Yesterday marked the day that women are celebrated openly and greatly. International Women’s Day, first celebrated in 1911, we can celebrate women who have challenged the status quo and those continuing to do so. All around the world women are continuously subjected to the idea of being lesser than their male counterparts. Whether it be in the top business jobs or your local radio presenters, women are still massively underrepresented.
One of the final things Joy To The World, ¼ of the collective Girls I Rate Radio, wanted to voice was an article that illustrated the underrepresentation of British female musicians on UK radio stations. The platform founded by Carla Marie Williams is created to reverse statistics like these, starting with a radio show on The Beat London. Featuring presenters and DJs; Carmen London, Jasmine, S.Chinx, and Joy To The World, here is why these women are especially on our radar for International Women’s Day…
Who are Girls I rate, for someone just coming to know you by reading this?
Carmen: We aim to bring visibility and exposure to women and their music, especially black women. We aim to have a gender balance on radio, as it is mostly male music. I know for myself; my playlist consists of a lot of male songs. And I didn’t realise that. So that is what Girls I Rate is trying to bridge the gap in. regarding our show, we aim to bring the freshest female talent in the UK and across the world.
What’s one quality/strength you all love about each other separately and as a collective?
Jasmine: I feel like I can take this for everyone… Carmen is the oldest, not that much older though, just a few years! carmen has the experience, she has the library of music. She is the go-to in keeping us in check and making sure we are doing things on time. She’s the big sis of the group.
Carmen: aww thank you, babe!
Jasmine: Joy is on point. I feel like she is the hidden talent. She is very good at speaking but she kind of focuses on the creative side of it… I feel like it’s a seed that has been planted and is slowly growing. I feel like we all have an element of keeping us all together.
S Chinkz and Joy are my go-to’s to keep me up to date with things, they both keep me fresh, and they make me cooler. I think we are all a really good balance as a team. We are a very strong team.
Joy: there is that mutual support too, we are all very aligned with our values and what we stand for. So we are really lucky in that, we have been perfectly out together. It makes us super effective as a team.
What does being a woman mean to each of you?
Joy: I think it means always knowing to speak up. Society is always telling us to know our place, not speak up and let the man talk. Especially in Indian culture, it’s still very much that women should take the back seat, like taking care of the family and not working too much. So in today’s day and age, I’m seeing loads of women challenging the status quo. So I think being a woman is knowing always to stand your ground and speak your mind, honestly and bravely.
Jasmine: There is a lot resting on our shoulders as women, I believe that we are at a pivotal time in our society. If you look at the women who can before us and what they fought for, we are in such a good position to be able to stand up for our rights. Like Joy said a lot of women can now stand up for themselves even more so now than ever before. I almost feel like every culture and industry is so male-dominated, that it requires us to stand solid and stand our ground. Not just for us but for the little girls after us and what they can become.
Carmen: As a DJ, it was very hard getting into the industry. So don’t think you are less than any man. Women can do everything men can but we can do it better… we are unlimited. We create children and still power.
What has your journey in radio been like as a woman?
Carmen: With radio, I’ve come across more females, in terms of presenters. With DJ’s it is more male-dominated, but…
S.Chinx: As a DJ it is hard because they expect you to be perfect as a female DJ. It’s like you’re not allowed to mess up. If you mess up, they start saying that this is a female DJ thing. And in this world, there are not many female DJs out there, so it’s like a competition.
Joy: We experience critics a lot more than our male counterparts I feel like. I only started to DJ during the first lockdown, so I feel like I’ve got a lot of that to come.
Carmen: I feel like as a female DJ, sometimes it can be a good thing. The reason I say that is, yeah, all eyes are on you because you’re female but sometimes it is good eyes. Like, wow you’re female, and a lot of women come up to you as an inspiration. Sometimes people like things that are different. Like, if you saw a female plumber, people would be like WOW!
How is that for you walking into that atmosphere while aiming to be the best?
S.Chinx: You just have to be different. Every place I’ve walked into, it’s been 50/50. It was difficult and easy at the same time, a lot of people expected so much from me just being a beginner as a DJ. I remember one of my bookings I made a lot of mistakes, and some people were telling me it’s okay, and others were writing me off already. So you have to be different because they expect so much from you.
Carmen: To be a female DJ you have to be a pretty good DJ. Because if you’re not people will spread that word very quickly. I feel like as women we have to work and study harder than men do. I know a lot of male DJs that are not the best but because they’re a man it doesn’t matter. People kind of trust men, I don’t know what it is but they trust men with more things. But you have to keep going and believe in what you’re doing and you will breakthrough. I started to see DJing as a business as well.
How has pushing your message and agenda been for each of you while doing it from home?
Jasmine: During lockdown times it has been very different, but as a team, we have supported each other as much as we can in terms of creating the show. We’ve had artists that have been able to come on the show from all around the world, something that may have not been possible before.
Carmen: I would say it is different doing it from home, the girls and I have met a few times but because of everything we haven’t done so as much as we could have. I think we have all learned something new; how to work in unison, how to communicate effectively, how to always be in touch with each other. With shows from home, there is a lot more preparation, so it has been a good foundation for us to start with. It has been fun and stressful but without pressure, you don’t get diamonds. I feel like we started at the hardest possible time, so it is bound to get easier.
Do you have any advice for women who are working toward being their BOSS?
Carmen: I would say three things; first, you have to know it is what you want to do. It can change your life, but you have to see it as a career goal. It is part-time but develops into full-time. So, you have to find out if it is really your passion, do you eat, dream, speak about it? second thing is to have close friends or family who support you, which is important. We all need support in some kind of way. Lastly, is to practice. You need feedback and constructive criticism. And even networking with different people is so important.
S.Chinx: I think patience is so important, sometimes you’ll get your bad days but just always knowing the end goal in what you want to do is so important. Nothing you want is easy to get, so you need to be patient with the process. Even feedback, don’t take it personally, because if you do, it could break you.
Joy: Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, like if you see something you want to be a part of, always put yourself out there to get on to people’s radar. You have nothing to lose, the worst they can say is no.
Jasmine: Just to piece everyone’s advice together is to persevere through it all. You have to build thicker skin.