We caught up with Los Angeles based Val Fleury, a DJ/Producer making waves in the scene. After being named one of Refinery 29's top LA Dj's, Val is focused on expanding her reach through traveling and performing around the world. We caught up with her when she visited London for a COZY shoot!
COZY: Introduce yourself to those that don't know who you are, where are you from and what are you doing.
Val Fleury: My name is Val Fleury, I'm a DJ-producer based out of Los Angeles. I loooove music and anything Shia LaBeouf.
CM: Your real name is Masanghai Youboty. Where did the name “Val Fleury” come from?
VF: Val Fleury is a cute little suburb outside of Paris, it's the hometown of my good friend. When I first moved to Paris, I used to stay there with them. Meudon-Val Fleury was always a homely place for me, and I loved the way the name sounded - edgy yet feminine and creative. I thought to adopt part of the name for my music project.
CM: You have already established yourself as a DJ/music producer, previously playing at SXSW events. How did it start?
VF: I’d always been in bands and involved with radio in my younger years. When I moved back to the U.S. from France, I had this vision to start a DJ project. I learned to DJ in my friend's garage, watching Youtube (Haha), plus a little guidance from another friend. I kept practicing, and fell deeper and deeper in love with it. With hard work, things clicked and opportunities started to come up.
CM: How would you describe your taste in music? How has it changed during the last few years?
VF: I feel that my taste in music mirrors my diverse background. I spin in open format, mixing genres like house, hip hop, future bass, nu disco, indie pop, etc. A lot of my focus though is on featuring international artists as well as female driven tracks. A big evolution for me over the years has been learning music production. It feels so good spinning music that I've worked on, whether an edit, remix, bootleg, or original. It's truly an amazing feeling when people are loosing their minds to something you've worked so hard on.
CM: What influences you/ your craft?
VF: I’m heavily influenced by music, style, and international culture.
CM: What has been the best gig or experience you had?
VF: Around this time last year, I played at SXSW. I had been to the festival a few times before for work, but this was my first time there as an artist. After playing amazing showcases, I hopped on a plane the next morning to play a sold out show with Bixel Boys and GTA at the Glasshouse in Ponoma. It was so much fun and the crowd was absolute insanity. That was one of the experiences for me that made me think - I want do this forever!
CM: What do you think the future might hold for Val Fleury?
VF: Happiness, music, travels. I'm really looking forward to playing more, especially abroad and some festivals.
CM: I know you're currently traveling and touring around Europe... How do you find it and how is it different from the US?
VF: It’s been a blast. It's so many of my favorite things in one... people, places, music, stories, cultures. Only thing different from being back home in the U.S. are good tacos and food trucks.
CM: What are your top 3 things for a perfect party night?
VF: Margaritas, laughs and cool peeps.
CM: What is one achievement that you're the most proud of?
VF: My recent international tour has been really rewarding and fun. Especially, getting to play in many of my favorite cities like Stockholm and Paris.
CM: Do you think or feel it is harder to get acknowledged in an industry dominated by males?
VF: You know, it was males who looked over me when I was learning how to DJ. As I continued on, I indeed noticed that there are many boys clubs that run the DJ/music scene, but I've tried not to let that hinder what I do. Actually, it's nice to see more and more females starting to DJ as well as produce music. I try to encourage it as much as I can.
CM: Any advice for girls who want to start their career in music industry?
VF: You won't ever be a DJ if you don't start. Sure, say it in the mirror and to a stranger, but you gotta start somewhere and at sometime. Also, have confidence in yourself - you can do it! And with practice, which is very important, you will become great.
CM: That's great advice. One thing about you people might not know?
VF: I’m in looove with ginger children, they are the absolute cutest. There are soooo many here in the UK, I just want to love them all. Ha!
Interview & Images by Barb (@flygirlbarb)