If you look at the line-up of a lot of the great festivals or club nights in the world there’s usually not very many women on the bill. DJ Mag, one of the leading electronic music magazines, recently dropped its list of the Top 100 DJs and nearly none of the people on the list are women. I am SHOCKED lol not really. The blurb under the Australian NERVO sisters, just a few of the women on the list, goes “While some have questioned the lack of women in the Top 100 DJs poll” — OH YES WE HAVE MISS DJ MAG — “these DJ and production siblings have consistently placed in the upper reaches.” Nice try.
But of course there are a ton of female DJs, and brown female DJs and brown queer female DJs out there who are all way more interesting than any of the guys on that Top 100 poll. It’s not that there aren’t any female DJs, as this Vice piece hollers. It’s that club promoters and journalists aren’t covering or writing about them. So with that in mind here are 8 female DJs you should know about.
1. Juliana Huxtable
NYC-based poet, writer and DJ Juliana Huxtable is the brains behind the New York club night Shock Value, a night meant to bring different kinds of people together. She asked Dazed “why are so many gay male spaces hostile to lesbians? Why are so many of the raves in Bushwick filled with bros who are dancing to vogue beats but there’s three black queens in the room? Where was the nightlife run by women, cis, trans or otherwise? I just wanted a space where all of my friends could come together, where girls where in charge, where all of my trans friends could come without dealing with the anxiety that comes with many spaces. I discovered that when thats the goal, the natural diversity and vibe that comes as a product is amazing. I remember one night when some gross dude came in and was feeling up on girls at the party – without needing external security a group of my female friends all got together and escorted him out onto the street. Thats a dream come true to me. There were all sorts of other types that came too. It was really beautiful to me and I know a lot of other people felt the same way.” AMEN, GIRL.
2. The Black Madonna
If The Black Madonna, the Creative Director of Chicago’s Smart Bar, known for her fluent and virtuoso vinyl sets, comes to your city or anywhere near where you are currently, you better rush to see her. Here’s her manifesto of dance music: “Dance music needs riot grrrls. Dance music needs Patti Smith. It needs DJ Sprinkles. Dance music needs some discomfort with its euphoria. Dance music needs salt in its wounds. Dance music needs women over the age of 40. Dance needs breastfeeding DJs trying to get their kids to sleep before they have to play. Dance needs cranky queers and teenagers who are really tired of this shit. Dance music needs writers and critics and academics and historians. Dance music needs poor people and people who don’t have the right shoes to get into the club. Dance music needs shirts without collars. Dance music needs people who struggled all week. Dance music needs people that had to come before midnight because they couldn’t afford full admission. Dance music does not need more of the status quo.”
Dutch DJ and former TrouwAmsterdam resident Sandrien is amazing. If you like techno that is as hard as it is melodic, get into her. What’s so great about Sandrien is the way she works to keep the gay scene and the techno scene linked together. Why shouldn’t the gays get great techno, too?
4. Miss Honey Dijon
Chicago-bred Miss Honey Dijon knows how to seduce club-goers with her unique sound that brings together classic house and disco, techno and tech house, and she is a darling of the underground club and fashion world. Listen to this Resident Advisor Exchange with Honey and hear her talk about what it feels like when then 7,000 records you’ve been collecting your whole life suddenly burst into flames in your storage unit.
5. Kim Ann Foxman
This former Hercules and Love Affair singer has moved beyond singing and focused on DJing and producing, and has rocked clubs from London to Berlin. She likes freaks, too! “I sometimes get worried that there are no longer enough freaks in the world…I love Grace Jones because she has balls and she’s the last alien on earth.”
Originally from the South of France Berlin-based rRoxymore performs live, dynamic sets that take you from the depths of disco to the heights of house music. She has performed at all the major clubs in the world, like Fabric, Panorama Bar and Kater Blau. Her selections will really keep you on your toes, even when you feel like you can’t dance anymore.
7. Tama Sumo
Tama Sumo got her start DJing in a bar in Kreuzberg that focused on house music when every other club in Berlin at the time played techno, later becoming a resident at Globus/Tresor where she played soulful vocal house. Her motivation “is and has been a mixture of fun and communication. Verbally as well as non-verbally. I love to create and play with different moods and atmospheres. I’m still fascinated by the fact that music can release a huge amount of energy and how music creates fun, jollying anyone along without any reason or principle. Music and bass in particular can make people happy!“ Tama Sumo plays New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh next week October 23, 24 and 25. DON’T MISS IT!!!!!