Published on August 23rd, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Meet Vudu Dahl of VH1’s Black Ink: Compton
Born and raised in the outskirts of Seattle; Vudu Dahl is truly a diamond in the rough. Melting her way into our hearts as the woman who escaped the grasp of her extremist cult, Vudu is now breaking out and making her own way. As the newest cast member on the history-making show, “Black Ink: Compton;” the tattoo apprentice is using her platform to bring awareness to issues near and dear to her heart. We sit down with lady now dubbed, “the life of the party,” as she reveals juicy secrets about her past and what it was like to be on the show.
Hype Magazine: Black Ink: Compton is a new franchise, How do you feel about being on the show?
Vudu Dahl: I am honestly super super excited. I’ll be honest, I had actually never seen any of the episodes for the show. When I was first presented with the proposal of being on the show, they explained that this was the first tattoo shop of its kind in Compton and the fact that I’d be doing something positive for the community, it was really exciting. I’m all about making history, it’s a blessing honestly.
Hype Magazine: While some people may know you as an apprentice tattoo artist, you also attended the Art Institute of Seattle to study fashion design, what made you leave that life behind to pursue tattooing?
Vudu: It was just kind of where life took me. When I was in college I was definitely interested in tattooing, but I didn’t think that I could be a tattoo artist because you know… in Seattle, it’s a very sort of, white, male-dominated industry. Nonetheless, I’ve always loved passion, and seeing people of all different backgrounds become fashion designers. I actually had to end up dropping out because I was pretty much homeless. I didn’t have any money to pay tuition. That’s when I really started focusing on my tattooing.
Hype Magazine: How were you approached by Black ink Compton and what has been your experience working at the shop?
Vudu: I was actually approached by a member at the shop. We worked together and just really got a long. It happened so fast, before I knew it, I was in. My experience being in the shop has been interesting because you know… it’s Compton. I think I had a little bit of a preconceived notion of what it would be like there, but honestly, it has been way way better than I could have expected. We as a team, we are like a family. We get along… sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. (laughs) But you know, in the end, we are just one big family. We’re all so different and we bring something different to the table.
Hype Magazine: As a new artist on Black Ink: Compton, what does it mean to be the first pansexual woman to open up about her sexuality? And what does this add to the LBGTQ community?
Vudu: To me, it’s very exciting! I think that being a queer woman of color, who’s also pansexual, I think that we definitely need more visibility. Growing up, I always felt like I was different, but I never saw anybody or had anyone to look up to that looks like me; so I’m very exciting and I’m happy to be one of the first woman to say “you can be a woman of color, you can be queer, you can be trans and still have a platform and be respected for it.” It means a lot to me.
Hype Magazine: What would you say separates you from the black ink crew? What makes you unique?
Vudu: I definitely had a pretty interesting and unique background. I was super sheltered growing up and so there’s a lot of things I don’t really know. I didn’t have the experiences that my fellow artists have had. I grew up very sheltered and had a little bit of a different path so I have a different outlook on certain things. Being so sheltered, I kind of did a 180. Some people may think I’m a bit quirky or a bit weird and I think that’s just who I am, but that is what separates me from the rest of the group. Nonetheless, we all still get along (laughs).
Hype Magazine: What would you say excites you the most about joining the crew?
Vudu: Just having a tattoo family. I’ve always wanted that for so long and because I lived in Seattle it was extremely difficult for me to get an apprenticeship. When I moved here, I had one that didn’t really work out that well, I kind of felt like an outsider. For the first time ever I actually feel like I’m a part of a family. The other thing is being apart of something positive for the community because this is the first tattoo shop in Compton and I’m sure there are plenty of other young people in Compton who want to be tattoo artists, but they don’t have an outlet or someone to inspire them. It’s amazing, it really is. Compton isn’t just about gangs and violence, it can be a safe place for people who want to do art or want to pursue that career path.
Hype Magazine: What can fans expect to see from you on the show?
Vudu: Me just being my regular crazy self. (laughs) I love art, I love to tattoo and I love to have fun. I’m just really myself. I’m just a free-spirited, weird, quirky person.
Hype Magazine: What’s up next for Vudu Dahl and what can fans expect to see from you this year?
Vudu: So now that I have the platform, I want to get more involved in the LGBTQ community, especially when it comes to people of color. I feel like we don’t get enough attention in the media or enough acknowledgement or visibility. Because I am in such a unique position, I really want to help push that and raise awareness against homophobia and transphobia. I think being in the black community, we are kind of less accepted. This is 2019, we really need to focus on love and respecting each other just as human beings and so I want to be apart of that change.
Be sure to check out her latest news by following her on social media at @Vudu_DahlTweet