International Women’s Day, March 8, is a global holiday celebrating the achievements of women. The electronic music industry has seen some progress. In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s a list of women who are making waves in the electronic music space. Whether longtime pioneers or fresh faces, these women are blazing their own paths and contributing toward creating a more inclusive environment in electronic music. This list only scratches the surface in celebrating women in electronic music.
The proportion of electronic festival acts by women has nearly tripled from 2012 to 2021 according to a survey compiled by female:pressure. While a promising trend for women, men still dominate the festival scene. Approximately 58 percent of electronic festival acts were performed by men in 2021. In 2022 there has been a massive push for better representation.
The industry needs to work together to continue pushing for greater inclusivity.
Active in the techno scene since 1991, Monika Kruse is a legend and one of Europe’s renown techno pioneers. DJ Producer and label boss, her success and respect amongst the techno heads has been non-stop. Her label “Terminal M” is one of the most successful and respected labels in the techno world to this day.
Her voice is unmistakable and her presence is undeniable: Nicole Moudaber is a mood. Techno veteran DJ, producer, and label boss Nicole Moudaber has had multiple successful releases on such labels as Drumcode, Octopus records, and her own label Mood Records. Moudaber is a techno force and a boss in her own right who has been pushing boundaries in the world of dance music for nearly 15 years.
Highly successful Dj, producer and Gudu label owner, Peggy Gou became internationally renowned for energetic genre blending DJ sets. Peggy Gou has had such impressive achievements as being the first Korean dj to play at Berghain, played massive festivals all around the world, had her own cercle feature, and was even named as one of Forbes Asian leaders, pioneers and entrepreneurs under 30 in 2019.
The Belgian DJ producer and label owner has had notorious stage presence for playing some of the hardest driving acid techno out there. Amelie Lens has had multiple releases on such notorious labels as Second State and Drumcode and began her own well respected imprint, Lenske. She’s played out festivals all around the world and even has her own curated nights club nights in Antwerp EXHALE.
Hailing from Brazil, ANNA, has had a worldwide presence in the techno community. She’s played at massive festivals from Movement Detroit, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, DC10 and Block in Tel Aviv and even a unique all vinyl set for Cercle. She has also had many successful releases on respected labels as Drumcode, Afterlife, Hotflush and more.
With little sign of slamming the breaks even despite lockdown, Spanish DJ/producer and label owner, Fatima Hajji continues to prove her esteemed status amongst techno’s highest-ranking go-getters. Fatima has enjoyed a multitude of recent releases on acclaimed imprints such as Octopus Recordings, IAMT, Odd Recordings, Autektone Records and Dolma Records, her foot remaining firmly on the accelerator for 2021.
Ellen Allien is your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ; the influence to many artists that we look up to today. Ellen has not only started one label, but two. Besides her widely successful label Bpitch, Ellen also launched her new label UFO. Inc. last January. From having residencies across the world to being one of Berlins biggest acts, she was able to cement her presence in the techno realm.
Producer, label owner, vocalist and dj, Nina Kraviz joins this long list of female that have a successful world wide career. Known for her unique genre blending high energy sets, Nina has played massive events all around the world. She has been give International Dance Music Awards best underground female artist in 2018 and nominated in 2019 and 2020 for best female techno artist.
Polish born producer and label head, Noemi Black has been in the scene since the early 2000’s. Since then she has started her own radio show, label, and has developed a reputation for incredible raw and driving techno.
Sara Landry is an intoxicating powerhouse, a self-taught producer, audio engineer, and DJ known for her dark and driving atmospheric techno. As a producer, Sara is innovative, meticulous, and uncompromising, creating intense, immersive sonic experiences that elevate and surprise the listener.
Known for her take on atmospheric and futuristic techno music, Michelle Sparks creates a sonic state resonating with underground rave aesthetics. With multiple quality releases on the infamous Octopus Records, her forward-leaning sound is infused with deep musicality and a stripped-down minimalism that has pleased techno heads all around the world.
German dj and producer, Lilly Palmer, has had a multitude of releases on well respected labels such as Drumcode and Senso Sounds. Known for high energy gritty techno she has garnered a large following since her dj debut.
San Diego based dj, and producer Lee K is also label boss of Circulate Records. She’s had releases on the Octopus Records, international djing experience as well as a presence in her hometown festival CRSSD.
Australian producer, Juliet Fox has a presence on the techno scene that cannot be ignored. Her rise has been swift and relentless with countless production success alongside her increasing demand for DJ performances gracing some of the most famous stages and DJ booths across the globe.
Canadian house producer and DJ, Jayda G is known for her uplifting spiritual energetic house music. In 2020 she received a nomination for 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in the best electronic dance category. She also received accolades for her remix for Dua Lipa’s “Cool”.
Nora En Pure’s name has become synonymous with organic instruments, emotive piano leads, and enchanting melodies. Globally renowned and adored for her cinematic soundscapes and ethereal performances, the South African-born, Swiss-based Queen of deep house, has spent the last few years working relentlessly to reach the pinnacle of the dance music scene. She has played massive festivals all around the world and her own label purified has made a huge impact on the deep melodic house scene.
Klaudia Gawlas is a well respected name in the techno community and has played across the world at such festivals as Mayday, Time Warp, Nature One, Awakenings, and Tomorrowland Brazil to name a few. She’s had multiple successful releases on such labels as Joseph Capriati’s Redimensions and Coyu‘s Suara.
Indira Paganotto’s sets are full of groove and forcefulness. She draws on elements from all genres including psyprogressive, minimal and techno, not afraid to blend genres or styles. She’s had solid multiple releases including an EP called Number on Octopus Recordings, followed by two tracks on her own Octopus Recordings Compilation. She also launched her own vinyl imprint, Phase Insane Records.
Romy is the solo artist project from “The xx” member Romy Madley Croft. She worked with musicians such as Mark Ronson and Dua Lipa and influenced them into dance based music, while as a DJ she’s played at queer club events all across and played online sets with dance artists such as Robyn.
Charlotte de Witte’s a Belgian born DJ whose surge on the scene has resulted in her being one of the most sought-after names in electronic music today. Highlight performances across the continents, Mixmag & DJ Mag covers, high-ranking positions in the charts & lists, and owner of one of the strongest social media profiles in music today, confirm her status as nouveaux techno royalty.
One of the industry’s most exciting breakout talents, La Fleur is blazing a trail impossible to ignore. From her highly lauded collaboration with Sasha Förbindelse that scored an Essential New Tune, to her stunning debut on Kompakt’s Speicher series ‘Tears’ and the relaunch of her Power Plant label with the exquisite Aphelion EP, her elegant take on house and techno continues to captivate.
Anja Schneider is a DJ, producer, radio broadcaster, label boss, tireless creative force and mentor, renowned as one of the hardest working figures within the industry. With a new imprint Sous Music and a critically acclaimed new album ‘SoMe’ highlighting a typically inspired past 12 months, she’s entrenched as one of electronic music’s most vital artists.
Eclecticism. Evolution. Education.Three intertwining principles that form the foundation of the career of B.Traits. A journey that has seen her relocate from British Columbia, Canada to London, England; cement her reputation as a trusted selector at countless leading music events; start ‘In Toto’, her record label; become an established and respected radio broadcaster for BBC Radio 1 and become an advocate for drug education and nightlife preservation within her adopted home.
Maya Jane Coles is a music producer, audio engineer and DJ based in the United Kingdom, born in London of British and Japanese descent. Under her real name, she mostly composes and plays techno music, while her alias Nocturnal Sunshine creates darker, more bass-driven productions with a heavy hip-hop and dub influence.
In a span of a few years, The Blessed Madonna (AKA Marea Stamper) used her grit and talent to propel herself into a world that not long ago would have rejected someone outside of its conventions. And yet we are here, and she stands as an absolute force of nature in dance music, just getting started at nearly forty years old, leaving no time soon.
DJ Minx was inspired to spin at The Music Institute, where some of Detroit’s leading dance music DJs helped to hone her skills. In December 1996 Minx founded Women on Wax, a collective of female DJs from the Metro Detroit area. From then on, she worked with promoters and DJs across the country to solidify the career of several top female DJs and singers. In 2000 she was a featured performer at the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and has since become a regular fixture at Movement.
An emblematic artist of the Palestinian underground scene, SAMA’ is one of the first DJs and electronic music producers to emerge from the region. Her sound, an original punchy kind of techno, is dry and musical all at once and has quickly made its way across Europe and beyond. SAMA’ was recently listed in SheSaid.So’s Alternative Power 100 List, and plays a high-profile set at Ibiza’s World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila for the International Music Summit in late May. She is currently working on a studio album.
Nakadia is a globally successful Techno artist with a truly unique story. Nakadia transformed herself from a poor rural Thai-girl to become one of the world’s leading female Techno artists. Check out her newly released book, “POSITIVE ENERGY” Becoming Nakadia.
Debuted as a model at the age of 14, DJ Kyoko is the other half of Drunken Kong. Besides appearing in magazines, commercials, and fashion shows, she also DJs. DJ Kyoko regularly plays in WOMB and AGEHA in Tokyo.
For over 15 years Paula Temple has been pursuing her own unique musical path. As a self-confessed noisician she specialises in a noisy, phantasmagoric techno sound, where the dial is rarely turned below 200% and every moment of silence seems deafening. Such refreshing high voltage music has placed Paula at the forefront of today’s techno scene.
Young, talented, charming and charismatic, Anfisa Letyago is rapidly becoming one of the breakout stars of tomorrow. Her musical journey began almost 10 years ago in her home town of Naples where she first began to experiment with Djing and productions, driven by pure passion. In 2022, Anfisa is on her way to becoming one of the most in-demand DJ’s of the next generation of electronic music.
Risa Taniguchi is arriving at the forefront of the dark techno wave that has washed over the underground in recent years. The Tokyo born – and based – artist has spent the last four years cultivating a lo-fi sound of distorted textures, fizzing synths and a quietly burning energy, which consumes all who hear it. Preferring to play sets which are “late night, for the weirdos”, Risa has a knack for getting crowds in a nocturnal trance, before delivering shocks and surprises with a curious motif or unpredictable element.
South African born, Amsterdam-based Lee Ann Roberts, burst onto the techno scene with her debut release on Spanish label Suara, hitting number 2 on Beatport’s ‘Hard Techno’ genre and only being kept off the top spot by the Suara label owner Coyu. Lee-Ann has lived a rich, multicultural experience and throughout the years has taken inspiration from the Jimi Hendrix era of psychedelic rock through to the grunge era of Nirvana while staying grounded in her native African roots. The result of this unique blend has given birth to her signature techno sound that takes you on an epic journey, inviting you to taste soundbites from the past, present and future, bringing all her influences into a unique melting pot that has shaped her production sound.
DJ and producer Shelley Johannson has been entertaining the masses with her unique skills behind the decks and in the studio for over a decade. Emotionally driven, impactful and melodic, her music makes huge sweeping gestures which take listeners and dancefloors on that fabled journey into darkness and light. Raw beats, thudding bass with elegant synths, her music bears witness to a producer at the top of their game who will not be defined by others’ expectations.
Lorely Mur is an emerging Mexican DJ and producer who, after residing in Berlin, discovered her passion for Techno music and began to teach herself the basis on YouTube before going on to study at the world renowned Point Blank Music School. She is the newest resident of the long-standing Mexican venue, Hardpop Club, where in just a short period of time gathered support from some of the biggest names in the industry along with being the main headlining herself across the border.
The Belgian producer SKY H1 found wild success with her first EPs on Creamcake and PAN’s sublabel, Codes, followed by an appearance on PAN’s Mono No Aware compilation. SKY H1’s early works capture the blurring lines between her foundational experiences in drum and bass, grime, dubstep, and techno, all tilted towards the schematic bursts of pop.
Aurora Halal is a producer, DJ and creator of Brooklyn’s influential Mutual Dreaming party series & the Sustain-Release festival. Shadowy and psychedelic, her hardware live & DJ sets have a hazy sensuality and metallic dance floor intensity that’s at turns playful, dark, euphoric and emotionally vulnerable.
London based DJ and producer TSHA has created a sound that is diverse and intricate, giving foundation to her unique personal style that draws on influences from the likes of Bonobo, Jon Hopkins, Floating Points and Four Tet. 2021 has been an incredible year for TSHA. In September she graced Mixmag’s cover and she is currently the face of Spotify’s EQUAL campaign highlighting women who define the past, present and future of music.
“Quiet moments” inspire QRTR, a Brooklyn-based artist who aims to “shake things up” after lulling her listener into a pulsating groove. It seems ironic to think that peaceful snatches of time are the foundations of QRTR’s productions, which fuse low-slung, downtempo melodies with the infectious energy of house pumpers. In a previous life, QRTR’s studies in film opened her ears to a vast number of sound libraries, which are tastefully woven into each of her tracks. QRTR merges multiple electronic styles with an underlying beat of house-tinged energy, guiding her dancefloor through a myriad of previously unknown sounds. Think art house film composer meets basement rave.
With a mind for the melodic drive of techno and deep moods, Made in Paris remains in a league of her own, noted by copious media and industry tastemakers as one of country’s most impressionable underground DJ’s, producers and label curators. Dropping hints from her recent USA tour through to Australia’s Piknic Electronik and midyear at Splendour In The Grass, the Sydney artist and record label curator depicts the blood of her work across the globe in her deep and dark production journey.
Sara Simms captivates the world as an innovative DJ, turntablist and electronic music producer. She’s a multi-instrumentalist who’s known for her love of music technology. Sara has an intriguing background as a jazz guitarist turned turntablist. She’s competed in DJ battles in both Canada and the US, and was a runner in up the ‘Scratch’ – The Ultimate DJ Contest.
Terr is the exciting musical project of Daniela Caldellas, the Berlin-based DJ/producer and label owner, who grew up in Brazil’s Belo Horizonte. Terr’s name stems from the 1970’s film “Fantastic Planet”: Terr is the name of the main human character. At the moment Terr is working on new EPs and an album for 2022.