Exhibitionists·Video

Meet the women and non-binary folks fighting for gender equality in electronic music

Correspondent April Aliermo digs into synthesizers, DJs and how new faces are opening up the conversation.

Correspondent April Aliermo digs into synthesizers, DJs and how new faces are opening up the conversation

Correspondent April Aliermo digs into synthesizers, DJs, and how new faces are opening up the conversation. 4:02

The electronic music scene, from DJing to making DIY mods to synthesizers, has felt exclusionary to some women and non-binary people — including the three you'll meet in this video. So opening up the club, through everything from public programming to a database of working women DJs, has been a vital step in achieving gender parity.

Digital design technician Andrew O'Mara works to create an accessible space for those exploring capabilities of synthesizers: "Electronic music is a very expressive art form and I think there are a lot of people who want to create music of their own but might not have the knowledge or resources to do that." And the community of people of colour, queer folks, women and gender non-binary musicians that O'Mara is fostering just keeps growing.

You can feel someone's life and energy through what they play.- Chippy Non-Stop, DJ

In the DJ landscape, Chippy Nonstop — co-founder of the workshop series Intersessions — acknowledges the stories and differing perspectives that spinning can tell. And DJ Cindy Li, a.k.a. Ciel, echoes the sentiment, encouraging the inclusion of women DJs by creating a database listing those working in Toronto, to encourage those hiring DJs to use it as a resource.Ciel, echoes the sentiment, encouraging the inclusion of women DJs by creating a database listing those working in Toronto, to encourage those hiring DJs to use it as a resource.

Electronic Synth (CBC Arts)

In this video you'll meet all three and see just some of the aspiring young music makers who are going to change the face of electronic music.

Build Your Own Synthesizer is happening at Toronto Public Library on January 10, February 14 and February 28. Hang with Cindy Li aka Ciel at Bambi's in Toronto on January 13 AND catch Chippy Nonstop at Bambi's on February 2

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

About the Author

April Aliermo is a Filipinx-Canadian musician, songwriter, entrepreneur and educator based out of Toronto. She plays bass and co-writes music and lyrics for Hooded Fang and Phèdre. She strives to build conscious communities while having the time of her life.

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