Human curiosity. The eternal spark that allows society to reach new heights. In this never-ending saga of life’s trial and error—from harnessing the power of fire to the invention of the wheel, to remarkable advancements in the capabilities of nuclear fusion—curiosity got us here. It truly is the flame that never extinguishes. And it doesn’t hurt when that curiosity comes with an infectious groove or an undeniable bass line.
DJ Bec Adams, founder of Les Filles, a global female-identifying DJ agency, finds her path to be ignited by this unfaltering sense of inquiry. At the very top of a windy street in Echo Park, she reflects on the journey that led her to this balcony overlooking the boundless skyline of Los Angeles. “My most visceral memories are of my mom playing the piano as my brother and I run around in nature,” Bec recalls of her childhood in Australia. “And when she wasn’t playing the piano, my dad would play records all day. This love for music feels like it’s been ingrained in my DNA.”
Childhood is filled with firsts, from a first step to a first love. Most of these experiences lose their luster over time, while others remain gleaming. Bec struggles to put into words the way each new auditory exploration makes her feel. “The experience of listening to a song for the first time is unlike anything else,” she says. “The power music has and the feeling it provides fuels this sort of constant curiosity to find something new. I always feel like I am chasing the feeling of hearing something for the first time. I’m always pushing myself to find new songs I love.”
Raised in a household that equally valued getting an education and pursuing your passion, Bec was nurtured in a way most creatives are not. She was pushed equally in both academics and arts. With this sentiment, she sought out a career in law while finding some footing in the Australian music scene. “Australia was a little boring,” she recalls. “To see anyone who wasn’t my immediate family was a bit of a drive away. The whole place is so secluded. I really just wanted to see what else was out there.” And with that, Bec headed to New York where she began working as a music licensing lawyer by day and a DJ by night.
But this lifestyle wasn’t always the plan. “I never really wanted to be a DJ,” she shares. “It just always felt so natural to me. I had the ability to go into any event and become a social anthropologist.” The side gig allowed her to bridge the gap between the familiar business side of the music industry, and its more fulfilling, creative end. As she begins to recount her time working at the music supervision firm, though, the inequity she encountered rises to the forefront of her mind. “I remember there was a recording studio in the back, and it would get shut down because high-profile people would come in,” she shares. “It would always be a boys club thing about who was invited to work in the studio. Even though I had direct influence over so many of the calls about those sessions, I was never allowed to go into session.” These moments continued to repeat themselves and eventually lead to a breaking point, and a new venture formed. “I was bringing opportunities from the clients I was DJing with at night, but I never saw raises or promotions.”
And so, Les Filles was born. The now six-year-old agency is responsible for representing female-identifying DJs around the world and beyond, driving the energy behind private parties internationally (think Art Basel Miami Beach, Paris Fashion Week) the agency acts as a consultant to high-end brands in finding their sonic identity—think the likes of Chanel, Tory Burch, Valentino. “We all know what a brand looks like,” considers Bec. “We know what it feels like. We sometimes know what it smells like, but what does it sound like? Once we identify the sound of the brand, we then infiltrate into everything.”
From the aural experience of a brand’s bespoke launch moment to the soundtrack of runway shows, to the in-store shopping experience and social media presence, Les Filles helps to create a true sense of identity and continuity for each brand with which they partner. “Anything that touches music, just give me a call,” Bec tells her clients. “Music is so much more than a piece of fabric on our body. It’s a culture. It’s embraced. The brands can become another extension to the culture when they embrace the power music has.”
As founder and lead of Les Filles, the agency onboards new talent that helps to ignite Bec’s curiosity to find new music, share it with clients, and helps provide a breath of fresh air for other women in the industry. But what makes Les Filles stand out among the sea of faces behind the decks is the lack of ego each DJ carries. Bec explains that “people look at music as an ego thing, and think, ‘I need to identify myself with this.’ Actually, no, you don’t come in with an ego. You can’t do that with a brand. It’s not your show. Unless your name is on the flyer, you shouldn’t be exclusively playing your taste of music.”
Bec’s experience in music isn’t an obscure one. But what sets her apart is what lies at the heart of her person. A ceaseless flame of curiosity. She was curious enough to leave her ego at the door, to break away from what she always knew, and to bring together a group of like-minded individuals in need of a community. And we are curious about what might come next.
Photographed by Elysée Sanvillé
Styled by Mui-Hai Chu
Written by Cerys Davies
Production Assistant: Khami Auerbach