So Friday night was Expressions, and as expected, it was a pretty great turn out. For those who don’t know, Expressions is a party featuring myself and Stefan pretty much playing our favourite music all night. Stefan opened up with some funky shit, I went on at 12, then we pretty much went back to back from there on out and I had the luxury of being able to close out the night with one my favourite Aakmael tracks. Being that I’m still pretty new to the DJ world, most parties I’m booked for have me scheduled as the opener, and everyones always telling me how great and how big of a responsibility it is because your “setting the tone of the night”, but I’m honestly still more of a get ahold of the crowd once the momentum is built so I can really get down type of gal. Which is one of the great things about being able to host my own events, I have complete control creatively; essentially, I can play what I want, when I want.
It’s not always easy being able to find an open weekend night at these popular venues to host your events, but I quickly learned that you’ve really gotta be persistent, keep asking, emailing, and inquiring until you get a response, or the response you want, that is. The number of venues hosting Electronic music events in Atlanta is pretty limited, so you really gotta “get in where you fit in”, and make those connections. Overall it was a successful night, and I really can’t explain how awesome it felt to be up there with my favourite people, playing my favourite music. I played everything from Alan Oldham to Larry Heard, to Antwon Faulkner to classic Ron Trent. Being a Black woman, playing music by Black artists who come from the same place as me really is a joy that more so can be felt than explained. One of the main reasons I wanted to start DJing in Atlanta was simply because I wasn’t hearing enough of the music I liked when I was out. Too many times I felt like I was forcing myself to dance, knowing in my heart that I had better music (IMO) at home on my damn Youtube playlists. Not to take away from anyone else, but I wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Being a woman, and being a DJ, has pretty much been a great experience for me thus far, and I am truly grateful that I’ve yet to experience some of those hardships I often hear women in the industry must face, especially just starting out. Trust, I’m positive at some point I’ll be faced with the bullshit, but best believe I’ve got my game face on. One thing I can attribute my recent success in DJing to is the fact that I’ve been a staple on the scene in Atlanta for some years now, and have spent countless nights (and dollars) on attending/supporting other people’s events. From Tambor Party, to Sunday School, to Distinctive, to Alley Cat, to Cardio to Project B, to Wiggle Factor etc. I’ve BEEN out here. Also, my ties in my hometown Detroit, still run very deep, and never will I forget where I came from, or the city/people who taught about this music. These connections/relationships have made the transition from “dancer to DJ” a smooth one, and I want to thank everyone that has believed in me enough to book me for their event, it really means a lot!
While I can’t support everyones events as much as I’d like these days, I’ve definitely made my presence known, and will continue to do so, but as of right now, I’m pretty much focused on supporting myself and my own goals & visions. I’m working on my technical skills, my blog, and acquiring as much quality music as possible to keep the people dancing. Being a woman in a role that is basically solely associated with men is not an easy task, yet I find it empowering, and theres nothing I love more than being up there expressing myself. Its a time to prove to all the non believers that I am capable, that WOMEN are capable, and that we are HERE and aren’t going anywhere….so please step aside and make way for MYSELF, and the many other women coming up in the game right now; we’re talented, deserving, and bringing a much needed aesthetic to the current bland and overly masculine state of dance music.