A Quick Chat With Reid Speed (Interview)

With more than two decades in the scene, you can’t talk about U.S. drum & bass without mentioning Reid Speed. Consistently ranked as one of America’s top DJ’s, she’s known for her straight up skills on the decks, effortlessly mixing between genres on the fly.

I had a chat with the Queen of Caturday herself to talk about what we can expect from her performance at We Love Bass, her label Play Me Records, women in drum & bass, and of course, pizza and cats.

Artwork for We Love Bass

This will be your third time playing in San Diego for United By Bass! What are a few of the tracks you're most looking forward to playing at We Love Bass?

“I’m super excited to drop some of that new Delta Heavy, a couple of the songs off the Dr. Apollo EP dropping April 5th on Play Me, and a brand new No Concept remix of me & Dr. Apollo’s tune Electrotherapy that we also have coming out this summer!”

As the boss lady of Play Me Records, what do you look for when signing a track or artist?

“When signing new music, I look first for originality, then, how well the song fills the frequency spectrum and works as whatever genre it is, and finally, is it memorable? Then I look at social media numbers and interactions to try & gauge if the artist is building their own support network. There’s a lot of moving pieces to the puzzle, but having most of the boxes checked when you submit really helps.”

DJ Reid Speed

Speaking of boss ladies… you are very vocal in the worldwide movement for female inclusion in drum & bass. What do you think needs to happen in order to level the playing field a little bit?

“Female inclusion across all genres seems to a problem. It’s frustrating that there can be hundreds of “sound-alike” dudes or guys who don’t contribute much but if they are friends with the gatekeepers of the industry, so to speak, they are all given seats at the table by default. Any woman trying to come up is held to much higher standards, and even doing all the things and more than her male counterparts, it still doesn’t assure her a place and often goes ignored by the industry. If a woman does start to break through, her credibility and legitimacy are immediately called into question. The boys club atmosphere makes it so prohibitively difficult to make any headway. We take tiny steps, and then a new guy just shows up, and we get quickly pushed aside.”

“All that said, within drum & bass, I think women still have a ways to go to reach our full potential with regard to producing to the level of our male counterparts. There are a few, but not many who are doing it at the required level. Drum & bass is super technical to make, and most guys don’t want to discuss your WIPs with you. Having a few solid female-peer support collectives popping up to discuss our music has probably been the most helpful thing so far. Perhaps if we can band together and really lift each other up, we can just build a new table…”

You’re having a Caturday pizza party… who are you inviting?

I would invite every homeless unloved cat and feed them all!!

We want to thank Reid Speed for taking time out her day to sit down with us. We can’t wait for to touch down at We Love Bass this Saturday in San Diego, California.  Discount Tickets and info can be found HERE.

Emily Widuch

Emily Widuch

Author | Editor @ UBB

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