Mantra should need no introduction; over the last ten years she’s left her mark on the scene as a producer with releases for the likes of UVB-76 and Repertoire, as a DJ with countless sets around the world and as a promoter co-running London’s seminal Rupture events. Now she’s teamed up with a gang of formidable names to start EQ50, an event aimed at giving a leg up to women and non-binary people looking to progress within the D&B scene. We caught up with her and Flight to find out a bit more about the project…
DNB Dojo: Hi Mantra, thanks for chatting today! Where are you right now and what are you up to?
Mantra: I’m currently at Denver airport, just had a gig here at Black Box last night and am on my way to LA to play for Lost Kaws tonight – I’ll be home on Tuesday!
DD: You’re getting ready to launch EQ50, an afternoon of workshops for women and non-binary people aspiring to get involved or further progress in the D&B scene. What motivated you to put this together?
M: It’s so frustrating when time and time again drum and bass line ups only feature men, we seem to be lacking in gender diversity compared to other electronic music genres. We did a drum and bass Red Bull ‘Normal not Novelty’ take over earlier this year which was incredibly successful so off the back of that we wanted to take it a step further.
DD: How would you like the scene to look in the future?
Flight: Personally, I’d love for the scene to go back to how it looked years ago – much more diverse crowds, a real mix of ethnicities, lots more women than you see now (particularly black and brown), different ages, etc. You do find a good mix at some raves and clubs, but the change has become more stark as the years pass. I’d obviously love to see more women getting involved overall, too.
DD: As a man in the scene, what can we do to support these efforts?
F: The same you do in support of your fellow males 🙂 listen to mixes and radio shows by women; search out women producers; if you promote – book women; if you’re a DJ with a decent platform, recommend or ask for women to be booked on the same lineups; support women on club/rave/festival lineups; make more feel welcomed!
DD: There’s obviously a need for these kind of events. Would you like to see EQ50 events happening outside London?
M: We’ll see, we’re taking it one step at a time. We’re all looking forward to meeting women on December 1st and hearing their stories, their aspirations and seeing where the need lies which will help us focus on our next steps.
DD: For anyone who might not be able to attend the event, what advice would you give to women and non-binary people trying to get started in the scene?
F: Put yourself out there, show you’re passionate and serious about it – whether it be DJ mixes, tunes you’re working on, shows you’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or a little of someone’s time.
DD: Last up, are there any upcoming releases or events you’d like to shout about?
M: For women and non binary people attending on Saturday please make sure you sign up at www.rupturelondon.com/eq50
We just did a Rinse FM show, and we’ll be on worldwide FM this Friday from 11am-1pm. Sweetpea and Mantra will be at Cross Club on Dec 14th and then Hospitality on Dec 15th, and lastly Rupture returns March 8th at Corsica Studios!
EQ50 will be held at Five Miles in London on Dec 1st – head over to Facebook for all the event details. You can also check out the EQ50 takeover on Rinse FM below!