“Velveteen” is the nom de tune of Richard Hartnell, a multidisciplinary artist with roots on the US west coast and a saga of performances across a dozen countries.
His start in music came from a classical education in viola and an informal education in guitar, creating a taste for melody and harmony based in both traditional and unconventional chord progressions. After a youth spent playing music for house parties, Velveteen wound up earning his first nightclub residency at Rumors Cabaret playing industrial, house, pop, and electronic dance music following a weekly drag cabaret, soon earning a nomination as one of “Bellingham’s Best Spinners” in What’s Up! Magazine.
His hunger for a wider variety of music carried him to the Bay Area, where he was recruited from the dancefloor to the cocktail lounge as a resident DJ of the MUA Art Bar in uptown Oakland.
Velveteen’s festival repertoire covers the fire festivals of the West Coast and the star-studded tents of the European Juggling Convention, which hosted him year after year as it floated from Ireland to Holland to Poland to England.
During the most acute part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Velveteen set up his turntables in a home studio and started playing an eclectic blend of bass and chillout music on the streaming site Twitch.tv, quickly rising to the top 1% of streamers on the site.
Now, as the pandemic wanes and venues re-open, he — like so many other artists — is wandering back into the world to seek those niches left empty by a year without parties.