(Second in a sporadic series of Tales from Behind the Decks. Here’s the first one.)
Being a female DJ has its own set of unique issues and experiences, most of which I thought I’d come across having been DJing for almost ten years, however last week I had a new one. I was DJing at a silent disco where there were two DJs on stage; me and a guy. I was playing rock and alternative tunes and he was playing chart music and commercial dance. In the venue we were in, requests are a regular occurrence and I’m always happy to facilitate someone if I have what they’re looking for. People came up to the front of the stage to ask for tunes and both the male DJ and I noticed something really interesting; I was getting the requests for Rihanna and Beyonce and he was getting the requests for Guns and Roses and the Arctic Monkeys!
It seems that people were applying some sort of gender bias and thinking that because I was a woman I was naturally the one playing the chart stuff. It’s funny because if they’d stopped to look at us, our musical tastes were obvious from the way we dressed. I was head to foot in black and he was wearing trainers and a baseball cap, looking for all the world like a cool clubber! It’s interesting how people can form an opinion based on music alone and think that a woman is less likely to be the one rocking out. The lesson here is don’t judge a DJ by their gender!