Behind Dynamics – a growing database and platform that celebrates female, female identifying and non-binary artists in dubstep and drum & bass – Enada is something of a visionary. Blending the worlds of 140BPM sound and activism, the Bristol based DJ heads a monthly residency at local radio station SWU.FM and has been making her mark within the bass music communities through a slew of acolasdes such as Outlook Festival, UKF, Croydub, Rinse FM and Suble FM.
We caught up with her a few weeks back to chat about inclusion in bass music, the Bristolian scene and the sickest dubs she’s been spinning lately.
Tell me about your introduction to dance music, when did you start picking up all things 140?
I was first introduced to Dubstep when I was in year 10 (2008). There were some friends of mine who were slightly older than me, who were listening to it a lot at house parties and remember it resonating with me immediately! I started off listening to real old Skream, Scuba, Horse Power Productions, Distance, Kryptic Minds, Caspa and Rusko and I can specifically remember listening to Caspa and Skream’s BBC Radio 1 Essential mix on Radio 1 as well and thinking wow what it this music!
I think I liked it because prior to listening to dance music I was really into screamo and metal which I definitely feel has similar musical structures. As soon as I was 18 I was out in London every weekend usually at Cable or Fabric, I tried to attend pretty much every dubstep evening going, I was hooked!
Where did you cut your teeth DJing and how influential is that to your style now?
I started learning to mix in 2016. I was actually bit late to the game considering I had been listening to bass music for 9 years by this point! But when I first started, I actually mixed speed garage, bass house and bassline. I was still living in my home town of Luton at the time and Dubstep was definitely at a stage where it had really gone underground again and Bassline was HUGE. I’ve always been drawn to wobbly reesey basslines and I think you can still hear that today in the style of dubstep I play.
I am also a really big D&B fan, I actually spend more time within the D&B scene and events than any other genre. This has definitely had a huge influence on the style of music I play in my sets today. I’d say 50% of my sets are tracks by D&B producers. There is something about the sound they bring the genre that sets it apart from Dubstep made by dubstep producers, the level of production is definitely higher and in my opinion it sounds better. No offence to Dubstep producers!
How’s the scene in Bristol currently? Favourite thing about the city?
Anyone that comes to Bristol will know how vibrant the music scene is here. There are events on practically every night of the week! Whether that is a good thing or not it probably up for debate, can definitely feel over saturated sometimes or you are simply just spoilt for choice! I’m trying to be more particular about which events I attend these days, definitely more about the intimate headsy vibes that large scale events. Would love to shout out Breach, I played for them the end of last year, they really know how to put on a good event, these guys and gals are the future of Bristol events, always bringing through fresh artists, you may see a Dynamics collab with them sometime soon…
My favourite thing about the city would definitely be the harbour. My housemate and I live right next to the river and often spend time there chilling out or having a walk. Also if you ever visit Bristol make sure you go a book a table at Caribbean Croft on Stokes Croft, it is the best Jamaican food I have ever tasted and banging cocktails!
Any sick dubs that you’ve picked up recently?
If you have caught any my sets recently you’d defo of heard me playing some tunes by D&B artist Klinical, can’t say too much about his Dubstep as I have no idea what he is doing with it, but they have absolutely to been destroying the dance floor. The same goes for a recent release on Transparent Audio by Spektiv, I have been rinsing all these tracks on my radio shows on SWU and in my sets. My good friend En:vy has also done a wicked flip of Flowdan ‘Welcome to London’ as well which has been going down a treat.
I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of women and non-binary DJs emerging from the modern UKG scene. There has never really been a huge female presence in dubstep or ‘bass’ music, or anything with a darker sound really, with it being so male dominated. Do you see things changing in those respective scenes at all?
The simple answer to this really is yes. It is changing, slowly. The transition has happened a lot quicker in D&B but that has been through a lot advocation from various different people and brands and the scene is now looking a lot healthier. Unfortunately for Dubstep this change still seems to be painfully slow. One thing I have really noticed compared to other genres, is the lack of brands putting on solely Dubstep and 140 nights, there are so many label nights, so this means if you’re not on the label, you’re not getting booked. So I guess the answer for that is for more women to produce, but that is going to take a lot of time as we have only just got to the stage where we are starting to see more women doing that.
The responsibility really lies on promoters and labels to be looking for more women and pushing those women. If women see women doing well, more women will do well and so on and so on. Unfortunately these views seem to be met with a lot of friction and resistance. I hear the same things over and over again ‘there isnt an issue’, ‘let it happen naturally’, ‘but there is just less women so of course there is going to be less women on line ups’ but no one ever stops long enough to ask them self why? Time and time again I see male promoters booking their male friends. It’s exhausting and disheartening to see so women being over looked, especially as there are so many talented ones that deserve to be on them line ups.
What more can we all do to change it? Make a conscious effort to be more diverse. If you are putting together a line up, do some research outside of your inner circle and try to book people that other people aren’t booking. Open your mind to healthy conversation with people in your scene that are already doing really well at being
diverse (this isn’t just women, think about race, age, sexual orientation etc) and be open to constructive feedback about your events, do not get defensive and hostile towards people that are simply just trying to make things better for everyone.
Chat to me about Dynamics, it’s been going for around a year (?) now, looking back on the last 12 months what are you most proud of?
Almost two, it will be two years in October! We are most proud really of the impact we have had within the scene. We often have promoters use our website to book women and non- binary artists for their event and we have received really amazing feedback from respected people in the industry as well. It’s hard sometimes when you sit behind your brand to know the impact you are having on the people around you, so to hear that we are making a difference really does mean a lot.
We are also really proud of our ‘Featured’ documentary series which so far has included Sweetpea and Ila Brugal, we are currently planning episode 3 which will air later this year. Also we have to mention our stages at both of the Outlook Festivals this year. We worked really hard on both the line ups and are super proud of what we have put together!
Future plans for Dynamics and Enada? What’s next?
For Dynamics we are looking to focus on some workshops and artist mentoring. We are currently trying to secure some funding to put together an artist development programme which will help women and non-binary artists focus on production, mental well-being and music business. We are also hoping to relaunch our networking event later this year as well and you can also expect a few music events from us as well.
As for myself, I am trying to focus on my production at the moment, and hoping for a release sometime next year. I have also got some really exciting gigs lined up as well, so looking forward to announcing them. Watch this space.
Check out all things Dynamics here.