Campaign launched to bring more women into the soundsystem scene

The mentorship programme, titled Original Sounds Collective, is curated by Notting Hill Carnival pioneer Linett Kamala.

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Linett Kamala

Image: Linett Kamala via Instagram

Notting Hill Carnival pioneer Linett Kamala has launched a new campaign to encourage more female DJs to enter the soundsystem scene.

Spearheaded in partnership with Guinness, the mentorship programme, titled Original Sounds Collective, has been created specifically for women in the soundsystem scene, will include bespoke training, experiences and access to new equipment.

Besides Kamala – who at 14 became one of the first female DJs at NHC, the mentor lineup will also feature carnival mainstays Dubplate Pearl and Ella Davidson-Smith. Mentees for the first round have been selected, but the programme will open soon for prospective applicants.

“Women have always been around and part of soundsystem culture. It’s just not always been as visible,” Kamala tells Guardian. “So me stepping into the fore as a young woman back then was bringing more visibility to the females who were around, but not as prominent and taking on some of those roles like DJ or MC.”

Explaining how the initiative provides much-needed support for women in the largely male-dominated soundsystem space, Kamala says “People feel like they’re perhaps in isolation. They’re feeling like they’re the only ones doing this or feeling this way, and really want to learn more about it. The first step is about connecting and having that courage.”

“Everyone brings different skills, but it’s a collective and everyone’s going to have different facets to different qualities and personalities that they’ll bring to it as well. So that’s what’s quite exciting, to hopefully find that and connect with other people and other women out there.”

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