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Playing Her Passion.

Byline: NOOR JAVED SADIQ

Aminath Fazleena Abbas or DJ Angie is an enterprising and ambitious girl who has created a fresh, new niche for women in the Maldives.

Like Anja Schneider to Ellen Allien, Monika Kruse, Magda, Cassy and many more around the world, Aminath Fazleena Abbas of the Maldives is out to make her own place as a female DJ. She is popularly known as DJ Angie in Male. The lady has broken many stereotypes by setting her mark in female DJing. Aminath Fazleena Abbas's journey was not a bed of roses, though. It took a lot of rejections and not giving up in the name of the 'not for girls mind-set'. She had the gumption and the guts to stand and get what she had dreamed of. That brought her to where she stands today - the first female DJ of the Maldives.

Her passion for her craft can be felt through what she said in an interview: "You don't just play to make people dance; you play for good music to fill the air". From understanding and tuning to what the audience wants, to setting the ambiance and vibes, DJ Angie mixes her sets right. Her favourites include minimal techno, though she rarely gets to play it. This explains why she stresses that understanding and tuning to the audience is the key to the profession.

Now, with years of experience at hand and a recognized identity, DJ Angie is known not only in the Maldives but has also made a mark in countries like Sri Lanka and the UAE. But how did she do it in less than a decade? It was not easy. In her earlier days she was not considered by a local DJ agency because they said they did not need a 'typically local' female Maldivian DJ - a rejection that did dim her zest at the time but she didn't give up and got her first gig in Kuda Bandos Island for a crowd of around 200 people. Her first resort gig was in Dusit Thani Resort in 2013 and, well, let's say, DJ Angie never looked back.

The calling of DJing has great scope in the Maldives as it is a major tourist attraction. But the locals lack opportunity in the profession because foreign DJs are hired or preferred over local DJs. DJ Angie, however, believes that the local DJs should get gigs and a DJ must understand that highs and lows are a part of the profession.

Abbas's story is one of tests and tribulations - and it is an inspiration; in 2008, she decided to pursue DJing as a career, not realizing then that years down the lane she would rule the roost as the first female DJ in the Maldives. She completed her basic beginners course from the DJ Academy in Sri Lanka in 2009. After moving back to Male, from 2009 to 2011, she faced major limitations as there was no setup to practise. In 2011, she finally had her own studio where she polished her skills. She didn't stop there. In 2013, she set out to fine-tune her craft and completed a Electronic Music Production course in Thailand. This proved to be her anchor and aligned her to live her dream of becoming a DJ. After facing one challenge after another, today DJ Angie has succeeded in making a mark beyond her own country.

DJ Angie's story is about pursuing her dreams. She took a decision and stuck to it. She travelled other avenues as well because she was multi-talented. She is a marketing manager and helps her dad in his company. There she gets a chance to plan her own business too. She believes in having backups and not depending on one avenue.

For her, passion comes from within. A lot of rejections and not giving up are at the core of achieving her dreams. Maybe she never dreamt of becoming the first female DJ in the Maldives but her dream of becoming a DJ did change a stigma - many DJ agencies in the Maldives thought until Abbas came along that a female was simply not cut out for the profession.

Today, Fazleena Abbas plays at pioneering festivals and private and commercial resorts. She is a trail blazer for many women.
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Author:NOOR JAVED SADIQ
Publication:South Asia
Geographic Code:9MALD
Date:Jan 31, 2020
Words:776
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