The Somali DJ Changing the Face of Electronic Music

Meet Fauzia Habib and the women of colour who propelled her rise

Since its inception, electronic music has largely been a genre dominated by white males. But over the last decade, surges of female faces have started popping up on the scene. From New York based collective Discwoman, to The Black Madonna, female DJs have not only risen up the ranks, but have paved the way for other women and non-binary people to find their space within the field.

Unsurprisingly though, women of colour have been pretty absent for some time, and upon taking a closer look, you’ll realize that it has less to do with their abilities and more to do with a lack of access—but as of 2018, it looks like the industry has finally made a big shift.

Having started DJing just over a year ago, 22-year-old Fauzia Habib has already made her mark on the scene, and according to her, the path towards success as a woman of colour looks less than grim. The British-Somali DJ has already made her Boiler Room debut, and currently hosts a monthly show on UK-based radio station NTS.

We caught up with the young London-based DJ to chat about her start in the industry and how other women of colour propelled her come up.

How did you get into DJing?
I’ve always wanted to DJ but never had the means to do so. I started during my last year of university because I was getting bored of my degree – it’s been great ever since!

Were there any obstacles you faced when you first started out?
I think I have been very fortunate to start DJing during a time when being a female DJ isn’t something new. I’ve also been lucky to be part of a scene where people are very supportive of what I do.

What has it been like for you being a woman of colour in the industry?
It’s been great for me since my first DJ set was for gal-dem! Gal-dem is a platform run by WOC and is one of the main reasons I have been able to grow as a DJ. Being a resident DJ for them has given me great opportunities and has allowed me to grow my career.

You recently made your Boiler Room debut, what was that like?
That was so amazing! I never thought I would have been able to do my Boiler Room debut this early in my DJ career and the crowd was so receptive and supportive. Doing a Boiler Room set is a goal for most DJs so I’m happy that they gave me that platform to showcase what I do.

And you’ve been a resident DJ on NTS for a year now! How has that been?
Being on NTS has been the best year of my life! I’ve managed to accomplish things I would have never imagined. NTS is a respected platform amongst the music community and through it I’ve been able to have amazing guests join me on my show. I’ve also had the pleasure of expanding my listeners beyond the UK and playing gigs I would have never expected to do.

Who would you say are your top 3 icons?
Hands down DJ Rashad, Kode9 and Sarah Farina!

You’ve already reached some pretty impressive feats as a DJ, but what would you say is your ultimate gig?
Dekmantel Festival!

Photo courtesy of @bare_clips

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