In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with a group of amazing artists who offered their advice for success in the scene!
Let’s be real; without women, the world would be a boring place, and when it comes to the electronic dance music scene, women stand at the forefront of dancefloor integrity and ingenuity. Of course, it’s not always easy to bring dreams to fruition, but the women of this industry prove each and every day that with passion and talent, as well as a water-off-a-duck’s-back attitude to inside politics and neigh-sayers, success is ripe for the picking.
As with any major life journey, the artist may find herself approaching a speed bump or, at other times, running smack dab into a wall. Does this stop her from creating the music that moves the masses? No, instead, she brushes herself off and turns to other creatives in the industry who may have a bit more experience or could offer sound advice for pushing through the challenge. In doing so, she not only nurtures her commitment to her craft but also strengthens the familial bond between the artists of the counterculture.
If you’re a creative who’s just now getting your feet wet in the scene, or if you’re an OG who’s been trudging your way through the industry for quite a while, we can all use a little advice from time to time. So, we touched base with a handful of incredible DJs and beatmakers to find out what advice they can offer to fellow members of the dance music community. The responses just may change the way you tackle your next project or maybe will even give you the push you’ve needed to take on the industry with renewed enthusiasm.
You may want to take notes because fan-favorite artists Nostalgix, Khiva, and THRASHA get candid about lessons that changed their lives.
Nostalgix is an artist who has taken the bass house and social media scene by storm since showing up in 2018 like an “Alien Invasion.” Now this “Supah Fly” girl is the talk of the town, and when looking back on her blossoming career, Nostalgix unveiled that, “When I was getting started with music production, one of the best pieces of advice I got was from another female producer. She said, “keep your head down, focus on your art, and everything else will fall into place.” That’s exactly what I did, and those words are still with me to this day.“
What works for Nostalgix also works for Khiva. Keeping her head down and focusing on her art is part of her daily practice, resulting in productions that are nothing short of extraordinary. In fact, her last EP, Phantom Forces, is so good that it installs trippy visions of late-night intoxication on the club floor, best described as a fantastic Fever dream. Speaking of, for her piece of advice, Khiva turns to a dream she had to express how life is our most important performance.
I woke up from a dream this morning where in the last bit of it I was getting ready for a set and just as I was about to step on stage, I woke up. But in reality I set foot onto the other stage and the greatest performance of them all, life. How you show up and honor yourself, your life and your path in each moment with all its twists and turns and lessons is the same energy connecting you to the stream of endless inspiration and strength that will lovingly guide any endeavor you set out upon, birth your songs and check off your endless to do lists, sweet bits and not so sweet. There is no one or the other.
You are the channel for the art only you can create, the life only you can live, and in tuning into that place of knowing, the path becomes clearer. Despite Yoda’s famous phrase, I do believe there is a try, and that is showing up for yourself and letting the rest do its thing. Pour first the love and devotion you would give to your projects and career into the roots from which it grows.Khiva
From dreams to reality, there’s nothing stopping our next artist from achieving her goals.
THRASHA may just be breaking into the production side of life but put her inside a DJ booth and watch the dancefloor explode! Sure, her latest track is called “Real Or Fantasy,” but her talent is nothing short of the former, and she attributes her accelerating success to the fact that she always stays true to herself.
My advice to women who want to start or further a career in music would first be to know your worth early on and not settle for less. There will be times where you get an offer or opportunity that may not be in your best interest, (personally or financially), but you may feel like you have to say “yes” JUST because it’s an opportunity of some sort. It’s important to know when to say “no” and that it’s okay to do so in order to set boundaries and keep your value. As an artist, you should accept offers based on what’s best for you and your project, not because you feel that you have to just to get further up the ladder.
It’s also super important to not let others try to change or mold you or your project into what they want it to be for their own gain. There are people in the industry who will see a female producer/DJ as an opportunity for them, in the wrong ways. They may try to turn your art into something that will only benefit them. Make sure to team up and work with people who see your vision exactly how you do and don’t want to sexualize or give you a gimmick just because you’re a woman. Let the music speak for itself. Part of this is figuring out what sets you a part but production and brand wise and real carve out / lean into it in order to further develop the mission behind your project and what your music means.THRASHA
To drive the message home, THRASHA reminds all women in the industry to “set an example and uplift others. You may see producers in the industry gatekeeping certain aspects of production, DJing, and performing when we should be doing the opposite and teaching each other new things.” A little love goes a long way and lifting one another up only makes the music output or the experience on the dancefloor leaps and bounds better!
DJ Dee, Marie Vaunt, and Anna Reusch offer up some final points about what it takes to smash through the glass ceiling.
Fresh off of her appearance on Drumcode’s Elevate, DJ Dee has stayed supremely focused and engaged with the pulse of the underground as she spreads her sounds from LA to NYC and beyond. Interestingly enough, her ability to look beyond her own horizons and read into the successes of women engaged in different genres than her own has helped her become a better producer and DJ. This was one of her takeaways from one of bass music’s biggest and brightest stars…
Many years ago, I came across a post on social media by Alison Wonderland that included a screenshot of a memo. One particular sentence from that memo has stayed with me ever since: “You will hear a lot of ‘no’ before you hear ‘yes’, so keep going and be true to yourself.” This statement has been especially meaningful to me during the process of submitting demos, which can be a pretty stressful experience filled with uncertain waiting and the possibility of rejection.
In the face of a rejection, it’s easy to lose faith in ourselves and become overwhelmed with self-doubt. However, Alison’s words have helped me to understand that setbacks and rejection are a natural part of the process for everyone. With this in mind, I am no longer afraid of rejection, and I am encouraged to continue submitting demos to record labels. I am grateful for the inspiration and courage that Alison’s words have provided me, and they serve as a reminder to always stay true to myself and persevere in the pursuit of my goals.DJ Dee
From battling rejection to nurturing inspiration, fellow techno comrade Marie Vaunt makes it clear that capturing success is not an easy road to drive down and it takes a plethora of actions to make it happen. In fact, she states that “In the music industry, talent and creativity are imperative, but they only cover one side of the equation. Putting in the hard work to constantly improve your skills, as well as developing the ability to face rejection and criticism, is just as important and necessary to succeed.”
Finally, Anna Reusch, an artist who receives so much joy from creating tracks like “Deeper” and “Let Me Take You There,” wants to take you there with one simple yet profound statement, “laugh about things, then you endure them more easily.“ Have you laughed today?
Our wish for Women’s History Month is that all the women who are grinding hard and staying true to their craft find all the success in the world! Our hats go off to you, and we thank you for making the dancefloor a magical space for all!