On the Decks: Kiara Scuro

We chatted to Kiara Scuro, a DJ duo made up of Rosie Ama and Nadia

How did you guys get into DJing?

Radio was what really made us start DJing. Before we started our show on Reprezent we’d both dabbled but nothing that was consistent. On our first few radio shows there was a whole lot of fading in and fading out but it spurred us on to keep learning and then get out and start playing.

What keeps you doing what you do?

The music is what keeps us DJing! Having the power in your hands to introduce someone to something new and exciting and give them a reason to dance. Also it’s a form of escapism from other things going on in our lives. That’s why it’s so easy to keep going. As a duo, it requires a lot of effort and organisation, but there’s nothing better than creating something together that we’re proud of.

What are your experiences as a woman in the electronic music scene? Have you experienced instances of sexism?

Our experience has generally been positive. We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of supportive people around us since we started out, including a lot of strong support from males around us. Of course we have experienced instances, but subtly, for example people often presume our other halves are our links to the music scene. On one occasion a quite well known DJ asked us if we’d like to support at one of his shows. We accepted, but when he found out one of us had a boyfriend he ignored our messages and didn’t follow through with the booking.

We have other female friends who’ve experienced much worse, so we aren’t going to sugarcoat it and say things are all good. That’s far from the reality. And it’s a bit of a catch 22 because we’re at a point now where these discussions are becoming tiresome and there needs to be more action, but how can we drive that without these conversations?

Conversely, what have been some positive things you’ve experienced as a DJ as a result of your gender?

We have friends who are trying to help create equality within the music scene, both men and women. We’ve probably been booked on occasions to even out a gender gap which isn’t a negative thing. It becomes apparent when promoters don’t have the right intentions. Tokenism is definitely prevalent and there are a lot people pushing exclusive “female only” lineups for the sake of doing it.

What are your aspirations as a DJ and in general?

Neither of us expected for this to be anything more than just playing some tunes together, so we are just taking things as they come, embracing every opportunity we are given and enjoying it! It’s amazing to have a little bit more of a platform now to help promote others, whether that be inviting them to guest on our radio show or booking them to play a night, we’ve all got to support each other.

Image: Mehdi Lacoste

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