Wake up! Nap Girls Int’l is a nonprofit collective of nearly 150 women—including myself, the group’s philanthropy manager—who are promoting gender equality in the dance-music industry. Only a year since its West Coast inception, the Nap Girls movement has impacted the music industry all the way up to its leaders, including Skrillex and Justin Martin, who have both demonstrated support for the group. The group has become more public in recent months by way of a feature on Skrillex’s Nest HQ website, a Nap Girls charity bash in Los Angeles with an all-female DJ lineup, and through philanthropy events, such as a canned food drive in collaboration with L.A.’s Space Yacht. Liz Garard, who founded the group along with music professionals Abi Getto and Christina Boemio, shares the nap-time story.
What are the origins of the Nap Girl movement?
It all started with my working all day and taking a “disco nap” before going to Avalon [Nightclub in Hollywood]. I was sending Snapchats doing the nap pose. Abi, Boemio and I were like, “We’re the Nap Girls,” taking naps before going to Avalon or Sound or whatever. I started sending Snapchats to other girls, like, “Hey join my girl gang.” My friend at Warner [Music Group] also gave me the book Riot Grrrl. That was about a movement for punk-rock feminists, [and I thought] Nap Girls could be a movement for dance music females.
How did it evolve?
It evolved very organically. By protecting the group and by not telling people what it was, we were able to induct members who we thought were a good fit or that had genuine interest in figuring out what Nap Girls was about. Within the last three months, I think, have been the biggest developments: We were able to form the internal structure. The first year was basically growing the group internally and now we’re at the point where we have this beautiful foundation set up. Now, whoever wants to take initiative and be a leader in the group has that foundation to do so.
From what industries do the Nap Girls hail?
Nap Girls is a 360-degree model of the music industry. It’s comprised of press, publicists, artists (DJs, producers, singer/songwriters), publications, marketing and social media managers, talent management, journalists …
Any notable members?
It’s kinda hard to say because [Australian DJ] Alison Wonderland is a notable member, but so is Priscilla [Pacheco, a legal assistant], an incredibly notable member, because she threw a wonderful Nap Girls party.
What was the purpose of that party?
First and foremost, it was a showcase of our group and the talent that is within our group. It was also a coming-out party. We kept it private for so long that it was important to have the Nest HQ feature and that we really go public with what we were doing, to get our names and faces out there.
What is the group’s collective mission?
It’s to create a culture for women working in the industry where they can support and help one another. And to create an alliance—a sisterhood—which is also an alliance with the brotherhood. So kind of like a human alliance. That’s the goal—achieving a human-to-human alliance. When we work positively with one another, we can achieve so much more. We have so many like-minded individuals joining forces to create impact, which is so much more powerful than one person isolating him or herself with a negative attitude trying to achieve something.
What’s it like on the inside?
We have so many opportunities and ways to get involved in the group that girls really step up to bat to do things they’re passionate about. [Music-publishing professional] Gali Firstenberg is doing human resources. There are a lot of different opportunities to get involved in ways that speak to the members.
Is this movement a response to the male-dominated music industry?
People are like, “Why aren’t there more female DJs?” There are only so many times you can hear that question. You get to a point where you need to do something about it. We need to take initiative.
How can people—female or male—get involved?
Apply [via the “Napplication” at NapGirls.com in January]. Get to know the other Nap Girls, reach out to them [online or in person], and get to know the members. That’s really the best way to get involved. Like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter—all that good stuff. Do the pose, tell your friends. But also start to question how things go on in your workspace. The best way to support Nap Girls is to open yourself up to equality and what it means to be a feminist. Because it doesn’t mean being “anti-man,” it means fighting for equality.