Today female DJs are making pretty good advances in what was, primarily, a male-dominated segment of the music industry. Recently, I got the chance to interview a talented girl who shines behind the turntables! Her name is Rachel Sehl, a skilled DJ and producer from North America that has established herself as one of dance music’s leading ladies. I’m sure you’ll like to know more about her life and music.
1 – Was your family supportive in your decision to get into the DJing scene?
My parents were extremely strict and religious, so I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything but Christian music growing up. Getting into the DJ/rave scene was my way of getting them back for sheltering me so much. It was my ultimate rebellion. I’m pretty sure they were traumatized by it all. However, they are very supportive and proud of me now.
2 – Have you ever noticed any discrimination or bad feelings from your male counterparts?
If I said no I’d be lying. I’ve made a conscious effort though to focus on the positives in this industry and surround myself with supportive people. If, you don’t focus on the discrimination, you don’t give it life.
3 – What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a female DJ?
These questions are really tricky for me to answer because I don’t like to play into the gender game. Females definitely face challenges in this industry but it’s how you deal with it that determines your outcome. You can choose to dwell on the disadvantages or ignore them and make shit happen for yourself.
4 – When did you find yourself wanting to start to produce music?
From as far back as I can remember. When I was a kid I use to sit with my toy keyboard and listen to all the sample loops over and over, constantly switching up the sounds and drums. I wasn’t allowed to listen to music, so I just created my own.
5 – What’s your favorite remix that you have produced?
My remix of Fadi Awad’s ‘Free Your Mind’. I feel my production skills were stronger on this and it was my first chart #1.
6 – Do you have any producers you look up to?
Too many to name, but a key few are: Bjork, Maya Jane Coles, Nicole Moudaber, Misstress Barbra, MK, Jay Lumen, Tchami, Claude VonStroke, Axwell, Eric Prydz, Sharam Jey, Missy Elliot
7– In your own personal opinion, Is Paris Hilton a good or a bad DJ?
I don’t know, is Iggy Azalea a good rapper?
8 – Why your latest single is called “How Do You Hummus”?
I was using the Michael Jackson sample ‘Mama Say Mama Sa Mama Coosa’ as a scratch vocal just to help with the arrangement. When I took it out, I realized I hadn’t cut it properly and there was still the ‘mama s’ part, which sounded to me a lot like ‘hummus’. The warning bells rang loudly, “DO NOT MAKE A SONG ABOUT HUMMUS!!” but were swiftly ignored and now, I’m referred to by some as DJ Chickpea! Bad choices make good stories, right?
9 – Have you ever been part of the fashion industry?
My mother is a designer and seamstress. She had her own line of fitness wear. She taught me how to sew and from a young age I started making my own clothes which suited me well when I started going to raves as I would make myself some really outrageous outfits. Fashion is one of my favorite art forms. I really enjoy Djing for fashion shows/events because I’m able to play more of the indie dance, nu disco, future rnb, deep house, etc., that I can’t play in clubs.
10 – Please share with us a great advice to other girls who would love to become a DJ…
Be authentic. If you’re really serious about making it, don’t get caught up in the drama and the unhealthy lifestyle. Put all your energy into leaning how to produce. Stay healthy; healthy body equals a healthy mind; and a healthy mind will get you to where you want to be. Be supportive of each other and don’t compare yourself to others or get jealous; it’s a waste of energy and will just hold you back. Successful people motivate and empower each other.