Thrilled to announce our latest addition to the roster: Hellie!
Photo by Elske Nissen
DJ Hellie has been an integral part of the Amsterdam DJ scene for over ten years, working front and back office with passion and ferocity. She prefers the medium of vinyl and digs most music from 1977-1982, though she’ll also delve into contemporary sounds and holds the accessibility of digital music in high regard. Her sets build a brilliant bridge between old and new music for dancing to.
Hellie is Chinese-American but was raised mostly in the East of the Netherlands. When she moved to Amsterdam in the mid-noughties she quickly became a regular in local nightlife. She started promoting her own parties, Berry’s Paradise, booking artists like Philou Louzolo and Harvey Sutherland before the question “where are all the women?” became impossible to ignore. Thus began her ongoing fight for an industry in which the marginalised are given an equitable slice of the pie.
Next to showcasing her favourite recent digs on Red Light Radio, Hellie’s feminist activism brought her to co-host a radio show called ‘Women’ with Naima Bouchtaoui on the same platform. The show, which has now moved to Radio Alhara, focuses on feminism and the voices of women in non-Western countries through interviews and music. Hellie also co-founded an all-femme booking agency, Pique, which looked after the bookings of an incredible array of talent across genres and cities in the Netherlands, and organised symposia and workshops for femme-identifying people to learn about the art of djing and music production.
The femme-led parties Hellie began producing in Amsterdam pre-corona were aptly named Voortouw (a Dutch word that signals the concept of taking the lead). Hellie invited artists like Paula Tape, Afra, Margie and Jasmín to share the stage with her on these nights. Voortouw has now morphed into a monthly radio show on Echobox. In the show, Hellie shares new music made mostly by women and occasionally features guests or even live performances by other femme artists.
Notable post-corona shows have included a packed Brighter Days at Doka and an ecstatic closing set at Blauwdruk. Here’s hoping things stay “post”, so the slice of pie Hellie is serving continues to surprise and elate.