Pioneering female DJs deserve recognition for their contribution to club culture | Letter

Laila Mckenzie on the continuing fight to honour the major part that women have played in the dance music industry

Your article discussing the place of female DJs in dance music history books (‘There are still battles to be had, but it’s incredible’: the female DJs finally getting their dues, 21 July) included a quote: “In terms of the pioneers, it’s all men, and we can’t escape that.” With fellow author Ian “Snowy” Snowball, I wrote Lady of the House, a book published last November which strongly rebuts that claim. Crowdfunded by our dance music community and industry, this self-published book features 150 real-life stories of pivotal women from all walks of the scene, including many DJs, who are true pioneers. It was because of their input that we have the culture we have today. Women weren’t being documented truthfully for their contributions.

Lady of the House is advocating to ensure women who work in dance music get the recognition they deserve, stepping up into a broader initiative, which is well respected for celebrating, championing and honouring women in dance music, and which has included the creation of an exhibition, participation in global conferences, club shows and festivals, and the recent launch of a record label. As a brown woman from a low socio-economic background who has worked in dance music for 20 years, I often wonder what people like me have to do to be acknowledged. Regardless of receiving that recognition or not, we will continue at the front and centre in the push for fair representation.
Laila Mckenzie
Co-author, Lady of the House

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