05 December 2015 - Leigha Healy - The DJ List


After killing her b2b set with BAKKE at Time Warp, the most prestigious techno festival in the world, we opted to sit down and pick the brain of one of the only women who performed at the festival, MS. MADA:

How would you describe your music?
I don’t think it’s fair to call it my music, so I will just simply say that the music I like to play is really bass heavy, dynamic with a lot of percussive elements, but still has that groovy flare to it. Being a club DJ for so long, I always imagine the sound on the dance floor and that’s what I always consider when I look for music…

How would you describe the music scene in miami?
The music scene in Miami is flourishing and growing exponentially… I love that you can go out any time of the week and find an event going on somewhere in town. The difficult part is deciding on which to commit to.

Was music a very big part of your life growing up?
Absolutely! Being the youngest in a family with such a wide age range gave me the ability to listen to a variety of music spanning multiple decades while I was growing up… my brother was the biggest influence on me though. He introduced me to a lot of hip hop and I guess that’s the kind of element that’s evident in a lot of my sets.

How did you get into DJing and producing?
I got into DJing about 5-6 years ago… I was already listening to electronic music a lot in high school and always had the idea of playing in the back in my head, but I didn’t pursue it until I was in college. As for producing, I’m still on the learning curve, but I feel it was just a natural step after DJing so much… I honestly want to get into producing hip hop more at some point too…

What is the most empowering part about being a female DJ?
I guess the most empowering part is simply being acknowledged. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me saying how surprised they were when they saw a girl DJing in the booth when they expected to see a guy. :)

Do you believe the scene is at an equal ratio of women and male DJs?
With the amount of women I see DJing now? I don’t think so, but I know it’s getting closer and closer to evening out…

Have you experienced any sexism in the DJ scene?
I’d be lying if I said not at all… but it’s definitely been felt a few times in my short career.

Were there any disadvantages for you when entering the DJ scene? Advantages?
I’m really fortunate to say that I really haven’t experienced any disadvantages so far… I mean, jumping into this as a greenhorn, I got the short-end like most who were just starting up. But I can definitely say that I had an advantage exposure-wise when I got my first residency in Miami…

Is it intimidating to work with older people in the scene or does it inspire you?
Not at all… I love learning more and it definitely does inspire me to work harder to achieve my goals and set the bar higher for myself… To tell you the truth, I’ve always been the youngest one in my circles so I’ve never really noticed the age difference even from a young age.

Do you think there are more girls starting to DJ since the music scene’s progression in recent years?
Definitely… in fact, I can say that the influx of female DJs has grown exponentially in recent years. It’s truly remarkable to see the brush of new female faces especially in Miami’s local scene alone.

How would you encourage someone to get into DJing and producing?
The only way to encourage someone is if they have the initial desire and drive to really pursue it… you can easily encourage someone because they think they’ll turn into a superstar overnight, but when they see the real work that goes into it, they probably would drop it at the first sight of a hurdle.

Would you ever be interested in doing an all women techno festival?
Of course I would! I would be honored to be part of something like that… :)

Aside from music, what other things fill your free time?
My free time is taken up by lots of staying in, listening to music… sometimes I like to fight crime.

What can we look forward to from you in the 2016?
Next year, I’m really looking forward to playing my first gig in South America. I’ll be heading to Colombia early next year, so I’m excited about that. And hopefully to get my first solo EP off the ground finally. Will keep you posted about that… :)

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