Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual. This week, we chat with the boss ladies behind the platform for underrepresented artists, The Beatriarchy! Created by Kitsta, Gracie T and Shannon From Admin, The Beatriarchy is a safe space for minority groups to share and discuss all kinds of electronic music, particularly womxn, POC and LGBTQ+ members. What began as a Facebook group born from the boredom of lockdown is now a national entity in itself, with over 500 members from across the UK! We chat with Kitty, Gracie and Shannon to find out more…
Hi Kitty, Gracie and Shannon aka The Beatriarchy! Can you please tell us a bit more about how The Beatriarchy was born?
Hey Kate – thank you for spotlighting us as hosts! The Beatriarchy originally began life as a Facebook group created by Gracie and Kitty during lockdown. They connected online after sharing the same frustration that most online spaces were gatekept and were often full of mansplainers! So, they decided to make their own group with an emphasis on safe space policy and amplifying underrepresented artists.
The group was super active over lockdown and grew quite quickly – so many people made amazing creative connections and friendships through The Beatriarchy Facebook group and we’re so glad we were able to facilitate that.
The Beatriarchy has now grown into a multifaceted platform – we have a radio show with the amazing Melodic Distraction whilst running events, showcases, campaigns, open decks and workshops.
Why do you think it’s important to create a space like The Beatriarchy?
Having a safe space and platform that amplifies underrepresented Black, Brown creatives, creatives of colour, queer, trans and non-binary creatives, femme and female identifying creatives in the music scene and surrounding industries – is so important. Especially when we were all stuck inside during lockdown unable to connect, feeling isolated and alone. Being able to come to a digital place full of like-minded people which aimed to help link, promote and also comfort during such a hard time was so impactful. We feel intersectionality should be at the forefront of all collective action and The Beatriarchy tries to champion this ethos at all times.
What kind of opportunities does The Beatriarchy provide for fellows DJs/producers?
We have found that a lot of DJs and creatives struggle to make that first step from mixing in their bedroom to doing radio and playing shows. At Beatriarchy HQ, we’ve really been focusing on how to help bridge that gap through campaigns like our Spotlight Series on Instagram, facilitating radio debuts through takeovers/our MD show and running open decks. We’re currently working on a workshop, which we’ll be running later on in the year and is also centered around this theme.
The community as a whole is amazing though, as everyone shares opportunities to help kickstart other creatives’ journeys. For example, we’ve had someone put out their debut EP because of a post in The Beatriarchy group, people land their first radio residency and also get booked for clubs! And that feels amazing.
Each an incredibly talented DJ/producer in your own right, what other projects do you have alongside The Beatriarchy?
Kitty: I DJ and produce under the name Kitsta and have recently relocated to London. Although I miss the north (</3), I’ve been loving the London scene and have been gigging quite regularly. I’ve got a busy April coming up and I’m really excited! Highlights include my Birmingham debut and DJing with The Beatriarchy for Risen festival in London. On the production side, I’ve released two tunes on VAs and so glad I finally worked up the courage to let some of my creations out into the wild. I’m currently writing my debut EP – more news on that soon.
Grace: I also DJ under Gracie T and gig up and down the country regularly. I help run Daytimers events up north and I recently did a radio residency on BBC Asian Network. I’ve been running DJ workshops in Sheffield for years now and it’s lovely to utilize this passion through The Beatriarchy to reach a wider group of underrepresented artists in the scene!
Shannon: I DJ and freelance under Shannon From Admin and am based in Manchester. I’m currently trying to prioritise my Design & Illustration freelancing and to help more with all the things TB have coming up (keep your eyes peeled!) I have a few events TBA that will hopefully surface soon, which I am very excited about – of course the big one is Risen festival. I’m proud to be representing The Beatriarchy with the wonderful Kitty and forever grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had because of TB!
Can you tell us a bit more about being part of a minority group(s) within the music industry? What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The music and creative scene is like a double edged sword. There are so many beautiful things about it, but also lots of scary things – especially when you’re part of a minority group.
Within the creative and music scene, It feels like before someone acknowledges you or your skill they’re judging and basing your worth on the basis of you being a woman, or your identity, sexuality, background and more! It’s terrifying, some of the stories we’ve heard from friends and our own experience is upsetting. Many of us already suffer from imposter syndrome and being held at such an unrealistic standard, it’s hard not to let that engulf you.
Especially when there is the flip side that is so wonderful, being able to do something you love, discovering a like-minded community, forming lifelong friendships, creating/discovering spaces in which you feel safe and supported – helping to nourish and transform you to your true and best self. Having something like The Beatriarchy, a safety net where you can freely discuss these challenges and have people to back you, really helps overcome them.
Where do you hope to see the music industry in five years time?
We hope to see a more inclusive, caring and equitable music scene, one that identifies the gaps in opportunities and education that different communities face and strives to create a safe and supportive environment for everyone to thrive in the scene.
What advice do you have for any women, people of colour and members of the LGBTQIA+ community looking to get into DJing/production?
Our advice is always to find your community – that’s the reason we created The Beatriarchy, because there is strength in finding like-minded people who you can connect with in order to help raise each other up. You have to be resilient as a minority in the industry and it really helps to find people who will listen to you and give you advice when you need it.
What does TB have planned for 2022?
More open decks, more events and more workshops! Catch Kitsta and Shannon from Admin at Risen festival in London on April 9th (tickets here).
Keep a close eye on our Instagram and keep the 27th May free…
Join The Beatriarchy for their next show on Saturday 2nd April 19:00 – 20:00, and in the meantime, listen back to their latest edition celebrating music from femme-identifying people below!
|| THE BEATRIARCHY ||