HVNLEE is a prominent DJ and event curator hailing from North Philadelphia. With an intoxicating sound that is as infectious as it is engaging, her unique style reflects her early roots in spinning hip-hop and R&B. She infuses her love for disco, funk, and soul into her performances, creating a distinctive sound that is thoroughly enjoyed by her listeners.
As a child, HVNLEE was deeply influenced by the ‘60s and ‘70s records played by her mother at home. Philly's funk and soul from that era left an indelible mark on her music, encouraging her to include their elements in her sets. Aaliyah, with her mix of sweet, girly, and edgy vibes, has been a profound muse for HVNLEE. The catalyst is audible in her sound, which effortlessly oscillates between light and airy to murky and gritty tones.
Photography by Joannika Augustin
HVNLEE believes that disco and funk have heavily shaped the contemporary house and techno scene. These genres, with their nostalgic vibes, are constantly revisited by modern artists and producers, spawning subgenres like nu disco, funky house, and disco fusion. These sounds are discernible in HVNLEE's sets, where she skillfully blends various styles to maintain a groovy flow throughout her performances.
With numerous high-profile gigs and years of experience under her belt, HVNLEE has become an established figure in the house community. One of the pinnacles of HVNLEE's career was the unforgettable opportunity to perform at Hulaween Music Festival on the Femme House stage. This experience was not just memorable, but deeply inspiring. Her encounter with LP Giobbi in 2021 and the subsequent exposure to the Femme House movement became a transformative influence on her music journey. Participating in such a significant event, in an environment radiating with high energy and inclusivity, was a home run for HVNLEE.
Passionate about creating spaces for underrepresented artists, HVNLEE established the femme-focused event series, HONEY. This initiative was born out of her desire to have more Philly parties dedicated to women and women-identifying artists. HONEY is not just a platform for showcasing budding talent in the city but also a community-building effort for women and LGBTQ+ DJs.
HVNLEE's monthly residency at the revered Fillmore Philadelphia has profoundly impacted her career. This accomplishment, akin to a dream come true, allows her to showcase her personalized flow at a prestigious venue to a larger audience. To keep her sets fresh and engaging, HVNLEE is always on the hunt for new music, ensuring there's always something novel for her audience.
HVNLEE stays relevant not by following trends, but by staying true to her preference. Even as she evolves as a DJ, she enjoys incorporating older tracks into her sets, mixing the current with the timeless to create a sound that's distinguishably hers.
HVNLEE is thrilled to announce her foray into music production, an arena she has long wished to explore but was previously hesitant to. This new direction was spurred by LP Giobbi's contest that encouraged remixes of her recently released track featuring Sofi Tukker, If Love Is a Skill. Seizing this opportunity, HVNLEE created her very first remix, which tackled one of her goals and signaled the start of an exciting journey in making beats.
Given a chance to spin b3b with any artists of her choice, she would choose Daft Punk and Armand Van Helden, whose music taste has greatly swayed her own. Their records provide constant sparks for HVNLEE, leading her to incorporate their tracks in her performances.
Moving forward, it will be worth keeping an eye on HVNLEE. As she continues to grow and push her creative limits, she's set to leave an even more significant mark on the industry. With her constant evolution as a DJ and newly minted music producer, she is charting an exciting path forward.