Females On Deck: GCDJ (Girls Can't DJ)

Females On Deck: GCDJ (Girls Can't DJ)

You guys are everywhere this year! It's so great to see! You have had some BIG b2b gigs all through summer (Lovebox, Bestival, Secret Garden Party, etc). What has been your highlight of 2017 so far?

J: This summer has been so so great! Just last year we were saying our dream is to do festivals, so a year later being put on line ups at massive festivals such as Lovebox, Secret Garden Party and Bestival is surreal. For me, I think Bestival has to be the highlight- for so many reasons! The day itself took such a 360. Hours before our set they realised that they didn't have the right equipment. Then they got the equipment but our set time kept changing, so we really thought it wasn't going to happen. We eventually did the set and it was LIT! 2-3am in the forest and it was absolutely poppin' from start to finish. The set actually ended in a punch up!

K: Ahhh that's such a hard question! We've had an incredible summer but I actually think one of the highlights was Blissfields Festival. We played in a double-decker bus and there was a girl crowd surfing in a canoo! It was just generally good vibes. Secret garden was also amazing, the weather was a bit rubbish but we played a garage set in this massive boob (yes, boob!) and the whole place started filling up so quickly.... a lot of our mates were there too ravin', so it was a lot of fun!

Being so busy this year, what do you guys get up to when you are not on the decks? Do you find the time to unwind? 

J: I feel listening to music is really therapeutic. I like taking my dog on long walks and listening to music or 'the read' podcast . I'm a massive binge watcher as well! Working during the week and DJ-ing every weekend, it's a real race against the clock to try and get as many episodes in as possible. I just watched series 3 and 4 of Power in just under a week, but that took A LOT of late nights and dedication.

K: I've just got an internship at a music agency, so I do that twice a week. I DJ 2/3 times a week, work behind a bar, and in my spare time I'm generally just looking for tunes and doing music related things! However, I bloody love a good night in with food and friends. I think it's really important to have chilled ones- you gotta find that balance, because being a DJ is quite hectic! In fact, while I'm writing this I'm on sunny Brighton beach mid bike ride, listening to jazz with some Co-Op exotic fruit. Paha


Your fan base has also grown through your monthly show on Balamii Radio (every third Thursday of the month 1pm-3pm). How did that come about and what can we expect from upcoming shows? 

J: While we are doing radio, we will have people messaging us like "locked in" or "big tune" I'm like rah, I didn't realise people actually listen! We approached Balamii and James (the founder) gave us a shot and took us on. Unlike Katie I hadn't done radio before, so I was very amateur, but luckily he saw something in us. We have spoken a lot about getting some guests on the show. We've had our girl Dobby from Repezent radio on but for the future we definitely want to invite more DJs on.

K: On Balamii, we tend to play music that we can't really play in a club. We love the slow jams just as much as the party bangers. We gear towards the kind of Soulection/Kisstory vibe- ranging from the early 80's to now. I love doing radio, it's a great way to display our musical selection and Balamii is such a sick diverse station with loads of amazing DJs.

GCDJ have residences in both Brighton and London. How do the two locations differ in terms of the night scene and crowd? 

J: I think because Brighton has two universities the club scene is very much dominated by fresher and uni nights, which makes pub culture so much bigger there. Rather than going clubbing, everyone goes to the pubs, but the pubs close at 3am and always have DJs. Outside of uni, I can count on one hand how many times I went to a club venue. It's all about the pubs, unlike London. In regards to the crowd, the demographic is completely different, so naturally, song choices will differ. 

K: London is A LOT bigger then Brighton, so there's definitely more variation and events going on. We tend to play in smaller venues and pubs in Brighton, whereas in London it's particular club nights. Brighton is kinda like a massive family, you see everyone you know and it's very intimate, whereas you're targeting such a larger audience in London which is exciting. Both cities are bloody beaut and I love that we can hop from one to another whenever we fancy.

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Do you have any favourite tunes that you love to drop in a rave? Any particular songs that are always a shutdown?

J: There are a few bangers that always go down a treat, 'Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody' and 'Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill' are two of my fav sing-along songs to drop. I love in the chorus of both tracks the whole room screaming the words. Of course, if we are talking recent tunes, can you even call it a set if you don't drop Cardi B? 

K: As I'm a bit of a House head, I love dropping the 90's classics. Obviously songs like 'Cameo - Candy'.. we can't play that without getting in the crowd and doing 'the dance'. Outstanding byGap Band.. jheeeeeze. 

Are there any songs you wish you could play but just feel like they wouldn't bang? Any guilty pleasures?

J: YES! I am a MASSIVE Soca fan and there's so many times I wanna drop some tunes, but people just do not get it. It's so weird because 'Kevin Lyttle - Turn Me On' is a classic Soca song that made its way into mainstream, but the rest of the genre ain't happening. Especially with the rise of Afrobeats, I feel more and more tempted to slip some Soca in but it ain't happening. 

K: 'Kylie Minogue- Spinning Around'...and do you know what.. the 'Macarena' is actually a banger! 

The female DJ scene in the U.K. is really coming into its own, which is so positive. However, have you had any negative experiences in regards to being female DJs? 

J: Of Course! People take the piss they really do. I think it's so important to be able to hold your own and know your worth, otherwise the industry will eat you up. 

K: I think every female in the industry can agree that we do get some shit sometimes! It really gets very boring *yawns*, but you just gotta show them mo'fos that us gals killlll it! 

What do we have to look forward to from GCDJ?  

J: We have so much coming up!! We are launching a website and launching our new club night, so make sure to look out in the next couple months!

K: We've been super super excited to get this blog going. We're currently getting artwork designed and then the ball will be rolling with lots to come. Keep your eyes peeled!

Words: Sandra Omari

Photography: Amber Grace Dixon