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Queens of the console

Women deejays are here to take over the console.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 18:37 IST

Move over, dude deejays. The ladies are here to take over the console. They are armed with the right beats and glamour galore. Raring to go Women deejays may still be rare, but they are surely raring to go.

In India, where deejaying as a profession has just about started getting recognition, it’s not easy for a woman to make a mark in the profession yet. Their charm and good looks often backfire at places like nightclubs, inviting snide remarks. Says Mumbai’s DJ Megha Kawale, one of the best known female deejays in the country: “When I started out eight years ago, deejaying attracted far less attention than it does today. People laughed when told them that

I was a deejay — more so because I was a woman.” Megha even recalls how someone came up to her and said she attracted a good crowd not because of her music, but because of her looks. Survival of the fittest But Megha didn’t give up. “For one, it feels great to control a crowd,” she says. “Also, today more people are aware of what deejaying is all about. They give you your due if you are good.” Agrees DJ Kary, known for her freestyle music since ’98: ““People may come to ‘see’ a female DJ but won’t stay if she’s not good. Whether you are a man or a woman, if you don’t have talent you won’t last.”

Obvious problems On why there aren’t many female deejays around, Kary (who plays at Buzz, Gurgaon) reasons: “It’s not easy for a girl to convince parents over working in a nightclub. Often, unwanted situations can be unnerving.” Of course, there are ways out. While Megha sticks to playing “for the class audience”, Kary avoids private events. DJ Ayesha Soni, who plays at Calypso, trusts the club bouncers to keep trouble at bay. “The job,” she adds,” is as safe or unsafe for a girl as partying in a club.” It’s still a man’s world So, where does the average woman deejay see herself vis-a-vis her male counterpart?

“Deejaying isn’t about be ing male or female. It’s about understanding crowd psychology,” says Ayesha. “If there aren’t many female deejays, it’s because women tend not to stick to the job for long.” It’s a point hotshot male DJ Rummy Sharma endorses: “Deejaying is a career, not a pastime. Most women deejays can’t take the pressure. They need to work hard and believe in themselves.” Rock da party And where do these women deejays stand? Well, they get anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending on the slots they are playing in. Established names like DJ Pearl also get the freedom to play their preferred music (read non commercial — tech house, tribal, progressive etc). Pearl has also reportedly signed a contract with an overseas manager for her career and image.

But are the women deejays the preferred choice? “A woman deejay sure adds glamour. If she’s talented, that’s a bonus. Its the same as lady bartenders,” says socialite Cheena Wig. Entrepreneur Shallen Jain says: “It’s different when one sees a girl ruling the console. However, gender doesn’t make much of a difference as the deejay usually remains in the console space and does not interact with the guests. I hire deejays depending on their talent and the kind of music they play, and not because of their gender or the way they look.” The console queens are sure coming of age. Cheers to that.

Inputs by Anuradha Kaul