Thursday, 8 March 2018

WOMANchester - Female DJs are KILLING the scene

DJ Nickie B, DJ Easy Tiger & Gina Breeze
Manchester has long been known as a hotbed of musical talent, and the DJ scene is no different. The list is long - Dave Haslam, Hewan Clarke, Mike Shaft, Graeme Park, Mike Pickering, Irfan Rainy, Simon Nicks (Nicksy); and Manchester’s scene is thriving with venues like Albert Hall, Sound Control and Suburbia to name but a few.

But while male DJs often have top billing in this great city, the women are often unknown, operating in smaller venues, working bloody hard and travelling the length and breadth of the country to share their talent.

Gina Breeze
Gina Breeze
Gina Breeze (Miss B) was given a residency early in her career at the legendary SpeedQueen club and her love of House Music blossomed, Gina gained great support culminating in an invitation to play on the G-Stage at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival.

In 2013, Gina beat off over 300 entries to win the Parklife Festival Producer Competition with her own killer track ‘Don’t Stop’. The track was snapped up by Layers, an Italian Record Label who are focusing on infectious house beats.

In 2015 still producing under 'MissB' - Gina had her 1st E.P released with NYC's Get Up Recordings!
Gina is probably best known for her work with Homoelectric spinning her sizzling beats to sold out crowds. You will find Gina playing regularly at Manchester’s newest and most stunning hotspot, The Refuge.

Additionally, Gina is producing original music in the studio and her latest E.P is out now on Classic Music Company.

Hazel O’Keefe

Hazel O'Keefe at the Northern Power Women Awards

Hazel, known as one of the hardest working women in Manchester’s club scene founded Dulcet Sounds, an award winning not-for-profit event management company in 1998. The company encompasses popular Manchester brands, all developed by Hazel with the commitment to nurture female talent, not only in the North West, but internationally (Hazel has big ideas and the work ethic to fulfil them!) – The Women in Comedy Festival, Club Feminista and Laughing Cows Comedy, to name but a few. Her work has been recognised by Manchester City Council who awarded her ‘Women of Arts and Culture.’ and commended by the Northern Power Women Awards in 2017 as an Agent of Change.

‘Hazel’s work has nurtured and empowered hundreds of female performers to explore their talent by providing a supportive space.

Hazel has achieved a unique way of supporting women in Manchester and has created a legacy for women both at a local and international level in an art form where women are still under represented.’ Manchester City Council.

Hazel is resident DJ at Club Feminista serving up a melting pot of guilty pleasures, soul, rnb, funk, disco, deep house, reggae, indie, rock, pop and plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any category, not to mention the old MADchester favourites!

Her latest venture at TriBeCa Manchester is to bring more arts and culture to Manchester's gay village.

Screw the DJ

DJ Screw
DJ Screw (or Caroline Wright to her friends) plays Funky Vocal House and specializes in Retro House.

Screw, so named as she worked in the prison service, like many djs, started developing her talent as a hobby at home. She bought a home mix from Argos and, in her own words, didn’t have a clue what she was doing! She is completely self-taught. Her first public performance came after she was asked to DJ at a friend’s 30th birthday party, about 7 years ago. Steph Kay, the owner of Vanilla Bar in the Gay Village, was at the party and asked her do a retro set at the bar for that year’s Manchester Pride. Her success built from there, with a residency at Vanilla.

Two years ago, Screw entered a competition for all of the village DJs for which she had to produce a 30 minute mix. She beat all the other DJs, mostly men, winning a half hour set on the Pride main stage.

Since then she has opened Manchester Pride’s main stage, worked at events with Hazel, DJ Nickie B and the other Dulcet Sounds DJ, performed at SLD (S**t Lesbian Disco) and the national women’s festival LFest, to name but a few.

DJ Sandra D

DJ Sandra D has recently returned to Manchester from the bright lights of the capital. She has been linked to many successful venues and nights. Here are just a few: Ruby Tuesdays, GrlWld, Tribeca Manchester, Ku Bar, Candy Bar, Scala, Miss-Shapes, Popstarz, Ghetto.
2011 was a monumental year with the TV show Candy Bar Girls, following the lives and loves of London lesbians and myself in my new role as DJ and Promoter of Candy Bar.

She first made a name for herself on the gay alternative scene as a popular, lesbian DJ at Popstarz and Ghetto. Having played at some influential nights on the gay alternative scene, she moved into promotional roles at those clubs after gaining experience in the role of Promotions Manager of Candy.

This Saturday, 10th March 2018, Sandra brings BICCY to TriBeCa Bar on Sackville Street. Biccy came together because of a love of partying. Who doesn't love a great night out with your mates? So combining their dedication to letting your hair down and unpretentious tunes, comes a Saturday that isn't serious. Dress up, dress down, wear whatever. Just be fabulous.

DJ Nickie B
DJ Nickie B

Nickie’s lifelong passion for music, particularly house and glitterbox, has shaped her performance. On their wedding day, Nickie’s new wife gave her a set of decks as a wedding present, and a new passion was born.

Self-taught using YouTube videos, and refined under the support and tuition of Hazel O’Keefe, Nickie has now been DJing professionally for 5 years. In that short time she has built up a dedicated following through her work at TriBeCa Bar and Club Tropicana. Starting her work as a DJ on the Burlesque Circuit in 2013, she soon became the resident DJ for several burlesque events in Manchester.

Not long after this, she joined Dulcet Sounds, an award winning, not-for-profit, Manchester based event management company who produce around 800 events per year.

Her DJ CV includes; The Village's newest bar, No.1 Canal Street,  the prestigious Sparkle Ball 2017, the highlight of Sparkle, the transgender celebration, Birmingham Pride’s Women’s Stage and LFest. She will be back at the Sparkle Ball in 2018.

Gemma Torr

Gemma Torr
Not your typical mobile DJ, Gemma Torr has the ability to bring the energy of 1000 Duracell Bunnies to any event. An ex-youth worker and teacher, Gemma fell into DJing when she realised that running kids parties was a far more enjoyable way of working with kids!

Originally from Rotherham, Gemma started DJing part-time whilst working in sales after the economy collapsed and the job she was made for (teaching adults) no longer existed. Her first gig was DJing in a dive of a Rotherham pub next to the football stadium playing Northern Soul on a touch screen system!

She landed a residency at Rotherham’s 3rd busiest pub, where she stayed for 6 years covering gigs as diverse as birthdays and weddings, and fisherman’s club meetings!

Gemma moved to Manchester in 2016 when she met her partner, and was immediately offered a residency at playing singalong Madchester, 90s indie, Britpop, cheese and retro rock to the punters at the Lost Dene on Deansgate. Hazel got in touch shortly after she moved to Manchester after hearing Gemma’s awesome Prodigy vs Spice Girls mash up, and since then she has worked for Club Feminista and other Dulcet Sound led events and even brought her partner’s Silent Disco venture to TriBeCa for their killer Chechnya Fundraiser in June 2017. This year Gemma is set to DJ at LFest for the second time.

DJ Easy Tiger

DJ Easy Tiger
I couldn’t complete an article about Manchester female DJs without mentioning DJ Easy Tiger. Although no longer based in Manchester, she started her career here in 2015. In just two short years she has won the Mixmag x Coors Light DJ Competition (2016) and has DJ’d all over Europe in Ibiza, La Manga and of course Manchester!

Her DJ sets include original versions dropped alongside sneaky re-edits and her passion is for playing house – of all kinds, classic, funky, soulful, deep, tech – there’s something for everyone!
She has worked with well-known national brands such as London Sound Academy, Meat Free, Urban Cellar, LFest and is a resident for Halfway House. Easy Tiger has also curated her own events ’Like a House on Fire' and ‘Back Room Disco’ and is a proud member of The Magnificent Seven Club spinning 7’ vinyl at the monthly party.

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