TheBeyondWoman Magazine Issue #11 - Page 57

TBWM : So , you started a movement that changed the Deejaying Landscape . A male-dominated industry that needed changing , and you capitalised on that ?
China : I saw the opportunity and made good use of it . My research pointed mostly to male deejays , and when you saw a female , they either looked a certain way or had a following via radio established . So that immediately eliminated or narrowed down the possibility of being chosen to play at particular events . That was the opportunity for me . Rather than being deterred , it fueled my fire for establishing my presence and transforming the existing landscape . My focus , as I mentioned , would be on raw talent , rather than who you are , where you are from , how you looked , or who you know . I just wanted a Deejay to be a Deejay . So , I am happy that I revolutionised and increased the opportunities for ' ordinary ' women to showcase their talent . I have also opened a space for women to visualise this as a career path and see possibilities in non-traditional or creativity-driven career paths . If you have the gift , then the drive , anything is possible .
The dark side of this is that with me opening these opportunities to other women to get booked , the mainstreams DJ ’ S are a bit peeved , but I revel confidently and humbly in all that I have accomplished . When I get chosen by a renowned corporation such as Disney , it screams success at all the effort I ’ ve put in and helps me celebrate me , my intuition , and my focus .
TBWM : Your agency brings women together , how has that been for you and fit into the notion of women ’ s inability to work with each other ? China : I try to make every woman operate in a collective space of equality . It means they do not just see me as the founder — even though I am , but as one of them . I try to promote inclusivity , and I want them to see us all coexisting as a family , so we will go out together and have conversations .
The point is , without them , I would not have a successful agency that keeps winning awards , gaining recognition and momentum along with visibility in the space that we are in . I want them to see that they are a part of that . It ' s not just China , it ’ s ' we run the world ', and that ' s us . So , with all of that , I manage to maintain a calm and familylike , caring for each other atmosphere . We all understand that we are much stronger together , and we will go farther together . Of course , some will want to be there just for the gigs , and others will be hard to work with , but I have to let everyone understand what keeps us together and successful . We are not just an ag-
-ency , but we are a family that helps each other out .
With our success to date , everyone wants to be a part of our agency but , I am very careful about who gets chosen . It has to be someone who sees the vision or we cannot work together . I remember we did Formula 1 , and every woman wants to do Formula 1 , but only one can go . It gets hard in those times , but we work through it , and we always end up making the best decision .
We will always have challenges , because of our different perspectives . Sometimes the clients decide who they want , and other times they leave it up to me . At the end of the day , they are spending their money , and I make sure that is understood . I do not allow the feelings of inadequacy or whatever the feeling is in the moment to affect the outcome of the group as a whole . There was a brand we did gigs with , and they always choose the white girls to deejay . In my way , I started making the suggestions of other girls , and slowly they began to accept my recommendations , and that is how I have been able to change the mindset and afford our girls more inclusivity . But I take my time and do it in a way that allows what I am putting on the table to be accepted . In business , we must always try to change a behavior or pattern that may sometimes be rooted in ignorance or exclusion , and I am just doing my part .
TBWM : What has been the biggest highlight of your career to date ? China : When I got invited to 10 Downing Street , Boris Johnson , the British Prime Minister ’ s residence , I thought it was a prank . It was a gathering for black business leaders in recognition of Black History Month , of course you know I had to play * laughter *.
During the festivities , my name was called , and my journey of being a refugee was highlighted as an example of what we can accomplish when we act and do not allow where we are from to take center stage in our minds , preventing us from moving . We are all gifted to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others . It was a surreal but much-appreciated recognition .
TBWM : How has the pandemic affected your business , and if negative , how have you pivoted ? China : All our gigs got canceled because of the shutdown , but our presence was requested at zoom events when we had to resort to online events . It was still a good time for us , we worked with a lot of brands , supporting their online events , such as Loreal , Fenty Beauty , Marc Jacobs . Our revenue was impacted , but we were grateful that we were not completely out of the game .
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