You won’t believe this, but not a single woman graces the Top 100 DJs of the year listed on DJ Mag. Given that the world’s population consists of 50% females, many of whom make music…why is there such a conspicuous absence of ladies on the DJ lists?
We all know they’re out there – and not just gracing the album covers in lingerie. Historically, though, women have been discouraged and disparaged for trying to get behind the deck. In a male-dominated industry, chicks have struggled for decades to earn the right to produce great tunes and be recognized for it. Once the novelty of seeing a woman spin wears off, jealousy takes over and guys want to hog the space. Sad, but true.
There are a few reasons behind this weird social dichotomy in the land of EDM. One is that women lack the same confidence as men because they’ve traditionally received less support in the arts. They’re more likely to be modest about their brilliant musicianship, being encouraged instead to pursue stable, caring professions such as teaching and nursing.
Another thing is that the large majority of women have been too busy raising the world’s children to consider spending hours in a row at a turntable or computer set-up. They don’t have the time to trip out on industrial trance when they’re making dinner and getting the kids to bed.
Finally, the age-old discrimination against women in EDM means that girls have to try extra hard to be represented. It’s not easy to get gigs when you’re competing against a wall of men who are all proven in an industry that squeezes out women.
Well, that’s too bad.
But now for a little secret – and it’s not Victoria’s. There is a worldwide conglomerate of amazing chicks producing innovative beats just as wicked for partying and dancing as anything manmade out there.
Since the mid-1990s, women have been taking the EDM world by storm with their talent and skills. Popular clubs and lounges regularly host female-only DJ nights. Because today’s younger girls are well-versed in computer technology, it’s much simpler for them to figure out how to set up their own mixes. The indie music movement, plus internet, make it easier to grow and support a following. Cities like Berlin, Germany have become hotbeds of talent and creativity for female producers.
As women DJs have become more visible, they have begun to mentor and support each other’s efforts to command the deck. And that support has helped many chick producers come a long way in the world of EDM. Acts like ill-esha, Ana Sia, DiNkY, Cassy, Stella Nutella and Electric Indigo are putting out mixes and songs that are on the cutting edge of experimental. The two latter producers run their own databases of female DJs – Amazon Agency and Female: Pressure.
This stuff is not your typical hip-hop-style oozy girl music, either. Much of it borders on industrial, glitch, dubstep and techno, mingling with ambient and musique concrete techniques to create something new and delightful to the ears.
To find out more about grrrrrrrrl sounds in EDM, visit http://www.femalepressure.net/ or check out some of the chicks mentioned on soundcloud or last.fm. Unfortunately, you won’t find much mention of ladies on most mainstream electronic music sites. Digging around to hear their work means giving them the support they need, at the same time as maybe discovering something new for yourself. So show some love.
Cassy – http://www.cassybritton.com
Ill-esha – http://ill-esha.com/
Electric Indigo – http://indigo-inc.at/electrici.html
Ana Sia – http://anasiamusic.com/
DiNkY – http://www.myspace.com/dinkydj
Stella Nutella – http://www.stellanutella.com/