Electronic music continues to be a prominent genre at Coachella, with this year’s lineup boasting an eclectic group of artists. However, one area in the electronic music scene that appears to be remaining stagnant is the visibility and representation of female DJs in a variety of festival line-ups. I feel that this video by Discwoman – an all-women collective promoting gender diversity in the electronic scene – best explains the issue:
Fortunately, this year’s Coachella lineup boasts at least 14 kickass female DJs, who bring a variety of styles and perspectives to the festival scene:
Moudaber is a true techno queen who has the ability to enrapture listeners and have them dancing all night long. The Lebanese-Nigerian artist was first recognized when her 2011 remix of Carl Cox’s “Chemistry” hit Beatport, and Moudaber hasn’t looked back since. As noted in a 2009 interview with DJ Mag, Cox himself considered her to be “the most underrated DJ” at one point. Though Moudaber has been in the scene since at least 2008, I first discovered her recently and am glad I heard her play at ULTRA 2016.
Deborah Anne Dyer, more commonly known as Skin, is definitely multitalented. The former interior designer left her career to immerse herself more in the music world. She found success as part of hardcore rock band “Skunk Anansie,” and pursued a solo singing career before changing gears and pursuing DJing. As an established DJ, Skin can be found dropping tech house while throwing in some of her signature rock sound every so often.
Nina Agazarian, better known to music fans as Nina Las Vegas, is all over both weekends of Coachella. The Australian radio broadcaster-turned-DJ is bringing her fresh electro pop sound to Coachella and is the only female DJ playing at the Heineken house. Read our review of her most recent EP HERE.
Jennifer Lee, also known as TOKiMONSTA, is an American DJ hailing from Los Angeles. TOKiMONSTA is a classically trained pianist and her intricate knowledge of music theory can be heard in her distinctive fusion of electronica and hip hop. In 2010, she became the first female to join LA-based label Brainfeeder and has been wowing listeners ever since.
This Swedish DJ entered the scene at the age of 14 and has been spinnin’ her signature deep and tech house sounds in clubs since 18. She has played at various festivals and venues worldwide, including Ultra Miami, Ultra Buenos Aires and multiple clubs in Ibiza. Fun fact: she is married to fellow DJ Adam Beyer.
Serbian DJ Masha is known for cultivating a more underground deep house sound. She is currently a resident DJ at Dig Deeper LA, an LA-based party series, and has opened for numerous DJs including fellow Coachella artist The Black Madonna.
Nina Kraviz brings her own brand of infectious, quirky energy to her sets. My favorite thing about this dentist-turned-techno-centric DJ is that she is always committed to being herself and makes no apologies for it. She is eccentric and unique, but there’s no mistaking her signature sound.
Marea Stamper, known to music aficionados as The Black Madonna, is an American house and techno DJ who has been in the music game for over two decades. I love that The Black Madonna is very vocal about the need for diversity within the dance music scene. As taken from her Facebook, “Dance music needs riot grrrls. Dance music needs Patti Smith. It needs DJ Sprinkles. Dance music needs some discomfort with its euphoria. Dance music needs salt in its wounds. Dance music needs women over the age of 40. Dance needs breastfeeding DJs trying to get their kids to sleep before they have to play. Dance needs cranky queers and teenagers who are really tired of this shit. Dance music needs writers and critics and academics and historians. Dance music needs poor people and people who don’t have the right shoes to get into the club. Dance music needs shirts without collars. Dance music needs people who struggled all week. Dance music needs people that had to come before midnight because they couldn’t afford full admission. Dance music does not need more of the status quo.”
American DJ Lee K is currently a powerful force in the San Diego music scene and has held residency at multiple nightclubs in Southern California. In conjunction with the FNGRS CRSSD brand, Lee K has opened and closed for some of the biggest names in house and techno.
This American DJ duo evokes ’80s vibes with their booty-shaking tunes and neon spandex threads. Ava and Laura Lisbona, better known as the Lisbona Sisters, mix deep and tech house with fun and funky ’80s and ’90s sounds that keep listeners grooving. The sisters are responsible for founding Stretch Sundays, a dance party where attendees are encouraged to wear neon and spandex stretch clothes and shake it to tech-house songs.
By the age of five, multicultural DJ Cassy Britton was already heavily entrenched in the music world. Cassy began focusing on electronic music upon the rise of the Viennese techno scene in the ’90s. Her soulful techno sounds have been heard at multiple international residencies, including Rex Club in Paris and Cocoon in Ibiza.
Dena Amy (Do Lab)
This Australian singer and DJ is mainly known for her acting and talent in the performing arts. More recently, however, she has been making waves in the electronic music world as well with her wide variety of house tunes.
Oona Dahl (Do Lab)
Oona Dahl is simply magical, both in her aura and in her music. This German DJ has the ability to pull listeners in and serenade them with her smooth house music.
Shawni (Do Lab)
Shawni’s unique version of house is wrought with mysticism. She enthralls listeners with her ethereal ambient sounds and takes them on a journey through her distinct brand of electronic music.
Which of these DJs are you looking forward to seeing at Coachella?