Discwoman are a bonafide Brooklyn institution.
Since 2014, Emma Burgess-Olson, Christine McCharen-Tran, and Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson have been working tirelessly to elevate and amplify women-identified producers and DJs in a dance music culture that often counts them out. With humble beginnings as a two-day showcase for women-identified talent at Bushwick’s techno incubator Bossa Nova Civic Club, the trio would later extend this showcase into a full on booking agency and management company. Discwoman currently handles booking events, arranging tours, putting out releases, and raising awareness for the trio's cause.
“Naturally we were all coming from different backgrounds and had different skill sets, but we were all really passionate about the same sort of vision,” says Olsen, who also DJs and produces music under the moniker Umfang. Their vision aims for intersectionality in the world of dance music, in highlighting those who may have been traditionally underserved, and making a difference in their local communities as well as for others in need. Through collaboration, these three are able to push each other to the creative edge, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts through influencing and amplifying others within their community.
Most recently, Discwoman's initiative has taken the form of a compilation series to benefit a host of different noble organizations including but not limited to: ACLU, Callen-Lorde, the National Immigration Law Center, and Planned Parenthood. “We started working on a compilation earlier last year, sort of in wake of the huge global shift that was happening in the U.S. and decided that was a really powerful way to really bring people together to raise awareness,” Hutchinson tells Complex. With so many different parties involved, and in different timezones to boot, having an online platform where everyone can work through ideas together has been essential in their mission. “Dropbox Paper is really useful because we can all look at the same thing and edit it in real time,” Hutchinson notes. “Collaboration is super important to our process… For us, bouncing back ideas is crucial to the development and for it [to be] a successful product.”
Discwoman is a labor of love but that doesn’t mean people aren’t connecting. Olsen notes, “through the internet we get so much affirmation, people saying, ‘what Discwoman has done has really influenced me and it’s changed my life in these ways.’ A really direct message like that makes me feel like we should keep going,” Olsen says.
The enterprising trio have realistic expectations, all confirming that no, dance music can’t save the world. But at least with Discwoman around, the world of dance music has been made that much better.