“That is why I still find myself in Cape Town. I love working hard in what I believe in and I believe this city has far more greater potential than any other place in South Africa as the most culturally diverse in the country. My contributions here are invaluable and I still have so much to offer this city before I can take the leap to head out anywhere else.”
Dude you’ve come a long way since spinning at the Cockpit and having CPS shut down the party because of noise complaints…
Yeah bro those were the days and I still treasure those memories till now. They played a massive part in shaping my love and passion of being a DJ.
I remember running into you at the airport a few years back and you’d just come back from the RBMA in Barcelona, how important was that experience to your all round development as an artist?
That was one of the most important and exciting moments in my life both as a DJ and producer. Those two weeks I spent in Catalunya (Barcelona) at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2008 were some of the best days of my life as a young South African artist. I learned a lot about other musical ideas and how to share knowledge of music across race, age, upbringing, and business of music, diverse musical softwares and different ways individuals approach making music. I made friends in the industry that have gone to become respected in the business and got mentored by some of the living legends on the music scene. I came back to share in the knowledge that I obtained and have been doing so for some time to up and coming DJ’s and producers all over and still enjoy every minute of what I do.
I’ve been to a few of your gigs and you rarely play a track twice, always offering fresh sound as opposed to crowd pleasers; what frame of mind shapes your set planning?
I am still a firm believe of preparing for DJ Sets even now and tackle each set I play like its my first one. I love the deep house music and have been enjoying playing local sounds lately. I like getting to venues early so I can listen to other DJ’s sets and what tracks they play, the response they get from the audience so I can prepare myself in time. So I am always analysing what type of set I will play everytime hence I never play the same music over and over.
You’re also a producer, a highly underrated one if I might add; if you were to describe your sound in five words, what would they be?
You’ve got quite collection of material, when you dropping an album on us?
I am busy working on my first album later this year (cannot disclose the info yet as I am still finalising the paperwork). I am also going to be releasing a few international EP’s later this year so due expect a lot more out of me this year.
Yeah man I hardly talk about that side of me as I am not practicing just focusing all my time, energy and focus in music. I am already utilizing the knowledge I obtained through various fields I engage in. I am also setting up my first record company so I am surrounded with drafting contracts all the time. Knowledge is powerful, its what you do with it that’s determined your outcome in this industry.
Nurturing your career in Cape Town as opposed to Johannesburg must have its challenges; you think it’s worth it helping to build the scene there instead of seeking your fortune here?
Cape Town like any other big city has been considered by many as a slow emerging city when it comes to the music industry. It’s true that a lot of the action is focused in Johannesburg however I have always admired the pioneers of the local scene who worked to build the scene of South Africa from the ground. That is why I still find myself in Cape Town. I love working hard in what I believe in and I believe this city has far more greater potential than any other place in South Africa as the most culturally diverse in the country. My contributions here are invaluable and I still have so much to offer this city before I can take the leap to head out anywhere else.
DJ’s have to be more and more business savvy these days; anything you wish you had learnt earlier in your career and would pass on to aspiring spinners?
I wish I could have learnt to be resilient on this business much earlier. There were times I felt like quitting and I had forgotten the love of the industry. I also wish I could have obtained the business knowledge and survival skills in this industry earlier. It’s fair to have love of being a DJ but if you cannot turn it into a career then it defeats parts of the purpose. I love spreading the gospel of love and passion of the music to as many people as possible but if you cannot turn your efforts into a brand you cannot spread it to the rest of the world to hear.
Favourite spots to play at currently, local or internationally?
I enjoy playing at Sapphire (Camps Bay) and Alba Lounge on Sundays (V&A Waterfront). The crowds are so welcoming to the style of music I play and give freedom to be more experimental on the decks.
Favourite gig/festival crowd you played for?
I enjoyed playing in front of Rocking the Daisies in 2010 and last year BUT the biggest response I got was Oppikoppi 2011 with well over 1500 strong crowd at 8pm. That was such an exciting experience and one I will treasure for many more years.
Best collaboration on a production; best DJ to share a set of ‘tables with?
I have been working with a fellow Cape Town producer and good friend Karabo Rej and we worked on a track called “We Baloyi” coming out this year. The single has been getting massive response and we have decided to drop it as part of our upcoming releases later this year. I have enjoyed sharing sets with him and Mphoza Fantastik in a number of events we’ve played together but my all time favourite still remains sharing decks with Black Coffee at the Red Bull Workshop last year at Chrome. It was an honour to rock with the great man and DJ.
You’re one of those musicians who personify the word hustle, what can the people look out for from you in the next couple of months?
Look out for my debut album coming out beginning of spring season this year and also my upcoming EP releases will also be coming out through sShadoworkss. I am very excited about both the upcoming projects. And last but not least the online launch of my personal website where you will be able to stay in touch with what I am up to, gig guides and latest and exclusive mixtapes together with any future release projects. There will be more info on the website coming soon.
Interview: Nathan Kabingesi
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