There's no doubt the dance music industry is lacking in the female DJ department. Not because female DJs aren't any good, but because fans seem to embrace the males first as that's the industry standard they are used to. Plus with female DJs out there like Paris Hilton ruining the fun for everyone, who can blame them?
BBC Radio 1 Queen of Dance Music, Annie Mac, is certainly sick of the stigma attached to being a female DJ and wants everyone to stop asking her about it. She's tried of being asked about being a DJ and a Mom, what it's like to DJ while pregnant, and even what it's like to DJ in heels. As far as she's concerned, DJ is a genderless word and her DJing skills shouldn't be judged based on the fact that she's a female DJ.
After 10 years of being asked the same type of sexist questions, Annie Mac took the liberty to answer the type of questions male DJs don't seem to get asked one final time. Check out how she sets the story straight below.
What’s it like to be a female DJ in this male dominated world? Do you ever experience sexism?
I hate to break it to you but I’ve never experienced sexism; from promoters or punters. If anything, at the start of my career when I was still an up-and-coming DJ, people seemed to be delighted that I was a woman out there doing my thing. There still always seems to be a row of curious and smiling girls at the front of my gigs and I love that. Not one male DJ has ever made me feel different or small because of my gender
Whats it like to be a Mother and a DJ?
Get this Mr. Music Journalist, it’s actually no different being a mum and a DJ than it is being a dad and a DJ. I learnt about parenthood from my fellow DJ friends, all of whom are male and brilliant inspiring fathers. People like DJ Zinc, DJ Yoda, Jas from Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan and Tiga. They grind. They leave home for weeks on end and leave their kids behind. Sometimes the lucky ones have wives who will bring their kids on tour with them, but mostly they miss their kids and their kids miss them and that is a very normal working situation for any parent who works away from home, male or female.
What’s it like being pregnant and being a DJ?
The last place in life you want to be when you are heavily pregnant is in a nightclub at 3am. You’re exhausted, nauseous, people are shouting in your face, the music is so loud you can feel the bass vibrate in your belly and you’re worried that your baby will have hearing damage for life. Everywhere you go, people are reminded of your sobriety and their inebriation. It’s a nightmare. So I didn’t work for four months. It was terrifying having to step down from a career that I’d been building for 10 years. It was also a year and half ago. I’ve moved on.
Can you DJ in a dress and heels?
Are you just trying to “support women” by recommending two female artists?
Believe it or not, it is possible to talk about two female artists without being tokenistic. There are countless female artists and female DJs who are quietly achieving all their dreams without using their gender as a tool. I have often been asked to play novelty all girl DJ line-ups and I’ve always had problems with it because I don’t want to be asked about being a girl, I don’t want to be a “token” booking. In the same way, I don’t support those female artists because they’re female but because they’re brilliant and compelling and inspiring and talented. And I will continue to support them, like I love and support the male ones, without considering their gender in the process.
Why aren’t there more female DJs?
There are shit loads of female DJs. Open your eyes. And your ears. They are coming through like wildfire. When you meet them, please for the love of God don’t ask them about being female.