Like it or not, the North American DJ scene is still very much a man's world. Luckily for us, there are people like DJs Kenzie Clarke and Mama Miche, who have been bringing their Bitchin' sound to crowds across the country (not to mention the planet) for the last four years.
After meeting on a ferry ride from Victoria to Vancouver, these two talented DJs (and self-proclaimed best friends) took their combined 16-plus years of experience behind the decks to help network with other women DJs--and, of course, have fun and play good music.
"This was originally a project to bring more female DJs who had a similar sound and vision to us together, but then we realized it was just us," explains Miche of Bitchin's roots. "Not that nobody else was similar, it's just that we stood out. We do have a distinct sound, combine music that not everyone else does, get dressed up in all sorts of different costumes and just have fun wherever we go."
The Bitchin' sound is definitely fun and eclectic. With genres such as electro, funk, house, techno and breaks being thrown into the mix (Kenzie jokingly describes it as "the ebb and flow of two neurotic musicians"), a Bitchin' DJ set is guaranteed to get dance floors moving.
"You don't have to pigeon hole yourself into one genre, one style. We want to appeal to everyone, and that's reflected in the music we play," says Kenzie. "We also want to show people that not all serious DJs are the ones that scowl into their turntables."
This fun-loving, diverse approach to music--not to mention their focus on substance over gimmick--has helped establish Bitchin' as one of Canada's premiere DJ duos. Kenzie and Miche have rocked renowned electronic music festivals such as Soundwave and Shambhala, filled dance floors all over British Columbia and Alberta and thrown it down at gigs in Vegas, the U.K., Spain and Hawaii, to name but a handful of their long list of achievements.
In addition to their turntable skills and longtime individual DJ careers, both Miche and Kenzie bring distinctive strengths to the Bitchin' table. With her experience in tour management and booking for prominent breakbeat artists such as Deekline, Nick Thayer, and the Stanton Warriors through her company, Mother's Cupboard, Miche has a professional hand on the business end of Bitchin'. Kenzie's forays into the world of electronic music production (she's produced beats alongside the likes of Wagon Repair's Hrdvsion, and Tide Pool recordings Thor Kell, aka DJ Fractal ) help to develop and promote the Bitchin' sound.
"I like the fact that we both have our strengths," says Miche. "I think this project is a great stepping stone for both of us. We support each other--nice to have in this industry."
The support is doubly important for Bitchin', as the two DJs are now based in different cities--Miche in Calgary and Kenzie in Victoria. While it's hard for the best friends to be in separate locales, it makes their performances together that much sweeter.
"No matter how much time elapses, we are on the same page when it comes to music right away. It's like we weren't apart at all," says Miche. "It's good in the sense that we each get to develop our own personal sound in two different markets and then when we do a Bitchin' show in those areas, people are stoked."
As they well should be, as anyone who has seen these ladies rock the decks can attest to their sense of fun, energy and skill. At the end of the day, Kenzie sums it up best.
"I just want to rock out and play great music with my best friend--really, could it get any better?" she says. "Just by existing and doing what we do, we show people that you can be a normal girl and still be a sexy bitch."
Move over, boys. Here come two ladies combining beats and bass with grit, style and grace.