Meet The DJ Who's Battling Sexism And Booking Tours Herself

Dani Deahl is fighting EDM sexism in the best way she can -- by not giving up.

By Kat Boehrer

Meet Dani Deahl. If you haven’t heard of her yet, it might be because the EDM game doesn’t always give DJs-Who-Are-Also-Women a fair chance in the industry.

Just recently, Deahl embarked on her “Show Me Your Kitties” tour, where she will hit over 30 stops across the country. She also released a single by the same name in conjunction with her tour.

She and her team booked the whole SMYK tour on their own, without the help of an agency. And that’s not because they didn’t attempt to use one. They hit a pretty rough roadblock when contacting agents.

In certain cases, agents told manager Shane Morris that they just didn’t want to work with a female DJ on the basis of claims that clubs don’t want to book women. One agent’s excuse was that there was already a female DJ on their roster, and they didn’t need another one.

"They'll have five guys making house, five guys doing dubstep and bass, five guys doing downtempo stuff, five guys making big noisy trap tunes, and then one woman doing some fill-all role for them," Morris told MTV News.

Deahl has previously voiced her concerns about gender inequality in the industry in a TEDx talk from January and continues to speak up for the inequality.

“Even though everybody technically has the same rights, we're still not all treated equally," Deahl said. When people like her speak up, they're viewed as complainers, she said, and that's just one more piece to the problem.

“[The situation] is weird because we [feel like] can't even talk about the things that are happening because we're viewed as whining or being victims," she said. "[But] to talk about things that are happening doesn't mean you're a victim if you're actively trying to change what's going on around you.”

So, instead of letting sexism stand in the way of a goal that they wanted to accomplish, Deahl and her squad took matters into their own hands and put the SMYK empire together by themselves.

“I was so sick of having agencies gloss over me when I knew I could book shows and I had bigger tracks out than some other people that they represented on their rosters," she said. "I got sick of waiting for other people to do something about my future.”

Deahl has just embarked on her “Show Me Your Kitties” tour and will be traveling across the country through the beginning of October. Along with creating their own ticketing system, fans can have the option to donate to a nonprofit called Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for lions, tigers, and other big cats—oh my!