The disc jockey, or DJ, came about in the late 1970s post-disco era in New York and Chicago. In its inception, a DJ and the music they provided created a safe space for individuals in marginalized groups to enjoy nightlife together without facing discrimination.

Frankie Knuckles, the creator of house music, coined the dance club as “a church for those who have fallen from grace,” a space where alternative thinkers, free spirits, and people living outside “the norm” would gather to express themselves.

The racial and gender diversity found in these communities was noteworthy for its time, and remains revered by music enthusiasts and entertainers alike who are looking for an inspiring reference to the past.

Despite the social impact of the movement, electronic music culture continues to remain a male-dominated industry. The lack of female voice and presence exists in all aspects of the genre, from the promotions and business side, music production, and the creative. This should make us question, whose stories are we not hearing, and what are we missing out on?

Amy Fisher is a local DJ, music blogger, and long-time resident at the Yung Dumb parties. She co-founded the blog “Remix86,” an award winning website that focused on bringing together fans of disco-centric electronic dance music. Given Amy’s contribution to the local movement in St. John’s, I was excited to hear what Amy had to say.

“In pop culture almost all producers & DJs are men. Women are mostly represented in the industry as DJs like Paris Hilton – hyper-sexualized and perceivably untalented. That’s not to say that there aren’t amazing female DJs or producers out there – they’re just unfortunately not the ones being heavily promoted by the mass music industry.”

THIS is the problem –

In an industry where males are showcased, females are often not afforded the opportunity to see themselves as featured examples of success.

“That’s one of the reasons as a female DJ it can be difficult to get the confidence both to develop your skill and to perform. As a music culture we haven’t done a great job of encouraging young women to develop their technical knowledge and styles. And without a good representation in the industry, it can be intimidating to enter and build your own brand.”

Yung Dumb is hosting their first all-female lineup of local DJs on Friday, September 2nd at Factory, and Amy will be performing under her moniker “Hot Biscuit.” The Yung Dumb Femme Fatale instalment intends to revisit the roots of dance music culture, while attempting to do their small part in helping to fix a very skewed and problematic ratio that exists within electronic music.

“That’s why events like Yung Dumb, events that promote inclusivity, are important to the city. You can get away from the Top 40 mass – and go to a place to hear something new and different and feel comfortable dancing your heart out.”

Article by Adam Harding and Amy Fisher