The Kids Are All Right: Vello Virkhaus
Partygoers have witnessed the work of accomplished visual artist Vello Virkhaus (and his V Squared Labs) and been blessed by the beats of superstar DJ Sandra Collins. Call it fate or just plain luck—to electronic music fans, at least—but their daughter Vie is bound to follow in both her parents’ footsteps.
“Last year, Vie came to Ultra in Miami… I took her around in a golf cart so she could see what it was all about before the doors opened, but once it started she got bored and wanted to go to a park.”
“Sandra and I played the Sahara Tent together [at Coachella 2008]. I always reflect on that as a good time,” Virkhaus explains of Vie’s first big show. “Last year, Vie came to Ultra in Miami and got to check out front of the house and where dad works. I took her around in a golf cart so she could see what it was all about before the doors opened, but once it started she got bored and wanted to go to a park.”
Vie may have us all beat on first-time festival experiences, but she usually stays away from the large crowds, gravitating instead toward the studio. Enriched with creative and active play like drawing and coloring, she’s already interacting with Virkhaus’ team and immersing herself in the world of lighting and visuals.
By granting the freedom of play with strong structural family support (including a super-nanny), Virkhaus provides his daughter with a safe and comfortable environment in which to explore and unleash her talents, which include piano, ballet and gymnastics. Dad holds a high amount of gratitude for the life they live.
“I think it is important to have a safe and happy home life and make sure they go to a good school,” he says. “Most of all, I am thankful that my business is doing well and I can provide for her.”
Not surprisingly, Vie’s musical skills are blossoming.
“Vie loves to sing, and bangs on everything she can get her hands on—tambourines, maracas—and jamming to the demo songs on the keyboard. She also loves playing [the music-making app] Figure. Yes, I would say she loves music.”
Music—and success—run in the family. Virkhaus has been producing, directing and performing visual arts for DJs, bands and festivals for over 20 years. His creative passions were passed on from his grandfather, who was a painter, gallery owner and art teacher.
Virkhaus has been an L.A. resident for 14 years, but he cut his teeth on 3D animation and post-production at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was there that he was handed a mixtape featuring Holy Ghost Inc.’s “Mad Monks on Zinc” and fell in love with electronic music. Next came “Papua New Guinea” from Future Sound of London and Moby’s “Go.” Virkhaus was hooked.
Although he’s a huge fan of the music and its scene, Virkhaus has strict rules for Vie. Number one: No raving until age 18. “I am not that interested in bringing her to a rave right now,” he says. “I am loving when she comes with me to the studio, but festivals she can do when she is older.”
With all his industry experience, what advice he would give to his daughter when she becomes of-age? “Dress appropriately, lead with intelligence, and be a classy lady. Oh, and I will let her know I will have a detective on-call if any of these rules are broken!”
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