Enter the world of a Discwoman through the eyes of a SHYBOI
Not Sorry Club presents the Discwoman South Africa tour, featuring SHYBOI and UMFANG.
All the way from New York, Discwoman is a platform, collective and booking agency that showcases and represents talent in electronic music, forging the path for women and LGBTQ artists to be better represented on festival and event line ups across the world.
A multi-faceted artist, SHYBOI expresses her voice through every medium from art, exhibitions and of course, DJing, using her mixing to destroy oppressive ideals still shackling this world.
She has played all over the world, including having honed 3 epic sets at the Boiler Room.
It’s about more than music, before shows Discwoman has discussions on the challenges of setting up an inclusive agency and how to combat it- the SA leg of the tour is in partnership with she said.so.
SHYBOI’s mixes are a rollercoaster of different sounds, styles and time signatures so fans can expect a jolt into the reality of what is or as she says, “they hear the music, they hear screaming.”
We sell out because we are razor sharp with our skills and intentions. We play music that surprises and challenges people.”
The Discwoman tour is doing very well, even selling out events (Guggenheim). What do you think the success the collective is experiencing says about the paradigm we are currently in as a globe?
SHYBOI: We sell out because we are razor sharp with our skills and intentions. We play music that surprises and challenges people. We are here despite shifts in the globe because even a global shift is just a turn. We’ll be here for a while.
Part of the tour is a workshop where Discwoman holds discussions on the challenges of setting up an inclusive agency and how to explore alternatives. For your SA leg of the tour, you are teaming up with she said.so to hold discussions- How important is the workshop aspect of Discwoman to the collective and the greater good of the world?
SHYBOI: We want to hold space for people with commonalities to learn the skills to gain power. We don’t view resources as limited but ever expanding as we grow together. We are not looking for representation (the very word a fallacy) given to us by music authorities, we are creating the community we want to exist in ourselves. This community swerves away from built hierarchy.
What can South Africans expect from the Discwoman shows in Cape Town and Joburg this September?
SHYBOI:It is my first time playing in South Africa, so I am unsure what to expect, but I hope to interrogate the very active history in the country of settler colonialism. If you are a descendant of colonialists, come prepared with your cash or land reparations at the door.
You cannot de-colonize music just as you cannot truly de-colonize this world without destroying everything.”
You are a multidisciplinary artist delving into art forms beyond music like video, art installations and more. Do you have ‘alter ego’s’ for the different mediums?
SHYBOI: SHYBOI is my alter ego. Yulan Grant is my ego. Yulan Grant exists in spurts. SHYBOI exists in the spaces that Yulan doesn’t take up. Each self-working towards a message. All selves are displaced and are returning to reclaim power.
How do you feel sound can be used to integrate ideas of identity, notions of power, perceived histories and the entanglements that happen within these topics?
SHYBOI: Music comes from people, people come from places, places are differentiated through relationships with power. You cannot de-colonize music just as you cannot truly de-colonize this world without destroying everything. I want to destroy but I take it mix by mix. Those who created the history of violence forget it first. I don’t allow them to forget. They hear the music, they hear screaming.
What does your daily routine consist of; take us through a day in the life of SHYBOI.
SHYBOI: I always start with an episode of Democracy Now. My research is in the archive, the database, YouTube. I am constantly gathering information to collage, bookmark and revisit later. I labour for money because the world doesn’t value what I value. I laugh with friends. I fall asleep. I wake up, I sleep again.
Tell us about #KUNQ and upcoming events, details?
SHYBOI: Sometimes we exist. Sometimes we don’t exist. We are an ethos; a decentralized collective with a creative output that has a deep commitment to ethnographical research and a true respect and understanding on how cultures can influence music, without co-opting, bastardizing and then subsequently profiting from it in a harmful way. Due to our abstractness we’re not concerned with a linear timeline of group output. We do events when the moment is right or feels necessary. If not we quietly observe in the fog. Maybe we will see you there.
What is your life motto?
SHYBOI: When I am dead wrap up the mantle in the red, the black and the green. For in a new life, i shall rise up. – Marcus Garvey