Chicks in EDM

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.

Cassy Britton

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/

By | 2016-12-02T15:18:02+00:00 May 10, 2012|News, Opinion|10 Comments
  • J

    ughh. completely asinine…clearly not even written by a “chick”.

  • Jerome

    This in no way shape or form has any accurate information in it other than the list of females who spin. Yet, most of them are not considered EDM, Ana Sia and Ill Esha I know for a fact spin mainly dubstep.

    I wish I had more time to articulate how backwards your thoughts are on this and how your narrative is completely biased.

  • yanyo

    most bullshit article i’ve ever read. fuck you, author.

  • Is this a joke. It’s about the most ignorant piece of writing on women in music I could imagine. “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.” Seriously?!?! If it s a joke the humor doesn’t come through. I hope it’s a joke.

    • BK

      I agree with @jenn, there is nothing wrong with this opinion piece. Is Rich short for Regina or Dick?

  • Ana Sia and many others are clowning this writer on Facebook.

  • Jenn da DJ

    This isn’t a bad article. I mean it is an op-ed. Looks like someone needs some happy time…calm your ass down a little. Relax!!!

    • Thanks @Jenn, @BK, @Kath…
      Folks, I stand by everything I wrote. For those taking issue with my perspective, I wrote from a historical standpoint. I did plenty of research for this article, and the power & support Ana Sia and others are enjoying now in the electronic music world weren’t always the case. It’s true that women have been limited in the past – and it’s true that they’re still under-represented on a worldwide scale in arts and music. That’s not because we inherently lack confidence – it’s because we’ve been discouraged from rockin our creativity, or encouraged to do other things – yes, like having kids. (gawd, what’s so awful about admitting women are the main bearers & carers of children??)
      We are lucky to have grown up in a new era. We should be grateful for what’s come before us, the strength of other women who’ve paved the way and dealt with all sorts of skepticism and macho-ism.
      And for goodness sake, be nice everyone! 🙂

  • Raoul

    Lone Peep pull you’re head out of your ass. This is one of the most condescending articles I have read.