In celebration of International Women’s Day and the festival season soon to hit cities around the world, Smirnoff has announced several new, inclusive initiatives that seek to greatly expand the number of female-identified DJs and producers in the electronic music scene. The three-part effort includes a newly formed pledge between key industry stakeholders to work towards changing the male-dominated status quo, a list of “50 Women Making Noise” from all corners of the globe, and a short documentary highlighting the work of two specific women in the industry: The Black Madonna and DJ Rachael.

According to female:pressure, just 10% of music festival headliners during 2016 were female. Combined with THUMP’s more recent findings of only 17% female headliners being booked for major events around the world, it’s easy to see why Smirnoff’s “Equalizing Music” effort comes as such a relevant and necessary one in the modern electronic music circuit.

In order to flip the script, Smirnoff announced a newly formed cooperation with the likes of Spotify, Pitchfork, iHeartRadio, Mixmag, THUMP, and Broadly. Together, the group plans to do their part to advance equal gender representation across the live show scene and beyond.

As part of its collaboration with THUMP and Broadly, Smirnoff next crafted a list of 50 incredible talented female DJs and musicians from all corners of the globe, giving fans the opportunity to explore entirely new realms of diverse material. From Tokimonsta and J.Phlip to Jane Fitz, Catnapp and Anna Lunoe, the list features a high variation of different styles and influences, each deserving to gain recognition far outside of their local beat.

For those looking to expand their musical horizons and come face to face with some of the best female talent in the electronic industry, Smirnoff even teamed up with Spotify to create a playlist that includes work from each of the members of the “50 Women Making Noise” list.

To round out Smirnoff’s “Equalizing Music” effort, a brief documentary video was uploaded to THUMP’s official Youtube page that details the life and ideas of two influential female DJs from opposite ends of the earth.

DJ Rachael, known in her home nation of Uganda and across western Africa as the region’s first female DJ, invited Chicago’s The Black Madonna to her home to participate in a Femme Electronic teaching session for other local women musicians. After experiencing the pulse of West Africa and speaking about the similar impetuses behind their movements, The Black Madonna brought DJ Rachael to the Windy City to perform at her own showcase inspired by Daphne, a gender inclusive movement spawned by The Black Madonna in 2015.

Both DJs experienced similar barriers when trying to enter the field, and their reflections in each other’s company come as deeply important talking points for the next generation of female-identified DJs to hold onto as they make their own leap into the business.

Check out the “Equalizing Music” documentary feature below, and click here to visit Smirnoff’s dedicated online platform for even more information.


Image: Aldo Paredes