The number of “millennial” POC DJing, producing, and promoting dance music is staggeringly low, and I want to change that; but how does one change that in a world where most Black kids rather hear Future or Beyonce, and think Techno is “white people music”?
Hmm, where shall I begin? Well, I suppose I figured it was high time I placed my opinions, experiences, etc. somewhere a bit more relevant, (and a lot less superficial) than Facebook or Twitter. Being a modern day Black woman, I have a lot of say, and I think there might be some people out there who actually give a damn. First let me introduce myself, so you can get a better idea of who I am and what I’m about. In this blog I’ll try to be as transparent as possible, which I’m hoping will be therapeutic for me, and authentic for you.
My name is Ashleigh Teasley, aka Ash Lauryn, and I’m an up and coming DJ from Detroit, Michigan, who’s currently based in Atlanta, GA. I currently work in the customer service/hospitality field and am at point where I’m willing to do whatever it takes to escape the monotony of the 9-5 life. Don’t get me wrong, my job can be fun/cool at times, but the thought of not having to sit at a desk for 40 hours a week seems more than appealing. That being said, I’m finally starting to get a little buzz around my name as a DJ which I’m equally proud and happy about. I’m aware that I’m barely ankle deep in the industry, but I’m further than I was a year ago, or even a few months ago, so I can’t complain.
I’m choosing to focus this blog mainly on my experiences as a new DJ, POC, and Female POC, trying to strive in the Electronic Music world (and a few other odds and ends). With all the female collectives, DJs, and producers, finally getting some respect and shine, I feel blessed to have entered the game at such an empowering time. What better time to express my experiences than when people are finally starting to pay attention? In terms of being a POC in Electronic Music, I feel like my presence is necessary; mainly because we live in a world where Black Music is constantly subjected to “white washing”, and I’m tired of it. We also must deal with the sobering fact that a lot of our Black hero’s in Electronic Music will retire at some point, and the torch will need to be carried on. This fact in itself has caused a sense of urgency within me to keep their (our) legacy alive. The number of “millennial” POC DJing, producing, and promoting dance music is staggeringly low, and I want to change that; but how does one change that in a world where most Black kids rather hear Future or Beyonce, and think Techno is “white people music”? I’m yet to figure out the answer, but in the mean time I’d like to start some sort of dialogue on these topics, and perhaps even one day be able to make some type of difference in expanding our representation in dance music. Where is our future representation in dance music?
In closing, if you’ve managed to read this far, I’m pleased, and I want to to know that I’m dedicated to my cause. Underground Dance Music is my life, and anything I can do contribute to the preservation of this culture, I plan to act upon. I’m going to be documenting my experiences Movement Festival weekend in Detroit, and giving you a taste of what it’s like for me attending the festival for the first time as a DJ. In the coming months I also plan to conduct some interviews, and showcase mixes courtesy of friends and new friends alike. Feel free to follow me on my other social media outlets to be updated on new blog posts, mixes, etc. Thanks again for reading, and much love to you and yours!