Southeast Asia’s first all-female club night, and community, ATTAGIRL! have successfully entered their third year of bringing talented group of girls together from the art, and music scene. Their focus since day one has always been about championing, and developing creative women’s talents as a collective.
These amazing ladies are continuing their mission to strengthen a platform for music and art that will empower women in an open and accessible community. After an amazingly successful celebration last year, the ladies are upping the ante for their third anniversary celebrations.
This year’s festivities is set to feature a bigger line-up and support from over 20 local and regional female DJs, live acts and artists. Proceeds from the event exhibition will be donated to a non-profit charity and towards the welfare and education of young women in the community. We had the privilege of getting the ladies to talk about what they’ve learned in the last few years, and what their game plan is for the future.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned as a collective in the past three years?
We all have different opinions but, we respect each other’s point of view and, we support each other unconditionally, whether it comes to music, career or personal goals. It’s really a family affair for us, and we only want to be able to share this love with other girls who are looking for the same kind of support.
As one of the rarest female collectives in the region, how to you offer support from one to another?
Besides being a platform in providing a network of gigs for these girls, I guess it’s all really about being nice and kind to one another. I think the idea is to after all create a safe space for all us.
It's 2016, do you think women still have equal opportunities when it comes to scoring gigs?
It’s hard to say for the general consensus, but from our own experience, the opportunities seem to be fairer these days. We hope we have contributed some part to this, but we would also like to mention that a part of our success can be attributed to the men who have supported us in what we do since day one. There’s still a lot of work to be done though, and it’s not only the arena of music.
With Asia’s obsession with sex appeal when it comes to female DJs, how do you overcome this hurdle as artists who focuses on music eclecticism, and individual styles?
That's what ATTAGIRL! is about! We're trying to break away from the whole sex appeal idea and focus mainly on our sound. It takes a lot of practice and experience to pull off a good set. In fact, we can be pretty masculine sometimes when it comes to our music style.
It's probably true that sex appeal is one of the easiest way to gain fame but that's not our definition of success. We just keep doing what we love doing by playing good music and work hard, we've gained respect and lots of support so far.
What is the focus now that you have established a strong set of artists in the collective?
The focus hasn’t really changed, we’re going keep providing the platform for these girls, sit back and watch the network grow. At the end of the day, we’re not just providing opportunities for them, but also to inspire more girls to come forth and be a part of our journey. This is our way of giving back to the community and contributing to the music scene in the region.
Can you elaborate what each and one of you has to offer as an individual artist?
Everyone in the team has a specific style and approach to music. Amanda (A/K/A Sounds) has her beginnings in house, but always keeps her sets multifaceted with hip hop, trap, grime, jungle and juke, Syaheedah (Jaydah) is fiercely rooted in the landscape of 160-170bpm, mostly footwork jungle, drum and bass, and promoting music from her label, Phyla Digital, Serene (Durio) with her bassy palate of UK garage, ragga-dancehall and grime, and Fatim's love for UK dubstep and her involvement in KL based label Akhyla.
Using this as our strength, we can promote more underrepresented genres of music, encourage other aspiring girl DJs to keep the scene fresh and exciting, and also build regional and international relationships with other like-minded collectives/labels in the world.Amanda Tan, as our visualist, has also an important role in the team.
Club graphics often go forgotten within the party space, but without it, the music that's being played will not be able to come alive. People don't realise how these graphics not only helps to enhance the club atmosphere but increases the artistic and visual value of the party in itself You want a good party, you need good music and good visuals. Basic rules. Amanda fulfils that portion for us, and does a damn good job at it too. We need people like her to encourage other girls to venture into club graphics - it's a rarity.
If you could curate an all-female event, who would be on top of your list as guest DJs?
We can think of many, and it includes Annie Mac, B.Traits, Monki, Mary Ann Hobbs, Ikonika, Flava D, and MC/vocalist like Ms Dynamite, and Lady Leshurr.
What are your plans for the collective for the rest of 2016?
We've had ideas thrown around here and there, but nothing solid being planned so we better not give away anything. As of now, we're just hustling hard for our third anniversary. There were many bumps in the midst of planning, but we're back on track now, phew.
Press the play button and crank up the volume to RAH's special mix in celebration of ATTAGIRL'S 3rd anniversary celebration.
[Header image by Lenne Chai]