FAIR PLAY
TURNING THE TABLES on a once heavily male-dominated industry, 4SEE spotlights the art and talent of a new wave of female DJs leading the pack.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Interview JUSTIN ROSS

Renewed attention on electronic music in general is putting women front and center on the main stage. Along with all-female lineups, there is a concerted interest on placing the attention on what matters—the music and creativity of the DJ/producer.

No longer looked upon as a niche within the industry, perceptions have changed and female DJs are respected for their contribution to the art of DJing and producing in their own right. Although they may have had to fight harder for their place in the industry, gender is of secondary concern to many of the women these days. They are first and foremost creators, DJs, and producers and their hard-won respect is based on the quality of their music.

We are proud to feature these four DJs who exemplify the new wave of electronic music in the era of fair play.

This interview article was for the MUSIC issue // published in April 2017.

DJ Anna from Brazil, photographed by Bert Spangemacher in Barcelona
DJ ANNA in VALENTINO VA4008

DJs as ANNA
Labels Diynamic, Rukus, Turbo Recordings
Nationality Brazilian
Lives in Barcelona
Favorite place to play Warung Beach Club in Brazil
Favorite glasses Vera Wang (CONCEPT 92), Tom Ford, Ray-Ban Aviators

How would you describe your sound?
Trippy, strong and groovy

When did you start DJing and what got you into it?
When I was 14 years old. My dad was a DJ and a club owner. When I started going to the club, on a particular night I was complaining about the DJ because he was playing always the same tracks every night, and my dad told me to go there and do it myself, so I accepted the challenge.

What are some of your favorite places to DJ, and why?
Ibiza, during summer season in clubs like Pacha, Amnesia, DC10. Ibiza is where everybody is and everything happens, the biggest artist have their residence there during the season, the atmosphere is very nice. I also love to play in Brazil in a club called Warung, there is no energy like in that place. Another place I love is The Garten in Beirut (Lebanon), it is open just during summer, it is an open air club, It is really magical.

What motivates you when you are playing in front of so many people? How does it feel?
The energy exchange between me and the crowd. It is not about the amount of people I am performing for, but how is the energy in the room, I totally need this exchange to do a good performance, the more they go, more I go. This is what moves me, to see everybody happy, smiling and having a good time. It feels like a dream, there are some gigs that even after days, I still can feel the happiness and the energy I experienced during the show.

Is there anything you would like to say about being a female DJ? Is it any different, should it be? Is that important to you?
What I see now and in all of this years in dance music industry is that we have to work much more to be heard. Today things are changing a bit, but still, when people see a women in the DJ both they think she is there for everything, but not for her talent, we have to prove ourselves all the time. And that is what I am doing since I am 14 years old, always trying to do my best and improve my work to gain some space in the industry and to be respected.

How do you handle all the travel?
It is very tiring sometimes, but is also very rewarding, I have the oportunitie to know so many places and people through my music. I try to keep my routine when I am on tour, eat healthy, keep up with the exercises, I don’t drink much also, it definitely helps to keep me fit for the next days gigs.

What are some of your favorite glasses/sunglasses that you own?
My favourite of all time is a Vera Wang (Concept 92), also I love my Tom Ford, but I am not sure te name of the model and the classic RayBan Aviator.

DJ Courtesy photographed by Bert Spangemacher
DJ Courtesy in ROBERT LA ROCHE Eldric

DJs as Courtesy
Nationality Danish
Lives in Berlin / Copenhagen
Favorite Place to Play De School (Amsterdam)
Favorite glasses Mykita

How did you get started with music?
I started when I was a kid and I would be dominating the CD player in the classroom, and in fifth grade no one else would be allowed to touch it except for me.

How would you describe your sound?
I play a very eclectic mix of music, so I will play a lot of ’90s rave-influenced stuff, both in the sense that it can be breaksy, but it also very much things that sound like techno but they are a bit weirder, maybe like big-room techno, but its not big room techno. I also play house and disco-influenced stuff, as well as some Italo sometimes.

What motivates you when you are playing a set?
Basically when I’m up in front of a lot of people DJing it feels like controlling some kind of spaceship or a vehicle. You have to navigate this room of people and try to make them dance For my sake I try to play as weird as possible without losing people, keep it really interesting. I like to see how weird I can go and to play for people who are maybe not used to listening to that kind of music.

What draws you to Berlin?
I like to be in Berlin because I have a lot of friends and colleagues here. In that sense it is very nice to be at a point where everyone is constantly coming through. In Copenhagen it is much more about the local scene and hanging out with my friends. Where in Berlin I get to meet my friends the entire world much more often and I really like that.

How do you handle all the travel?

I try to stay as healthy as possible… drink a lot of water and sleep every second I can. And let myself sleep when I’m home. Not feeling guilty about having to take extra naps during the week and chilling out on a monday while everyone else goes to work. Eating healthy food and sleep are the main things to surviving.

What do you think about female Djs?
I’ve kinda stopped talking about it. Because I was in an all-female group earlier, we would get approached a lot, being asked how it is to be a woman in the DJ industry and I kind of just got to the point where I don’t talk bout it anymore. I’ve written some pieces and it is good to contribute in any way you can give something new. I don’t have anything really new to say that hasn’t already been said in any of the really big music magazines already.

I don’t want to be called a DJane. I think you see, generally coming out from the alternative music scene, it is really condescending to be called DJane, just like anyone else. If you google a DJane you will see what I mean, kind of like pornstar women with headphones on in pictures. And that is what DJane is symbolizing and that has nothing to do with my job.

DJ Mor Elian, Photography by Bert Spangemacher
DJ Mor Elian in KBL Steve

DJs as Mor Elian
Labels Prime Numbers, Hypercolour, Finale Sessions
Nationality Israeli / American
Lives in Berlin / LA
Favorite place to play Into The woods parties in LA (My party)
Favorite glasses Tom Ford, Oliver Peoples, Ray-Ban

How would you describe your sound?
I play mostly house and techno with some Electro, Italo and other touches

When did you start DJing and what got you into it?
I started in 2009 and what got me into it was the desire to share music with people.

What are some of your favorite places to DJ, and why?
I love DJing Tel aviv clubs, where I grew up, The scene there is vibrant and been going for a long time, I also love to play in the undergrounds of LA where the scene is more young but also very magical.

What motivates you when you are playing in front of so many people? How does it feel?
What motivates me is people dancing freely, if thats lacking, then i find the one craziest dancer and play for him.

Is there anything you would like to say about being a female DJ? Is it any different, should it be? Is that important to you?
I never defined myself so much that way, I just love music and love playing music, and if that inspires more women particularly then thats wonderful.

How do you handle all the travel?
I try to take care of myself when im traveling and when im not, that also includes not drinking in most gigs, after so many years of doing this drinking doesn’t add much to the life style.

What are some of your favorite glasses/sunglasses that you own?
I love my Oliver Peoples, Raybans and just got a pair of Tom Ford cat eyes. I like to have a variety!

DJ Jeniluv shot by Bert Spangemacher in LA
DJ Jeniluv in OAKLEY Trillbe

DJs as Jeniluv
Labels Roam Recordings, Making Shapes LA
Nationality American
Lives in Los Angeles
Favorite place to play Rex Club
Favorite glasses Oakley

How would you describe your sound?
Cerebral, Bass line driven Disco techno

When did you start DJing and what got you into it?
1992, Going out to raves. Started collecting records.

What are some of your favorite places to DJ, and why?
Rex Club, France – outstanding hospitality
Renate, Berlin – long sets packed dance floor wild nights
Making Shapes events LA – after hours amazing party in LA with great line ups and following
What motivates you when you are playing in front of so many people? How does it feel?
My emotions at the moment, connecting with people, sharing new music. Feels great

Is there anything you would like to say about being a female DJ? Is it any different, should it be? Is that important to you?
Yes its different, im also a gay female so that couldve gone a lot of ways especially starting out in the early days. I stayed true to myself & its gotten me to a place im happy with musically & within the industry. Its not that important to me, ive just pushed forward & done my own thing.

How do you handle all the travel?
I love traveling. It can be very testing on tour but overall remain grateful.

What are some of your favorite glasses/sunglasses that you own?
I buy most of my sunglasses in venice beach for $5 a pair. Anything from plain black circular shades to 70’s style moroders.