VNSSA: Tech House Sensation Opens Up About Time Off, New Music for Festival Season
The future of tech house is bright, partially thanks to the efforts of Vanessa Barnes, otherwise known as VNSSA. An artist who excels at meshing elements of synth-pop and disco wave, VNSSA used the first two months of 2022 in the studio working on new music.
She spoke with MP3 MAG about upcoming tour stops, expectations for her festival sets, and the future of tech house.
“It feels good to be back on the road. I’m really excited to tour again. I just took all of January and February off just to write music, take a break mentally, and recharge my batteries. And it’s been a really good break. I moved and I got a lot of music done.”—VNSSA
Festival season begins for VNSSA when she hits the road to perform at the first annual Body Language Festival in Tempe, AZ on Mar. 4. From there, she’ll hop on a plane to play her debut at Okeechobee Music Festival in South Florida.
The VNSSA project is a relatively new endeavor, with her first single “Do You Wanna Play” having been released in 2018, but that is not to say she is a stranger to live gigs. In fact, Barnes’ musical education and inspirations traverse back to her youth. She played drums in local bands and formed an electronic duo, Best Thing, before breaking off into a solo career.
VNSSA has been featured on label Dirtybird on many occasions, an imprint that is one of her favorite elements of the house music scene. Her fondness toward the organization came full circle this year when the label’s festival, Dirtybird CampINN 2022, named one of their campsites after VNSSA’s single, “3am.”
“That was really cool. I feel like Dirtybird has always been one of my favorite labels. During Campout, they always named different campgrounds after some of the artists’ songs,” Barnes explained. “It makes me really happy for them to use one of my songs. It feels like an honor.”
Dancing deep into the late night evokes an incomparable sensation to anything else, and VNSSA sets invite the party to rise at all times. She gave some insight into what fans can expect at a live show.
“Tons of brand new music, new visuals that we made, and more festivals. Hopefully, some extended club sets too.”
Debuting on January 21, 2022, VNSSA’s latest release is a remix for the track “Rewind” off the album “infina ad nausea” by QRTR.
“I’m a really big fan of hers,” VNSSA says. “It was really fun to do that remix for her, and. I love that album that she just put out. Her sound is like nothing you’ve ever heard. It was fun putting a cool little breakbeat together.”
VNSSA has no plans to slow down as festival season rapidly approaches. Her next single, “In the Dark,” drops on Insomniac Records on Mar. 4 as a part of LP Giobbi’s Femme House Takeover Tour, a twelve-stop tour featuring workshops, production classes, and DJ shows featuring women and non-binary artists in the house scene.
“This was one of my favorite tracks I’ve ever made,” Barnes said. “The first time I ever played it was at Dirtybird Campout, and it just went off. I’m stoked that it’s finally coming out!”
Ever the involved and collaborative artist, Barnes shared her top rising stars with MP3 MAG.
“Right now, I really like there’s this girl named Frida K from Seattle,” Barnes says. “She sent me some of her music, and it’s really good. It’s a little bit different and her DJ sets are amazing. Then there’s this other DJ I really like from the UK. His name is Skeleton King and he makes some really sick breakbeats.”
VNSSA’s live performances provide a sense of community, an experience familiar to lovers of live music. A place where you can dance, chat, and hang out with people you might never see again but will remember for a prolonged period of time. VNSSA hopes to see her fans, new and old, make an appearance during her upcoming tour stops.
“Hopefully, some people come out to my shows, come support, and come hang out during my festival sets,” VNSSA says. “I’m usually roaming around the festival myself. So if anyone sees me out and about, feel free to stop me and say hi! I’ll usually give you a sticker or something.”
Catch VNSSA at the following upcoming tour dates:
- Mar. 4: Body Language Festival, Tempe, Arizona
- Mar. 6: Okeechobee Music Festival, Okeechobee, Florida
- Mar. 19: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington
- Apr. 8: Sound-Bar, Chicago, Illinois
- Apr. 9: It’ll Do Club, Dallas, Texas
- Apr. 15: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, California
- Apr. 22: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, California
- Apr. 30: RFK Campus, Washington, DC
- May 14: We Are One Music and Arts Festival, Houston, Texas
- May 25: Lightning in A Bottle, Buena Vista Lake, California
- Jun. 16: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, Tennessee