Ahead of their performance at Roundhouse Rising Festival, We catch up with the talented sisters in spin…Jords and Katie AKA Girls Can’t DJ (GCDJ)!
So, your DJ collective is called ‘Girls Can’t DJ’ did this name actually transpire from a statement someone said, could you talk a little more about the thought process for the name?
Jords: We get asked this question so many times and actually wish we had a more exciting story of how it came about! The name came to us really organically, at the time the scene was very different to now. In Brighton where we were both living at the time, all the DJs in the places we went to were men, all the people we knew who were DJs were men. We started djing under no name and just couldn’t believe how many times during a set people would come up to us so shocked to see 2 girls behind the decks and also how entitled so many men felt to lean over the decks and change our levels, or generally analyse every transition or track selection.
How did you form as collective? Would you be open to having any other women in your crew?
Katie: We basically met from being involved in the Brighton pub industry and then started DJing together in local pubs, we did it completely for free at first, just loved the buzz and playing tunes to a crowd together! The more time went on the more serious GCDJ got, we really didn’t expect it to get this far in such a short amount of time to be honest but we’re so glad it has because we really do treat it like a career now, something we’re so passionate about. We’re definitely open to playing out and getting involved in projects/collaborating with other girls for sureee but I think we want GCDJ to remain as a duo and how it all began, but who knows what the future holds!
What do you think are the biggest barriers to girls/women from taking up DJing professionally?
Jords: Growing up for me it was representation, and even though there has been a massive influx of female DJs in the past year and you are much more likely to see girls on line ups we look at line ups like Wireless and realise how far we still have to go.
What has been the toughest setback in your DJing career and how did you overcome?
Katie: That’s a tough question you know. To be honest we’ve always believed in ourselves but there have been rollercoaster moments like there is in any creative industry. You just have to push through it, don’t compare your success to others, set goals and smash it!
Who are your favourite female DJ’s and what are your favourite female run music spaces or club nights?
Jords: How much time do I have? I love A.G, Jamz Supernova, LRO, Emerald, Mina this list can go on so much more. I’m a big fan of the BBZ crew, their nights are always so on point and always handled with a lot of love and care. Work It is a night run by all women which I am very honoured to be a regular on the line up, all the girls behind Work It literally all feel like sisters and its truly a family affair when we all get together. I think that’s what’s so beautiful with female collectives like Born n Bread, the sisterhood and love and support transpires so well into their brand and that’s why they are continuing to flourish!
What styles are most prevalent in your mixes?
Katie: We are pretty eclectic but at the minute we’re very much into future r&b/electronic soul vibe, we get called (call ourselves) the remix queens, we love a cheeky edit. Along with that, r&b, hip hop, disco and garage! A combination of Kisstory and soulection with some added fever 105
Where do you find inspiration for putting your mixes together?
Jords: Good question. So simple but we want to put out mixes that people want to listen to. Our friends are a big inspiration, because it’s our friends that hype us up. You know when you listen to a mix so much that you learn the transitions of songs. So many times, someone has been like ffs Jords every time I’m out and I hear x song I automatically start singing y song coz of The Around The World mix. Knowing people listen to your SoundCloud enough to have the transitions of songs ingrained in their heads is definitely motivation to carry on making mixes for me it can’t get much better than that.
Furthermore, what is the creative process when putting a mix together?
Katie: Because we both live in different cities it totally depends, sometimes we will do individual mixes, sometimes we get together and do a b2b session, sometimes we will make half each and put them together. If we’re doing a mix together we’ll make a playlist and go with that. Sometimes we’ll be spontaneous though, it always differs.
What do you think of the vinyl vs digital Djing debate?
Katie: We just think let a DJ do what they want to do! Everyone has their own styles and preferred methods, like anything in life. You can get someone on CDJ’s who will smash it with looping and effects then you’ll get someone who can beat match and scratch like a pro using vinyl. At the end of the day, people just want to hear good music and good vibes.
What artists/and or genres do you think are the most exciting in 2018?
Jords: I love love love the sound of this marriage between electronic and rnb at the moment, artists such Jarreau Vandal and that whole Toronto/Amsterdam scene is killing it. It exciting and giving slow rnb songs that I probably wouldn’t be able to play at 2am a new life at 110bpm.
Where is the best and worst place you’ve played out at and why?
Katie: Our favourite gig is probably Boiler Room; the vibes were so good and we were buzzing for days after. Brighton pride is also an incredible gig.
Jords: There was this one time we were asked to do a private event, not going to say where, where or who… But the crowd was so dead and it was a 5-hour set. What the audience wanted differed very much from our style but somehow even then we managed to just crack so much joke behind the decks and it ended up being a laugh, probs because we steamed through a bottle of prosecco though.
Where would your dream residency and why?
Jords: Would really love to be a resident during a summer abroad somewhere, literally imagine a summer residency!!
Tell us about your involvement with Roundhouse Rising? What can we look forward to?
Katie: You can expect our usual style but definitely with a few surprises, we’re not going to reveal too much!
What advice did you wish you received when starting out?
Jords: Don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out to people. We are on line-ups that even a year ago would never ever imagine to be a part of. Get your name out there, build your SoundCloud. Also, it took me a very long time to accept the importance of social media, even just for networking, I can’t tell you how many gigs we’ve got from following someone, then being on their radar then linking up and working together. You imagine people in the industry to be everyone for themselves but you would be surprised how many people are like, I can’t do this gig or I think this suits you more than me and are just generally willing to help. Also, very important – KNOW YOUR WORTH! Don’t let anyone under pay you, be open and talk to other DJs about their rate and you will be very surprised.
Catch GCDJ at Roundhouse Rising Festival. For tickets visit: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2018/roundhouse-rising-festival/
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