More female DJs wanted

Laying tracks for female DJs in Wellington

LAURA MACDONALD
Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012
Debbie Hunt
CHRIS SKELTON/FAIRFAX NZ

TOP NOTCH: Wellington DJ Debbie Hunt has been working in clubs all over Wellington since she finished at the top of her Certificate in DJ Music class in 2009.

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Wellington's music industry is wide open for females to come in and clean up, the director of New Zealand's first DJ course says.

Shan Chng-Rawiri, who started the Certificate in DJ Music at Whitireia nine years ago, says this is the first year he has not had a female in the class.

"Having girls, even just in the class, learning and stuff . . . they come to the table with a completely different mindset," he says.

When there are females in the course, he says they tend to come out on top.

Debbie Hunt, a 2009 graduate of the course, has been working in clubs all over Wellington since she finished at the top of her class.

Going by alias "DJ Debbie D", the 30-year-old says she is one of only a few female DJs in the city.

"I don't think many females have given it any thought. There are a lot of guys in the industry."

She does not find her gender to be a disadvantage; in fact, she says, it is a drawcard to be one of few women DJing in Wellington.

"My main skill is I know what people want, when they want it. I can't explain it, it's female intuition."

Mr Chng-Rawiri says the clubbing industry, which caters mostly to women, would benefit from having more female DJs.

"From what I can see, they bring a lot more soul and they know what the girls like," Mr Chng-Rawiri says.

He started the Certificate in DJ Music at Whitireia because he wanted to "capture the growing industry and put some standards in place".

"There are so many people out there wanting to DJ now."

It is the first DJ course in the world with tertiary credits.

Mr Chng-Rawiri wants to see more women in the industry.

"The industry definitely needs more females. Especially a country like New Zealand [and] a city like Wellington, the industry is wide open for the right female DJs to come in, take over and show some of these guys what's up."

Ms Hunt would also like to see more women getting involved.

"It really is the best feeling in the world when you are doing it, when you are in control of the crowd. You are the reason people are in that club. You can't really beat that."

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