Women DJs spinning the decks

For the past few years, women DJs have been making it clear that women are keen to grow in the men-dominated industry and prove that they can rise to the occasion.

This week, unWrap.online shines the spotlight on two such upcoming female spinners.

Hailing from Johannesburg, Sandra Dube, better known as DJ Sands, describes herself as a young and vibrant African girl who dreams of impacting massive crowds through the spiritual sounds of Afro-house and Afro-tech.

Intrigued by the power of music, DJ Sands’ music journey started about six months ago and already she’s making a name for herself.

“I have always been in love with music and the power it holds for a person’s mood. But to be honest, never in my life did I think I had it in me to be a DJ. I never thought I was good enough. It was only about six months ago when I was visiting back home in Johannesburg, when I went to my mentor’s studio and got to see how music is produced,” she says.

Highlighting her journey, DJ Sands says she has been booked in three countries where she’s had the opportunity to share the stage with massive South African artists such as Vitoto, Naakmusiq and Mellow and Sleazy.

Apart from music, she is also a final year accounting student at the University of Namibia.

“Afro-house and Afro-tech are in my heart, they forever will be, but that doesn’t mean I only play those genres. I recently fell in love with another genre called 3step. I’m always in my element when I play it too. I love it! At times, I read the crowd and play amapiano infused with Afro-house, and some times I play Gqom, which sadly seems to have died down here in Namibia, but I play it for people to reminisce.”

On how she keeps up with the new and trending tracks, DJ Sands says access to social media is right at her finger tips.

She says although being a DJ comes with a lot of exposure, it’s also accompanied by challenges.

“We will always face challenges as women whatever field we wish to pursue. We are often misheard and mistreated. So, for me personally, I try by all means to approach every situation professionally so that there is no room for the other person to think otherwise.”

Leilah Tapalo, stage name Ice Crystals, is another female DJ making a name for herself. She has played at events such as ‘Deep in the City Festival’ and ‘Sounds of Summer’, as well as at The Catch, Temperature and Downtown, among many others.

“Kelvin Momo’s Private School Session was one of the most rewarding moments I am extremely grateful for the people that gave me the opportunity to showcase my passion to the world,” she says.

When she is off the decks, Ice Crystals mostly spends her time reading or cooking.

“I am a foodie, I love experimenting with different flavours and coming up with different ways to enjoy food. We run a restaurant called Backstage Grocers at home and that’s where I spend my time in the kitchen with my mother.”

She says being in a men-dominated industry is quite challenging as she’s had to prove herself.

For her, every day comes with new skills and learning new tricks.

“Every day you learn a new way of playing, so practising to play better is what helped me grow. Luckily, with the help of social media, people are becoming aware of more females coming in the industry globally.” – unWrap.online

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!