How An All-Woman Brazilian Sound System Is Keeping Vinyl Culture Alive
In Brazil (and all around the world), sound systems—collectives typically consisting of DJs, engineers and MCs playing music deeply rooted in reggae—are male-dominated. Feminine Hi-Fi are emphatically challenging the status quo, and looking to showcase reggae and sound system culture while exclusively giving women the opportunity to shine.
Not only are these women keeping an important part of Jamaican history alive, but they run the circuit as fervent disciples of vinyl in order to stay true to the art and actively in search of it. “Music is important; it is above all. However, playing vinyl goes beyond aesthetic or preciousness,” says Dani-I Pisces in an interview with Large Up. “Collecting and playing vinyl helps to avoid certain sounds being forgotten, it keeps the culture alive and it also keeps the magic of digging for certain things that we probably wouldn’t find in digital platforms. Vinyl culture is very rich, it should be maintained, but it is also important that it works together with current formats. All in the name of music, which is what matters the most.”
Feminine Hi-Fi doesn’t just make noise within the confines of the South American nation; they connect with other women involved in sound systems around the world. “On Facebook I´m always following soundwomen and women who are somehow involved with sound system around the world,” she explains, “trying to know them and their work. I follow Big Mama Sound, Lylloo (I-Skankers), Dubplate Pearl,Macrönz Maky, Amanda Ford, Female Power Sound, and many others.”
The end goal, Dani-I Pisces shares, is to continue adding the building blocks to their sound system, and launch their own music label: “With more women showing their talents, we saw the need to create something to further promote female activity within reggae. The [Feminine Tunes] will be totally dedicated to reggae productions with women on vocals. We will continue with our events, stimulating the massive presence of women, and the future belongs to Jah!”
Now that the Olympics is over, Feminine Hi-Fi will be hosting their third street party in São Paolo this September.