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By Isobel Van Dyke
ntil last month, during a time before “freedom day”, no one had seen the inside of a club for 18 months. We became used to having no plans on a Friday night; staying in, watching Gogglebox, adopting a cat. The idea of applying a full-face of makeup just to sweat it all off again was but a distant memory.
Sudden waves of nostalgia would hit via car speakers - booming past the kitchen window - met with a light foot-tap or hip-sway. For those of us who turned to TikTok, memories of the dance floor came flooding back through pre-pandemic DJ sets. Snippets from that exact moment crowds recognised a song and howled an appreciative roar at the DJs.
“I call it ‘the usual shit’ - which is sad that I call it that - but of course I’ve had the ass-grab from a promoter before.”
One of the most popular of these TikToks is from a Boiler Room set with Hackney-based DJ, Jyoty Singh. The transition from Nelly’s Hot in Herre, to S!RENE’s It G Hot In Mi Bumper, brought us back to life during lockdown and craving sticky flooring like never before.
Here at The Stack, our event theme for the month is ‘IRL’. Slowly but surely each of our events will be happening in person, as well as on Zoom, and finally our members are able to chat, network and dance with one another at IRL meet-ups such as our office party at the end of the month.
Now that clubs have reopened, we plan on dancing. And having become a big fan of Jyoty’s TikToks during lockdown, there’s nowhere we’d rather go than straight to one of her sets.
Before we rave with her, we sat down with Jyoty to discover more about the 30-year-old DJ, who coincidentally, will be celebrating her 31st birthday with a special set at Fabric on August 27th.
“I worry for the girls who are less vocal, who are timid, who have different body types and different personality traits.”
I Wouldn’t Call Myself A DJ…
I always say ‘I’m not a DJ - I DJ.’ Give me another five years or so and I’ll be confident enough to say ‘I am a DJ’. But technically it’s been four years since I learnt what the play button was.
If it wasn’t for my good friend Jamz Supernova I wouldn’t be DJing right now. She phoned me up and asked me to open this night at Bussey Building, I told her I didn’t know how to mix and she told me she didn’t care. I bombed my set, I cried in the toilets afterwards and the rest is history - that’s how it all started.
I am a DJ but I don’t consider myself a DJ because I haven’t mastered the craft yet. I get better every time I practice but there’s still so much to learn.
My Ultimate Career Goal Is…
Never to be doing just one thing. I consider myself a broadcaster first, a curator second, presenter and DJ come somewhere after that. The goal is to be doing everything I’m doing already but at a higher level. Plus just to be a f*cking sick DJ.
The Songs That Get The Biggest Reactions Are Always...
Dependent on where they’re being played. If it’s 2am on a hot summer’s night I love to play reggaeton or garage, but the next day I might want to play something very funk-heavy. Or even just a nice Alicia Keys tune that everyone can close their eyes to and think back to high school.
However, the songs that people love the most are ones they haven’t heard for many, many, many years, a song you might have forgotten, that you didn’t expect to be pulled out at that time of night. Or simply, a good remix - everyone loves a good remix.
You Get Booked As A DJ If You Look A Certain Way…
You might have only booked me because I’m hot but I’m going to do a f*cking good job at what I do. The crowd’s reactions say it all.
I have a lot of experiences gathered from the women around me - who I get to call part of my community - that’s where I see real problems with the way women DJs are treated. I see real talent being overlooked all the time.
I see some girls getting booked because they do look a certain way...and I see others also being booked because they don’t look a certain way. People think, ‘I’ll book her because she’s a hypebeast’, or ‘I’ll book her because she’s attractive’.
I came into the industry when I was 27 so I was able to be more vocal. I call it ‘The Usual Shit’ - which is sad that I call it that - but of course I’ve had the ass-grab from a promoter before. It made me realise that if this is happening to me, I can’t imagine what’s happening to my other girls - in positions less privileged than me.
I worry for the girls who are less vocal, who are timid, who have different bodies and different personality traits. I am passionate about speaking up on behalf of those girls.
15 Women DJs You Should Know…
Where To Find Me…
27th August - Fabric, London, UK
4th September - LobsterFest, London, UK
15th October - Madruga, Thekla, Bristol, UK
17th December, Lab11, Birmingham, UK
Get to know one of London's coolest female DJs, Jyoty.
By Isobel Van Dyke
Galleries have reopened and the city is pulsing once again with the return of culture, art, music, people. We hear from the women leading the art scene on what galleries they’re heading to this summer and what they’re most excited to see