By Abiola Archer
It is now popular opinion, that women making strides in male-dominated industries must be commended. Recently, many woman are defying the odds to make these industries more inclusive and accepting for all, irrespective of gender. Alliyah Dey also known as Selector Bruuutal, is Linden’s lone female DJ. Saturday evening, she won an award for Female DJ of the year at the 2021 Linden Music Awards.
In Alliyah’s story, we must acknowledge how genetics play a significant role in the social behavior of a child. Alliyah’s grandfather who still plays music today, had a DJ boot and bar filled with CDs and all kinds of music and instruments, while her father, Jermaine Dey aka Miracle, is a singer.
Dey said a friend in school also played virtual DJ, which she listened and asked how he mixed and interchanged, he showed her and from them onwards she downloaded the app and practiced. “I had a lot of mistakes to be honest,” Dey said, but because of the love she had for music, she continued. “Other DJs and selectors along with my family encouraged me to continue playing music because they said with the talent I have and being the only female DJ in Linden, it can take me far in the music industry, so I continued.”
Dey said she is an advocate for gender equality. “Women and men, and girls and boys, can enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. I see it as woman empowerment, that we also can be involved in male activities that contribute to gender equality. And I’m glad because it can open doors for other females to get involve in the music industry since it’s a male dominated industry.”
Given she is the only female DJ in Linden currently, Dey is determined to use her platform to encourage other young girls who may have an interest in the career, to pursue it. “Being the only female DJ in Linden, I play different from the other DJs, I play for everybody, once I get out there, I do what I have to do and people enjoy themselves, I play for the audience, however it is a nice experience so far, it’s just to be careful with the police and curfew since we’re in a pandemic.”
Dey is not only an exceptional person in the music industry but is also pursuing a career, in the oil and gas sector; she is a second year student at the University of Guyana and is among the first batch of students studying Petroleum Engineering. She is also taking a 36 weeks online course in Reservoir Engineering at Standford University. She said her choice of career was made, after realising the oil and gas industry will soon be one of Guyana’s leading sector and there will be, in fact, already is, opportunities for young Guyanese to obtain promising careers. She said, “it’s a challenging journey so far but I’m coping.”
Dey resides at the mining community of Coomacka and completed her secondary education at the Christianburg Wismar Secondary School. In the next five years she sees herself training other people to become qualified engineers and still being a DJ, “on the side.” She also hopes to establish her own music studio in her community.
Her encouragement to youths are, “Anything is possible once you put your mind to it, there will be obstacles and failures, but these are to make you become better and keep striving for excellence. You have to fail at some point because it encourages you to do better.”