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Kat Bein is the name when it comes to nightlife articles on the internet. Her amazing writing style and in depth knowledge on music has made her a notable influencer in the entertainment industry.
We recently reached out and interviewed her. Sit back, grab some beer and read this amazing conversation.
VenueLytics:Hey Kat, can you please introduce yourself to our nightlife audience?
Kat: Hello! My name is Kat Bein. I grew up in south Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 2011. I've covered music and culture professionally for about seven years or so, and it's been a wild ride. These days, I'm on retainer at Billboard, mostly writing for its Dance section. I also regular contribute to Red Bull Music, the Miami New Times, and other national and international outlets as I'm needed. I love all kinds of music and musical events, in particular electronic dance and hip-hop, but I think what I enjoy most is being around fun-loving, energetic people who are passionate about whatever it is they enjoy.
VenueLytics: How did you start your career into freelance writing about nightlife, music, and entertainment?
Kat: I've been interested in music and music journalism my whole life. I've been going to concerts and shows as long as I can remember, and I started going to raves when I was in high school. I was always the kid who took videos at the concert, because I've always had some nagging need to document everything around me. When I was in school at UF, I wrote for the independent, student-run newspaper The Alligator, and while I covered the cops beat, I also wrote human interest stories and profiles of figures in local entertainment, music and nightlife. I started a lifestyle blog with some friends in 2010, and from there, other groups on campus and those involved with student off-campus life reached out to me to help run their blogs. When I graduated, I got a job at the Miami New Times, and soon I was regularly contributing to its culture and music sections. I was fortunate to work in a city with a large cultural impact. A handful of my stories in my first few years went viral, and some really wonderful people believed in me and helped me get work at other publications as well. Eventually, my name came up enough in local content that editors of national and international publications would reach out when they needed things covered in the Miami area. By 2014, I was contributing regularly to a few outlets, and in 2015, I started writing for Billboard. Basically, once I started writing, I never stopped, and that's really the key to success in anything you do.
VenueLytics: Who is your inspiration for your writing about hip-hop music, do you follow anybody?
Kat: I mostly write about electronic dance, though I do cover hip-hop from time to time. Growing up, Spin Magazine was my Bible. Chuck Klosterman has always been a huge influence on me. I'm pretty obsessed with Nardwuar, perhaps the greatest interviewer of all time. I also think Zane Lowe is ultimate goals. He builds such a great report with everyone, and his interviews are so friendly and conversational. I want to be that guy one day. I'm also in awe of Sean Evans and his Hot Ones series. His questions are fantastic, and that concept is brilliant. To be honest, I wish I followed more writers closely, but when you're working professionally, your consumption just can't be what it used to be. If I read a story by someone and I'm really impressed, I'll usually follow them on Twitter. I also have a great group of friends and peers whom I admire and support and think are incredible at what they do.
VenueLytics: What can you tell us about the Miami’s nightlife scene in 2018?
Kat:Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure. I decided in May of last year to become nomadic, so I haven't rightly lived in Miami since then, although I did live and work there for five years, and I still feel I know it quite intimately. It's one of the greatest cities in the world, especially if you love nightlife. There's something for everyone. You want half-naked dancers and champagne bottles with sparklers and loud beats until the sun comes up? We've got you. You want underground, warehouse gender-queer techno? We got you. Experimental noise and gutter punk? Check. Thrashing soundcloud rap or classic booty-bumping Miami bass? Check. Hours of reggeaton? Dancehall? Salsa? Bachata? Literally. Everything. You. Want. Citywide, things don't usually shut down until 5 a.m., which is some kind of magical and ruins you for just about every other place in the country/world, and thanks to downtown's 24-hour district, the party never really has to end if you don't want it to. It's just important you don't totally lose yourself in that environment, because the temptation is certainly there.
VenueLytics: What are some of your favorite nightlife venues in Miami and why?
Kat: South Beach is a bit too touristy for my every night. It's got great style, and you'll have a fabulous time out there for sure, but I'm a big fan of the downtown and Wynwood nightlife scenes. As I said, I have created this life niche in electronic music, so I'm usually caught hanging out in places like Club Space, Electric Pickle and 1306. Heart is massive, too, and E11even is just some other kind of creature you have to see to believe. My favorite bar to take anyone to is Gramps. It gives you a lot of different vibes all in one, and there's always some great music going down, whether its a band, a DJ, or a whole creative production. The Corner is where I say all good nights go to die (but I mean that lovingly, and you will see me there absolutely most definitely for sure). There's a new place I have never been called 1-800-Lucky that looks totally fucking cool and always has great bookings that I'm definitely gonna check out next time I'm in town. Most of these places offer low-key hangs in environments that are designed to look cool and create an atmosphere but don't really take focus away from the music, which for me is the heart of the nightlife experience. To be honest, my favorite venues are just dark, empty rooms with good sound systems. RIP Grand Central, now and forever.
VenueLytics: Do you have any tips for our readers on how to have a memorable experience in Miami?
Kat: I would say the most important rule in Miami is to explore. Don't get caught hanging out in one spot or one neighborhood the whole time. Miami is a big city in a small town, but even in its essentially three-mile radius of nightlife experiences, it has so many different flavors to offer. Definitely expect to stay up as late as humanly possible, i.e. take naps and put the Cuban coffee to good use. Please check to see if gratuity is already included in your bill - or not. Also - and I would say this is my rule for a memorable experience in any city - go out with the intention of being open to adventure. Talk to strangers, be friendly with people, and keep the night open-ended. Hop around from place to place, and if you see something or hear something that sounds good from the sidewalk, go check it out! If actually remembering the evening is the plan, make sure you drink plenty of water, and for the love of all that is exciting in life, get off your phone, get on the floor and dance!
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