My name is DJ lynnee denise, and I am a cultural producer and independent scholar. One strategy I employ as a cultural agent to reach a wider audience is to present research on the history, evolution, and migration of house music. I examine the distinct socio-cultural and geographical contexts of house in order to understand how the music was used to interrupt dominant narratives of gender and sexuality. I began to use ‘house music studies’ as a tool for social change when I discovered its global reach, particularly in the migration of house to South Africa. Documenting the artistic contributions of people who are underrepresented within house culture — continental Africans, women and those living with HIV/AIDS is central to my vision of providing “Entertainment with a Thesis.”
The Soundtracking Our Lives Tour is the second installment of an ongoing project called The Afro-Digital Migration (ADM). The first part of this project, House Music in Post-Apartheid South Africa, explored the relevance of house music to the cultural fabric of South Africa . Two overarching objectives of the ADM project are: 1) to determine the systems put in place to help facilitate the migration of house from the U.S. to Johannesburg townships during the 1980s apartheid era and 2) to explore how women have been situated in this conversation.
I have been on this exploration for women djs, promoters and producers from Atlanta to Montreal to Chicago to Detroit to New York for the past two years. It’s been an effort of independent scholarship that has given me space to spin and speak about music:
In New York: I established WildSeed Music as a cultural entity and partnered with a number of women DJs, promoters and producers to create regular events between 2005-2012.
In Atlanta: I independently produced 20 events and 10 mixes for my podcast. I also partnered with Spelman College as the first DJ to present independent scholarship through a series titled: Music, Migration and Movement. The series examined the roles that black women have played in the development of blues, soul, hip-hop and jazz; their navigation of race and gender politics, and their efforts to assume and assert their personal identities.
In Chicago: I presented on the history of Chicago house music at the “Remapping the Black Atlantic: Disaspora (Re) Writing of Race and Space Conference at DePaul University and I will discuss the cultural legacies of black women DJs at the upcoming Hip-hop Feminism Conference at the University of Illinois.
In Detroit: I Interviewed Stacy “Hotwax” Hale to document her role in the development of Detroit house and techno and I worked with Curator Ingrid LeFleur as a featured DJ for her Afrotopia Project.
In Montreal: I became a visiting resident DJ for The Amazone Crew, a collective of women DJs and graphic artists based in Quebec.
In 2013, I was invited to apply for an Astraea Foundation Global Arts Fund grant. My budget for this leg of the project was $5500.00, they generously awarded me $2500 and this campaign is to raise funding for the remaining costs. Your resources will support me to travel and document the final leg of this tour and the journey in Johannesburg, Durban and possibly Cape Town. I need the financial support to find the women DJs there and work with them to create mutual visibility through an event and a mix. Your money would support: The budget for 30 days of travel and lodging expenses between Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town is $2000.00.
Additionally, your money will support me to complete mixes that I have been pulling together for months which my audience have been asking me for. The equipment I get to complete these mixes will also help me create my music wherever I travel. I am a global DJ and I need a mobile studio/sound system. The budget for a system is $1000.00.
My previous travel and research have revealed a thread that binds women within the story of house music, and there is little to no official record of our cultural contributions to the art-form. Please help me to establish historical memory, a rich archive of creative and networking resources, and artistic exposure for the women involved in the development of house music!
lynnee denise (WildSeed Cultural Group)
less than 32 hours left and lynnee still needs $1200 to make her goal!
signal boosting for the morning crowd
19 hours left and $700 left!