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Back Stage w/ Elias: Venzella Joy

Venzella Joy

In 2014 Elias Benavides sat down with Venzella Joy to discuss everything from her upbringing to the feeling of working both Beyonce and JayZ. Take a look below:

A few years back, I was running the sound system at a church for a music performance. All of a sudden, there was a different drummer performing, it was some girl playing, and she was really good. We spoke afterwards. She told me her name was Venzella. She told me about what she was doing musically, including playing with an all female gospel group from Buffalo. Like many musicians, church played a big part in her musical path.

Venzella Joy is the youngest of 8. She was born in Lockport, NY but raised in the city of Buffalo. Her siblings played music, but it was more like a hobby for them, with the exception of her sister Vidie, who continues to play bass. Dad sings, and the kids used to hang out in the studio when they were younger. That helped influence her path towards music.

Venzella started playing drums at the age of 10 at school, and soon after played in her church. “I was drawn to rhythm,” she says. “Beats, movement. I used to dance a lot when I was little.” Mom instilled the importance of education. A solid backup plan if music doesn’t work out. Music was a big part of her education, first at Nardin Academy, then Canisius College. She learned a lot more theory in college, but majored in Criminal Justice, the solid back up plan.

She and Vidie played together through church, when one day, one of the church Mothers told them, if you add two other girls to “the band”, you’ll be professional in two years. As Venzella put it, “It was almost prophetic.” A couple of girls joined the group, childhood friends as it would turn out, and the group became Heavenbound. That’s the group she told me about that one day a few years back. They would record a demo of original music. It would be recorded in The Cutting Room, a professional studio in New York City. It was an awesome experience for the girls, and for Venzella, she was just scratching the surface. The group would go on and open for other gospel acts, and also performed annually with The International AIM Convention, a faith based convention which attracts churches and musicians from around the world. A different city hosts it every year. “It was exciting to us to play a platform that large,” she tells me. They met a lot of people and made valuable connections.

For more visit Elias Benavides Buffalo Rising article here:

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