V has played gigs across the US and overseas at some of the most revered clubs and events
Name: V SMITH III
(Artist Name): DJ V FROM CHICAGO
Current Location: CHICAGO
DJ V first saw a live DJ spinning with two turntables and a mixer at his freshman icebreaker party at Whitney Young HS in Chicago in 1982. The next day he began to badger his fellow students that also were DJ’s to teach him and they took him under their wing. By the next year, on his 15th birthday, he purchased his first set of belt-drives and it’s been an ongoing passion ever since.
V started as a breakdance DJ, working 3 and sometimes 4 decks on occasion. However, he’d always preferred the sounds of Ken Kessie, Patrick Cowley, Giorgio Moroder and Bobby O, along with the Philly, Salsoul, Disco, Soul, Jazz Fusion and Funk grooves that he was raised on. A segue into House Music was inevitable.
After having spun at numerous now legendary venues by the late 80’s, V decided to hang up his headphones to pursue his college education and dream of playing football, which he achieved both at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. V graduated with a Sociology BA and played defensive back for the Big Ten school.
It was while attending Purdue that he was coerced into getting back behind the decks after his football-playing days were over as he was still known as a person very in tune with the music of the day, be it Hip-Hop, House, R + B or even Rock.
As fate would have it, this coercion proved quite beneficial. Soon after V released his first locally-distributed mixtape in 1995 it went through a number of hands and ultimately landed in the possession of thee Techno pioneer, JUAN ATKINS. Juan contacted V and invited him to his then-home on Techno Alley in Detroit, where Juan encouraged V to continue to pursue a career as a DJ on a global scale and offered his mentorship. This priceless occurrence then spawned V to take his passion much more serious than he’d ever imagined.
V then moved back to Chicago in 1996 and immersed himself in the Deep House Music scene that is responsible for presenting this genre to the world. By the end of that year he’d spun at the legendary Shelter and went on to hold various other residencies in the city as well as playing gigs across the Midwest. It was in 1999 that he was invited to play a DJ Showcase for WARNER BROTHERS @ the WMC alongside ROY DAVIS JR.. and MILES MAEDA. His performance catapulted him to the national level as he held his own with two of the world’s best.
1999 also proved to be the pivotal year in his burgeoning DJ career as he played his first gig in NYC with ROMANTHONY and HARRY THE BASTARD and from that performance was selected to play for VH-1 at its Y2K celebration in Times Square. This once-in-a-lifetime gig assisted in his gaining prominence across the nation as a premier music selector.
By the end of 2000 V had stepped into the arena of not only producer but also Label Manager. He’s assumed the role of Manager for MUSIC 101 and presided over the labels’ initial 6 releases, with artists ranging from PLAYIN 4 THE CITY to DERRICK CARTER to STACY KIDD. All of the releases that were handled by V received massive critical acclaim as well as exceeded all sales goals. His own production debut, “THE DARKER SIDE OF MELODY” featuring the late great JOHN REDMOND, also received critical acclaim from URB and DJ magazines in 2001, with the former listing it as one of the top records of that year. An international presence on the underground music scene was achieved by DJ V! He also had a second release, “WHAT AM I DOING TO ME”, that was released on D’LECTABLE and received kudos in URB in 2005. As of 2014, he has partnered in the studio with MR. EGG GERM to form FootNote, a production duo that to date has done remixes for ROY DAVIS JR., VICK LAVENDER, BODDHI SATVA and up-and-coming pop group ANYTHING BUT MONDAY. An album is currently in the works, as well as live performances with a full-on band consisting of the best musicians and singers that Chicago has to offer.
V has played gigs across the US and overseas at some of the most revered clubs and events, such as the opening party for the BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 2003, SUBSOIL in Halberstadt, Germany, numerous other venues in Germany and Poland, the opening party for the SOHO CLUB with ALTON MILLER and soul/House diva ANGIE BROWN in Brussels, SULLIVAN ROOM, OPEN AIR, ALPHABET LOUNGE, SAPPHIRE LOUNGE, the memorable CENTRO-FLY and various other top-flight venues in NYC, 1015 FOLSOM and PINK in San Francisco, a 4-year monthly residency at SMARTBAR in Chicago along innumerable other residencies and headlining guest spots in his hometown. V has shared headlining duties with the aforementioned as well as such respected luminaries as NEIL ALINE, Derrick Carter, DJ HEATHER, COLETTE, MARK FARINA, RON TRENT, THE WAMDUE KIDS, DIZ, DJ DOVE, SCOTT WOZNIAK, Boddhi Satva and GILLES PETERSON. He’s also played for fashion shows by MAXMARA and LOUIS VUITTON and major movie premiere events for GenArt.
In 2011 V founded a company entitled CONCRETE MUSIC GROUP LLC, a “one-stop shop” for all looking for the best in independent music from artists across the globe. With artists spanning Electronic (2Th, IAMNEMESISNINE, MDF) to, of course, Deep House (Mr. Egg Germ, KARL THE VOICE, TIM XAVIER, DANIELL SPENCER, CHARLES SPENCER, RICKY BRADSHAW, LHK & SEN-SEI), the mission for the company is to be able to spread the gift of these passionate, talented individuals across the world in any way that music can be utilized. Music supervision opportunities within the film industry have also been garnered that will be administered through CMG.
DJ V has a podcast that has been going strong for 10 YEARS RUNNING, www.djmixes.podomatic.com, which showcases his adroit skills on the decks in the live form USING VINYL ONLY. The site has garnered 10’s of thousands of downloads from all over the world to date with no sign of slowing down. The future looks bright for this veteran of over 30 years as a DJ, producer and music group owner, with the demand for his sound continuing to broaden.