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A portrait of Ashley Venom

Ashley Venom is a Haitian-American DJ, artist and community organizer who has been producing music and art events in Miami since 2013. Venom’s work in the community is rooted in abolition and liberation for all marginalized peoples, and she spotlights  Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Color by booking them to performer at her parties. 

Her cross-section of passions aligns beautifully with Life and Death’s commitment to championing rising talent while fostering creativity across all artistic mediums. As a fixture within our Miami underground scene and family, we asked her to curate a playlist of her favorite uplifting tunes of the moment. 

You’re a DJ, event producer, and advocate. How do your passions intersect?

Liberation is the intention that lies at the intersection of all that I do. I believe people can feel that intention in my work. Creating safe(r) spaces for marginalized folks, booking QTIPOC artists, playing music by Black producers in my sets, creating soundtracks for protests and political actions, collaborating with local progressive organizations, and using my platform to educate people are few ways of weaving that intention into all that I do.

Tell us about the playlist you’ve curated for Life And Death. Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

My playlist is filled with songs that uplift me on a heavy day. With all that is going on in the world, music is one thing that allows me to transmute the energy I’m feeling and move my body; shake off what no longer serves me. These tracks have helped me process what I’m feeling and release throughout quarantine. I hope they help others do the same ~

What makes Miami’s underground scene unique, and what do you love about our music community?

Miami is a city that has the energy of constant regeneration & gentrification. At its core, there is always someone being pushed out and something new being forced in. I feel like a lot of artists here aren’t HEARD and find their voice by deciding to take the road less traveled. Many of us were fighting to survive and live our truth, and music is one way we are able to.

It’s hard for people here to always see eye to eye, but when communities come together, it can be so powerful. Our community is small and intimate, but we uplift and empower each other in ways that institutions, clubs and venues could never. We are our own affirmations.

Life and Death is turning 10, what would you like to wish us? 

It’s been really cool to see the evolution of the label and the incredible lineups. I wish Life and Death another monumental 10 years and look forward to hearing the new eclectic sounds <3.

A curated playlist by Ashley Venom for Life and Death