DJ Lissa Monet On What's It Like Being A Woman DJ In This Industry
I was doing what I always do, surfing the web for content that I want to share with ya'll like this interview by media queen Toni Francis. Francis and Toronto based DJ, Lissa Monet chat about this new wave of women DJs that have seemingly been given opportunities to proceed because of their looks rather than talent.
Personally, I use the term women instead of female because the term is sometimes problematic. It is used to describes the sexe and fails to represent women entirely because not all women are born female (This is an entirely other argument/discussion about gender/sex binaries that we wont get into.. today)
ANYWAYS, the main argument they discuss is that pretty girls who have that "glamorized" look that we see (pretty face, fat ass, thin waste), are automatically handed opportunities and become "superstar" DJs. She explains that she isn't saying that there aren't pretty women who can also DJ, and DJ WELL.
The issue is that, there is already a lack of POSITIVE representations of women within the DJ & music industry, and by only giving women opportunities because of their physical appearance enforces the boundaries that women face within the industry, where they must choose their image over their talent. This is exactly what happened to the Hip Hop & Rap scene, where labels stopped signing women unless they were willing to uphold this expected "look". It is entirely NOT progressive. It is not always about the quantity, but the quality.
"in the end of the day, DJ'ing is skill based profession. Skilled-based in a sense that you need to have a huge knowldge of music, you need to know how to count bars, you have to know when to cue songs, you have to know what a down beat it, you have to know how to mix two songs. There is just a lot to think about."
She explains that the thing about DJ'ing that hurts her, is the way that it has evolved.
"In the sense that it is not about the art form anymore. It's about how many big songs you can play in a span of 15 minutes or how turnt you can get a crowd. There are so many elements to DJ'ing, like knowing how to pace a crowd, knowing how to read a crowd, knowing if another DJ plays a song you were, what you are going to do in lieu of that. There's just a lot of mental preperation and no one thinks about that. But there is a method to the madness. "
Watch the full video below
Toni + All Social: @thetonifrancis
Lissa Monet: Instagram/Twitter: @heylissamonet