Have you guys ever wondered what it would be like if we in South Africa had our very own year-end Forbes list, say a Top 10 list of House Music’s cash kings (you will pardon me for being biased towards this specific genre but my reasoning is simple: the genre is literally dominating charts, clubs and radio play lists right now, so why not?). Who do you think would qualify to be on that list? I mean, the reality is that we have an over-saturated DJ industry in this country right now, but we all know that of the thousands of DJs that exist (both established and upcoming), it’s only a very small volume that are actually earning anything close to the big bucks.
To begin with, I think Oskido would certainly make number one on that list. I mean, the dude has reached a stage in his career where he really doesn’t need to work to earn his money. With well over a decade of running one of the world’s most successful black owned indie labels (KalawaJazmee), he is now earning incomes off deejaying, running his own clubs (Kalawa & Oskido’s Groove Lounge to name a few), publishing royalties earned from sync deals, and airplay from songs he has been releasing for well over a decade and to add the cherry on top, his albums which include The Oskido’s Church Commandment Series, now in its tenth volume this year. Yeah, that dude is so paid!
My number three would be your number one “knoxman” and self-proclaimed “vandal”, DJ Sbu. Of course the dude is not so much into deejaying lately, however he is still one of the country’s most paid entertainers earning incomes from various mediums including TV, radio (he is now with Metro FM, by the way), his part-ownership of successful label TS Records as well as endorsements and other entertainment deals.
DJ Fresh would make number four on my list, being one of the country’s most loved entertainers. Fresh is a very successful and a “highly booked” (if I may use that term) club DJ in addition to having one of the most influential radio shows on 5FM (Drive Time). He is also doing very well on the album side and also runs the successful company, F.e.U, alongside Euphonik, in addition to various other endorsements.
Afrotainment’s head-honcho, DJ Tira is another one to look out for and makes number five on this list. He runs one of the most successful independent labels in the country which has big acts such as Big Nuz, Cndo, Fisherman, Twitty and Tumza signed to it. His earnings are derived from deejaying income, album sales, publishing earnings and other entertainment tenders secured via Afrotainment.
Black Coffee also had a very successful year in 2010 after his 2009 come back with his latest offering “Home Brewed” and would make number six on my list, while Euphonik would make number seven, Glen Lewis number eight, Christos number nine and Vinny da Vinci sneaks in at number ten.
All in all the deejay industry has turned a few stars into high earners but it still needs to grow as the number of these success stories remains minimal. Oh, and did I mention that I’m number eleven on that list? Yes, I am, for real! DJ Qness. Ok, I’ll stop day dreaming now.