Happy Friday Kids! So, you all now know which male DJs make me sweat a little more than the rest. Now it's time for some serious eye candy and even more face-melting talent. In my opinion, female DJs have it a little rougher than the guys in this business, mostly because the top slots seem to be consistently dominated by a Boys Club of sorts who pull in rising talent, mentor them, then launch them into stardom...and 99% of the time, this rising talent is also male, so it creates a cycle of male DJs cultivating the careers of other male DJs.
When I brought up this piece I was working on, I got the same reaction from everyone: "Uh, that should be easy, there are only about five female DJs worth writing about." False, my friends, totally false. I actually had a hard time narrowing it down to just five. Female DJs, although not well represented in the industry, have a huge advantage when it comes to their signature style: Since there's not as much pressure on them to conform, they're able to really expand their sound without sacrificing creativity to please those fans who NEED to hear played out bangers like Animals just one more time. Hopefully one day these chicks will band together and do an all-female tour or festival, because that's bound to be one of the sexiest, over-stimulating productions that has yet to happen.
And now, without further ado and in no particular order...my picks for the top five baddest chicks in the biz of beats.
Spoiler Alert: Paris Hilton did not make this list. Life can be so cruel sometimes...
Niche: Sleek, sexy Ukrainian import
Physical Traits: Jaw-dropping looks & legs for days.
Unique Musical Ability: Seamlessly blends modern EDM while keeping her European dance music roots intact
Bottom Line: Unless you've been to Vegas or spent some serious time hitting the clubs abroad, you may not know of this Ukrainian sensation...but put it this way: If you take everything you love about Hardwell, Chuckie, Dada Life, Benny Benassi, Showtek and Bingo Players, cut out the egos, package it all into a tall, leggy smoke-show then wrap it up in some serious dope bitch swagger, you arrive at DJane Amely. Referring to herself as a DJane rather than DJ, Amely has made a name for herself as an international supermodel and tour de force on the the global club circuit. Her style focuses on big room/progressive/electro house, but occasionally strays to EDM throwbacks you wish you heard just one more time, R&B/hip-hop, classic rock (yup, she's known to drop Queen), and good old fashioned European dance music (you know, what all this was before the US caught wind of the phenomenon). Her 'Mixology' podcast has catapulted her to the top of my list of DJs I need to see before I die. Check her SoundCloud here and just do a quick google search on her pics, you won't be sorry...but you will definitely lose at least 30-60 minutes of productivity today.
Niche: Lovable badass Aussies
Defining Traits: Big blonde hair, big personalities, and crazy sense of style.
Unique Musical Ability: Staples on the festival circuit, these girls craft sets where you always walk away from them thinking that was the best night of your life.
Bottom Line: From the minute I heard David Guetta's When Love Takes Over, I fell in love with Miriam and Olivia Nervo (yup, they wrote that one). I think I may have played that song more than any other track downloaded that year. Everything they write and produce is an instant hit. Their Nervo Nation podcast demonstrates an ability to flawlessly blend my two favorite genres, progressive and deep house, in a way that has introduced many of my 'noob' EDM lovers to the more simplified, yet timeless four-to-the-floor beats I've been jacking to since I got my first boom box. Seeing them live, however, puts these two on my list of top performances of all time. Whether at the main stage of a festival or in a club venue, Nervo never fails to surprise me. A few weeks ago at LIV in Miami during WMC, for example, they began dropping Jock Jams tracks out of nowhere and the night suddenly became one that went down in Bad Kids history. It's no surprise these two made my countdown, as they're right up there with their male contemporaries that seem to dominate the EDM spotlight, and most of the time Nervo ends up stealing it away from them.
Niche: Straight-up boss chick
Defining Traits: Dope curves, dark and sexy, not afraid to speak her mind.
Unique Musical Ability: Expect the unexpected...Gina Turner always has another trick up her sleeve that you never saw coming.
Bottom Line: I first saw Gina Turner open for her husband, Laidback Luke, at Pacha NYC and to say that I was completely blown away is a severe understatement. Gina's ability to read a crowd is off the charts and, just like her husband, she has an uncanny ability to drop the most unexpected tracks at just the right time to push the energy of the room through the roof. I gobble up her Turn It Up Radio podcast the minute a new one drops. Her B2B set with Laidback Luke on Holy Ship, 2014 was the main reason I signed up for the 2015 voyage, and constantly find myself whining to my friends that I wish she would play more shows since she's based in New York. Now that she's just given birth (congrats, girl!), that may be a some time away, but will only make it that much more special when she returns to the decks...you know I'll be there.
Niche: Striking Dutch-Canadian import with a dope New York vibe
Defining Traits: Piercing eyes, million-dollar smile, unparalleled energy.
Unique Musical Ability: Heavy drops and face-vibrating bass expertly matched with old school high-energy New York style EDM.
Bottom Line: Memorable. Just, memorable. Every single time I've seen her perform...I even know the exact dates to this day. Highlights, you ask? November, 2012 - I went to check out Sultan & Ned Shepard at Santos Party House, as I was an Electric Beach junkie back in the day when that party was sweatier, grimier, and featured some insane up-and-coming talent that few had ever heard of. I was not aware of Eva Shaw at the time, who went by DJ Bambi. The minute I walked up to the DJ booth to claim my usual spot on top of a banquette (always felt bad for whoever reserved that table) next to a support column less than 10 feet from the decks, our eyes met and my knees buckled a little bit. I was immediately sucked into her vibe, and didn't leave that spot the entire time she spun. January, 2013 - Again, Santos Party House, this time with MAKJ headlining. I literally did not speak to a single person while she performed. My eyes were most likely closed the entire time. Also in January, 2013 - Marquee NY. It was here that I learned that Eva Shaw was also a huge fan of deep house. Again, didn't speak to a single soul the entire night, and I stayed until the lights came on. Do yourself a favor, check her SoundCloud, and see her the next time she's in NYC. You can thank me later.
Niche: Multi-genre EDM enthusiast.
Defining Traits: Short stature, striking beauty.
Unique Musical Ability: Best-all around taste in music, EDM or otherwise, that I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. By far the best DJ to feature when introducing new people to EDM.
Bottom Line: I've been following DJ Kalkutta for about 3-4 years now. I love her style, I love her swagger, and I LOVE her taste in music. I'm not all EDM all the time (well, most of the time), and Kalkutta satisfies all of my tastes with sets that will go from pop to hip-hop to oldies to dance and back around again, all while keeping it high-energy, fun, and maybe even bring back a track or two you haven't heard in a long time that puts a huge-ass smile on your face. For a while, I worked out at a boutique fitness studio that contracted her to do a lot of their mixes for class. Let's just say I beasted out those workouts like never before. Unfortunately, I haven't heard much out of DJ Kalkutta in 2014, and I really hope that changes soon...I need my fix!
Niche: Professional crafter of deep, dark beats and bringer of all things funk. Oh...and she usually spins topless.
Defining Traits: All t*tties...BECAUSE DID YOU NOT READ SHE SPINS TOPLESS!
Unique Musical Ability: Like a female Mark Knight, Niki is the one of the reigning queens of deep house.
Bottom Line: Like Jessie Andrews, Niki is a former adult film actress. This 'Erotic DJ,' as she prefers to be called, hails from Hungary and has trademarked the topless performance with a large collection of rhinestone bras and pasties. Catching her in the US can be difficult, as she mainly tours the European club circuit, but if you're a fan of deep, funky beats, I highly recommend you check her out if she's ever in town. She keeps it simple and sexy...just how house music was always meant to be. For now, her podcast is
What do you guys think? Did I hit the nail on the head? Did I leave anyone out worth noting? Feel free to shout me out (or just shout at me) @Matty_Mels via @BadKidsCo and let me know if you love it or hate it!
Until next time...hands to the sky,