Women On Deck: Profiles of All-Female DJ Collectives

When’s the last time any attention was paid to women who rock the turntable? Not female talent on the air behind the microphone of radio stations, but female DJs, scratching, mixing and producing new sounds?

While the debate will continue to storm on about feminism and its role in the Kesha/Dr Luke opus, Aurora Mitchell over at The Fader has pulled together a great list of female DJ collectives, groups of women making names for themselves in what is largely believed to be a world fueled by the XY chromosome combination and lots of testosterone and, probably, some kind of energy drink.

“While we’re living in an unequal world, it remains crucial to support voices that may not always feel comfortable with the bro culture of clubs,” Mitchell writes. “Speaking to The FADER over email, Paula Temple puts it this way: ‘Maybe when we reach the point where sidelining, gaslighting, denying, undermining, taking over, reductionism, hostile environments and sexual harassment have disappeared, there would be less of a reason to create all-female projects.'”

Among her highlights:

  • Discwoman (New York), a trio of women who have been spinning tracks since 2014. Discwoman recently announced a residency at Chicago’s Smart Bar this year in addition to hitting clubs in the UK, Chile, Colombia and India.
  • Sister (International), which Mitchell describes as “an online collective that takes its form in a series of Soundcloud mixes and also a private Facebook group made for discussing and sharing music between female and non-binary people.”
  • Work In Progress (Toronto), the project of DJ and promoter Cindy Li “solely dedicated to playing productions made by women,” according to Mitchell. Li brought the aforementioned Discwoman to Toronto in collaboration with her friend Nancy Chen and the two intend to create more events in the future.

    Read Mitchell’s entire list here.


Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 523 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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