Where The Lady DJs At?
In a overwhelmingly male-dominted industry, Roxxy Cottontail says women DJs need “big balls.”
While women made big gains in the U.S. Senate this election last week, their “new coalition” counterparts in the EDM world still remain virtually non-existent.
In a recent interview published to her YouTube channel, Roxy Cottontail encourages young women not to let gender bias stop them from chasing their DJing dreams.
After beginning her career with a big push by Diplo, the New York-based nightlife personality, DJ, promoter, and all-around marketing guru admits that “not a lot of people took [her] seriously.” Since then, she has thrown unforgettable parties around the world and taken over the Jacked Stage at such major EDM festivals as Electric Daisy Carnival.
In the video, Cottontail discusses her take on the glass ceiling that exists in the DJ world and what aspiring female DJs should know when they first get started, counseling fans not to “listen to the naysayers.”
“If you’re dreaming about the entertainment industry, you just have to have some tough skin. If you’re female, you have to imagine that you have big balls. You have to take risks and really believe in what you want, and go for it.”
Consider DJ Mag‘s Top 100 – this year’s list was published last month, declaring which DJs currently reign supreme. Along with the announcement of Rolling Stones‘ Top 25 DJs That Rule the Earth, it’s notable that there’s something lacking in the who’s who of EDM: women.
The first women to grace the pages of DJ Mag, Lisa Lashes (#75 in 2009) and Claudia Cazazu (#93 in 2010), paved the way for acts like NERVO, the Australian DJ duo comprised of twin sisters Liv and Mim Nervo, who are reppin’ for female DJs around the world. By that same token, Rolling Stone lists Amsterdam veteran Cassy and the current queen of the underground, Maya Jane Coles, on their list of the DJ elite. Still, that’s just five out of 125 — only 4%.
Despite this long-standing prejudice, we’re hopefully seeing a shift in the industry. Tomorrowland has added a record-breaking 19 females to their 2013 lineup, and the NERVO twins have recently collaborated with EDM megastars Afrojack, Steve Aoki, and David Guetta. Some DJs, however, like LA-based Fei-Fei, argue that even making a distinction for female DJs is a step in the wrong direction. As the self-proclaimed “bad girl of EDM” told LA Weekly, “You never hear anyone say, ‘Swedish House Mafia are my favorite dude DJs.”
This glass ceiling in EDM gets a more in-depth look in Girls Gone Vinyl, a documentary slated for a 2013 release that explores the untold story of the female DJ and the oft-unspoken bias in the industry.”No one would think that the EDM industry is in conflict,” explains director Jenny Feterovich, “but the truth is that DJs are more segregated than politicians or business executives.” And while this may be the case for now, acts like NERVO serve as examples of the possibilities that exist for young women. Their very existence prompts fans to remember: ”Be true to yourself, and if you’re having a great time, then your audience will, too.”