4 of Your Favorite Female DJs Weigh in About Making It in The Industry
    • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2018

    • Posted by: Nell Snow

    Google "Top DJs." No really, go google it now... Do you notice anything about the results? Any trends? The fact is, electronic music suffers from a huge lack of diversity. Besides being whiter than Jared Kushner in a blizzard, the industry is almost entirely male. The list of top earning DJs put out by Forbes every year has never included a woman, and festivals rarely reach a 20% female lineup.

    Now google "gender inequality in EDM." The first several results, whether web page or video, probably read "Steve Aoki Talks Gender Inequality." I mean, good for Steve, but he's not exactly the expert here. Where are the voices of the women, who've been in this industry from the very beginning, but have never been given the same opportunities as men? Who have fought to be taken seriously and thrown themselves into their passions despite legions of naysayers?

    Plenty of these women have spoken out, but their comments are often hard to find. For instance, it was pretty hard to find and responses to Aoki, although DJ Lady Faith posted the following on her Facebook:

    This is what four other successful DJs and producers (who also happen to be women) have to say about their experiences:

    Alison Wonderland holds the title of the top billed female producer at Coachella ever. Her sophomore album, Awake, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Dance/Electronic Albums.

    "I did find back in the day… there would be guys standing around, and I did get a lot of shit, and I did get kind of laughed at…"

    "I do have go-pros of my hands and as part of my show, and my visuals guy does stream what I'm doing with my hands behind me… that started because I was being doubted."

    "I duck taped my tits down and wore oversize t-shirts and didn't want to make it about being a woman in the beginning… I'd sit there and duck-tape myself flat. I wanted to lessen kind of the fact that there was a feminine aspect, which is really sad now."

    (She's also not afraid to put misogynistic assholes in their place.)

    Rezz has skyrocketed upward at unprecedented rate since releasing her debut EP on Deadmou5's label mou5trap just 3 years ago. Her unique, dark sound has earned her a legion of dedicated fans who call themselves the ‘cult of Rezz' and call her "Space-mom."

    "Honestly, I never felt discouraged. I didn't sit there and think ‘I'm a woman and this is going to be difficult for me,' I was confident in the music and my vision, I didn't take my gender into account. I would tell others to work their ass off, the most reputable way to go about this career is production."

    Tokimonsta was the first female producer on Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder label. Since then, she's gone on to earn recognition across the globe and has just released her 5th album, Lune Rouge.

    "In someone's top 20 producers I'd rather be the 20th person than someone say ‘You're my favorite producer.'"

    "The way that I've always viewed my gender in Electronic music, or music in general, has been ‘don't focus on it.' I don't focus on it, I never ever focus on it, but everyone else does. I think it's understandable, because the way to fix the issue… is to address the issue and address that there is an issue."

    Mija was discovered after Skrillex asked to play a back to back set with her at Bonnaroo music festival. Since then, she's released several projects on his OWSLA label.

    "People assuming[sic] that because I'm a girl, I either slept my way to the top, or have ghost producers. None of which has ever been true."

    "Every female DJ/producer that I've friended or encountered in the industry has been so kind and supportive of each other. it's never been a competition or remotely seen that way."

    "I don't think about it often, only when asked in interviews."

    Women in the industry are put in a tough position, because many feel that discussing their gender sets them apart and makes it harder for people to see them as equal artists. It makes perfect sense that these talented artists want to focus on the music, but with practically no female representation within the top echelon of DJing, it's clear that something more needs to be done. So what's the answer?

    I know I don't have it, but neither does Steve Aoki.

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