DJ, Producer and BBC Radio 1 presenter B. Traits is an artist with an ever-growing global presence.
Whether it is the Canadian’s involvement with drug education, passion for diversity within the industry, or just solely her highly skilled DJ sets and radio show, B.Traits has proven her worth over the years. I caught up with Bri not so long after she had finished talking on the Diversity In Electronic Music panel at this year’s IMS in Ibiza, delving deeper into what was discussed earlier that day, plus more of what is to come from the talent that is B.Traits.
“We are literally knocking down these barriers every day, it just takes time and we all need to continue pushing what we’re pushing and soon it will be completely different.”
Great to have the chance to chat to you today Bri, so, when did you arrive on the white isle?
I got here late Wednesday night, flew in on the last flight in from London Stansted, it is always quite a nice flight because you get those kids ready for the party, when the plane lands and everyone claps and cheers, I kind of cringe but it’s kind of awesome as well. This is my first trip of the season to Ibiza, I feel like on the first trip you always get those butterflies and excitement. When I come to Ibiza I actually stay in the countryside on the far north of the island, it is a little bit more relaxed and chilled, I find it a nice escape. Then I come down here and live the whole club and business life and after I escape back to the countryside which I really love doing, you get the best of both worlds.
Have you managed to check out any of the talks and panels at IMS this week?
I haven’t! I saw quite a few last year, I don’t really know why I haven’t seen so many this year, I didn’t spend too much time in the hotel yesterday, basically I just spent all day running into people who I haven’t seen in ages. Then today I was speaking on the panel so I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would have liked because it is just so busy, there are so many things happening here it is kind of hard to keep to track, but it’s really good to be back.
The Diversity In Electronic Music panel has just finished, featuring yourself and a number of other influential females within the industry. Over the time you have been involved within electronic music, do you feel that the situation has changed for female artists?
So much, I mean, I’ve been DJing since I was 16, I feel that when I started there wasn’t nearly as many female DJs as there are now. I think that the interest in becoming a DJ within young women has become more popular, there are so many coming out of the wood work which is really nice. Back then for me I found it a little more difficult than I do now but I think we’re moving in to a really interesting sort of age where there will be no excuse to not have a female on a line up or included on a front cover of a magazine. We are literally knocking down these barriers every day, it just takes time and we all need to continue pushing what we’re pushing and soon it will be completely different.
Do you feel different genres are harder for females to be accepted in?
Yeah definitely, I think different genres do. I can’t really speak for the house and techno community because I didn’t come up in that scene, I came up in the jungle and drum n bass scene that, I’m not sure if it was worse, but it was very much a boys club. Once I sort of broke past this barrier of me being looked at as this little girl DJ, I was accepted by everyone but it took a lot to get to that point, being quite aggressive and quite hard.
You mentioned you changed over time as a person, about the way you portrayed yourself…
Yeah well no one wants to be like that, and of course I would get that reputation of being a bitch and that’s unfair to automatically call a woman that when she’s trying just to be professional, it’s incredibly unfair, and calling people out on that helped me as well. Of course, by behaving like that it’s hard to have real friends in the industry, having to have this really professional barrier. Now I’ve learned to be a bit more open and wear my heart on my sleeve, which is the person that I truly am, being a bit more relaxed, especially now that I am where I want to be. I had to work my ass off so I have that harder shell, but even for people like Nicole (Moudaber) today, you can tell that she’s had that hard shell, she’s still like that, I don’t think that is a bad thing but that is just the way she has made it to where she is in such a short time, she’s absolutely killing it. It is just me sort of discovering myself as well, how to manage it all, but it is changing a lot and it’s great to see and to be apart of it.
So your Radio 1 show, is that you, is that how you represent yourself, do you have the complete freedom and this is who you are?
Absolutely. In 2014 when Radio 1 officially gave me that Friday night slot, they said, we’re going to give you the show after Pete Tong for three hours, before the Essential Mix, your only job is to bridge Pete and the Essential mix. This is your chance to do exactly what you want to do, make it your own, so they gave me free reign. That show is exactly my creation, it is my brain, which is so nice that a company like that puts their faith in me, in my taste of music, my style, they trust me. It is such an honor to be a part of something like that. It took me a while to get the show to the point that it is now, but I think now that I’m there, there is nowhere else that is championing that more underground, a little left, experimental side of dance music, it is also nice to have a home with Radio 1.