The DJ Mag Top 100 list (I can already see the majority of you rolling your eyes just at the mention of it) is basically an annual storm of controversy, mostly confined to musical talent controversy. However, this year added more levels and depth of hullabaloo than any year prior, especially on two fronts. The first being the ease of which it is to rig the system (thank you Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike). This was at the forefront of the problems behind the list as questionable tactics led to the eventual winners of the top spot as well as a highly questionable order of which the artists were listed.
The second problem was a bit overshadowed by that uproar, but is a more interesting topic of conversation: women in EDM. Of the Top 100, only three acts (five females total) were listed: Krewella, Nervo, and Miss K8.
Adding an extra layer of sour frosting to this contentious cake was a comment made by DJ Frontliner on the why he thinks there is a lack of women in the poll: “Because maybe they spent too much time in Sephora and too little time on producing?”. Such a blatantly demeaning response might have been intended for laughs, but it cast a dark shadow on the EDM DJ community and what is apparently still a decently widespread idea of women in the industry.
Personally, I cannot attest to the reason for the shortage of female names in the poll. As we have come to realize, the entire process behind it is a sham and solely a trolling process of who can extort the most votes by any means necessary. And maybe it’s just that the women didn’t want to stoop to the levels DMLV went to in order to desperately garner votes.
What I can attest to, though, is that even though the majority of them are not as well-known, there is a rampant amount of talented and incredible woman producers and DJ’s in the EDM universe. And perhaps this whole sexist mess can bring out a positive and shed much deserved limelight onto the hard working females in the industry.
I have personally seen some of these women live and they can bring it. And the awesome thing about EDM is that you don’t have to be a Barbie pop doll princess to be great; these women are unique, they’re individuals, and they do their own thing and do it very well.
There is a plethora of talented female artists in EDM today, and it really is about time more of them were brought to the forefront. I am not saying EDM is a sexist culture, it is quite the opposite as it is so incredibly inclusive and diverse; what I am saying is ask a good amount of people to name 5 female or female-inclusive acts and I feel like many would struggle.
Obviously there’s Krewella, one of the most recognizable female name in all of EDM. They get their fair share of criticism, but they have consistently put out some of the most energizing, beautiful, and unique music in all of EDM. They are two badass women who are never afraid to speak their minds, be themselves, and take chances. They are fearless, more fearless than many men in the game, and are the perfect group to pioneer a women’s movement in EDM.
You also have Nervo, a fantastic female duo who creates tremendous sounds with not only their singles and recently their albums, but put on a distinctive and galvanizing live experience for their fans. There’s Alison Wonderland, who is the true definition of a woman who can “hang with the big boys”. She creates some of the hardest sounds out there and brings an insane energy in her music that is almost unrivaled. There’s also NERO, a group with two males but also a female vocalist, and there’s no denying the immense proficiency with them. Alana Watson, the vocalist, has one of the most distinguishable and flamboyant voices in all of music as she never fails to amaze as her vocals pierce through our eardrums like nobody else.
The list of extraordinary female talent is extremely extensive beyond that. You have Rebecca and Fiona, Maya Jane Coles, Dani Deahl, Gina Turner, Anna Lunoe, and many more. If anything, we have quite possibly the most quality group of female producers in EDM history going right now, which is pretty cool to say the least.
The DJ Mag Top 100 always causes bad discussions, but here is a prime opportunity to turn some of those into good discussions. Women are dominating the EDM culture and are equally as talented and deserving of recognition as their male counterparts. Now, respect should still be earned and not just given, but there are many female talents out there who have paid their dues, earned respect, and deserve some fresh ears to give their music a chance.
These women can throw down with the best of them, time to really recognize it.
From my first festival experience at Buku 2013 I have been a nonstop part of the EDM community and love every aspect of it. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and it's what I love to do, so music + writing is the perfect combination for me.