What do you do? Where do you reside?
V: I'm a jack-of-all-trades type I.T. professional by day, but I'm also a club/radio DJ and producer of two radio shows--Urban Landscapes and Club 91 (which I've inherited from you). I'm also a contributor both to Giant Step in New York and also to XLR8R Magazine. I'm currently residing in San Luis Obispo, California.
C91: Urban Landscapes is celebrating 10 consecutive years on the air. Congrats!!! How does it feel to still be broadcasting after all these years?
V: It's hard to believe that I've been doing the show for so long. I never thought that I would do the show past graduation (I started the show 1 1/2 years before I graduated), so I feel very fortunate to both continue and expand on the vision of what I wanted the show to be. I feel as if I've been warming up all of these years and that the best is yet to come.
C91: How did Urban Landscapes start? Where were your musical origins prior to the show?
V: I was one of the very few DJ's at KCPR to be allowed to do a special format show just after training the previous quarter. Usually it takes another two quarters before one's eligible, but the program director was very generous to allow me to do regular format during the first hour, then Urban Landscapes for the remaining two hours. I enjoy music so much, and I tried not being locked into one sort of music. As for my musical origins prior to the show, they are many and varied but I'd say soul, funk and jazz have been, and still are, my roots.
C91: Do you think your music taste has changed over the years? What artists/sounds/groups/etc have been major influences in your music taste?
V: I would say that my musical taste has evolved over the years. I'm always drawn to variations of the root sounds, and internationally there are fresh takes on music everywhere. I'm always excited to find such gems, and sharing them is something I really get a kick out of to this very day. As for major influences in my musical tastes, they are just too numerous to mention depending on the timeline of my life. Sometimes it's producers (the Mizell Brothers, Thom Bell, Quincy Jones), other times artists (Isaac Hayes, The Jacksons, Donald Byrd, Kate Bush), and still other times vocalists (Lisa Stansfield, Oleta Adams, Jocelyn Brown), genres (too many) and even labels (4AD during the 80's and 90's, West End, Philly International). I'm extremely discerning about what I look for, and I'd like to think others appreciate them.
C91: How long have you been DJing?
V: I've been DJing on and off since 2002. It's still a learning process, but I'm better now than I used to be in the beginning.
C91: What were your musical influences growing up as a child? Where did you grow up? Do you still rep your city?
V: When I was a kid, I would sit in front of the stereo after my family have gone to bed. At night, there were limited commercials and back in the day we'd get full album versions of tunes instead of 7" versions. Very much soul, funk and modern jazz were the genres that really made an indelible impression on me. I can't say that I represent my city because I've left Florida when I was nine, and I moved within a number of cities in Southern California throughout the
C91: Where has music taken you as far as traveling? (Through time and space?)
V: When I get into music, I tend to lose myself and just be one with it. It's sustained me through some heavy periods early on in my life. After Urban Landscapes was launched, I've made contacts from all over. I was fortunate to have met quite a few of them during my travels through Europe during wintertime 2002-3. My hope is to travel there again later this year to reunite with those I've visited, but also to meet new peeps and visit new countries for the first time.
C91: You've mentioned recently that you're going to start dabbling in production. This is quite exciting and I'm interested to know what direction you're going to take as far as remixs, re-edits, and original song composition.
V: I have some favorite tunes that I feel are dying for re-edits, so I do have a short wish list just to try that. Once I learn that, then I'd like to take a stab at remixes. I already know that I can have most any tune I'd like through my numerous contacts, so it's just a matter of timing. As for full-on music production, I'm still looking into how to approach it. I know there are plenty of peeps that are dependent on sampling from records. I don't think that I can be as patient; there's plenty of music that swarms in my head, and I'd like to develop the kinds of skills that allows me to somehow take what's in my head, translate it, and then store my thoughts away somewhere until I'm ready to get back to them. I don't want to be too dependent on samples that need to be cleared. I'm very excited to learn, and I will be patient. I want to learn from some of the best producers out there, and some of them know who they are. I also want to collab with my favorites, and have the luxury of working with the best writers and vocalists in the scene.
C91: Who's your ideal woman? Characteristics?
V: Wow...I just chuckled at that one! I've been reassessing my wants and goals in recent weeks. I was just at a conference in Long Beach, and sat around all married people working for Cal Poly during a lunch break. The suggestion was that I should just settle, especially since I've just turned 44 years old last week. I have a lot of life left in me, and I know that settling for me is not an option...not in life, and certainly not with my ideal woman. I'm a bit vane in that I'd like her to be very beautiful, but really inside and out. Sort of a spiritchaser who holds my attention. Someone who's open-minded, very worldly and very spiritual, and someone who'll fully support me in my endeavors (and I would do the same for her). I'm seeking the great romantic adventurer, and I don't mean like a Harelquinn novel or "Pretty Woman" either. I have unwavering faith that she's out there, and that she's closing in. It's just a feeling, really; I'm not sure it's someone I currently know, but I feel this year will be a year of significant changes and that includes meeting that ideal woman.
C91: We've known each other for a few years now and I've never ever noticed your hearing handicap (if you want to call it that) have any sort of disabling impact on your mixing. I mean, on Club 91, your mixs actually seemed to have gotten better and better each week (as in fuckin' awesome like almost getting into car accidents cause I'm dancing so hard in the car on the way to the show!). Has it ever been a burdon as far as your passion for music?
V: I thought it would be for awhile. Actually, I've adjusted to listening to music both with and without my hearing aids. I'd rather keep the aids off because I enjoy listening to the fullness of the music, as hearing aids aren't able to pick up those finer nuances. I still should keep safe when in loud environments even though I was born with hearing loss, because otherwise I can worsen it.
C91: Whats in store for Velanche of the future?
V: I want my radio show to loom large beyond just online; I'd like it to be part of satellite radio, so working on that. I'm working to do more gigs both in and outside of California, and continue to make connections that will aid me in moving forward with all things music. Otherwise, I'm working on more content and even a transformation of the look of my show's web site. I have other plans in the works that I plan to have happen this year, but will keep them under wraps for now. And of course, continue to contribute to the Clubninetyone blog. I'm very humbled and glad that whatever influence I've had rubbed off on you. Keep at it cuz I think you're doing great. Thanks for the opportunity to interview me!
You're welcome Velanche! Happy Birthday and Congratulations on 10 years live on the air!