While some of us were at Austin’s SXSW, others scampered off to another music mecca happening at exactly the same time: Miami Music Week. Swapping our boots for sandals and guitars for turntables, we jetted to the home of Ultra Music Festival and all things dance music, for insiders and revelers alike, on the sunny shores of South Beach.
While Miami Music Week (or as it used to be known, Winter Music Conference), has grown infinitely over the years, in response to America’s growing insatiable appetite for everything electronic, the visibility for women artists has remained somewhat stagnant.
The past two years, though, have finally shown incredible pushback toward what has been considered acceptable: Chicago-based The Black Madonna was named Mixmag’s Most Inspirational Artist of 2015, young prodigies like Canada’s Rezz made programming cool, and New York-based collective Discwoman followed in steps of groups before them like Superjane and Women on Wax, becoming the voice of a new, modern wave of equality.
Discwoman, in particular, has made quite the digital ripple over the past year and a half, with features not just in music-centric outlets, but in Forbes and NPR, expanding the base of people made aware of the large discrepancies that still exist within digital musicianship. They even curated a lineup focused on black women for famed DJ platform Boiler Room, have cultivated their own booking agency, and, for International Women’s Day, collaborated with Smirnoff Sound Collective for a mini documentary on their movement.
Expanding into the stoked bro-fires of a place like Miami Music Week seemed like a logical next step. Part of Discwoman’s success has been, in partial credit, to them taking their message to communities who would not be exposed to it otherwise. The trio collaborated once again with Smirnoff Sound Collective, curating their own lineup at the historic Gale South Beach hotel with the likes of Laura Jones and Miss Honey Dijon, and we followed in tow. The time is now, after all, as they themselves say, “people are just ready for the conversation.” So, armed with open minds, hearts, and a grip of buzzy tunes, we followed Discwoman and crew to the heart of Miami. Here’s what happened.