People have been enjoying swaying to the tunes of DJ mixes since the past couple of decades. But have we known many female DJs yet? Just as in every other industry, until a few years ago, the electronic dance music stage also faced its issues with gender disparity. This perhaps has, unfortunately, ignored a lot of worthy talent that could have made the world of music a better place.
Thankfully, things are much better now as people became more aware of gender biased and realized what they were missing upon. The emergence of female DJs was a welcome development in the electronic music scene. The crowds became bigger and women were inspired to have a career as a DJ.
The decision may have been to introduce equality on the stage, but the female DJs are as talented and popular as their male counterparts, in almost all forms of music and even surpassing them at times. Here is a compilation of such wonder-women who mesmerize the crowd with their vinyl.
Sculpting out a place for herself in the male-dominated DJ industry has been quite a journey for DJ Megha Kawale. Therefore, ‘Queen of the Console’ is what she is known as. She is a supermodel and also one of the first Indian female DJs. It has been 15 years since her beginning and she is still making the crowd move with her fingers. She started her career at the age of 17. Megha started it off at the widely known ‘members only’ club, in the 1900s as the resident DJ.
She played at the Taj Mahal Hotel for approximately six consecutive years. Megha has achieved remarkable feats. The genre of her music includes electro and tech-house music along with progressive, commercial club and Bollywood. She blends progressive music with minimalist sound perfectly and trust us, she does it quite effortlessly. On being asked about her experience, she said that ‘a female DJ’s mistake is never overlooked’, thus, she had a hard time making a mark because there were people pushing her down continuously. It took a lot of persuasion and stubbornness on her end to have a career like this back in the time when she began, but now, when she looks back, she’s only proud of all the efforts she’s made.
2. DJ Shireen
This Kolkata-born and Mumbai-based DJ has been in business for the last 13 years and had made it to the National Finale of the Times War of DJs. The ‘Goddess of Progressive Music’ in India started her career at the age of 19 and hit the music scene of India with her hottest and craziest beats. She has also earned the title of ‘Rockstar DJ’.
Her full name is Shireen Aida Khan. Because of her youthful looks, people often mistake her for a college student, when in a crowd. But, her looks might fool you when you see her on the stage rocking it with Bollywood, Progressive, Commercial House, and Electro music. She is reigning the DJ scene since 2005 and was the youngest DJ in the country then. Not to mention, she’s known for her power-packed rapping skills. Also, her EDM album ONE released worldwide in 2015, December, on Jabukka Music.
With more than 5 lakh followers on Facebook and 89k subscribers on YouTube, she has fixed her spot permanently as on in the top Indian female DJs. She also happens to be the brand ambassador of V-Moda headphones. Ranked as ‘No. 1 Female DJ’ by Web and featured in ‘Top 10 DJs in India’ by Exhibit Magazine, she has proved ‘wish it, work for and achieve it’ absolutely correct.
3. DJ Pearl
A globetrotter and Funk maestro, DJ Pearl who’s in search of new sounds constantly, comes from a family of music enthusiasts. She is a talented DJ with the sickest of beats and is based out of Goa.
Additionally, she is still the only Indian DJ to play at the Ministry of Sound in London, and the celebrated Pacha in Ibiza. On being asked about her best work she said, “I made a compilation for J00F Recordings which is very close to my heart. That record label is owned by one of my favorite DJs, John 00 Fleming and I found so much of my style of music in its catalog”.
Pearl Miglani was always sure she would end up choosing a career related to music or art. After switching careers and being unsettled for quite some time she found refuge in music. Her devotion and passion drove her to pursue the highest stages and ranks. She has evolved her own bass driven music that surpasses the genres of funk, progressive, electro and tech house. Therefore, she has become one of the top Indian female DJs. She was the one who introduced house music in India. Pearl has launched the first and largest EDM company in India, called Submerge, along with her husband Nikhil Chinapa, and a friend Hermit Sethi. They provide a platform for upcoming DJs to showcase their talents and music. They’ve booked Zedd, Swedish House Mafia, Tiësto, John ’00’ Fleming and many more artists to perform in India. Pearl is redefining the art of being a DJ.
Read an amazing interview of one of the pioneer woman DJs India has here.
4. DJ Ashrafi
DJ Ashrafi belongs to Kolkata, and she has made quite big a name for herself over the years. She one of the best-known DJs in Bollywood.
She had fame and success coming hand-in-hand after she won a special award at ‘War of the DJs’ in 2005. Her passion for music made her pursue sound engineering, but she did not stop there and extended her career to become a DJ. Therefore making the best decision for herself and her fans. Became the first Indian female DJ to create a name for herself, worldwide, in the Bollywood genre. She is popularly known as the ‘Queen Of Bollywood Remixes’ and is one of Asia’s leading female DJs. Thus, also rated as one of the top Indian female DJ in India.
Her music is versatile and her personality is charismatic and so are her mixes of the Bollywood. Her music has drool-worthy beats from genres like Punjabi, Hip-hop, Commercial, EDM, apart from Bollywood.
5. DJ Jaya
DJ J-YA was born Jaya Melwani in Kolkata and is currently in Mumbai. She is famous for her tremendous passion for music which was piling-up inside her since her childhood. As she grew up, she turned her passion into a career choice and became one of the top DJs of India. She has played in many famous gigs and her beats have kept the crowd rolling. DJ Jaya was a resident DJ at Bling (Mumbai), and Tantra & Soho (Kolkata). This entertainer has made Kangana Ranaut’s birthday bash a vivacious affair. Made Saif and Kareena’s anniversary party groovy. She has co-performed with Bally Sagoo, Bohemia and played for ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamwar’; used her prowess and performed with DJ Aqeel. She has also performed at the premiere of the film ‘Rock On’.
6. DJ Jennifer
Jennifer is now among the top Indian Female DJs and is popularly known as the ‘Queen of Bollywood Mixes’. Born & raised in Kolkata, Jennifer started her career from a club in Swabhumi and eventually became a professional DJ in 2005. Known for her way of mixing with suaveness, she can make the crowd groove to her beats. She has set up her hands on many genres including Bollywood. This Catholic beauty has showcased her talent at many clubs across India. She had also performed for the renowned Bollywood choreographer Remo D’Souza’s show in Science City. Jennifer earned the reputation for making the crowd go crazy with her absolutely significant style of music.
Jennifer has infinite determination and dedication towards her music and fans. She is ever-ready to create new music.
All hail women who are empowering themselves!