Three grandes dames of Brussels’ nightlife scene talk about being a mom and a DJ and how the two relate.
Brussels-based DJs and friends Rokia Bamba, ILL SYLL and Fatoosan have been performing in the same scene for years. They talk about their experiences both as DJs and as moms. What influence does motherhood have on a DJ’s career? Do gender roles make the impact different for mothers than for fathers? What can the nightlife and music festival sector do to be more inclusive to mothers?
The conversation is moderated by Rojin Açilan from the Bledarte collective. It was recorded on February 17 2021.
Bledarte is a bilingual, feminist collective of minority women fighting for decolonisation. With their collective they seek to underscore the value of artistic and cultural contributions by people from gender and race minorities. They organise various events, such as workshops, debates, speaking groups, parties, etc.
Sylvia Iweanya (DJ ILL SYLL) proudly displays her Nigerian roots in her track selection. A mega-melomaniac, hip-hop-lover Iweanya’s setlists range from female rap to boom bap bass, by way of her endless love for contemporary trap, southern rap from the nillies, all served up with a hearty dose of the freshest Afro rhythms and a pinch of eclectic electro.
Rokia Bamba (DJ Rokia Bamba) doesn't DJ just anywhere, opting mainly for militant circles such as at Afropunk, La Colonie, Massimadi and the New Afro-Ke-Pon’ festival, of which she is curating the first Belgian edition in 2023. She has developed a unique and daring style over her more than 30 years of radio experience as a composer of sound art.
Fatou Sow (Fatoosan) is part of the Belgian feminist Supafly Collective. Since 2009 the crew has organised events that place female artists at the forefront. Supafly also have two regular radio shows on BRUZZ and KIOSK. Both solo and with her three accomplices (Young Mocro, Vaneeshua and Mikigold), Fatoosan has already elevated a huge number of concerts in Brussels and Ghent to higher musical planes. In fact, she has performed all across Europe, not to mention at some of your favourite festivals: Couleur Café, Dour, Lokerse Feesten and the Worldwide Festival (Sète), etc. You may also recognise this Brussels artist from the year she combined her passion for singing with her passion for DJing as a backing vocalist for Blu Samu.