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2017 August 25


No 26 of our mixtape series comes from Jess Farley (L) and Liv Howarth aka Liv Ayers (R), who make up two quarters of London’s brightest, freshest, most vibrant and most abundantly sought after all-female DJ collective: ‘Rhythm Sister‘. The other two quarters that complete the Rhythm Sister collective are Demetra Georgiou aka Hemlin & Alice Lewis aka Carpe DM. The mix was recorded live during Jess and Liv’s set at Rachael’s ‘Outside’ party at Dalston Superstore on May 29th.

Jess had a bright spark back late 2016 to set up a community to encourage female DJ’s; this spawned a number of DJ ‘Mix Sessions’  exclusively for Female, Female identified, Queer and NB. Spring-boarding off the back of these (still regularly occurring) successful sessions, a number of Rhythm Sister clubnights took place and soon after, the collective was born. Rhythm Sister‘s success has rapidly elevated, now with a regular weekly show on Balamii radio, a growing online community and regular guest appearances at various clubnights across the Capitol. A busy summer has also seen them play alongside some of the most-sought after names in the business, at some of Europe’s biggest festivals; including Love International, where they kindly invited me to come along as their guest DJ (and much much fun was had) . Rhythm Sister is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with and is growing in strength by the minute, so we’re delighted and excited to have the girls join our mixtape ranks and take the musical helm for this months exclusive mix –  and trust me, this one’s a melting pot of musical treats!.

I managed to catch up with Jess and Liv for a quick Q&A to accompany the musical gift.

Before we start, to give our listeners an idea of the sounds they’re about to here, describe the musical vibes of Rhythm Sister collective in 5 words. God that’s a hard one ha…. We play loads of genres from Techno to Funk! But for today we’ll say: diverse, percussive, disco, techno, ACID

Ha, I like the way you prominently label ACID there, girls after my own heart! So Rhythm Sister is both a community which supports female / identified and NB DJ’s as well as an all-female DJ collective, so Jess as the founder of Rhythm Sister, let’s start with you – what inspired you to start Rhythm Sister? And how did you go about getting things off the ground? JESS: I was inspired by various conversations with women while working in the industry, loads who loved music but were too nervous to pick up the headphones, alongside my own experience with wanting to learn to DJ (and feeling terrified for a while!) I wanted to create a community to help breakdown that initial anxiety on learning something they didn’t feel was accessible to them, and for women to encourage, support and teach each other.





And now Liv, how did your involvement come about? LIV: My friends tagged me in Jess’ post calling for female DJs as it was getting shared quite widely and I dropped her a message! I was umming and aahing about whether to message as I wasn’t sure if I was ‘ready’ as a DJ yet, but I’m so relieved I sucked it up and did it.

There’s a few girls involved in the DJ collective, but four mainstay’s how did you all meet? JESS: Demetra, Liv & myself met online actually! I put a post in the New Music Group about the workshops I was setting up and put a shout out for other DJs to help me with them. We decided to do a Rhythm Sister gig together shortly after and really connected, so the collective was born! Alice was a friend of Liv’s who had some great ideas for the project (and an amazing selection of tunes) and joined a few months later. There’s also others from the community who’re involved quite closely with what we do, playing at gigs with us regularly etc



Nice! So as a collective, you’ve already had some pretty sweet gigs, from Glastonbury, Gala Festival, Farm fest, Love International, Secret Garden Party [RIP :( ] and more – which is a pretty-jam packed first summer as a crew! So how do you organise your sets as a collective, is it a bk2bk2bk2bk kind of affair? We tend to play with 2 of us at once as we’ve found the flow of the set works much smoother and you can really build the energy together (it also means there’s less time off the decks so it’s more hands on!) and yeh we go bk2bk aka bum2bum :)

Bum2bum sounds much more fun! :) Now, each of the DJ’s in the collective have come from different musical backgrounds and have different musical tastes, so how does this work when you all come together to play? Although we have varied sounds individually we have a strong overlap of music between us which works really well, we tend to have a Rhythm Sister ‘sound’ as such, which is nice, this has developed and grown since we started and is still being explored. It’s really exciting playing together regularly with a group and sharing tunes, we’re all learning loads from each other.

Which was the whole point of founding Rhythm Sister in the first place right? to support, encourage and learn from each other! So when you talk about female collectives, it’s hard not to mention the Discwoman crew, but there are so many more that are cropping up, from the ‘Born n Bred’ and ‘Siren’ crews of London, Copenhagen’s ‘Apeiron Crew’, Paris’ ‘TGAF crew’ and Bristol’s ‘Boys Club’ what do you think is the importance of these all-female crews? And do you think having these solid female crews is helping to address the gender balance in the music industry? It’s definitely helping for sure, it’s crazy to think even a few years ago a lot of these collectives didn’t exist. I can feel it in the air that change is happening, these collectives are not only inspiring and supporting each other but they’re encouraging others on the outside too. We probably wouldn’t have had the courage to start what we did if it wasn’t for crew’s like Discwoman. More women & LGBTQ+ are seeing their peers on the stage and they’re like ‘hey I can do this too’, they’re learning to mix, playing out, and generally more and more talent is finally getting recognised in the industry, it’s slow but it’s happening.

YES!!! and we’re all for it! OK now, let’s focus on the mix sessions you run. Just like the all-female collectives, there seems to be more ‘female only’ music courses, panels and learning sessions cropping up, such as Red Bull’s #NormalNotNovelty sessions and your own, why do you think these female-only learning spaces are important? I think being in female only or predominantly female spaces has a strong sense of solidarity, ‘we’re all in the same boat’, kind of vibe, and it’s really empowering. The female experience in life can be very different to that of a man, being in a room by a load of women who ‘get it’, get your struggles in society, get your anxieties, and are there to be kick ass with you and learn a sick new hobby – there’s just something really rewarding about it. Women are wonderful & powerful and it’s important for them have space to help them be those things.

Alice Panal sized Mix Session2 Mix Session3 sized

Exactly! So how often do you run your sessions? And if someone wanted to get involved where can they hear about them? We run our DJ workshops aka ‘Mix Sessions’ once a month, usually on the 3rd Thursday, we’re going to be started a mailing list soon but the best way to find out would be on our Facebook page or group! Please feel free to contact us at also :)

And do you have any plans for growing these sessions further? We really enjoy the grassroots community vibe of our sessions, rather than in a strict lesson format, but we’re aiming to invite some guest teachers down in future and we’ve also just launched some free music production workshops with Secretsundaze & CDR.


So before we get to the mix, where can we next hear / see you play? What gigs and shows do you have coming up? We’re playing at Ruby’s with you Michelle tomorrow 😉 At Pangea Festival Manchester on the 23rd of Sept & the Love Inn in Bristol in October. We have an exciting party coming up in Brighton soon! TBA! and are also planning something exciting for our birthday! so watch this space!!

These sound exciting and YASSS very excited about Ruby’s at Brixton Jamm on Sat with you and Hemlin. More deets HERE

 Brixton Jamm

And of course, as you guys know we’re big advocators of supporting women and female identified artists here at Lipstick Disco, so on that note, who do your shout out’s go to? Name some of your favourite fellow female artists?

JESS: So many! Helena Hauff forever blows me away, Beta Librae is a new found favourite, check Donna Leake for the most beautiful selections and I just have the utmost respect for Nina Kraviz who just keeps doing her thing and is still playing the music she loves as a world renowned DJ.

LIV: Some very very good DJs I saw in NYC who I can’t wait to go back and see (trying to come up with excuses to go back to Brooklyn..) – Barbie Bertisch and L&L&L Record Club, and then Avalon Emerson is just sick.  

And one final question we always like to ask, what’s your drink of choice?

JESS: Espresso Martini!!!

LIV: Negroni, the most beautiful drink when done well

So there you have it, classy cocktails for classy girls, get your Rhythm Sisters Disco boots on and come have a shimmy to their mix.

Mix was recorded on May 29th at Dalston Superstore for Rachael’s ‘Outside’ party








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