DJ Amy B is here to reignite our musical motivation
Whether it’s DJing, producing or even skateboarding: soak up DJ Amy B’s tips and tricks on how to bite the bullet and put yourself out there – even in lockdown!
DJ Amy B has got where she is today overcoming her fears and championing womxn in UK bass. How? By taking some initiative!
Despite battling with creative confidence issues like the rest of us, Amy B‘s hustled hard. From joining the London Sound Academy to networking at womxn in music events and running her Subtle Radio residency (AKA In Womxn, We Trust). On top of that, we absolutely love Amy B‘s 50/50 gender split D&B, Footwork and Dubstep mixes. So much hard work goes into the curation, and she always pulls for the bangers! With such an insatiable drive and mighty agenda, it’s no surprise she’s since earned her stripes on major platforms like Bassdrive, Bloc2bloc, EQ50, Ladies of Rage, Galdem of Eden and Data Transmission to name a few.
With all the damage done to the scene, it’s no wonder people are feeling lacklustre. So that’s why absorbing energies like Amy’s is so important, even if it’s only as a reminder that we’re all in the same boat. Read on and let Amy B reignite your musical motivation!
Hey Amy B ! I love your gender split mixes in D&B, Dubstep and Footwork. Why did you start doing them?
Before the pandemic, I regularly attended D&B gigs and started to notice that females were pretty much absent in almost all line-ups. At the time I was learning to DJ at the London Sound Academy and raised this point with my tutor, Erin Davies, who encouraged me to take action and challenge this ‘norm’.
That’s when I decided to curate an all-womxn produced D&B mix for Data Transmission DnB’s mix series, ‘Renegade Riddims’.
This was an amazing opportunity, as I discovered so many incredible womxn producers! Since then, I’ve continued to include womxn tracks in all my sets to help shine a much needed light on these talented producers. Naturally, I also wanted to discover and support womxn producers in other genres like Dubstep and Footwork, so I’ve curated gender-split mixes in these genres too!
How do you curate your mixes? Is it hard finding great womxn producers?
Finding womxn producers is definitely a challenge as there aren’t as many releasing music compared to men. But they are out there! You just have to do your research, which takes time and you have to dig deep. For me, there’s so much joy and reward in finding a sick female producer, someone who I can relate to. It reassures me that there is space for me and other females to succeed in this community.
Plus there’s something so satisfying in dropping a sick tune produced by a female. Maybe because I understand how hard womxn have to work to gain recognition, especially with production.
I also think we need to move away from the tag ‘female producers’, as well as the term, ‘female DJ’. They are producers who create great tracks and I love to play and support them in my mixes, which can take time to curate as I always have to consider if they reflect a fair representation, but that’s fine as I know that I am helping to level the playing field for womxn.
I love the way you always push your career forward. You’re constantly networking, on the radio, studying at the London Sound Academy… Do you have any top tips on how to put your name out there?
Knowing the right people with experience in the industry who can advise, support and inspire me has played a huge part in getting my name out there. I met many of my key contacts at the London Sound Academy, who’ve been invaluable to my career as a DJ. Shout out to Noah Priddle, who introduced me to DJing and Subtle Radio, Erin Davies, who I consider to be my mentor and Ollie Rant who helped boost my confidence.
Building strong relationships is so important. After my first live show on Subtle Radio, I continued contact and worked with them whenever an opportunity came up and a year later, I landed my first residency with them, which I am very grateful for. Also, speak and approach people in the industry and (when you can) go to gigs and events to keep up to date with the scene. The D&B scene in particular is a pretty tight knit community, so mingle and get to know fellow ravers. You may discover hidden opportunities!
Have you experienced any challenges putting yourself out there, and if so, how do you think they could be solved for the next generation?
I think the biggest challenge for me is battling my confidence. Putting yourself out there can be very daunting – there’s always the fear of rejection and criticism. I’m not really a fan of the spotlight and bringing attention to myself. But building my own strong network of people that I trust and who believe in me has really helped. Womxn collectives like EQ50 and Ladies of Rage, as well as the community of graduates that the London Sound Academy has created, are great, as they bring artists together and encourage everyone to support each other.
What can we look out for from Amy B in the future?
I want to continue supporting womxn in creative industries, particularly through my show on Subtle Radio, ‘In Womxn, We Trust’. At the moment I’m supporting DJs and producers, but eventually, I want to broaden that out to womxn who work behind creative scenes and even look at other areas where womxn are underrepresented, like skateboarding which I recently started! At some point, I’d like to carry on producing and releasing my first Drum & Bass track, something quite dark and heavy. This year my aim was to get more gigs under my belt, so whenever clubs reopen I’m going to achieve this too.