Under The Lights: Being a Woman, Trans or Non-Binary Person in UK Dance Music

DJ, journalist and BBC Introducing Dance presenter, Jaguar, is launching a two-part documentary called Under The Lights: Being a Woman, Trans or Non-Binary Person in UK Dance Music. Under The Lights will be available to listen to on the UTOPIA Talks podcast feed from Wednesday 8th March coinciding with International Women’s Day. Jaguar will be providing a platform for a range of women, trans and non-binary people to voice their own experiences of working in the dance music industry. Contributors include Annie Macmanus, Jamz Supernova, The Blessed Madonna, Girls Don’t Sync, DJ Priya, TAAHLIAH, Michelle Manetti, salute, Jaye Ward, Lau.ra and more.

Listeners can expect to hear open, honest and emotional stories around mental health and sexual harassment. Jaguar also speaks to her guests about any positive changes they’ve seen in the dance music scene, plus what changes the industry can make to help future generations.

This new documentary, which is set to empower people and encourage progress, follows Jaguar’s 2022 report on gender representation of artists within the UK dance music scene. The report was commissioned by The Jaguar Foundation (founded by Jaguar to help make electronic music a more equal place for the next generation) and supported by Sony Music UK Social Justice Fund. The report received critical acclaim from the likes of Music Week, DJ Mag, Mixmag, CRACK, and BBC News.

If you would like to read the report, please visit www.thejaguarfoundation.net/report.

Jaguar says: “I’m incredibly proud to be bringing out these podcast episodes with Stak this International Women’s Day! Since 2020 I’ve been on a journey where I’ve found my purpose: to champion minorities and give opportunities to those who really need it. I want to use my platform to help people and explore how we can create positive changes to reach a utopian world. Equality and representation is so important to me. It’s part of my identity, as a mixed race and queer woman navigating the world.

Last year’s launch of The Jaguar Foundation report with the Sony Music UK Social Justice Fund was monumental. It was so powerful to see the impact it’s had on the music industry, with colleagues, friends and peers letting me know that they’re bringing it up in music industry meetings, blasting it to their all-staff mailers, and spurring mind-changing conversations.

And that’s what we aim to do with the UTOPIA Talks podcast. I’d love for people to listen with an open mind and hear these uncomfortable conversations. I want to challenge canonical thinking around gender norms and empower any women, trans, and non-binary people who have ever felt that the world isn’t for them. My producer Katie and I have worked tirelessly on this project, and I hope it makes a difference.”

Jaguar Bingham is a 27-year-old broadcaster, DJ and journalist based in East London. She’s a next-gen tastemaker instigating change through projects such as UTOPIA and The Jaguar Foundation.

In September 2020, Jaguar launched an event, UTOPIA, with the brand later branching out into a UTOPIA Talks conference and podcast which included guests such as SHERELLE, Mary-Anne Hobbs, Sama’ and many more in its first season. Since 2020, Jaguar has presented the BBC Introducing on Radio 1 Dance show, which has been anchored by a desire to spotlight new artists and minority voices within electronic music.

In 2021, Mixmag named her Broadcaster of the Year and she was also awarded Best Radio Show for BBC Introducing Dance through a public vote at last year’s DJ Mag Best of British Awards. She also launched The Jaguar Foundation, with the world. A partnership with Ministry of Sound and Sony Music UK Social Justice Fund. The Jaguar Foundation released its first report on the state of gender equality in UK dance music at last month’s IMS. Furthermore, the foundation’s first initiative, Future1000, saw Jaguar collaborating with in-school music education platform Virtuoso (fka FutureDJs) on a free, UK-wide DJ, production and leadership programme which introduced 1000 female, trans and non-binary students aged 12-18 to the music industry.

Togetherness, authenticity and the delightful purveyance of effervescent dance music: these are the calling cards of Jaguar.