Conversations about women in music don’t happen as often as they should, even though most of these women have proven they’re just as qualified as their male counterparts.
Just like the recording artistes pool, the DJ scene is dominated by men. Female DJs are not represented nearly enough. In relevance to their representation, here are seven female DJs who should be rocking your events.
One of the DJs and producers at the forefront of the House/EDM scene in Lagos and West Africa. The Nigerian-born Ghanaian started her career in 2014 as a resident DJ at Black Lounge Elegushi, before she began playing at local and international events such as Chale Wote Art Festival Accra from 2016 to 2018, BBC, Glastonbury Festival 2020, etc. She’s responsible for the DJ mix of “Insecure” on Chike’s “Dance of the Booless” EP. She’s currently the resident DJ at Oroko Radio.
Although she’s been around before the mainstream began catching up to her craft, getting on records and singing with popular Alté acts artistes like Cruel Santino, Tay Iwar, BankyOnDBeatz, etc. Prior to her training under the tutelage of legendary DJ Jimmy Jatt, she had learned from her dad and uncle who used to be DJs. In 2021, as the first black female, DJ Yin broke a Guinness World Record and set a new one as the longest-playing DJ after a 243 hours and 11 minutes music set. DJ Yin is currently mashing up the place in Dakar, serving them black girl magic.
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London-born Nigerian DJ, Ayizan, came back to the motherland specifically for her NYSC programme three years ago. Constantly pushing against the stigma of being a woman in Nigeria, especially in the music industry; Aziyan keeps growing her fanbase and performing in set dancefloors on fire both in Nigeria and London. She’s the creator of “Mental Jukebox”and radio host at Dropslive FM in London.
Handi and Wanni
The identical twin female DJs and performers based in Lagos, Handi and Wanni used to be TV presenters and anchors at Linda Ikeji TV. In 2016, they were in the top four of the MTV VJ Search Party. Handi and Wanni are known for their energetic performances; they leave their DJ booth and drop moves on stage as we saw at the Spotify party last Saturday.
Juba has built a solid brand for herself across Europe as a genre-hopping DJ. She’s the founder of Boko! Boko! is a DJ collective created to support female DJs and encourage them to get behind the deck. 2021, Juba did the documentary Assurance which explored the experiences of female DJs in Nigeria. She’s one of the DJs taking African and African diasporic sounds around the world.
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Her first encounter with the limelight was at the first edition of the Airtel/Barcadi Cool FM competition hosted for budding DJs. After she won the competition, she took time to learn under DJ Jimmy Jatt at Jimmy Jatt Incorporation. DJ Nana, who mainly slams Afrobeats jams, has performed at several events and shows, and is currently the official DJ at Naija 102.7 FM.
She got the public’s attention after her unforgettable performance at a Saturday party for the 2020 edition of Big Brother Naija. That same year, everything changed for her after she transmitted live footage of the shootings from Lekki Toll Gate during the End SARS protest. DJ Switch is a world-class DJ with great transitioning skills and incredible ears for sounds.
She commands attention whenever she plays a set. DJ TGarbs is one of the top female DJs regularly spinning and shutting down parties across the country. She’s currently Fireboy DML’s DJ and an ambassador for Audiomack Africa and Chivas Regal Nigeria.