One of Malawi’s top female deejays RJ the DJ, real name Rejoice Msindo, has been named among 17 women who are shaping African dance and electronic music.
An article published in April’s edition of MixMag, one of the world’s biggest dance music and clubbing magazine, said not only are the 17 women blazing trails for the future of Africa’s dance music scenes, but they’re using their voices to change the greater narrative of electronic music as a very Western and a male territory.
Writing about RJ the DJ, MixMag said she is rising in a country where female artists oftentimes are not promoted, let alone respected.
“Even though her gift for music and motion give her birth name its truest meaning, it may be a while before more women get to reach the heights that she has. But surely less time than it would have, were it not for women like her…,” reads part of the article.
The article also quotes RJ the DJ as having said: “The treatment of women in the Malawian dance music scene is pretty hard…. You’re fighting battles on all sides; we have to face it day by day.
“When you’re fighting the industry itself, where you have to convince people that music is lucrative, then we have to double that fight whereby we can do the job as good as a guy can, or at least be willing to accept the difference — if any!”
In an interview, the DJ, who has also performed in Zambia and South Africa, says the recognition makes her feel good.
“It puts Malawi on the map and for me it is amazing. I am still overly shocked. Well, I was expecting it, but when it finally came out, I was shocked and incredibly happy at the same time.
“When I saw the full list, I spoke to one of the deejays on the list and I excitedly told her that we have been put together with giants. We are giants. The fact that my name is on the list makes me super proud of my work and how far I have come,” she said.
As highlighted by the magazine, RJ the DJ has relocated to Tanzania with the goal of conquering uncharted dance floors.
She said in the interview: “Yes, I have made Dar es Salaam my new home now. I am looking forward to expanding my green pastures.”
Some of the well-known artists who are on the list include Toya Delazy, Kamo Mphela, Moonchild Sanelly and Niniola. The list is dominated by nine South African deejays and musicians with one artist each from Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Nigerian, Ghana and Somalia.n