DJ Anushka Menon and Alina Sengupta, share how they found their spot in a male-dominated field
Anushka and Alina found their place by being true to their choices
Chennai has one of the best party cultures with some kickass in-house DJs to set the tone to party till you drop. And this week will be all the more thrilling with two female DJs, Anushka Menon and Alina Sengupta, coming to town to set the house on fire with some of their electric numbers. The two are coming to the city for the first time after the pandemic and are all geared to play a mix of breaks, electronica, breakbeats and some ghetto techno. “It also depends on how the evening goes and how my audience reacts to it,” says Goa-based Anushka. Meanwhile, Alina concurs that playlists are fluid, and informs us that she will be opening the night at Black Orchid, this weekend.
It was back in 2015 — when Anushka observed a gap in the music industry and the kind of music that was played at bars and clubs — that she along with her friend decided to combine their musical acumen for club hits and started DJing under the name Anushka&Agent. “I had so many apprehensions but I just threw myself into it and learnt along the way. I had cold feet when I entered the profession but it has turned out well,” expresses Anushka.
On the other hand, Alina was always involved in music and used to learn Western classical singing. She tells us that she was exposed to some great music while growing up in Bengaluru. “I joined a music school called Mixlabs in Bengaluru when I was 15 and that’s where my teachers changed everything for me in terms of music and DJing,” says Alina.
While being a DJ is a disproportionately male-dominated field, and unlike science and technology, not many women have become part of this profession. One could say that Anushka and Alina found their place by being true to their choices. “The industry is mostly dominated by men but when I first got into the space, I was surrounded by a group of supportive male DJs. Some of them genuinely supported me to find my space but at times I do feel it is difficult because people sometimes don’t take you seriously,” says Alina. But Anushka wasn’t surprised by the fact that not many men would welcome her into this territory. “I found my space because I stayed true to the kind of music that I’d like to play. That’s how I define my style. I just kept doing what I wanted to do and strived to become better at it,” Anushka says in conclusion.