“For me a compilation is like a CV. People judge you a lot from how good your compilation is and that can open doors for you.”
Tendai interviewed DJ Shimza in the township of Tembisa, the neighbourhood that he grew up in and where he still lives, and even though their phones were on silent, there were other equally distracting but welcome interruptions, the fans. Every few minutes or so someone walked up to him just to shake his hand or greet him and each time he gladly returned the gesture with a smile. For, not so long ago Shimza formed part of the SA DJs ‘on the grind’ mix, but just as the dream goes and is meant to play out, it’s his time to shine now.
You’ve been loved and adored for years but the spotlight is on you now more than ever before, how does that feel?
It definitely feels good to have people finally recognizing my work. It’s a bit worrying when you put in a lot of work and effort and no one pays you any attention, so I’m grateful that it’s all paying off now.
What changed and what do you feel was the “Aha” moment that firmly set DJ Shimza on the house music pedestal?
Winning ‘The Next Big Thing’ competition definitely changed things for me. A lot of die hard house fans and influential people were watching that show and it provided me with a great deal of exposure. From there I just didn’t look back and kept pushing.
What was it like compiling and producing material for your disc on Soul Candi 10?
For me a compilation is like a CV. People judge you a lot from how good your compilation is and that can open doors for you. So I made sure I worked hard with my first compilation, SA House Charts, and within time Harael Salkow took notice and gave me the chance to work on the SC 10 project.
Listen to this fresh mix by DJ Shimza
What is your fondest memory from your trip to Miami earlier this year?
The response, and the love I got from the crowd during the SA Party was amazing. I loved it. Also, having DJ Spen come up to me and ask for just one song from my set, which happened to be my own production, ‘Eye for an Eye’, was really cool.
You recently started working for Yfm, please shed some light on that?
Media plays a big role in your career, especially as a DJ. And working for Yfm has elevated my career. It took my career to the next platform and is simply working wonders for my brand.
One of your other projects is The One Man Show, how has that matured and turned out over time?
The One Man Show starts off with me cooking lunch for orphans from various homes in Tembisa then later on in the evening I DJ alone for the whole night but also have various performers come through. When we started the first one, we had about 800 people. The last one I held had 7 000 and I’m hoping to increase the number, as well as feed even more kids, not just from Tembisa but all over Gauteng.
Tell us a little bit more about your musical relationship with Ceubur.
Ceuber taught me so much when it comes to producing. Even though I went to the Soul Candi Academy of music, every day after school, Cueber would be there showing me how to do stuff. It’s safe to say he has been the anchor for me production wise.
What else can we expect from DJ Shimza in the near future?
I’m definitely becoming more business orientated. I’m opening my new pub/ restaurant in Tembisa, alongside that I’m also planning to release a live CD. The idea is to record my set at a club and use that as my compilation as it will bring a more intimate and realistic aspect to the traditional production of a compilation.
INTERVIEW: Tendai Luwo