Ready to make DJ’ing your career? Kitsuné x shesaid.so 24h Mix DJ’s Share Their Advice
10 women-identifying DJ’s share their biggest career challenges and top advice for aspiring DJ’s.
This March, shesaid.so partnered with Kitsuné in a shared mission to connect people through music all around the globe. Part of our collaboration included a 24-hour live stream with thirteen talented up-and-coming artists from different countries on BandsinTown’s Twitch channel, followed by the release of a 24-hour audio mix compilation on Kitsuné Musique’s Soundclound channel.
Keen to share their experiences and advice with aspiring DJ’s, we asked them about their biggest challenge they have overcome, as well as their top piece of practical advice for DJ’s wanting to progress their career in the early stages.
Andy 4000 takes us back to Paris as a rising Trap DJ, with a heavy hitting sound. Mixing 90’s Hip Hop, Afrobeat and Brazilian, the Rinse FM radio host stands strong and shine in her mixes that feature the latest tunes not to missed. (Soundcloud)
“I think the biggest challenge in my career as a female DJ is being accepted for what I’m playing and for everything I did or still trying to do to contribute in this industry.
The best advice is believing in yourself first, and never forget that practicing is the key.”
Born in Gabon and now straight from Paris, Banga brings her Afro funk-infused music, drawn from her years living in Angola, Nigeria and her strong connexion with Brazil. A refreshing sound with electronic declinations and some of her own music productions, Banga makes listeners travel through her international journey. (Soundcloud)
“From my experience my biggest challenge as a DJ was to keep it up with DJ sets while producing music at the same time. I’ve always wanted to integrate my own productions into my sets, composing music takes a considerable amount of time (it took me years to learn). When you’re DJing around or touring you have to prepare for each performance and finishing a remix you must deliver at the same time can become a rough task.
First of all, you need to believe in yourself, do not hesitate to experiment to be weird & unique, some people might project their own fears on you, and you should not listen to all advices you receive. Be confident and trust your instinct always. Last thing I would say is you need to have discipline it’s all about hard work and consistency.”
In Tokyo, Shioriybradshaw graces us with a soundtrack that mixes a wide variety of sounds including industrial and experimental, creating her own unique DJ style. (Soundcloud)
“I’m not good at public speaking since I was a child. But that thing was one of the reasons I stopped growing. The world has changed a lot since I changed my mind. It is important to believe in yourself and not be afraid of change.
Work hard, play harder!”
Atlanta hosts Whitney AbstraKt whose intention is to build a platform by pushing eclectic sounds, as opposed to following fame. Her focus is to drive brand alignment, bringing awareness to marginalized groups and relevant social issues.
“The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome in my DJ career is sticking with it, even when the business wasn’t there. There was a time where I wouldn’t get booked at all, and that was discouraging early on. I wanted to quit! But sticking with it, and continuing to do it for the love of the craft helped me breakthrough. All it takes is for one person to believe in you and see that you’re dope. The right doors will open just for you.
I would say really focus on smooth transitions and great song selection. Transitions can make or break a good DJ, but even seasoned professionals have them sometimes. Also, chances are if you love a particular song or sound, there’s someone listening who loves that same sound too! Don’t be afraid to play new music. It doesn’t have to be what everyone else is listening to. Whoever is listening will remember you played a song they loved and haven’t heard in a while, or put them on to someone new.”
In Shanghai, Ji Na plays multi-genre sets with creative curations. Drawing inspiration from her listening tastes from Jazz to Soul and Broken Beat, Ji Na represents the next generation of club DJs not to be missed!
“I don’t think I’ve overcome the biggest challenge yet.
Learn from your favourite DJs, practice with friends and support each other.
Show up and be present — you never know what opportunities you might get!”
Shacia Päyne brings her 90’s dancehall mix from Los Angeles. Her DJ style is influenced by her Jamaican/American background, mixing dancehall and reggae with other genres like soul, afro and hip hop. With her belief that music is the road to liberation, DJ Shacia Päyne captivates her audience by keeping them dancing their way to freedom. (Soundcloud)
“Biggest challenge was 2020 — challenging me to get deeper into myself n craft.
Patience, timing, be yourself, play for the love not for the likes.”
Back in Los Angeles, multidisciplinary creative and artist, Sahar Habibi, provides an upbeat mix inspired by the nightlife scene during her Paris travels. While always digging deep for new music, Sahar keeps you on your toes with her rhythm blends ranging from dancehall, house, and classic R&B. (Soundcloud)
“To stop getting in my own way.
Stay true to the music you want to play (this will define your taste and separate your uniqueness from the rest), watch and learn different techniques from various types of DJ’s, and continue to practice your craft.”
Based in Tokyo, YonYon showcases underground gems from Future Beats to Hip Hop, UK Bass, House and Techno. Known for intuitive mixing style, the DJ, music producer and radio personality knows how to get the audience vibing throughout her sets. (Soundcloud)
“Like the trend of music changes over time, audience of every dance floor changes. I have faced a difficulty of keeping a balance between so called trend/shift in time versus maintaining my artistic originality. It sure is a funny time in the world with [the] current COVID 19 situation. But yet, this has [given] me time to prepare for my next stage in [my] career, by listening to different music and learning day by day.
Definitely to listen bunch of music in different audio output; earphones, speakers, car audio, and banging dance floor sound system. Any music can be heard differently with different audio output, which is a key factor to gain your “dance floor sensitivity”. Everyone has [a] hard time within their career, but it all comes to who kept their ambition together and never quit. A chance will come, stay humble!”
Sujin welcomes us in Seoul where she plays 90’s Old School, RnB, chill-out and Soulful music on her turntables. Expect the model known for her recent shoot for Dazed Beauty, Eyesmag and Vans to share some groovy gems! (Soundcloud)
“The video shooting mix is a big challenge as we communicate on video content channels these days during the COVID-19 period. Because when I stand in front of the camera, I am always nervous and more nervous!
It is good to discover good music and show steady work. And your sense of choosing good music.”
DJ Kade from Bangkok, bringing 90’s to early 00’s RnB flair to her set. Well known for developing her own style after performing on DJ championship back in 2012, DJ Kade loves to show her music passion through her eclectic mixes. (Soundcloud)
“I have been challenge[d] everyday. Being a female DJ means it is harder to prove yourself to make people not stereotype you as just a female, [as opposed to] just being a DJ. Your skill and your selection [and] even how to connect people with music or deal with an unexpected situation are very important too. Also, to maintain your vibe but still flexible to not lose who you really are.
Practice and prepare is the most important things also you need to identify your audience to put the right selection with [the] right crowd. Also sometime[s] you need to improvise by observing your audience and go with [the] flow.”
We also created a shesaid.so x Kitsuné Women’s Day Fund which will provide hardship payments to freelancers, contractors and artists in the independent music industry whose income has been severely affected due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The fund will support creators and executives from the shesaid.so community that have lost committed income or have not been able to secure novel paid work in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Follow this link to find out more about the Fund.