Spinning a revolution: Singapore's lady DJs
It takes vision, skill and an obsessive determination to change anything on a mass cultural scale. But try doing it in Singapore, as a woman, in an industry dominated by men. The Singapore music scene has long followed the whims and caprices of its male disc jockeys. CNNGo has discovered two young music revolutionaries who are trying to change that.
Our local deejays are the ones who are trying to make it just a big as the international guys, so these are the people we should be supporting.— Debbie Chia
25-year-old Aresha G. K created her own music mix tape at the precocious age of 14, and has since become one of the few successful female DJs in Singapore. A communications professional by day, she is also part of the Red Bull Music Academy, a yearly event that allows DJs to play around the world.
Aresha is quick to add that she doesn't just call herself a DJ. "I am looking to do more than just make music, I am looking to change perspectives, and make people realize that there is more to music than just the radio."
So how does the industry need to change? "To be very honest, I'm not sure there's much of a music industry in Singapore in the first place. I'd like to see people open their minds and broaden their horizons when it comes to music."
Another aspiring industry revolutionary is Debbie Chia, who's also part of the Red Bull Music Academy. Debbie is a brand manager by day, and DJ by night. She's also the founder of the Miso Flamingo boot camp, a local setup that teaches young girls how to DJ. "There's a stereotype that girls cannot play because they are not technically inclined."
However, she's found that the training is appealing to many girls, and her camp has so far been a success. This year is its second year of operations. While subscriptions are small and camp fee is kept at its minimum, the girls learn everything there is to learn about the DJ craft. And we'll admit, Singapore's music industry definitely needs a service like this, if Debbie's figures are correct. She estimates there are 30 serious female deejays compared to a whopping 300 men. Debbie says, "Women tend to be softer, warmer, and we have a different perspective and music style, something that can be appreciated."So what is Debbie hoping to change about the music scene? "I would like to see more support from the people. Our local DJs are trying to make it just as big as the international guys, so these are the people we should be supporting."
Amen to that, and more power to the lady DJs of Singapore.