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“It’s an opportunity for me to discover other types of audiences and events”

Why do you participate in the Tienbooo Dance Festival?
“I’m new to the industry since I’ve been deejaying for two and a half years now. Basically, I’m a nurse and I started music with singing. Today, I’m mainly in the nightclubs, discos and bars all over the island. The Tienbooo Dance Festival is an opportunity for me to discover other types of audiences and events. I find the concept very interesting. The fun is not at all the same as in the enclosed spaces where I am used to exercising with a clientele that I know. We start with something much broader in terms of ages, since the event is open to everyone. It’s different from what I’m used to. If we go back to the history, I started about two and a half years ago, so just before the Covid-19 crisis. Taking away the two years, I didn’t have many opportunities left to practice in public.Since the recovery, I have a few more opportunities. I get asked all over the place. I’m going to discover what a festival atmosphere is and the festival-goers, which I don’t necessarily know. It only enriches my personal experience. It is a moment of exchange and encounter. I will be on the general scene, shared with several colleagues. Artists will also arrive later in the evening. We’ll make sure people have as much fun as possible.

You are part of the “generalist” scene, what does this term mean from a musical point of view?
Some DJs focus instead on a particular style such as electro or Latin music. “Generalist” means that we can sail in all the musical styles that exist. I call myself a generalist, but with strong Afro and Caribbean tendencies. I always work according to the mood of the moment. I like to take the temperature of the public. So, at the moment, I can’t tell you what I’ll be playing at the moment T! It will really depend on the atmosphere and the DJ who will precede me.

DJing is a field that is heavily frequented by men, is it difficult to integrate this environment as a DJette?
I don’t necessarily use the term “DJette”. It’s a term that was created to feminize the profession, but I find that the suffix “ette” is used too often to describe a smaller version of something. I therefore prefer the English term, “DJane”, which, I find, is more appropriate if we are talking about feminization. It’s true that the deejaying world is almost entirely male, especially in Reunion, where we are very few women to exercise this activity. I would say that women have to prove themselves a little more than men. At first glance, we are assimilated to women who play on plastic and who do not necessarily have any technique or musical culture. We have to fight, there is real work to be done and we have to show our credentials. Personally, I didn’t have too much trouble getting a place, but that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. This is probably what puts women off a bit from getting into this business. For now, I’m going to focus much more on the female headliners for the festival. Solidarity wants it. Beyond my activity, I want to encourage girls to enter this environment. We don’t all have the same sensitivity and that’s what makes us so charming.

How to become a DJ or DJane?
There are several ways to access it. A school exists in mainland France for those who have the possibility of following a classic course. I know a few DJs in Reunion who have been there. Otherwise, here, it rather depends on the circles of friends. You have to know someone who can teach us the basics and get us into that environment. It is mainly meetings between passionate friends that open doors. The difference I had was this Covid-19 crisis. I was doing a lot of live stream on Facebook during the lockdown. As a result, I began to make myself known to the public. Networks like TikTok help a lot, but the important thing is to be passionate and original.”

COMMENTS COLLECTED BY JADE CHEUNG KIVAN YEUN

4 themed scenes
1. Numerical “largepa”: dedicated to electro, house, techno, afrotropical music.
2. “Ensamb” generalist: for the current sound, rap, ragga, dancehall, hip-hop, urban, trap, reggae, séga, zouk, malagasy, salegy, soukouss, seggae, maloya, popular pop.
3. Retro “sequin”: to relive the timeless atmosphere of the 70s, 80s, 90s, disco funk, rock, pop-retro, variety.
4. “Tight” Exotic: for couple dances (salsa, kizomba, bachata, tango, zouk love) and line dancing.


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