Strolling down Larch Street—a tranquil industrial district with a funeral parlour at the street junction—there’s usually no sign of a party scene. But if you followed DJ Cath Love’s posters on January 29, you would encounter hipsters in the 7-Elevens, getting pre-drinks before walking up the factory stairs to XXX, Hong Kong’s grunge-yet-hip underground music venue. Inside: 90s hip-hop, a house of fashionistas, familiar model-like faces from Instagram, and a floor of pink heart-shaped balloons.
Welcome to the inaugural party by Mean Gurls Club, Hong Kong’s first all-girl DJ collective. It’s not often that only girls get to play — veterans of the local underground music scene might remember Hong Kong’s first all-girls DJ night was two years ago at XXX’s second location, when female mainland Chinese DJs JCC and Cvalda played a drum and bass gig with local DJ Just Bee.
But until recently — unlike our Asian counterparts in Tokyo with Bae Tokyo or Singapore with ATTAGIRL! — Hong Kong hasn’t had a female DJ collective, which is why two local DJs, Yeti Out’s YUNG $UBI (aka Subi) and Instagrammer-turned-DJ Suki Wong (Sukixx), decided to step up to create Mean Gurls Club — bringing their fashionable, sexy, high-energy style to the scene.
The idea of celebrating girl power is a form of response to the male-dominated DJ culture, Subi told me. “I’ve been thinking, why do we only see male DJs on the stage DJ-ing in Hong Kong? One night, DJ Sukixx and I came up with this idea – GIRL POWER. We should throw a party and only book female DJs. After that conversation, Mean Gurls Club was born on a random night.”
On this evening, the fun gets started with Cath Love and Subi’s girls hiphop staple tracks — think Lady’s “Pussy” and Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl” — followed by an eclectic pop mixtape from Sukixx. As it gets late, the party gets turnt with ASJ’s experimental trap beats, smoothly transitioning to DJ Just Bee’s drum & bass closing set. Highlights of the night included tracks by Command Q, OutKast, and Quad City DJ’s. Also spun at the desk: remixed classics from Far East Movement and Beyonce.
Even in 2017, being a female DJ often means facing extra pressure — from getting constantly compared to men, to dealing with stereotypes about technique or knowledge of audio gadgets. But Mean Gurls Club definitely proved any assumptions wrong — and that it shouldn’t be a competition to begin with. On this night in January, the DJs showed they spin decks like anyone regardless of gender, they do it out of love for music, and know how to throw a fun party. As DJ Just Bee sums up to me: “Mean Gurls are HOT, SEXY, CONFIDENT, and don’t give two fucks about what anyone thinks.”