This International Women’s Day I got the pleasure of celebrating with creative duo Bossy LDN as they put female empowerment into action. Bossy LDN, made up of Izzy Steven and Dee Coombes, are making it their aim to uplift women into the music industry by providing them with the support and confidence needed to break into a male-dominated field.
Bossy LDN does it all from creative directing to DJing and this International Women’s Day, Izzy and Dee wanted to give back. “We weren’t going to do anything at all because International Women’s Day should be every day,” explains Izzy. “Instead of throwing a party or gathering we wanted to actually give back a skill and teach our fellow sisters something they are aspiring to do or be.”
Bossy LDN, along with fellow DJ CVSS, did just that and provided a group of 15 women with an in-depth DJ workshop. Carried out in an all-female environment, the workshop allowed women to step up to the decks without the fear of intimidation and judgment. “We wanted to make them feel comfortable and learn the ropes to DJing in a space where it’s just women and where they can be themselves.” says the duo.
The lack of women in the music industry at every level, including within the DJ scene, has been an increasing area of concern. Only this month has the Recording Academy pledged to improve the balance between men and women after discovering the shameful statistic that only 2 percent of music producers and 3 percent of engineers/mixers are women.
However, Bossy LDN is taking matters into their own hands. “We still sometimes find that men try and be a part of whatever we’re doing and they try to go above us and check over things that we’ve already done,” says Dee. “We have to tell them that they don’t need to do that! We’ve got it covered! Trust us!”
The duo showcases a progressive mindset which doesn’t attack men but instead focuses on convincing women to believe in their own skills and to realize that they have every right to be as good as or even better than their male counterparts in the DJ scene. “When we play to guys they’re like, ‘oh this is actually good,’ but what do you mean actually!?” says Izzy. “Obviously it’s good! Just because we’re women doesn’t mean it should have to be a surprise!”
Bossy LDN continues to challenge what is expected of them as women as they demonstrate through their track lists that no music genre is gender specific and provide their crowds with a melting pot of grime, trap, hip hop, and the occasional bashment tune. “People will look at us and our clothes and think we’re about to put on some Christina Milian but then we go straight in with the maddest trap!” laughs Izzy. “But we’ve never been put down about our music choices. Everyone, including men, actually praise us for it.”
The workshop gave aspiring female DJ’s at any level the opportunity to learn the basics of mixing as well as tips on how to advance in the DJ business from the software needed to the confidence needed. “You can’t be an unconfident DJ,” I overheard CVSS explain to the group. “To make it as a DJ you need to show your eager and hungry for it and remember, you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there.”
Advice like this was shared throughout the day and it was evident that this is exactly the kind of support girls need in order to believe that they hold every strength to excel in their passion or even better, to make a living out of it. So many girls are not provided with the encouragement to unlock their full potential so it is crucial that when we speak about female empowerment we actually turn these words into actions just as Bossy LDN have.
These opportunities should be available to all females and not limited to one day of the year which is why Bossy LDN has also decided to continue their workshops after the overwhelming response it received. Here’s to even more acts of women uplifting women in 2019 and beyond!
For all the aspiring DJs out there be sure to look out for future events by Bossy LDN but for now, check out Izzy and Dee’s top 5 tips for beginner DJs below!
1. Know all your music!
“You need to know all your music inside and out. Make sure you listen to the songs you’re going to play and listen to where the beat drops out and comes in. You also need to know how the lyrics flow through your track list. You can’t just bang out a load of songs and hope for the best!”
2. Count your beats!
“Make sure your counting your beats in 8’s and 16’s so that your counting in time to the BPM (beats per minute) of the song. Don’t just drop the track anywhere because it’s just going to be a lot of noise and it’s not going to be a smooth transition.”
3. Mix through BPM!
“We start at a slower BPM and then tend to end our set on a higher BPM. Knowing your BPMs and matching your BPMs is crucial. Once you’ve matched your BPMs you’ll be able to mix songs seamlessly.”
4. Practice, practice, practice!
“The only way you’re going to get better is through practice and dedication. Eventually, everything will come naturally so keep on pushing!”
5. Enjoy it!
“Go into DJing with purely your passion in mind. Do it for yourself and the enjoyment of others. Live your best life and don’t doubt yourself!”