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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Age of the Female DJ

The Age of the Female DJ



Ok, so now that we have this culture of electronic dance music that has existed for over 20 years, where do you come in? So I realized that I have officially been DJing for 15 yrs. Wow! Whew! Celebrate! One of the biggest struggles I continue to face is dealing with promoters, venue owners, and others that want only SUPERSTARS in their venues. First question is how did those SUPERSTARS become part of the galaxy of electronic dance. I will tell you. Someone believed in them, promoted them freely, and told all their friends. Now that we (We I say we, I mean the culture as a whole) have broken through many ceilings in music, have you come of age with your craft?

Recently I was reading the Monthly Digital DJ tips and it really brought me to write. The article focuses on specifically the digital DJ. Well we have really only been digital about 8 years. The CD player really wasn’t popular until 2005. That was six years ago! I started on vinyl. I remember when the only you could buy vinyl in the record store (do those still exists). Then emerged the CD in 1990! Now we have flash drives as small as our lipsticks. When I really reflect back to how long I have been DJing, it has been a lot longer than 15 years. Ramona graduated from high school and mother through her a graduation party at our house. I said, “I will DJ.”

So, I set up the old, weathered, back picnic table with my dual cassette player that had a record player on top. I had three sources of sounds. You couldn’t tell me anything.

Well it was a success until I started to play the sounds of the underground at my cousin’s party. They didn’t understand the culture or music. Mother came and said, “Baby, if you are going to be a DJ. You better play what people want to here.”

Well that was a huge downer. Fast-forward about 8 years, I realized that what I was play people do want to hear. I just was promoting to the wrong audience. Go Figures. I became frustrated and never revisited the conversation until after my mom died. Besides, there might have been about three well know female DJs during that time. Mom always said, “Do what you love baby. And make money doing it.” That was one of the last things mother said to me on the phone a week before she died. I held onto that and here we are now, Jewel of Garnett© & SheFM©.

Now our future is so bright that the SUN has to wear shades!

It’s funny to look back and see that I was learning about flow, programming, beat matching, timing, editing, and merging equipment together, while completely oblivious to the skills I was teaching myself.

So – when did you start DJing or getting into performing/making music? What equipment did you use? Was it planned, or just did it happen by accident? And did you know at the time you’d eventually want to DJ properly, or – like me – could you simply not sit back and listen to your records without adding a bit of yourself into the equation too? Please share in the comments!