New York City DJ/producer Andrew Venegas, a.k.a. Onionz (Electrik Soul), is up to some big things. Earlier this year, he embarked on his Find My Tribe tour, and is in the midst of a nearly five-month long road trip across the states from NYC to LA. Even more exciting is his involvement with an upcoming narrative feature length film, set in the underground rave and club scene of early ’90s New York City, of which he’s taken on his newest role of musical director.
Leaving behind the chilly winter weather of New York and handing over the house keys to a subletter, he packed up his car and hit the road with his best buddy/canine companion Pedro. “It was like 1993 all over again,” he says. “My hope was that the community would open their arms for me and they did. From Asheville, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Austin, Tampa, Fresno, Baltimore and D.C., to San Francisco and L.A., they all showed me nothing but love and support for my music.”
The intent behind the tour was to share history with the newest generation of the underground, and doing so from behind a screen wasn’t going to cut it. “I wanted people to see that it’s okay to get away from social media and the juggernaut marketing channels that have been created for us, and instead, to actually meet people and communicate face to face.”
Speaking of screens, Onionz is beyond elated about his newest journey into the world of filmmaking. A big part of his time has been spent in sun-drenched Los Angeles, scoring original music for the film titled XING, which allows for the full utilization of his background as a pioneering house/techno music producer and DJ, along with having the chance to immerse himself in the classic techno time period that preceded the EDM behemoth of today. He reveals that, “Adding picture to my creative process and writing music for characters has been very difficult, every morning I wake up and say I can’t do this but then somehow I do.”
A newfound desire to tap back into the origins of electronic music seems to be flourishing throughout the dance music community these days as some of the “too big to fail” events that once captivated the scene have stumbled. This is where a pioneer like Onionz is needed most, having the ability to put the love of music first and so steadily continue to pack in warehouses and DIY festivals with the faithful soul-diers of the underground dance community. And one of the many stops on his tour is the 2016 Desert Hearts Spring Festival, which plans to, once again, take over the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near San Diego, California, April 1-4.
Onionz could not be more excited about finally being a part of this event. “The D.H. crew first reached out to me about two years ago, and I’ve had my eye on playing at this event ever since. I’m pretty psyched that this is coming together.” Desert Hearts has been on a perpetual mission to help make progress in the underground movement while creating “the most beautiful, community-oriented house and techno gatherings,” and their vibe is right in line with Onionz’s vision to continue being a conduit for the love of music.
With a plateful of creative undertakings in the mix, Onionz continues to inject a sense of underground purity into the scene and beyond, while simultaneously finding his tribe. “I’ve had some unbelievable gigs and met so many new people. I’ve encountered some amazing young DJs as well, and this is what I needed to hear and surround myself with. These people are inspiring artists who, like me, are willing to do what it takes to create, who feel real love and lust for their art, and are willing to dedicate every second of their lives to it.” Tribe found.