Out today: Underplayed doc exposes gender inequality in electronic music

Rezz, Sherelle, Tokimonsta, Alison Wonderland, Nervo and more reflect on their experiences in the male-dominated scene.

Underplayed is a documentary launching today on streaming platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play. The documentary explores the gender disparity in the electronic music scene and has been publicly released on International Women’s Day (8 March), following its premiere last year at TIFF.

Less than three per cent of technical and production roles are occupied by women, according to a study by Annenberg Institute. In the DJMag Top 100 DJs list in 2019, only five of the top 100 were women – in 2020, there were 14. In the Top 150 Clubs, the annual percentage of female DJs is six per cent.

With these statistics in mind, director Stacey Lee began work on her feature debut with Underplayed. She speaks with an eclectic range of female producers, engineers and DJs, including Rezz, Alison Wonderland, Tokimonsta, Nervo, Sherelle, Nightwave, Tygapaw, Louisahhh and more.

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The artists reflect on the pioneering influence of women such as Delia Derbyshire, Wendy Carlos, Grace Jones and Suzanne Ciani, with a focus on their experiences in the male-dominated industry. They also discuss festival and club line-ups, which often manifest the industry’s gender inequality with few headlining female artists.

Kate Simko
Kate Simko, American composer, electronic music producer and leader of London Electronic Orchestra.

Kate Simko, American composer, electronic music producer and leader of London Electronic Orchestra, scored Underplayed. Her discography includes three albums, numerous EPs, film soundtracks and original classical compositions. Her Philip Glass remix reaches the Billboard Top 100 Classical Chart and her track Go On Then ended the year on Beatport’s Top 10 Deep House chart.
Underplayed can be viewed in Canada on Crave. International viewers can watch the documentary on iTunes, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Amazon Music, and Amazon Prime Video.
Learn more at underplayedthefilm.com.
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