Beyonce’s baby sis, Solange Knowles, has become the new face of the movement that is the swelling proliferation of “the female DJ.” She’s been making her rounds, playing gigs from New York to St. Marteen, effectively spinning her way toward respect and notoriety. There hadn’t been a rep of her celebrity since Salt and Pepa’s “Spinderella.” Now there’s new momentum.
Just like seeing a hot woman driving a pickup truck or beating on a set of drums, watching women handle with finesse the wheels of steel in a DJ booth just does something to you, especially if they bring it. So, we’re excited about the prospect of the increased presence.
Traditionally, it was the rule that, no offense, rusty ankle men would act out their musical fantasies, mixing, scratching and cutting in some hot sweaty club or at party, experiencing the nirvana of working the crowd into a frenzy. But it’s a new day and enthusiastic and well-trained female music aficionados are becoming just as common a sight in the world of deejaying and turntablism.
Why it took so long for the breakthrough, who really knows, because women love music too, right? And it’s not like it takes a particular amount of braun these days … with everything going digital, it’s a choice as to whether or not heavy crates and turntables to lift are involved. Whatever the case, welcome to the craft, ladies, you’re a breath of fresh air.
For the aspiring female DJ, when you come, you’ll need to come hard to earn your respect. We love to look at you, but at some point the novelty will wear off and we’ll want to dance and have a good time.
Here are some great tips from accomplished DJ, Marcus Hamilton, aka “DJ Markie Dee” of Atlanta by way of Lexington, Ky., for women looking to get into the art of deejaying:
1. Study the craft. Engross yourself with the art form. Go to clubs, buy mixtapes, get on the internet to listen to DJ’s mixes and podcasts. Just be a student of the craft. Practice, practice, practice!!
2. Be versatile. Don’t pigeon hole yourself to just one genre of music. The more versatile you are, the more gigs you will book. It’s OK to have a favorite, but a good DJ can spin everything and not lose the crowd.
3. If you’re thinking about being a DJ, chances are you have a pretty good collection of music, be it MP3’s or vinyls. Continue to build your collection, and try to stay up on new releases.
4. Invest in good equipment. With so many choices out there, brands are putting out cheaper equipment to get you to buy their stuff. However, cheap is not always the way to go in the DJ world. Numark, Denon and Pioneer are brands I would suggest to look at.
5. Finally, when you DJ … show some personality! When you are into it, it will come across in the way you play. The crowd will feed off your energy and songs you play. I’m someone who really feeds off of the energy of the crowd. Once I get them to part of the party when it’s hyped up and everyone is having a good time — for a DJ there’s no better feeling.
6. Pick a fresh name for yourself, and stick with it. Let the name reflect something about you. Think of it as your alter ego when you spin.