This year, as last year, readers voted Mama Cutsworth for top DJ.
Being in the business since 2004, she is well-established and “a lot has changed in that time,” she says.
The music scene has been dominated by males and as a female DJ, she has seen a lot of sexism.
"In the early days in Winnipeg, it was hard. There were times of being sexually harassed by sound technicians … I was called a girl DJ, language that belittles you.”
Cutsworth overcame the challenges – describing it as “a tough climb” – and she decided to do something about it. She started a DJ academy for women and non-binary folks.
“I decided to actively change gender representation.”
She says 128 people have graduated from the academy and many continue DJing. And Cutsworth adds that “there’s a big shift that’s been happening in the last few years, and it’s cool to watch!”
Cutsworth says the best advice she can give up-and-coming DJs and what has led to her success is “being true to your own values rather than pandering to what you think the mainstream audience wants … figuring out what you bring to the table and then sharing that.”
Cutsworth is busy on the local scene, producing parties through her House of Gold Diamonds moniker (with DJ J. Jackson) that can include surprises like drag queens and burlesque shows.
There are also her family dance parties featuring bubble machines, costumes, valet stroller parking, "momosas" (mimosas for moms) and "kidmosas."
Cutsworth has been internationally successful. She has opened for major acts including Salt-N-Peppa, Boney M., Naughty By Nature and more.
She attributes her success to “daring to try the things I actually love.”