Noemi Grütter and Linda Kirezi the co-founders of Elle Kwa Mziki
ELLE KWA MZIKI (“she for music” in French and Swahili)
Based on the experiences throughout our journey as female DJs (from Linda Kire and myself) we recognized the problems female DJs face, how it has affected us and how these challenges are transnational. The DJ business is not only male-dominated, but there is also a lot of discrimination such as salary inequality, sexism, being objectivized and sexual harassment. While we can witness the phenomenon of “boys clubs”, which means men supporting men in different businesses, lifting each other up, women are taught by the system to be in competition to each other at all times. We also find it infuriating to see that techno was born from Black and Hispanic communities but where the industry stands now, it is overwhelmingly dominated by white male creators.
We knew that the only way how to protect ourselves and take the space in this industry is if we protect each other, if we collectively take the space, if we set standards and lift each other up – providing and taking spaces so that we can tell our stories through music and art.
Our mission is to create a “girls club” creating opportunities for each other, rather than being in competition. To be role models and share knowledge. To create common salary standards to which we will collectively stick. To get into producing. To collectively talk about and feel that it is our right to be there right behind the decks – to be fearless, to be proud and loud.
“It’s infuriating to see that techno was born from the Black and Hispanic communities and where the industry stands now, overwhelmingly dominated by white male creators.”
We started to organize DJ workshops for women, girls, inter, non-binary and trans people providing them with the skills to start off their DJ life while being connected to a community, mentored and having conversations about how to navigate through the music and DJ industry as women, inter, non-binary and trans people. We also started to organize parties where we only curated female artists. And we recently had the opportunity to organize a artist residency for female artists in Rwanda and collectively create a performance for the women’s rights conference Women Deliver.
“In an industry that has historically failed to make space for female artists, creating safe spaces where women can feel seen and heard is crucial.”
We are still on a journey, discovering how to make more transnational connections, push forward the artist residency for female artist project and keep on providing DJ workshops and pushing forward all the talents and women who’s voices were systemically silenced.
In an industry that has historically failed to make space for female artists, for Black artists, for queer artists – creating safe spaces where women, inter, non-binary and trans people can feel seen and heard is crucial.
For collaborations, questions or bookings you can get in contact with the Elle Kwa Mziki team directly: email@example.com