Discwoman interviews Tama Sumo & Lakuti

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When we started Discwoman, Tama Sumo and Lakuti were always on our minds as folks to work with. I met Lakuti when i lived in London at and Anti-Racism conference that ended up being racist, we joined forces and called out the white organizers for creating an oppressive space for us. Since then we’ve remained great friends. Umfang and I have become huge fans of both Lakuti and Tama Sumo admiring their achievements with so much awe. Seeing Tama Sumo play at the Berghain garden was one of this summer’s highlights. As women in the industry it has been nothing short of motivating to have these kinds of role models to follow and now work with. Truly an honor to have this power couple play in our space and the opportunity to interview them. Enjoy.

-Frankie & UMFANG

Techno or House?

Lakuti: First came the blues then came disco and funk and hip hop and house along the way then techno. the moral of the story is – this music is rooted – and without those roots we will not be anywhere.

Tama: I want to be free in approach and play whatever moves me. This can go from House to Techno, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Disco, Broken Beat, Afro Beat…

How do you embrace digital music and how accessible it is vs. the sort of insider aspect of club music in the 90s? Do you think it’s ok for young people to access this music by stealing it off the internet?

Lakuti: I essentially play vinyl not to say that I am against digital music per se. I am a creature of habit and vinyl has been in and around me from when i was born. Both my grandfather and mother were music enthusiasts and mom had a suitcase full of records on top of the wardrobe in her bedroom and my late grandfather was heavily into jazz and I have gone on to inherit his collection upon his passing. My grandfather brought me my first 2 records when I was 7. One thing I will say though is that there is far too much emphasis on the medium itself rather than the message, is it not the music itself that should be playing top billing?
Regarding not paying for music. I believe we lose a lot if we do not pay for music. We lose a culture for 1 and I am a strong believer that artists need to be paid for their work. In a healthy society artists should be at the forefront as spiritual and mind healers and we can’t afford to lose the input of great artists simply because they need a roof over their head and therefore have to leave their craft in order to do that. Art can not just be in the hands of the rich which it is essentially already is and not paying for music is not helping matters.

Tama: Besides my personal preferences, in my opinion the discussion about the format got too much attention. I personally prefer to play vinyl as I find the sound warmer. Also I like the feel and touch of records. Nevertheless the digital format carries its advantages as well. One is that it makes music more accessible. We have to keep in mind that not every part of the world is blessed with many record shops for example. It is also easier for people with less money to have access to music. In terms of DJing: the conditions for playing records are not always perfect in clubs – it’s good if you have the digital option then. Or you are travelling and the airline loses your crate then the digital option becomes handy .
All in all I don’t care much what medium someone is using for playing – I am much more interested in the music that the person plays and whether it sounds great.
Stealing music off the internet on the other hand is a no go. Many musicians put a lot of work and heart in what they are doing and should be properly paid for it. Why should they work for free?

So many people glorify Berlin now as a capital of techno, does New York City’s house music history excite you in the same way?

Lakuti: Before Berlin came New York in my journey into this music. The Loft, Paradise Garage, Lime Light, The Shelter, Body & Soul + many more those are the things that played a huge influence on me . growing up in South Africa we were fed on a heavy dose of American television and we all aspired to be like something out of the Cosby show. Soul Train was also syndicated to south africa and american music was huge as well.

Tama: It actually excites me a lot! New York carries a wonderful and important heritage in music and club philosophy as well as current musicians without which we would not be where we are. If we speak of Techno my personal capital of Techno is still Detroit…

It’s easy to feel like a nihilist with the state of the world. Can you give us some thoughts about how music has eased feelings of doom in devastating political times in the past?

Lakuti: Music has provided some solace for me in the past and I suspect it will always serve as a life line. I have literally bawled my eyes out on many occasions hearing songs such as
Joe Smooth’s ‘Promised Land’, Sterling Void & Paris Brightledge’s ‘It’s Alright’, Mr Fingers – ‘Can you Feel it’, whilst growing up under apartheid. Powerful music with a message of hope.

Tama: Music is very powerful as much as it can heal. Songs like ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ by Nina Simone, ‘Whitey On The Moon’ by Gil Scott Heron, ‘Fight The Power’ by Public Enemy, ‘Sign O The Times’ by Prince or ‘Zombie’ by Fela Kuti just to name a few addressed what is going wrong politically and socially and/or asked for changes. For me music like this transports understanding, unity, gives hope, strength and vision and is is sadly very much needed these days.

Tama -you have said that you are a DJ sort of by accident. I like the idea that if you want to be a part of the underground you just start going. This makes it so approachable, how can we encourage young women to feel this way about things they wish to be a part of?

Tama: I also like the idea of just going or giving things a go even though when it comes to myself personally it is often difficult to be that spontaneous as I often think far too much.
But i would definitely encourage other women to believe in themselves and to not let anyone discourage them. It is important to also understand that everyone had to start somewhere. If it does not work today, keep at it and allow yourself the time to grow and learn. It is important that you stay true to yourself despite what the ‘market’ requires of you.

Paula temple recently mentioned in an interview with Resident Advisor that it doesn’t matter what kind of length set you play it’s up to the DJ, which I was really drawn to. What do you think of the idea that playing a long set proves your ability?

Lakuti Everyone has their own approach to things and it is not about right or wrong it’s about what works for you in what you want to achieve. For myself personally I have learned a great deal more since living in Berlin with it’s long clubbing hours. I mean you can’t stay on the 1st gear for a duration of 7 hrs. I find that longer hours afford me the time to tell a story, to have highs and lows in the set, which is something difficult to achieve in an hour.

Tama: I don’t think that a long set necessarily proves your ability. But I think a long set gives you more of a chance to tell your story with more variety. More set time allows you to connect to people more deeply and to play with different atmospheres.

There seems to be a conflict between the idea of a safe space, a members only club, and a welcoming environment for people to join in. Do you think there needs to be a bit of exclusivity to keep club culture feeling safe?

Lakuti: I think it all rests with the people behind the venue or event. It is what you set out to achieve with the event which will determine what kind of event you end up with. If the event and the venue is all about just finances you will feel it instantly. For me clubs or events should serve a higher purpose, that of providing a safe space where the day to day rules of oppression and discrimination do not apply.

Tama: For different reasons there will always be a bit of exclusivity involved. Human beings come with different interests, mindsets, attitudes, spread a certain energy…there will always be some people you feel connected to and some where you don’t. Of course I would want to have a welcoming atmosphere, but as much as you probably do it in your private life: you chose the people that you want to spend time with – and you avoid the others. This also goes for club life.

Where do you dream of playing?
Lakuti: It has been a lifelong dream to return back to South Africa and play in the townships and we will do just that on the 14th of January: playing in Langa, one of the townships on the outskirts of Cape town.

Tama: There is actually not a certain place where I dream of playing. I am happy if I can play in an environment with people that come with an open heart and mind. If we all can create a positive vibe and give something to each other and – that’s what I dream of.

There is a lot of pressure for people to move fast in artistic careers and take any opportunity handed to them. How do you encourage people to slow down and build their practice/ find their voice?
Lakuti: I think with everything happening so fast on the internet, it is easy for a new artist to feel that the step into ‘making it’ as an artist is easy. That you only need to make an EP and that everyone will then book you. This maybe a reality for some with influential publicists, PR company backings and so forth. This may work in the short term but in the long term no. You can’t fake the funk and it should be a lot more than that. Art should be something that enables us to grow as humans and therefore it can’t be treated as fast food. What legacy are we leaving for generations to come if we do not treat art with the importance it deserves? Who are our next Nina Simone, Stevie wonder, Prince, Billy Paul David Bowie?

What you love/hate about living in Berlin?

Lakuti: Berlin has afforded me a much better quality of life in terms of having a home that I do not have to share with 5 other people unlike my time in London. The streets are often quiet in my neighbourhood and there is so much space. I can properly switch off when I am home and feel like I am in the countryside. I cherish this silence so much. The food could do with a bit of improvement, I mean it is getting better but still not quite on the level of cities such as London & New York. The darkness in the winter is a real challenge.

Tama: I love my Berlin family. There are people that I am close friends with since nearly 30 years and also newer ones – they all mean the world to me and make Berlin special for me.
On the minus side – the distinction about ‘real Berliners’ and new ones, that is still quite vivid, it sucks big time.

How can people be more proactive to elevate others as they find their own success?
Understanding the importance of community & skill sharing is key to building a sustainable and thriving music community.

How can we demand better sound/ equipment setups from DIY promoters, when so often money can be an obstacle for people to get in to music in the first place?
Lakuti: A fair question though how many events are DIY events at this stage? I do not come across them that often. I think we must demand better conditions for the music to really properly come through and shine. I find it inexcusable not only for the music but for the people coming to events and paying not being able to appreciate the music due to the lack of decent soundsystems. It is not only the soundsystem that are often the issue, basics such as proper needles, decks been properly taken care off, decent monitors, clean slipmats e.t.c.
I think with also not crazy money you are able to achieve a lot. It boils down to also empowering oneself by learning from the already available resources out there on youtube, Red bull Music Academy as well via their lecturers. There just needs to be a desire to do things right and caring.

What have you learned about music recently that surprised you?
Tama: Thanks to a lot of represses of African, Latin and Brazilian music and Jazz I learn and discover a lot of new beautiful music.

DISCWOMAN 05 x ABBY

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I met Abby at Tandem Bar (RIP) initially bonding over biscuits and gravy, nguzunguzu and Total Freedom. Abby’s mix for Discwoman is lit. Upon first listen made me rip my clothes off and run around my apartment. Can’t wait to reunite in Detroit for an epic DW showcase.

 

when did you start djing?
5 years ago i started to dabble in Detroit.   Didn’t start doing it seriously until 2013 maybe (s/o to DW boss Christine for my first NYC gig!!!)  I also made my first ‘mix’ when i was 8 and still have the CD 😉

first gig?
An art opening for my friend in Detroit .. Dj’d as ‘DJ Abby Wabby’ ha ha.  That night was crazy… If you’re my friend and i trust you i’ll show you the horrible promo video

favorite party ever played?
I dj’d a Dagger party at spectrum (RIP) and it was the most insane 4 hour Dj sprint of my life .  My set was from 430-830 am & there were people there going crazy til the very end.  Once the sunrise started to come through the skylight i played way more chill stuff that i love like cocteau twins & this mortal coil .. very rare that you will see me dj ‘calm’ music.  it was a very magical (and exhausting) night

fave DJ
i have two favorite DJ’s for two very different sides of me .. if i wanna relax or study or whatever, I always listen to any mix made by Ramzi.  If i wanna rage and embrace crazy Abby I go straight to Jikuroux from Sydney’s page.  Have yet to see Jikuroux live but i pray that changes!

fave producer
i got to spend two weeks playing shows w/ Air Max ’97 and he has the most insane & impressive secret stash of tunes and bootlegs i’ve ever seen.  He also shared so much helpful abelton & production knowledge with me that he taught to himself so I have eternal respect for him as my producer sensei

pet peeve when djing
Last time I played in NYC they had the entire sound system plugged into one janky ass loose power strip and I kicked it within 5 min of my set and shut every thing down . Really killed my mood !! Keep loose cords away from me please I am very clumsy

what’s best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
i dont know!!!  i’ve encountered so many nice amazing people that have made me feel wonderful…. but the funniest compliment for music i’ve ever heard was this youtube comment I jus read on some detroit rap song that says: ‘every body I fuck tired of this song……’ my new goal is to produce something that makes somebody want to say this to me

place you’d like to play?
In the middle of Times Square on a giant revolving DJ platform with all of the mega screens in my control

something you want everyone to know about you
My mom saw nine inch nails live while she was pregnant with me I think it explains a lot

 

DISCWOMAN MEXICO CITY #2: ESAMIPAU

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When did you start DJing or producing?
I started DJing almost 10 years ago, and just started producing about a year ago.

First Gig in Mexico?
My first gig was a british music themed party (2006 maybe?) a couple of friends and I organized at an old hotel in downtown D.F. We wanted to raise money and couldn’t afford a DJ so we asked one of our friends at the radio station to show us the basics on the equipment so we could at least play some songs. He showed us “Cue”, “Play” (obviously), and volume up and down.

Favorite party ever played?
One of the most fun parties I’ve ever played was this year for the 15th of september (the day of the Mexican Revolution). The place was really crowded, no A/C, there was sweat dripping from the roof on to the turntables, and me and everyone, but no one minded because we were already sweating from all the dancing going on. My favorite parties are the ones where people just let go of everything and dance until the party is over.

Favorite woman DJ?
I really like Miss Kittin.

Best record you´ve ever bought. ONLY ONE.
That’s hard! Live at Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash

How would you define the term Discwoman?
I think its about being passionate, proud and active about a skill that is commonly associated to a man. Men are not the only ones that can lead an audience to a good party, and women can also have great taste in music. It’s about getting what you want through your skills and respectful to a craft that is easily turned into a tacky pin-up photo opportunity when it comes to women.

What annoys you most when DJing/performing? 
People trying to tip you so you play the songs they want.

Do you dance when you DJ?
At first I didn’t, I got too nervous being up there and trying to make the least mistakes possible. Now I do, and I really enjoy how the set flows wen you dance, and I feel a little more comfortable with being on stage and with my skills. I still make mistakes though, not that many but when I do, I don’t take them too seriously.

Can you DJ when wasted?
I can but if I do, I start second guessing what I want/should play, and I feel people can sense that, so they kind of get uncomfortable too.

What’s the best compliment you´ve ever gotten?
I did a warm up for Branko in D.F. for his Atlas tour, he got there before I was supposed to be done. I didn’t see him but a friend told me he was enjoying it. After his set he came up to me and told me he had really liked my set and that he felt that I really understood what that sound (Global Club Music) was about.

Place you’d like to play?
Any place in any city that is not afraid of letting tropical vibes into their system.

Something you want everyone to know about you. 
I love DJing because I love seeing people get excited over the same music I get excited about. Be it Tropical Bass, Techno or a regular club night in they city playing hits and classics, I love to create a sort of dialogue between the people and me through the music I select for them. I really enjoy seeing all the moods you can generate through different types of music and sets. It like being partners in crime for a night.

ESPAÑOL

Cuándo empezaste a producir o ser dj?
Empecé a poner discos hace 10 años, y apenas empecé a producir este año.

Tu primera tocada en México?
Fue una fiesta de música británica que organizamos unos amigos y yo, creo que en el 2006. Queríamos juntar varo y no podíamos pagarle a un DJ así que le pedimos a uno de nuestros amigos de Ibero 90.9 que nos enseñara el funcionamiento básico para poder tocar. Nos enseñó el botón de “Cue”, obviamente el de “Play” y a subir y bajar el volumen de cada canción.

Tu fiesta favorita en la que has tocado?
Una de las fiestas más divertidas en las que he tocado fue este año para el 15 de septiembre. El lugar estaba llenísimo, no había aire acondicionado o ventilación, y hacía tanto calor que caían gotas de sudor del techo. Caían encima del equipo, encima de mi y de todos pero a nadie le importó porque ya estábamos todos sudando de tanto bailar. Mis fiestas favoritas en general son donde la gente se olvida de todo y baila hasta que la fiesta se acaba.

Tu dj mujer favorita?
Me gusta mucho Miss Kittin.

El mejor disco que hayas comprado. Sólo menciona UNO.
Está dificil escoger solo uno, pero tendría que decir que Live at Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash

Cómo definirías el termino de Discwoman?
Creo que se trata de ser activa, se apasionada y estar orgullosa de dominar algo que generalmente está asociado con un hombre. Los hombres no son los únicos que pueden llevar una fiesta y tampoco son los únicos que pueden tener buen gusto musical. Siento también que se trata de salir adelante en base a tu trabajo y respetando algo que, cuando se trata de una mujer, es súper fácil que se convierta en algo barato como fotos de mal gusto de modelos en poca ropa.

Qué es lo que más te molesta cuando estas tocando?
Cuando las personas intentan darte propina para que les pongas lo que ellos quieren.

Bailas cuando tocas?
Al principio no bailaba nada porque me ponía muy nerviosa nada más el estar tocando y me concentraba muchísimo en equivocarme lo menos posible. Ahora ya bailo mucho más y me gusta mucho el flow que agarran los sets cuando bailas. También tiene que ver con que ahora me siento mucho más cómoda al estar mezclando, confío más en mi técnica y obviamente aun me equivoco, pero cuando lo hago ya no me lo tomo tan a pecho, más bien me rio y ya.

Puedes tocar hasta el huevo?
Si puedo pero cuando lo hago empiezo a dudar de lo que tenía en mente poner y siento que al final eso también lo percibe la gente y se van incomodando al mismo tiempo que tu.

Cuál es el mejor cumplido que te han hecho?
Hace poquito hice un warm up para Branko en el D.F. cuando vino a promocionar su EP Atlas. Él llegó al lugar un rato antes de que yo terminara y yo no lo ví pero una amiga me dijo que le había gustado lo que estaba mezclando. Cuando terminó su set, se me acercó y me dijo que le había gustado mucho mi set y que sentía que realmente entendía de lo que se trataba ese sonido (Global Club Music) :)

En que lugar te gustaría tocar?
En cualquier lugar de cualquier ciudad en donde no tengan miedo de dejar entrar un poco de tropicalidad a sus sistema.

Algo más que te gustara compartir
Me gusta mezclar porque me encanta ver a la gente emocionarse por las mismas canciones que a mi también me emocionan en el momento. Ya sea una fiesta de Tropical Bass, o techno o una noche normal en un club poniendo éxitos, me encanta crear una especie de dinámica entre la gente y yo a través de las rolas que selecciono para ellos. Me gusta mucho ver las reacciones que puedes generar en las personas a través de diferentes estilos musicales y DJ sets. Es como ser complices por una noche.

DISCWOMAN MEXICO CITY #1: PUMA

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When did you start DJing or producing?

It was more than 10 years ago, I remember because I was just getting starting college. One weekend before college, I played for the first time and it was a nice environment and friends responded well to the experience. Since then, each time I select music people keep on coming back with great feedback, so I was motivated to continue to share music.

First Gig in Mexico:

In 2010. I opened for Hercules and Love Affair´s first act in México City. It was a large room, full of 800 – 1000 people. I was so into my set and my music because I had been practicing and getting my set ready for a couple weeks at least. I really performed and let go. The result was so memorable, years after people still brought it up as a conversation theme when I saw them. From that, meant that delivering important experiences, when you connect with people is something that I hunt for when I am djing, or with my curatorial work in general.

Favorite party ever played:

I DJ’d at La Santanera Terrace, surrounded by friends and I had a wonderful blast! I just played a friend’s wedding in Mérida this past weekend. I still can´t stop laughing and remembering how great time we had together. i related with them through music. It is definitely an experience that will leave me marked for life, we were just discussing those kind of memorable experiences.

Favorite woman DJ:

Lena Wilikens – I recenty saw her set in MUTEK_MX, Wow, she had an accident in Mérida, broken leg. Still, got carried into the stage, sat down, drank red bull and smoke all through the set. Only looking down.  Concentrated on her set. So neural and intelligent sensibility. I think she is top 3 dj´s touring the world right now. I hope her career expands, I would be curious to see where she goes next.

Best record you´ve ever bought. ONLY ONE.

Record shopping with Matias Aguayo in México has been one of the most entertaining experiences I´ve had. He goes from Miami Sound Machine to Frankie Goes to hollywood in one hunt. I got a Claudia Barry record my father used to listen to, “Love for the sake of Love”

How would you define the term Discwoman?

It means a shift of a mindset. Of course it has a direct relation to women in music, but also, to the way culture has been built and imposed on us women. I am well aware that putting some attention in subtleties like this, can make a difference in order to help people expand the ways they have been taught to think about our surroundings and culture. So, can I also describe it as a political stance with a bit of humor?

What annoys you most when DJing/performing?

A bad sound system. It is painful to make to see, hear and play with.

Do you dance when you DJ?

I just don´t stop! I love to dance! Hands up and everything! Dancing is like a therapy for me, makes me feel very well the next day.

Can you DJ when wasted?

Yes. Not before, much more today. When I do a long club night from 1:30 AM to 6:00 AM you can cook up the crowd until the verge of you playing whatever you like. Fucked up at 5:00 am tastes like glory, yahoo!

ESPAÑOL

Cuándo empezaste a producir o ser dj?

Creo que fue por accidnete. Siempre he tenido una relación estrecha con la música, desde bebé, pero fue hace como diez años. Casi 11. Me acuerdo por que estaba justo entrando a la Universidad. Una semana antes de entrar, me fui de fiesta con amigos y en algún momento del fin, todos teníamos que atender al soundsistema y nunca dejarlo solo. Cuando me tocó a mi, una tarde, todos mis amigos estaban crudos y echados y disfrutaron mucho de mi selección. De ahí en adelante que cada vez que seleccionaba música, los escuchas siempre respondieron bien, motivándome cada vez más a seguir.

Tu primera tocada en México?

Voy a considerar como mi primer gig (no selector, no amateur) el ser tesonera en el 2010 para el primer gig de Hercules and Love Affair en el DF. Fue en el Covadonga y toqué frente a unas 800 o 1000 personas. Estuve súper en control, llevaba como dos semanas preparando ese set –y creo que se notó– que disfruté mucho la presentación, me dejé ir y conectamos. El resultado fue tan memorable que asistentes, años después, me seguían platicando cómo se acordaban de esa noche. Para mi, ese gesto me hizo entender que lo que busco cuando toco es tratar de generar experiencias que no se olviden al conectar con tu público.  que se queden contigo. Cosa difícil en estos momentos. Esto es algo que procuro no solo como DJ, sino con mi trabajo curatorial en general.

Tu fiesta favorita en la que has tocado?

Hay varios lugares que ya son como casa o favoritos. Me gustan las club nights mucho. Este año toqué en la Santanera en Playa del Carmen y fue una gran gran noche. Vengo de tocar en una boda en Mérida que me dejó marcada de por vida, justo hablábamos de esas experiencias. Y esa fiesta, no se olvida por todas las cosas maravillosas que pasaron en ella : )

Tu dj mujer favorita?

Lena Wilikens. La acabo de ver en Mutek_MX. Wow, justo, acababa de tener un accidente en Mérdia y traía una férula. la cargaron hasta el escenario, se sentó. Bebió Red Bull y fumó tabaco rolado las hora y media de su set. Muy concentrada, entregó una de las sensibilidades más neurales e inteligentes que he escuchado en mucho tiempo. Para mi, es de las top 3 Dj´s tureando el mundo ahora. Ojalá escale más su carrera, me encantaría ver que hace después.

El mejor disco que hayas comprado. Sólo menciona UNO.

Ir de compras con Matías Aguayo es una de las experiencias más entretenidas que he tenido. Me ha tocado comprar cosas con el desde Miami Sound Machine hasta Frankie Goes to hollywood. Con el encontré un disco de Claudja Barry que recuerdo tenía mi papá, Love for the Sake of Love, un himno del slow-mo disco.

Cómo definirías el termino de Discwoman?

Significa un cambio de mentalidad. Pero claro que tiene una relación directa con las mujeres en la música, pero también en como la cultura se ha construido e impuesto a nosotras las mujeres. Estoy muy consciente que el poner atención a temas como estos hará una diferencia para ayudar a cambiar la mentalidad de la gente y su percepción en la cultura. Asi que, podría describirlo como una acción política con algo de humor?

Qué es lo que más te molesta cuando estas tocando?

Un mal sistema de sonido. Aunque los estándares han subido mucho en México, hace cinco años, como sufría por la falta de buenos sistemas de sonido. Es horrible ver a alguien talentoso sufriendo por no tener las condiciones adecuadas para entregar su acto.

Bailas cuando tocas?

No paro! Me encanta bailar. Es de las cosas que más disfruto. Bailar es como terapia para mi. Me hace sentir bien al día siguiente, claro. Si es que ha valido la pena.

Puedes tocar hasta el huevo?

Últimamente si, antes no. Cada vez más seguido y es cuando mejor me la paso jaja* Cuando hago un gig largo de 1:30 a 6:00 trabajar al crowd para que a las 5:00 yo esté hasta el huevo y pueda tocar lo que yo quiera para auto-complacerme, es lo más gratificante de una noche en un club! Yahoo!

DISCWOMAN Q+A: SINGAPORE’S ATTAGIRL!

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Interview with A/K/A AND DURIO: 2/3 of Singapore’s women DJ collective ATTAGIRL! Playing W Hotel FOR DISCWOMAN July 8, 2015

When did you start DJing? 

A/K/A: I learned a couple of tricks from friends and took a short little course when I was 17, but I properly started Djing in 2012 when I joined the FFF Girl DJ Bootcamp in a month long program founded by some of the best female DJs in Singapore.

DURIO: End of 2012

How did ATTAGIRL! come about?

A/K/A: We all met at the bootcamp, Serene (Durio), Shy (Jaydah) and I (AKA). A year on after that, Serene and I were catching up over drinks, and thought perhaps we should start some project together following up from our FFF mentors. We thought to start parties to encourage girls to get creative together and pulled Shy in. The rest was history.

First gig in Singapore:

A/K/A: The FFF Bootcamp graduation party. It was held at the Wine Bar in Zouk, the oldest, and one of the best clubs in Singapore.

DURIO: FFF Girl DJ Bootcamp graduation bash

Favorite party ever played: 

A/K/A: I haven’t played many big gigs, but I got my first opportunity this year to play Beats and Beyond with party promoters Good Times and Singapore label Darker Than Wax. Nothing feels better than playing with people you really respect, and for friends who truly support and enjoy your selection.

DURIO: ATTAGIRL! parties! And a memorable one in Malaysia where i DJ for a charity event on a rooftop in an old heritage street filled with people.

Favorite woman DJ: 

A/K/A: B.Traits, Annie Mac, Ikonika, Mary Ann Hobbs, TOKiMONSTA, Maya Jane Coles, Singaporean DJs Reiki and Angela Flame.. Some of the few that I love for different kinds of music.

DURIO: I have big love for my talented ATTAGIRL! partners, and many Singapore based DJs. Besides that, current fav will be Ikonika and Madam X.

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Photo of A/K/A

Best record you’ve ever bought: 

A/K/A: This is so hard. But ok, I’ll go with Underworld’s live album Everything Everything. This was the one that started it all for me in 2000. It still brings back a lot of memories.

How would you define the term DISCWOMAN?

A/K/A: Innovation, progression, fun.

DURIO: Discwoman bring girls together through music (Just like ATTAGIRL!).

Pet peeve when DJing:

A/K/A: When people come up and say I should play something more “trancey”, “fist-pumping”, “less boring” or anything else. It’s rude, we aren’t just entertaining you, at least make a polite request instead of demanding music as if the whole club belongs to you.

DURIO: No drinks.

Do you dance when you DJ?

A/K/A: I guess! I move a little, haha.

DURIO: Depending on how much drinks i’ve had.

Can you DJ when wasted? 

A/K/A: I tried, and I wouldn’t recommend doing that too often.

DURIO: Better then ever!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?

A/K/A: From a DJ in Tokyo who listened to my set on dublab.jp and said it was so enjoyable and I should be playing for one of the most respected bass nights in Tokyo. My heart swelled.

Place you’d like to play: 

A/K/A: Anywhere that has good people and good vibes.

DURIO: NYC (Dream come true!), Berlin, London, Tokyo, any parts of the world!

Something you want everyone to know about you:

A/K/A: I really like instant noodles. Just don’t eat too much of that though, you might lose all your hair :)

DURIO: I’m in love with the coco..nut drinks!

DURIO

Photo of DURIO

DISCWOMAN MONTREAL #6: FRANKIE TEARDROP

FRANKIE_TEARDROP_1

When did you start DJing?
I started DJing 2 years ago at my first event.

First gig in Montreal:
My first gig was in Vancouver at an event called WiG.

Favorite party ever played:
Oh my god so many I can’t choose. Probably TRYST, a secret queer after hours thrown by the great J’vlyn and Dani. Or my last LIP event at Poisson Noir.

Favorite woman DJ:
Mmm Yung Bambii.

Best record you’ve ever bought:
Downtown Boys, Full Communism! (I don’t mix with their music but they’re one of my fave bands from Providence).

How would you define DISCWOMAN?
Discwoman has created a space for women/female-identified DJs  to show their talent. Each night is a full line up of rad DJs who play together and bring attention to this otherwise male-dominated scene. Discwoman is a place for everyone to witness skilled female (and/or identified) DJs who have a voice for change and music to dance to.

Pet peeve when DJing?
Dudes coming behind the booth to ‘help me DJ’ by either pushing buttons on my mixer, asking me if I know what kind of controller I am using, taking my headphones off me and putting them on, or touching my duct tape outfits aka me.

Do you dance when you DJ?
YES, THAT’S WHY IM THERE.

Can you DJ when wasted?
Liquid courage helps me feel fearless sometimes so I guess I can. I find Im sloppier when I’m stiff, nervous, and trembling on stage but then again I don’t like to drink every time I DJ so I had to get over that.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
“You taught me so much.” From a sweetie friend who came to LIP and saw me DJ with my two other queer DJ friends. He started Dj’ing and has been nervous to enter into the competitive bro-dominated Dj scene and saw that there ARE different environments where DJs have fun dancing, playing music, encouraging each other, and are queer and friendly as hell.

Place you’d like to play:
SAT dome, its happening July 16! Berghain next year pls.

Something you want everyone to know about you:
I play in a band called Ursula and I run a fest with my partner called Slut Island. See you on Saturday!