BPM Supreme recently had a chance to catch up with producer and DJ, Kittens (born Lauren Abedini) to hear about her latest project – PWR with Kittens. PWR is an all-female workshop covering the basics of DJing and turntablism. Partnering with Serato andScratch DJ Academy, the first PWR workshop took place on July 23rd at Scratch Academy Los Angeles and provided 24 lucky women with a place to feel empowered and learn in a productive environment.
“The first PWR workshop went great! We covered important fundamentals of DJing, equipment, mainly using CDJs with Serato so the girls are able to visually see the beats, bars and phrasing. Basically information that I know would’ve been helpful when I was just starting out,” said Kittens. “It’s about giving women a safe learning space, surrounded by people they can identify with and feel comfortable with.”
The workshop initially received over 100 submissions as a result of just one post on social media, but could only accept 24 for this round. Needless to say, workshops like these are in demand and Kittens plans to have plenty more to fulfill this demand.
“The goal is to do a PWR with Kittens in every city across the county where a Scratch Academy exists since they’re hosting us. Also, Serato has offered us their spaces in all those cities, so I think we’re only going to blow up from here,” Kittens said.
Growing up in LA, Kittens jumped into the DJ industry early on, hanging with friends like Gaslamp Killer at the Low End Theory parties in DTLA every week. She quickly noticed that there was a lack of female talent around her and that she was usually the only girl intrigued to jump behind the decks. After a bit of hesitation, Kittens decided to buy a pair of turntables and teach herself the ropes along with help from a few close friends.
It wasn’t long before Kittens found herself gaining attention from major players in industry, and in 2013 landed a gig as Kid Cudi’s tour DJ. From there she met Usher, who became a longtime mentor for her career, and she’s now signed to A-trak’s record label, Fool’s Gold.
Kittens has been teaching coed and all-female DJ classes for the past few years, but PWR with Kittens is the first full-day, immersive workshop working with the Scratch Academy and Serato.
“A couple of years ago I teaching a class in a coed situation, and was just noticing that the interaction between girls and guys wasn’t helpful or productive. Girls weren’t putting themselves out there. The guys’ egos came out. I just wanted to provide a safe space where women can relate to the instructor, feel catered to, and where they can mess up and still feel comfortable,” Kittens said.
PWR with Kittens also dedicated time to discussing challenges and some of the road blocks women might find within the male-dominated DJ industry.
“There’s a lot of issues that girls will face in this industry and I think it’s important to kind of give them a heads up and advice on how to get through certain situations successfully without getting flustered or burning any bridges,” she added.
The first PWR with Kittens workshop was free but donations were accepted with 100% going to a local women’s shelter in LA. Along with monetary donations, participants were encouraged to bring items and care packages to donate to the shelter. Kittens also plans to create a KITTENS scholar program, that allows one deserving lady from each future workshop to go through a full training course at Scratch DJ Academy.
As supporters of PWR with Kittens, BPM Supreme has given each of the 24 participants from the first workshop a free subscription to the BPM Supreme record pool. Be sure to follow Kittens on her Instagram and stay up to date on the next workshops.