In Conversation With Blackchild: Durban Based DJ On The Come Up
The South African DJ landscape is heavily male-dominated and often excludes women. This doesn’t stop certain creative women who have a passion and a love for music, armed with a determination to change the status quo and strive, they are flipping the script in the name of passion and representation. Durban based house music and radio DJ, Blackchild, is one such DJ who is changing the game with her talent. We got an opportunity to chat to the Blackchild to get more insight on her brand, her journey and more. Peep our conversation with her below.
What is the origin of the name Blackchild?
When I first joined radio an alias name made sense. I’ve always been “the odd one out/misfit” at home and with my friends, haha, don’t get me wrong though, I wasn’t the black sheep, and so black child seemed like the perfect name.
Are there any specific cultures you would say you derive your musical inspiration from?
I draw my music inspiration from a lot of things. It’s inspired my desire and love for travel, art and making others happy.
Who has been your biggest inspiration and influence to your music?
As a child it was my mother biggest influence. She introduced me to different genres. She was a vinyl collector.
Could you briefly describe your DJing process and how has your music evolved since you first started playing?
When I first started I was a soulful house head, still am. I have since then grown. Being a DJ is about trying out different genres until you find the one that speaks to your soul. It’s all about learning, evolving and growing in the process.
Many artists perform different rituals before their performances, is this something you can relate to? If so, what is it and how does it help you prepare for your set?
I don’t have a ritual. I feel the best way to prepare my sets is according to time I will be on the decks and the venue.
You have performed at numerous venues and featured on various radio shows. Tell us about your favourite performance venues and radio shows, the set-up that you feel most comfortable in when conducting a performance?
I have enjoyed all of my features because at the time I gave the best version of myself. The ones that have however stood are on The Warehouse on YFM, because in all my time as a DJ deep tech and afro house are the genres I connect with most. The show represents that. The response and support from the listeners has also been amazing.
Have you faced any challenges or discrimination in the industry because of your gender? Was it difficult to receive the recognition you deserve in the game?
Possibly, but not that I am aware of. As an upcoming DJ on the other hand, I’ve had to work harder to showcase my work.
What words of inspiration would you give to other women in the industry who have the same respect and desire for their craft like yourself?
Every time you step out, give it your all. No matter how you feel, give your best version. You are as good as your last set. Play like it’s the last time. Most importantly, rejection comes with making it. Don’t let rejection stop you. Don’t give up. Keep going.
What are your fondest musical memories growing up and how have they influenced your DJing? Whether it be in your house or in your neighbourhood?
When I lost my mother, I was 11. I then lived with my cousins. I didn’t like fighting for the remote so I’d go listen to radio in the bedroom. I’d listen to Umhlobo Wenene’s afternoon drive with KCee. He played the best soulful house. That’s when I fell in love with house music.
What can we look forward to from you in the following upcoming months?
I am currently working on a number of things and because of my line of work and the NDA around them, it doesn’t allow me to speak about them prior their release. However, everything will be posted on my socials in due time.