Female DJs. Frankly in our heavily male-dominated industry, there just ain’t enough of them (though it does feel as though the tide is slowly starting to change). In this feature we celebrate some of the most talented and regarded female DJs in the scene through a collection of their interesting, inspiring and insightful quotes.
From Russia’s Nina Kraviz copping sexism, Berlin stalwart Ellen Allien finding herself and UK trailbalzer Mary Anne Hobb’s strain on keeping up in the digital age; it’s time to see things from the girls’ point of view. There’s also a mix to enjoy from each, naturally.
“Bios are simply hilarious – make yourself look awesome on paper. They’re generally the same and its always like, ‘Look how cool I am. Richie Hawtin likes me! Yay!’”
Chloe Harris on wanky DJ bios.
“I don’t compare myself to the other women DJs and producers. There’s so few of us, and we all have a unique style really. I want each and every one of them to succeed – we’re on the same team.”
Kate Simko on sticking together.
“There’s an attitude still in the Eastern Bloc that women are good for the bedroom and the kitchen but not much else – so when a women gets successful there’s a bit of a debate. I’ve had really mean comments from all over Europe, people asking who I slept with to get where I am, or saying that a man must be doing all the work for me!”
Nina Kraviz on sexism in the industry.
“My music is like blueberries. You look at them and they’re dark and purple and mysterious, and then you eat them and they don’t taste at all how they look.”
Emika on her music style.
“The music I play will never become commercial, so I don’t worry about that, but I have seen some seriously fucked up shit over the past few years. DJs going from playing clubs of 500 and in one year playing in front of 50,000 people. They will get sick of it and want to go back to the more intimate places, but maybe that’s just a woman’s point of view.”
Heidi on staying true.
“I think their sound is very Faithless-y in a way, but a very crude and reduced kind of Faithless. But I think without the kind of lyrical integrity maybe, and the subtlety in the sound. There’s a different kind of energy with a lot of the guys who are making dance music now, who really just want to write to get that instant thing. I like that our music has had more twists and turns in it.”
Sister Bliss on Swedish House Mafia
“Sometimes I feel like a tiny little piece of flint skimming across the surface of this giant ocean. I always go to bed every night wondering if I’ve done enough. You are always tormented by this notion because there are so many people vying for your attention.”
Mary Anne Hobbs on digital music saturation.
“I’ve never been a girly girl and always found myself in male dominated surroundings. I mean I used to play football when I was younger! (but I’d always beat the boys!) I wish the music industry wasn’t as male dominated as it is. It can get a bit boring meeting the same kind of average older bloke producers and DJs all the time. I hope to someday be in a position where I can help or inspire more young women to get involved.”
Maya Jane Coles on being a male dominated industry.
“It’s great to be earning money with something you love doing and it’s so rewarding to get amazing or good feeback. And it’s super important to keep your feet on the ground and have real friends and real people around you that have the same general idea about life and the world, otherwise you will lose yourself in bullshit, get side tracked and lose the love for it all.”
Cassy on keeping grounded.
“I grew up in the West, with big houses, my mother was working, and my father ran away when I was two. I was a city child, an urban child, and this I realised. But it took me years to reflect on who I was. I realised it also took me years as a woman to come out of the club in the morning and see everyone going to work yet I was going to sleep, and to feel okay about that.”
Ellen Allien on finding herself.