Booty Bass is a Bristol-based collective striving to empower female and non-binary DJs in a male-dominated industry. Founded by Ngiao Anyia and born out of collaboration, the collective started gathering friends in the back room of a local pub - The Plough - to practice DJing and learn from each other. Only six months after being founded Booty Bass took over the Sistxrhood stage at Glastonbury in 2019. Today it’s a global platform that celebrates different cultures from across the world regularly spinning afrobeat, tribal sounds, but most importantly bass music.
For Booty Bass everything is more meaningful in a group. “Working as a collective means having six different minds and life experiences to feed into the events” explains Ngaio, “it is a never-ending journey of discovery and learning from each other.”
As a collective grounded in community and collaboration, Booty Bass is uniquely positioned to speak on why joining forces with other DJs can elevate you creatively and technically, while building a network of like-minded artists, producers and DJs. Here are Booty Bass’s five reasons why you should collaborate with other DJs.
1. Learn new tips and tricks
“We’re all so different and yet so similar and I just love the endless learning we get from each other; I feel inspired by each and everyone one of us,” says Fabienne Hebrard, a.k.a DJ Fabienne, the newest member of Booty Bass. And of course there’s strength in numbers: working as a team pushes you to step out of your comfort zones as a DJ and explore new modes of engagement, technical skills or hacks that you never thought you needed. “Whether it’s the curation of a set or running an event, or getting ideas to level up your performance, it’s easier to tackle it in a team” says founder, Ngaio Anyia.
2. Build up your confidence
“Since being part of Booty Bass, my skills and confidence as a DJ have massively improved,” says Adibah Iqbal (a.k.a DJ Adeevah), a long-time member of the collective. “I don’t think I would have continued to DJ if I didn’t have a community of people beside me who love what I play and push me to be the best I can.” she continues. Through Booty Bass Adibah has encountered dozens of DJs who were too isolated or unsure of their music taste to take a chance on the music industry. “We’ve all experienced our fair share of Imposter Syndrome” but with a community to support and validate you, it becomes easier.
3. Reach new audiences who love the same music
Pushing boundaries with like-minded creators can only open more doors. It’s an opportunity to network and cross-promote each other’s brands. Whether it’s a back-to-back live stream or a shout-out on Instagram, collaboration invites more viewers, more comments, and of course widens the reach of everything you do. Before going live with your partner consider all the ways that you can leverage each other’s respective communities, such as teasing your event with photos together on socials, a Post on Mixcloud (that sends an email to all your channel followers); anything that builds momentum for your live stream or gig.
4. Exchange music
Working in a collaborative environment can really “enrich each member’s creativity because two (or five) heads are always better than one” says Linda Devo, a.k.a DJ Devolicious, an active member of the community. Discovering music by word of mouth or personal recommendation is at the heart of the best music curation. In today’s era of endless playlists and mix series, discovering what you’re looking for can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But in a space like Booty Bass – a collective bound by a shared love for bass music – tackling vast catalogs of music becomes less intimidating (and more doable!).
5. Be a part of something bigger than yourself
It’s pretty self-explanatory but totally underestimated. Coming together through not only shared interests but also a larger mission can motivate you like nothing else. “For me, our responsibility as artists is to share stories with vulnerability and as much honesty as possible.” explains Adibah, “we’re living in a capitalist, heteronormative, patriarchal society, so sharing our stories through creativity (and authenticity) is political in of itself.” Everyone at Booty Bass is determined to continue amplifying voices that provoke important conversations and challenge our industry to be better.
“The more fxmales in the industry making moves the better!” DJ Fabienne
Booty Bass is not only a collective, it’s a family, a support group and an incubator for change in a trying industry.
On top of events, Ngaio Anyia organizes workshops and discussion series around sexual harassment in the nightlife industry. In 2018 they held a campaign that worked with security firms, promoters, and venue managers on how they tackle this issue — “3 years later, elements of that campaign were adopted in the Safety for Women campaign that has been rolled out across Bristol with Booty Bass playing their launch event” says Ngaio.
Booty Bass is a success story that shows us how important it is to have a support system that professionally and personally validates your work to help you grow.
To stay tuned on all things Booty Bass, discover their Mixcloud channel here.