By Brianna Smith-Herman
Women DJs have an enriched history! They have always played a critical role in music and dance and, upon closer inspection, women have defied the odds all along. Beyond building careers as vocalists and dancers, they also were risk-taking label managers, scene-defining DJs, visionary artists, and producers.
Women are blossoming in an industry highly saturated and associated with men, proving they can rise to the occasion. There’s no shortage of women who can hold their own behind the turntables here in Memphis. There are countless impressive female DJs mixing tunes across the city, from seasoned veterans to rising stars. These DJs have performed for some of the city’s biggest festivals, held residencies at some of the most popular clubs, and they’ve assisted and worked with some of the industry’s most successful artists and agencies. And to add to that, every single one of these women wear many more hats than just the DJ cap.
Here are 5 Women DJs who you should know or get to know in the 901.
1.) DJ Tootz (DJ Big Tootz and DJ Lil Tootz)
DJ Tootz, or Twin Tootz, are known for being the twin DJs who will turn you up, no matter the event! Together, they create an infectious energy that keeps them booked and busy. Though they split their time between Atlanta’s rolling skating scene as in house house DJs for Cascade Skating Rink and their hometown Memphis, they are constantly finding ways to advance themselves in this male dominant industry. Tootz are self-taught DJs that play all kinds of genres of music. Their style is very versatile, from being official DJs for Memphis’ own Quality Control recording artist Duke Deuce to DJing my wedding. They are a fun time!
Check out DJ Tootz on the 1’s and 2’s Here.
2.) DJ Space Age
DJ Space Age has been holding down the Memphis music scene for some time now. Getting her start at local clubs and DJing a tour run for 8Ball and MJG pushed her into the limelight of being one of the city’s premier female DJs. Opening up for acts such as Somo, Rae Sremmurd, Big Krit, Denzel Curry, Riff Raff, and Mike Stud and her resume is growing rapidly. Also a curator of events, CEO of TRDON & event coordinator for The Dope Academy, she has excelled in creating showcases in Memphis. As a show DJ for ToriWhoDat and Tres Ventura, you can catch her being a hype man to these dope acts. Be on the lookout for great things from DJ Space Age.
3.) DJ Kevia
DJ Kevia can be heard Friday nights on 88.5 FM, where she produces a show called “Flashback Friday Nights” from 9 pm – Midnight. She is one of four co-founders, including DJ Crystal Mercedes, of ‘SheDjs’, an organization to help established and upcoming female DJs to get gigs and showcase their talents. DJ Kevia says her career highlight as a DJ has been, “DJing for actor Leon Robinson and his reggae band ‘Leon and The Peoples’, and DJing for actor Michael Jai White when he came to speak at the Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis’ ‘Evolution Pop Culture and Community Summit. presented by the Heal The Hood Foundation of Memphis.
Check out DJ Kevia on the 1’s and 2’s Here.
4.) DJ Crystal Mercedes aka (The Runway DJ)
DJ Crystal Mercedes is a talented DJ known for mixing the sounds of Hip Hop, R&B, and Deep House, with mainstream Pop music and just a little bit of Reggae and Rock. There is no limit to her music collection! She brings a sexy style of DJing by setting her presence with her stylish attire and funky high heels. She can be found curating vibes on Friday at WKND Memphis. She has also worked with a number of clients for musical direction, including Memphis Fashion Week, Memphis Grizzlies, Sephora, Victoria Secret, Madewell, American Apparel, Macy’s, and Microsoft. It’s safe to say she’s a music success.
Check out DJ Crystal Mercedes on the 1’s and 2’s Here.
5.) DJ Chandler Blingg
DJ Chandler Blingg is unique in that she’s a DJ, beatmaker, and producer. Her vibe is house, techno, iconic blends, mash-ups, and dance floor vibes. She will try her hand at whatever feels right — creating a truly unique, multifaceted expression of herself through her music. You can hear her set ‘Mahogany’ every Tuesday on WYXR 91.7, from 11 pm -1 am.
Check out DJ Chandler Blingg’s set Here.
For all female DJs or aspiring DJs check out @SheDJs901 for more knowledge and opportunities in Memphis.