With genderless aliases like Skrillex, Kaskade, Zedd, and Deadmau5 at the forefront of the genre, it becomes all too easy for music listeners to disregard the fact that the electronic dance music acts who dominate charts, festival lineups and media headlines are overwhelmingly male. Women, in fact, only comprise 11% of the DJ industry.
Les Filles, founded by Bec Adams, aims to bridge the gender inequality in the industry. It is a DJ collective of five women—Alix Brown, Brianna Lance, Hayett McCarthy, Leslie Kirchoff, and Bec Adams—who come from strong musical backgrounds, with previous experience in DJing, creative directing, law, and fashion. They’ve played at Public Hotel, Full Moon Festival, and the Terrace Hellessy’s 2018 Resort collection. They all currently live in New York City.
Bec Adams and friend at Les Filles launch party
The girls fight to make their presence known in the DJ world. They lack aliases, choosing instead to show themselves as real women—real musicians—who want to DJ, united by this common passion for creating music. They are certainly a group to watch in the next few years, as they plan to collab with fashion designers for more launch parties and events.
Though the girls have individually established themselves in the New York music scene, Les Filles officially launched only on Wednesday, July 19. Their party took place at Ian Schrager’s hotel, Public, in New York. Each girl DJed their own set for the party, and throughout the event they created buzz about female representation in other artistic fields (a notable example: only 7% of major Hollywood directors are women.) If Les Filles can inspire even more femme collectives to break boundaries in their fields, perhaps these staggering statistics will begin to change.
Though the music and film industries have a long way to go as far as female representation goes (not to touch on the lack of representation by minority groups across the board), change is made when collectives like Les Filles work to bring people together to fight their lack of representation. Given time, Les Filles can make waves in the music world and inspire more women and to pursue careers that are too often silently barred to them.
Ting Ting Chen