On The Decks: FAE

Having learnt to mix around a year and a half ago, things have picked up a bit for me in terms of playing out since last summer when I played my first set at Treehouse. In regards to being a girl, I guess my sets may surprise people a bit for a couple of reasons, firstly due to the fact the tunes I choose to play are usually related to the bass, techno and grime side of things, with producers such as Wen, Akkord, Tessela being just a few of my favourites. I think this can sometimes surprise people, as I feel there’s a bit of a stereotype for people to associate girl DJs with house and disco music more than the dark, heavier genres I choose to play.

The second reason would be because most events I’ve played, such as Treehouse, Limit, Highrise and Rewind, I have been the only girl in the line-up. Overall it doesn’t really bother me, apart from a few moments when people have said stuff which has pissed me off a bit. Before my set one time, I was getting ready to go on and some guy came up to me and said, “Are you actually DJing then?” I just thought, “why would you think to ask that when I’m there with a USB in my hand, headphones on my head and the only one behind the decks?” It was clear that I was about to play. If I was a guy he probably would not of asked that. But whatever, it does annoy me how some people can’t seem to grasp the fact girls can be DJs too even if they’re the only one in the line-up with a load of men.

Image courtesy of Faye McIellan

But if anything, coming through as a girl DJ has been a lot of fun. I’ve made a lot of new friends through doing it and people have been super encouraging towards me. I’ve had a lot of great people compliment me on how much they enjoyed my sets after playing and how they love that I take the position to play sets without letting the fact that the scene is so male-dominated bother me, which really is nice and boosts my confidence even more!

I really couldn’t care if there are more males than females DJing or the other way round. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter about what sex you are when it comes to playing a set. It’s the tunes that are played and the mixing which should matter, not the sex of the DJ. And I feel if there are other girls out there wanting to get into DJing but are scared about being judged by other males, don’t be. You can be just as good as them, if not better: being a girl should not in any way prevent you from doing something because there are more males that do it. If you want to do it, just do it!

Faye McIellan

Images courtesy of Faye McIellan.

Check out FAE’s playlist below

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