Every Thursday night, visitors to the Mission's Skylark Bar can find an arsenal of local female DJs spinning, scratching, and playing everything hip-hop -- from grimy gangster rap to funky R&B. The all-female DJ party, known as Peaches, began three years ago when local bartender Masaye Waugh had the idea of throwing a party that would celebrate the talent of some of the best local female hip-hop DJs. "I started out knowing nothing about the local hip-hop scene, how political parties can be, or what I was getting into -- and that oblivion gave me a lot of freedom. My motto for Peaches has always been that there are no rules we can do whatever we want with this party." Waugh explains in an e-mail.
What began with resident DJs Umami, Lady Fingaz, Deeandroid, and DJ That Girl has now expanded to include DJ Inkfat and newest member DeeJay Andre, who will be making her resident debut this Thursday. We recently got some further insight from original member DJ Lady Fingaz and newest addition DeeJay Andre about what the party strives to achieve and which track they most look forward to dropping on the dancefloor.
Tell us a little about the history of Peaches.
Lady Fingaz (L): The Peaches party was formed and coined by Masaye Waugh. She wanted to form a supergroup of all-female DJs, and Peaches was what came to mind. Masaye wanted to throw a party with the woman in mind, but cater to all walks of life with one common interest: good music.
How did you connect with Peaches, DeeJay Andre?
DeeJay Andre (A): I connected with Peaches a couple years ago as an up-and-coming hip-hop DJ in San Francisco. Masaye asked me to guest-DJ a set. From then on, it's been crackin'.
What's it like being the newest member?
A: Being the newest Peach is fuckin' dope! It's an honor to spin with such talented, positive female DJs in the hip-hop community. We are a crew of diverse women that spread love through our music.
What do you hope to bring to the party?
A: As the newest Peach I hope to bring more hip-hop fans together under the same roof by reading the crowd and connecting our vibes.
What are some of the best memories you've had at the party?
L: Peaches is a crew of homies, and every time we get together lasting memories are sure to be had by all. Every time I play with my girls it leaves a best memory, and that is why, three years later the party, is still going strong. If I had to choose a best memory or two though, I'd say our anniversary parties and our drunken attempts at trivia!
How have you seen the party evolve?
A: I've seen the party evolve into a larger crowd of positive folks that like to dance and party. Peaches DJs are fully involved with the crowd, bringing a very open, comfortable space for all people to have a good time.
L: The party has only gotten better, and our crew has grown stronger with the addition of DJs Inkfat and Andre. With six different DJs in rotation you can come to our party and always hear something new or see a different style, which I feel keeps us evolving as a weekly. I've watched Umami, That Girl, and Deeandroid excel as artists, and it's been so awesome to watch Andre and Inkfat do the same. We've also evolved as friends, often meeting up just to shoot the shit or be a shoulder to cry on if need be. We are a force to be reckoned with, and will only continue to grow as a party and a crew.
What message do you hope to spread about female DJs with the party?
A: My message to female DJs is simple. Follow your passion and vibe with your crowd. We are DJs for a reason, to bring a positive space for all people to express themselves and release the daily stresses in life. My personal message to everyone is to always follow your heart and express it through your passion. If we keep positive in these times of distraction and sorrow, we will prevail.
Next: Lady Fingaz and Andre on what songs get the best reaction from the crowd.