It is obvious to those involved in the electronic music industry that females are under represented. A vast majority of DJ’s and producers are male, and those that are women are few and far between. However, as time moves on, women are making strides in the scene. Producers (and business women) like Reid Speed, Krewella, and DJ’s like Nervo are helping to lead the way for more female talent in a male dominated atmosphere.
Some believe that if women will eventually be represented more fairly, then things such are “Top Female Producers” lists and awards should go away. By immediately categorizing the producers as female, they are differentiated from men, when all along none of that should matter except the music. Music is genderless and is defined by those who appreciate and enjoy it. It shouldn’t matter if man or a woman made the track. However we do believe that women should be recognized and appreciated for their accomplishments and contributions to the business.
Another issue that is seen by some as a threat to the empowerment of women in the scene is the fact that women have become very sexualized in the current culture of electronic music. In an article about the fashion shift at festivals over the years, Reid Speed says, “Culture has just become extremely sexually charged in a way that before the internet, wasn’t a thing. While you wanna believe that women are just becoming empowered and feel comfortable with their bodies, I’m not sure that’s what it’s all about.” (http://tiny.cc/vdw2xw) This is a trend that has been seen plenty over the years and will continue to offer up some interesting food for thought.
Now it may seem that if there are few women producers and DJ’s then there must be almost no women working in the background and helping run things. However, this isn’t true. Women work behind the scenes as well as artist managers, as event producers, and even show crews. In this industry there are many different positions, all of which there can be found representation by men and women. It is important to recognize all of the people that work to make the events we love possible.
We here at East Side Electro believe that women will continue to make strides in electronic music. Luckily there are programs in existence that help women to do just that. Our very own Co-Operater Alexa just recieved the Skylight Foundation Grant which will allow her access to the EDMBiz conference, EDC Las Vegas and will provide her with a mentor in the industry to help further the development of East Side Electro and other Electronic Music-based ventures (for her and one other person). (http://edmbiz.com) This foundation was started by artist manager (Kaskade’s manager) Stephanie LaFera and media professional Kerri Mason. The grant is offered specifically to women in the field.
Alexa is EXTREMELY excited to learn as much as possible and apply it to the business when she returns. I think it’s safe to say that the future of East Side Electro is about to get brighter!
Let us know what you think. Is the male to female ratio getting closer in the electronic music scene? Or is there still a long way to go? Do you agree with Reid Speed’s statement? Are women not being taken seriously because of how they choose to represent themselves? Or should fashion choice not matter?