After being hit with a bone-chilling cold spell at Igloofest a week earlier, the mercury rose just in time for Vilify, MiM0SA and Foreign Beggars to take the stage for the festival’s third weekend, bringing a heavy night of bass along with them. Spinning a variety of different genres, from hip-hop and trap, to dubstep and grime, the three performances left their Igloo soldiers drenched from two-stepping all night to the filthy (and I mean filthy) bass dripping from the speakers. The Main had the pleasure of sitting down with Montreal’s very own Jenny ‘Vilify’ Carmichael, after her stellar set opening the night up for MiM0SA who was then followed up by our lads from the UK, Foreign Beggars. After being resident DJ at Bass Drive Wednesdays for 5 years running now – three of which had been voted by The Mirror and Cult MTL as number one club night in Mtl – Vilify has garnered a far-stretching local and international fan base in addition to being voted number one Best Club DJ for the last two years. After returning from Europe, where she represented Montreal in the ‘The Run-Up’ Tour last fall, and now preparing for Bass Drive’s fifth anniversary this February, it’s safe to say that this lady’s is on fire and there is no chance that she’ll be going out any time soon.
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The Main: After playing countless shows all over Montreal, this is your first time taking the stage at Igloofest, am I right?
Vilify: Yup, this is my first time playing.
TM: Igloofest has played host to a variety of EDM artists, with a lot of these stemming from house backgrounds. Did you find that you had to alter your set a bit for this specific performance? V: Yeah, I mean, I like playing sets like this where, first of all, I get to spin for longer than an hour and I really feel that I can play whatever I want. So yeah, I probably did alter it a bit but only in ways I wanted to. You know, starting off with more garage, playing a bit of house, and then mixing in what I normally play as well. I prefer to be able to play a bit of everything.
TM: I’ve caught you at Belmont many times in the past. How’s that going? When is the actual anniversary?
V: The actual five year is going to be February 26th. It’s crazy, time flies. It’s going strong, it’s going fast. It literally feels like just yesterday that I was starting it up. It’s literally unbelievable to think five years have passed already. [For the anniversary] we’ve got Digital Mystikz – Mala and Coki – coming back and it’s going to be amazing. It’s my birthday at midnight so it’s going to be wicked!
TM: I know that you did a tour in the summer, and The Run-Up Tour in Europe. How did they differ?
V: Well, even just playing in Canada, every city you go to, every show is different: the crowd is different, the setup’s different. I was really lucky that all five shows in Europe were awesome and different in many ways. I mean, traveling anywhere, you don’t know what to expect and that’s half the fun of it, you know. But it was amazing.
TM: Are there any artists either from Europe or elsewhere around the world that you’ve enjoyed sharing the stage with the most?
V: Um, I have to bring up my boy 12th Planet because every time we play together, we have so much fun. This is the second time that Mala and Coki are playing at Bass Drive, and last time they were here, we had a blast. When I’m with them I’m inspired and we have fun… There’s too many people to name. It’s awesome that there are so many people in the industry that are really good at what they do and can have a fun time while doing it.
TM: I started listening to dubstep a few years back and over the years a lot of different EDM styles have emerged and are in some ways competing at this point. Where do you feel dubstep stands today?
V: At the very beginning when dubstep became popular, everyone was like, “Oh, it’s not going to last. It’s going to fall off.” And it’s definitely still going strong, but it’s cool to see at my nights [Bass Drive Wednesdays] and other nights, that you can play drum ‘n’ bass, and trap, and dubstep, and have people respond equally to each. I don’t know if it’s the pinnacle of music, at least in this city anymore, but it’s still up there, it’s still holding strong and the shows still do amazingly. But it’s also fun to be able to play a bunch of different stuff.
TM: I’ve noted that you play a lot of Biggie. How has he and hip-hop in general influenced you and your style of music?
V: Hip-hop was my first love before electronic music and I don’t know what it is about Biggie – it’s the beats, it’s the flow, it’s everything. It’s funny because artists that I grew up with – like Big L and Tupac – for some reason, get a great response from the clientele at my nights. They know Biggie and they know Wu-Tang. I’ll play some Big L and I’ll play some Tribe and they don’t really get it. I think that it’s just been that some of his tunes were hugely influential on me growing up and I think it’s just me enjoying them and playing them and then seeing the reaction. Seeing people really get it is what knees me to play more.
TM: Do you have any future plans or tours?
V: Ya, big changes and big things coming up this year that I’ll leave a little bit vague for now. But I’ve got some dates in Europe, and some production that I’m working on with people, with my vocals and collaborations and a whole bunch of stuff… Last year was huge, and hopefully this year will be even bigger.
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Be sure to stay tuned here for the latest news from Vilify and don’t forget to mark Bass Drive‘s 5th Anniversary at Belmont on February 26th onto your calendars. Gonna be a night you won’t wanna miss.
Images courtesy of Vi Photographie for Igloofest