Country’s first female DJ sets the record straight

DJ Smitz aka Smitee, the first female Disco Jockey of the country, has set her foot in Chennai to enthrall Chennaities with her beguiling music and enticing vibes. DTNext team talks to the inspiring talent, who shares her experiences from how she took a plunge into this field to carving a niche for herself in this profession dominated by men.
Country’s first female DJ sets the record straight
DJ Smitz at one of her gigs in the city

Chennai

You are one of the first commercial female DJ in India. How did you enter this profession?
Honestly, I was kind of forced into this (chuckles). Most of my friends were into DJ-ing and while moving closely with them, I got the knack of mixing tracks and started getting creative with music. On 2006’s New Year’s Eve, when the craze for female DJs was at its peak, one of my friends who is an event manager, signed me up for a gig and a hefty cheque reached my residence!
With just 16 days to master the nuances of mixing music, playing the right track and learning the ways to capture the vibes of audiences, I stepped into this magical world. Life has been nothing but bliss after that.
Tell us about your Chennai connection?
I have frequented Chennai a lot and always felt at home here, though I officially live up in north.
The crowd is very warm and gives me positive vibes. Further, I was called here for a special ladies’ night event, which I immediately accepted.
How did it feel being the frontrunner?
I would say, it was a rough road to reach this destination. Being the only woman, competing and out-shining the maledominant profession needed a lot of courage, confidence and practice. The first two years of my life as a debutant in this world of everything jazz, was not easy, but as I treaded my way up with determination, recognition found its way to me.
The turning point in your career?
It was the Central War of DJs (2009) that took place in Pune, where I was the lone female contender competing with most-talented and renowned disco jockeys and artists from across India. Though, I kept getting sympathetic reactions and dispiriting comments from people around, I won the championship, which I am sure startled many. Well, that’s why we say, ‘Never underestimate a woman!’ (Laughs).
On removing the taboo surrounding this profession 
As I had a lack of support and faced a lot of criticisms for taking up DJ-ing as a full-time profession, my academy – Play House and production house Rextaurean, encourage and teach girls and women who want to learn this art of producing music and becoming professional DJs. There are only a few institutions in our country.
I want to open avenues for aspiring artists to explore this art form and remove the taboo surrounding it.

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