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Q&A with Val Fleury & Victoria Van Damn

Name: Val Fleury

Hometown: Monrovia, Liberia

Zodiac Sign: Aries

Instagram: @IamValFleury

Name: Victoria Van Damn

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Instagram: @victoriavandamn

When did you discover your love for music?

Val Fleury (VF): I come from a pretty athletic and business oriented family, and I certainly share those characteristics, but I always wanted to be different. I started out learning to play music as a little lass, played in bands as a teen, and earned a degree in music. I easily fell in love with music early on, and it has stuck with me since. 

Victoria Van Damn (VVD): I’ve been a vinyl collector since I was six years old. My mother was the head of the Communications Ministry in Rio de Janeiro, and the radio stations would send promo vinyls to my house. My first albums were The Cure and Dire Straits.

How did that lead into a career as a DJ?

VF: Playing music live for years, I was also hosting a radio show in NorCal and during my time in France. All my life, I’ve been the go-to for friends, family, and strangers for discovering new and cool music. I also love media and technology, so becoming a DJ was a link to marry my favorite things.

VVD: When I started playing records DJing was not a thing – It was just something we did for fun! Cheap turntables and a ten dollar mixer (which I still have) was all I could afford at the time. I hooked it all up to my TV, used my TV as an amplifier and taught myself how to beat-match.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

VF: I take inspiration from sooooo many things every day! Things that are bold, that feel brave, or blend styles and different cultures easily capture my eyes and ears. 

VVD: I’m a sucker for chord progressions, minor chords and different time signatures! So even though my favorite band is Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Daedelus have also changed the way I hear music. Just as most people classify colors as yellow, blue, red etc; an oil painter will think of colors as ochre, cobalt and crimson, respectively.

Describe your musical style.

VF: My sets are typically in open format, fusing house with future bass, 80s, 90s, hip hop, disco, techno, indie pop, etc. I do have an affinity for female driven and international tracks. Ultimately though, I love mixing my favorite songs of the moment, and I love connecting with and driving people to the dance floor.

VVD: I like to play any music that makes you make a nasty face or makes you feel heat in your belly!

What’s your favorite era of music?

VF: I love making, digging for, and playing new takes on tracks from the 80s and 90s. I’m an 80s baby, and the 90s were so important for me – when my family moved to the U.S. That 20-year span produced so many amazing and influential tunes, in every genre!

VVD: The late 60’s, early 70’s gave birth to the base of everything that has come after that. Producers like David Axelrod and the Mizell Brothers gave birth to funk and hip-hop samples, while Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder and Herbie Hancock’s music influenced for Electronic Body Music (EBM) that later developed into Pop and EDM.

How did the concept of ‘Cruel Summer’ come about?

VF: I’ve been curating events in LA for a few years now. Cruel Summer is this year’s reincarnation of the pool parties I’ve produced for the past 2 summers. We took inspiration from the Banarama tune, one of my favorite songs, and themed the series with 80s pop and nostalgic summertime elements, plus music from amazing guests and resident DJs. 

VVD: The name was definitely Val’s idea and theme. All of us played different roles in the development. I have more of a bulldozer role I think in the whole thing. Val usually tells me what we need to make the party a success, and I try to make it happen. Our partnership is very complementary that way.

What’s the epitome of a ‘Cruel Summer’ for you?

VF: One that’s full of adventures & amazing antics, you feel like it would be cruel for the summer to end. When it does, you’d have amazing memories and zero regrets.

VVD: A super hot line-up!

Talk about the Caeden ‘Cruel Summer’ Soundtrack. How did you two create the mix?

VVD: Cruel Summer has a very distinct crowd! Some come to find some babes and others come to enjoy the pool, but everyone comes for the music. The Caeden ‘Cruel Summer’ Soundtrack is anything but basic. We thought about it carefully, and made it special so that it would have that chillin’ at the pool vibe and that mackin’ vibe all at the same time, but it could also be heard at a creative design studio or a fashion show. I had a friend that used to say, “Life is a music video!” I think he’s right!

What are some of your favorite songs for summer?

VF: This summer, some of my favorite tracks have been from Years & Years, Leikeli47, Full Crate, Disclosure, Lxury and Les Sins.

VVD: Anything by Todd Terje! It’s so Art Deco but so future chic! I am also super into that Tuxedo project, I have a secret crush on Mayer Hawthorne!

How do you accessorize your look with Caeden Linea Nº1 headphones?

VF: My favorite colors are black, white and gold, and my signature look is sleek, futuristic, and monochromatic with accents of ethnic prints and geometric patterns.  It definitely works complementary with Caeden!

VVD: I’m all about that Black and Gold! I like to keep it classic! I love structure and clean lines which is Caeden all the way, then you add some bright colored lips, a deep orange or a magenta hue, and there’s your haute couture, editorial look!

What do you love most about Caeden headphones?

VF: Quality, functionality and style are a huge deal for me. My Caeden headphones easily fit all of those needs. They sound great, I can use them for multiple purposes, and they look oh so sleek. I’m a happy girl.

VVD: So much to say! From the gorgeous design that looks like pure luxury in photos, to how light-weight it is without compromising the quality. For certain, if I have to DJ along set it’s nice to do it with a comfortable pair of headphones! I also love that the cable detaches. I’m super happy with them!

Which city is your favorite place to play?

VF: I have to show Vegas love, every time I’ve played there in the past year has been amazing. me this past year.  My favorite thing though is being on the road and on tour. My goal is to make it to Central and South America next.

VVD: My favorite city to play is any city I haven’t played at before, and doing so for the first time makes it so exciting. The anticipation of not knowing the crowd is always a challenge and a thrill I live for! But Los Angeles has been really good to me! I don’t get bored of playing at home, I DJ almost everyday, and all my residencies are different, from Rock nights to Bass house, from Dub to Indie Pop, Disco to Nigerian Funk! I love DTLA!