As Women's month comes to an end we take a look at a few of the Queens who have achieved greatness within the electronic music industry. Whether by radio play or bookings or even just because they have stuck to their guns, these are the women who are taking the music industry forward and upwards to new heights.
A staple in the house and techno scene in South Africa, Lady M has a penchant for quality music and has taken her sounds as far a field as Amsterdam, Cologne, Berlin and Ibiza and even to the world-renowned Watergate. Her frequent trips to the German capital have defined her sets, bringing German simplicity and efficiency to the dancefloor proceedings. She also runs Magique Music, a label dedicated to showcasing quality local talent.
Angela's work ethic and personality are as dynamic as her DJ sets, always keeping on top of things to bring the best out of every possibility. She runs the Cult of Maybe which handles the bookings for artists such as Chee, Slabofmisuse, DJ Caviar, Hawkword, Jamie Saint and JYD. This year she has smashed CTEMF, Oppikoppi and Grietfest in her own capacity and will no doubt be an integral part of the Cape Town scene for many years to come.
Nonku is always ahead of the pack, using her unique vocals to carve out her own stories. She collaborated with Hyenah this year on the track Soak It, which was a massive hit with house fanatics around the world and even got a top-notch remix from deep house don Andre Lodemann. Everything she seems to touch turns to gold and her ethereal voice covers all the music she makes with a shiny glisten. Keep your eyes peeled for her new EP coming soon.
DJ Zinhle's rise to the higher echelons of musical royalty has been an epic journey. Her new agency, Fuse plans to bring woman together and promote female DJ's in order to grow their brands in the industry. DJ Zinhle herself is no pushover and has taken great strides in her music to ensure that women progress in an industry that has been predominantly dominated by males.
Few vocalists manage to trounce that stigma of vocalists as featuring artists. The SAMA award winning songstress Bucie is in top flight and her strength lays not only as a vocalist but also as an integral part of the music industry. It's hard to tune into the radio or walk into a party and not hear her voice and the likes of Black Coffee, Heavy K. Cuebur, Jullian Gomes and Atjazz have all succumb to her ways.
Miami WMC, Sonar Barcelona, Germany’s Love Parade, Pacha, Ushuaia Ibiza and BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico are a few of the venues Claudia Lovisa has played at over the years. Her impeccable taste in music combined with killer mixing skills and production expertise make her a force to be reckoned with in South Africa.
CJ has been pushing quality bass/tech house for many years now and alongside her other half Douglas Olsson the two have ushered in a new wave of rooftop parties in the Cape. She is known for her no holds barred style of playing, slamming her audiences with phat bass lines and epic drops that keep the dancefloor heaving until the early hours of the morning. Don't be fooled by her relaxed demeanour; this DJ packs a punch.
Cape Town's Tune Raider is one of the most dominant forces of South Africa's trance music scene. With 13 years of experience under her belt, Tune Raider has become among the most influential DJ's in the industry. Her passion both behind and in front of the DJ booth is a testament to her love for this genre. Her achievements include touring Portugal, also playing an integral role in the documentary, Under The African Sky which documents the journey of trance music from India right into the heart of South Africa. It's artists such as Tune Raider that will continue to play a pivotal role in the expansion and growth of trance music, both locally and internationally.
The Johannesburg-based and dO it nOw Recordings mainstay has been bubbling under the scene for some years. Missred is best known for her fresh take on dance music, always one to fuse a host of genres to help make the dance floor a unique place for music lovers. Her latest compilation in collaboration with Oh So Coy Recordings sees her venture further into the sultry sounds of house music.
Co-owner of Sud Electronic alongside Portable and owner of Uzuri Recordings and Bookings, Lakuti is the go-to lady for rare top-class grooves and quality house, disco and techno; as well as the booking agent for artists like Fred P, DJ Qu, Basic Soul Unit and Levon Vincent. And her previous gigs are as impressive as her artist roster, playing Fabric, The End, Plastic People, Corsica Studios, Herbal, Elektrowerks, Panorama Bar in Berlin and Rex Club in Paris in the last ten years or so.
Featured as one of our Top Femcees in South Africa, Push Push caters to a niche market that know what they want. Her badass lyrics, rhythmic flows and take no shit attitude are able to leave audiences stunned in the wake of her glitch-hop and bassline barrages. If you're a bit sensitive or easily offended, you might want to steer clear of this emcee when she's on the mic.
There's no stopping the young vocalist Moonchild Sanelly. Since 2014 she has been bubbling to the top of the electronic music scene, bringing a dose of African soul to Maramza's otherworldly tunes, as well as working with Aewin Wolf, Sketchy Bongo and many others. This year she continues to impress, releasing Fox With That with Maramza on Just Music.
Johannesburg-based Drum 'n Bass DJ Ella G has been making major moves over the last two years, landing herself bookings at Grietfest, Rezonance NYE, Woodstock SA and one of the top festivals in South Africa, Oppikoppi. Her unique take on Drum 'n Bass has placed her as one of the DJs to look out for over the next few years and will no doubt take her further up the ladder and to the rest of the world.
Juliet Harding (Goodluck)
The leading lady of Goodluck is a vital part of the successful 3-piece band. Her angelic vocals and whimsical lyrics are as much thought provoking as they are pleasing to the ear, and has the ability to soothe your soul while moving your feet. Goodluck would not be the same without her.
DJ and producer Davina Satori puts music first in every respect and has garnered as loyal following over her many years of DJing. Coming from the left field of electronic music she is one of the few female producers outside of the mainstream house/techno movement. Hosting her own nights called "SPACE/BAR" she fuses live music with experimental electronic sounds. She released the first installment of her three part debut ep Audio Diaries and is steadily developing an audience for her unique sound. Putting her heart and soul into her music, she is known to be a straight up, no frills act, with musical talent that will astound even the toughest of critics.
Babes Wodumo trended hard with the video for her song Wololo which features DJ Tira and Mampintsha. The party atmosphere she creates is infectious and really gets people moving. Add in a lesbian kissing scene and a few camel toe shots and you've got yourself a viral video which is currently on 1.3 million views in 3 months.
Dope Saint Jude
Dope Saint Jude has owned this year in a big way and is quickly on the rise to becoming a superstar. Her music is unique and unadulterated, and given the fact that she produces her own beats, she is definitely a multi-talented artist. In this year alone she has toured the USA and France, and we can only assume she is just getting started.
Vinyl purist Abby Nurock has become a household name in Johannesburg playing alongside some of the finest selectors the country has to offer. Her extensive vinyl collection boasts vocal, soulful, deep, funky, jazzy house and nu disco records, placing her as a versatile purveyor of quality across a plethora of genres.
Probably the most prominent female DJ in the country, Lady Lea has made her mark in the music industry in South Africa and this year took the step to create her own label, Flipside Records. Once hailed as the Queen of Clubs, with a compilation album to match, Lady Lea is the cream of the crop and is considered royalty amongst DJs and fans alike.
MsCosmo is at the forefront of hip hop. Her Sunday night radio show on 5fm, pushes the genre to new heights, showcasing fresh talent and the chart is the premier hip hop show in South Africa. Her love for music, in general, is clear, and her DJ ability crosses over turntables and CDJs continually controlling the crowd with her excellent choice of rhythm and sound.
A master DJ in her own right, Candice Heyns has put the time in over many years to become one of South Africa's leading DJs. As one part of Blush N Bass, she has headlined and opened for many acts, including headlining festivals around South Africa and Africa. Currently in Europe, Candice is expanding her knowledge of the dance music industry and she has opened doors for herself in Mykonos, Bristol, Amsterdam and Belgium.
Her beginnings were in slam poetry, mastering her craft in the backrooms of Durban's cafes and theatres. Few would have predicted the trajectory of Busiswa's career. Now one of the leading ladies of Kalawa Jazmee Records, Busiswa has brought such a fresh take on vocals that it's hard to imagine a time when she wasn't part of the scene. Her no-holds-bar, tongue in cheek approach to music affords listeners a scope into some of the simpler and finer things in life. Her messages are strong and very pro-chic, the rise of artists like her has ushered a new era, her persona embodies a message to artists out there that there is nothing wrong with being who you are
The Kasi Mlungu DJ has become a favourite amongst many revellers in the townships of Johannesburg and has garnered immense support from her loyal followers. What makes The Duchaz such an impressive DJ is her racial unity and respect for all South Africans, no matter the "colour." As a white female DJ embracing her African roots she is a role model for all DJs to explore their own country and treat every person as their own. Hats off to you, Duchaz!
DJ Doowap and Lexi Lafoy
DJ Doowap hosts and eclectic bass and electronic music show on YFM every Wednesday. Alongside rapper Lexi Lafoy, the two received an opportunity to be a part of the Purple Velvet Hip Hop tour in 2014, which took place Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. This collaborative effort was in conjunction with German rapper Sookee and American rapper Shirlette Ammons. Doowap has also recently played various gigs in Berlin and Hamburg in the last two months, with another coming up this weekend.
The Ambitouz Entertainment stable have gone from being relatively unknown to housing two of SA's hottest acts, Fifi Cooper and Emtee, and Miss Pru is the latest addition to the powerhouse record label. Miss Pru is now on a mission to take over the country, promoting her new single Ameni on various radio shows such as Metro FM and YFM, as well as Soweto TV and SABC 1's Yo.TV. She currently hosts the #RookiesAndRockstars show on Cliff Central.
Collaborating with many of the top hip-hop artists in South Africa, Nadia Nakai has been making waves in the industry since 2014. She signed with Family Tree Media in January this year and began putting together some hot radio singles which are apparently a run-up to her debut album. Although there is no date for the album release yet, Nadia continues to impress in the industry and has recently dropped a new song The Man with Cassper Nyovest.
As an actress, MC, DJ and radio presenter, Lerato is a jack of all trades in the entertainment industry. Crowned Miss Jam Alley in 2002 and Miss Soweto in 2005, she has risen to the upper echelon of the entertainment world, bringing her infectious energy to all who experience it. As a DJ she frequently plays some of the best festivals around Johannesburg, featuring on lineups with Oskido, Major League DJs, Da L.E.S and Euphonik.
Few DJ's have the mass global appeal as SoulSista, she launched her career by playing in small beach parties in Cyprus and in a space of a few gigs pushed on to bigger and better dance floors. Upon returning to South Africa she began her residency at Metro FM, mixed her first album and helped Levi’s expand their stores musical tastes. She is now housed between South Africa and Mexico, where she continues to expand her musical exploits. Catch her monthly mixcloud sessions called Protea Sessions for some of the finest musical selections.
The rise for female DJ's is hard, hard enough if you plough your trade in the townships. DJ Buhle has ascended past her adversities and has become one the premier DJ's in Soweto and Johannesburg. Her DJ sers are a concoction of deep loungy, and techy sounds that sooth the soul upon contact. She has taken strides in creating oppurtunities for other female DJs and has spread her wings across a variety of platforms including TV, Radio and more. We would certainly like to see her performing on bigger stages in the future.
Based between London and South Africa, Samantha Blackburn has established herself as one of the London's favourite dance music DJs. She has played alongside the likes of Josh Wink, Anja Schneider, Catz N Dogz, Robert Babicz and DJ T and subsequently played in the Main Room at the world-renowned London club, Fabric. Using her keen ear to create a platform for talented producers, Samantha established the Buntu record label which hosts its own nights in South Africa as well as a podcast show and various music workshops.
Durban-based DJ Nonjebc is a young talent making waves across the deep house scene. She won the DYMEJAY Award for Mixtape Dj Of The Year in 2014 and is now the host on American deep house radio show Pleasures Of Music on Deepinradio.com. She has played alongside the likes of Da Capo, Happy Girl, LeSoul and C-Major SA.