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Featured Interviews Music

In Conversation With Deniece Marz…: On being more than a DJ, her love for music & her upcoming Weheartbeat gig in Jozi

Johannesburg based multi-disciplined creative, Deniece Marz…, is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after DJs in Gauteng currently. Her ascent in the entertainment game has been a pleasure to watch as with every show she is intentional in giving her all in every set — rocking huge stages at gigs like Afropunk and gaining herself support from music lovers. We caught up with her ahead of her performance at the 7th anniversary of Weheartbeat.

What drew you to this industry? If you could bring awareness and change within the industry, what would it be?
What drew me to the industry firstly was the love of music (cheesy but true). Secondly, it was the lack of females in this industry.

What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far within the progression of your career?
So far the biggest problem is that people don’t respect artists. We always have to be begging for our payments and respect.

Do you feel that, as part of your work and art, is there a need for it to be explained or should it retain its “inexplicable nature”? Is there a hidden meaning in any of your art? 
If there’s anything to be explained, I will explain. Not everything always needs an explanation.

Tell me about your favorite performance venues, the set-up that you feel most comfortable in when conducting a performance?
My favourite venue so far has been The Goodluck Bar in Newtown.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your career? What measures do you take into making these decisions?
Realising that I’m more than just a DJ.

image of deniece marz...

How would you describe and rate the music and art scene of the city you are currently living? How do your surroundings influence your art? 
The industry right now is moving and growing. Our industry just lacks respect for the artists and their rates (we too gotta live).

What can we look forward to from you in the following upcoming months? 
You can expect fanning out and geeking over music, music from me and more gigs.

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Events Music Reviews

Win Tickets To Weheartbeat’s 7th Anniversary Event This Friday

Arts On Main is about to turned upside down this Friday as Weheartbeat celebrates seven years of shaping culture, fashion and music in Johannesburg. We are running a great social media competition where you can win tickets to this exciting event. We have three double tickets to giveaway. Here’s how you can win one double ticket:

On Twitter:
1) Retweet the competition tweet.
2) Tag us and a friend you’d like to attend the event with.
3) Add the #7YearsLifeLoveBeats hashtag to your tweet.

On Facebook:
1) Share the competition post.
2) Tag us and a friend you’d like to attend the event with.
3) Add the #7YearsLifeLoveBeats hashtag to your post.

Follow those steps and you may join us this Friday.

Categories
Events Featured Music

In Conversation With Hannah Faith: On her beginnings, her new brand & her upcoming Weheartbeat gig in Jozi

We recently caught up with London born and bred multifaceted creative and Soulection affiliate, Hannah Faith. Known for her eclectic and worldly sets, she has built a strong brand for herself in the electronic beats and dance music scene and what makes her journey even more special is that she leveraged the internet’s power of connecting people to solidify her brand. Hannah Faith has grown far beyond the DJ world as she has added weight to her name by fully breaking into photography and visual arts. We speak to her ahead of her performance and showcase at the 7th anniversary of Weheartbeat in Johannesburg this Friday.

What drew you to this industry? If you could bring awareness and change within the industry, what would it be?
The music, all I’ve ever aspired to do on this musical journey is to discover and share. I started off DJ’ing because I wanted to curate mixes and share them with my mates. I feel sharing music is a very intimate process, it speaks from your soul without having to put anything into words and so that’s what I truly fell in love with. In this industry, I’d just say scrap the ego and be yourself. HAVE FUN!

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your career? What measures do you take into making these decisions?
Making decisions that align with my soul purpose, as an artist, it can be immensely draining and detrimental to my creative process if I don’t consider the type of events or work I’m agreeing to. From the music lineup to the location, to the compensation, it has to align with my self and my worth for it is after all my energy I am giving.

How would you describe and rate the music and art scene of the city you are currently living? How do your surroundings influence your art? 
To be honest, I haven’t been too active in the art scene in London as of late, I’ve been a hermit using this time to focus until I feel inspired again to step back out.

Tell us a bit about the selection process for deciding on what your artistic approach is in pursuing new ideas and concepts? What sources do you draw from for inspiration?
I meditate a lot, I listen to my body and I listen to my heart. When it comes to my creative process I follow my gut, I cannot force this process, any ideas that come into mind I write them down. My life inspires my artistic approach.

image of hannah faith
Image credit: Paul Creativ

What is your view on platforms like Weheartbeat and how important their contributions are in the culture and music scene?
Art is life, without it, the earth would be a very dull and uninspiring place, platforms like Weheartbeat are important for our culture to keep documenting the times and providing spaces for us to release energy and bring community together.

What are you looking forward to from the upcoming event?
I am looking forward to connecting with the people, dancing, raising our vibrations and having a good time.

Please recommend two artists/DJs/MCs/beat-makers to our readers which you feel people should look out for.
K Le Maestro his style is soulful yet bouncy I really like his music. Also my homegirl Lynda Dawn, an upcoming artist from London bringing that soulful funk back.

What can we look forward to from you in the following upcoming months?
More visual work. I have a brand, Delika, I’m working on which centers around, healing and wellness through design, music, travel and sacred wisdom work. Of course expect new mixes from myself too.

Thank you to Dominique and Sims for continuously supporting me on this journey, their hard work is appreciated highly. Much love and lets rock for WHB 7 year anniversary!

Catch Hannah Faith this weekend in Johannesburg.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

In Conversation With vrrnn: Austin, Texas, Based Producer Exploring Love & Beats

Austin Texas based musician Vrrnn delivers smooth nostalgic experimental lo-fi beats. With a unique skill of fusing 90s-era soundscapes with adding classic comedy samples to his instrumentals, he crafts his own sonic world that pulls heavily from hip hop’s golden era.

“I originally started making beats when I was 15, I started making beats on the SPP about a year ago.” he shares about his beginnings. vrrnn forms part of the lo-fi beats internet culture which has reconfigured a classic hip hop sound with a focus on sampling. “A lot of artists and individuals inspired me to pick up my craft as seriously as I have, but when I think of a moment that sparked the love for this genre of music it would have to be my discovery of Madlib” he explains. Like many artists in the lo-fi beats scene, vrrnn is is heavily inspired by Los Angeles born and bred producer, Madlib.

Listen to vrrnn’s beats below.

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Events Featured Music

[EVENT]: Weheartbeat Celebrates 7 Years of Life + Love + Beats On The 31st of May

Johannesburg based multimedia beats platform, Weheartbeat, has contributed greatly to the South African electronic beats scene; building bridges between beat scenes from overseas to Mzansi’s burgeoning beat scene which encompasses lifestyle, fashion and entertainment. Over the course of seven years, the platform has curated niche events that provide unique experiences in the South African entertainment landscapes. Founders of the platform, Dominique Soma and Sims Phakisi, have steered the ship for close to a decade forming pathways for the creation and promotion of culture, advancing local creativity and offering young urbanites new experiences.

They celebrate their seven year anniversary of their journey of pushing life, love and beats by curating an event featuring some of best and highly acclaimed creatives in electronic beats and alt hip hop worlds. With UK born and bred DJ/photographer and Soulection affiliate, Hannah Faith, returning to Johannesburg once again after delivering an incredible performance at the Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party in 2017. She is joined by another UK act hailing from Manchester and known for its soulful approach to hip hop and Dutch/Armenian DJ/producer, Full Crate, who is respected for his innovative approach to DJing and producing and being on the frontier of new sounds. Three international headliners who live and breathe the ethos of the Weheartbeat brand.

The lineup doesn’t just end with the international headliners as it is packed with local talent that has been making waves in the South African DJ scene. The local acts include Deniece Marz.. (who has taken the Joburg music scene by storm), multitalented Cape Town based creative Gina Jeanz, Symatics (co-founder of Weheartbeat) and Weheartbeat affiliates — Jingo and Bon Bon Vie. Each local act promises to bring their own unique flair, style and vibes to the night.

Watch the event promo.

The event is happening on the 31st of May in Johannesburg, Arts On Main.

Categories
Featured Music

Premiere: Mx Blouse Confronts Their Own Idea of Mortality On ‘Ukufa’

Life does not always guarantee smooth-sailing, sunny skies and mountain-top moments. It often gets ugly; showing us that as mere mortals were have limitations and aren’t as invincible as we may think, and these limitations come in the form of sickness, despair and evil. But in rather odd way, these limitations are necessary for balance and to show us that we should treasure every passing moment as these moments are not guaranteed to always come. We can also find treasures and blessings in how these limitations remind us of the preciousness of life. Human mortality keeps us in check and flattens the human ego centered around invincibility.

Johannesburg based artist, Mx Blouse, tackles mortality on their latest single titled ‘Ukufa‘. Ukufa is an IsiZulu word for death and on this track, Mx Blouse fearlessly challenges death by shining a light on his purpose — a purpose that still commands them to offer and contribute more to the world. The story behind the conception of the track is fascinating and directly linked to a time where Mx Blouse fell sick to a point where they thought they were going to die; this moment made sure that they are made aware of their mortality and their purpose in this world.

On the track, Mx Blouse raps confidently and in a confrontational manner which is as if they are directly speaking to death telling it to go away as it is not welcome. The song’s release comes with a music video that was directed by multitalented creative, Phumlani Pikoli, with respected writer and filmmaker, Tseliso Monaheng as the DOP. Mx Blouse plays the role of death in the music video and the theme of the video is haunted space.

The song was produced by the talented Cape Town based producer, Parabyl. The timing of the release is sublime as it deals with death and we are in Autumn, a season which marks the beginning of the end of life in nature, reminding us that at some point life has to end to leave space for the process of rebirth.

Watch the Ukufa music video below.

Categories
Featured Music Reviews

Introducing Boyes Drive: In Conversation With Frontman Liam

Have you ever watched a band jam for the first time and are immediately hooked? This is what happened to me the first time I witnessed Boyes Drive play live at a packed Striped Horse in Muizenberg, Cape Town recently. The Boyes have soul, their songs are super catchy, the production is excellent and the music will make you forget about any worries you have. They are the real deal.

The band consists of Liam McDermott (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Ray Morgan (drums), Jono Simons (bass and backing vocals), Gareth Christie (lead guitar) and Bradley Searle (keys).

I had a chat with frontman Liam to find out more.

Firstly, when and how did the band start, have you known each other for a while or did you meet through mutual friends? I get the feeling that you all get on quite well and that the chemistry is solid.
Boyes Drive started in April 2018 and was the first time Jono Simons, Ray Morgan and myself started playing together. I’ve known Jono since High School days. He’s been motivating me since I was 17 to start singing and writing music. Boyes Drive wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for our drunken nights. Ray played in a band with Jono previously but I was only properly introduced to him a couple of months before we decided to start a band. We’ve all been Boyes in arms since.

You must be super excited about your debut single release of ‘Jamalamo’, many congrats! What was the creative process of the song and how have you found the reaction to the track so far?
JAMALAMO. We used to start our rehearsals with pure jams. Improv all the way. The bouncy guitar rhythm came from one of those. Ray saw potential in it and started bringing the song to its current form. I had written the lyrics before but for a slow song literally half the time. The jam was so good I had to sing something and those were the first words that came to me.

I was at your single launch a few weeks ago at Striped Horse Muizenberg and the crowd was wild! I’ve never seen so many beautiful women at one gig before in my life. Was does the support of Muizenberg mean to you and did you expect so many people there?
I’ve never seen so many beautiful people in one room! We had no idea it was going to be anything like that. We all felt lost in the moment. The love and support we are receiving, be it from family, friends or my fellow people of Muizenberg means the world to us. We write our music honestly and the fact that people appreciate it means music isn’t dead. People want substance.

Is there anything you feel the local music scene needs to fully reach its potential?
I don’t know if I have enough insight or experience to answer this but with that said I do feel there are two things. Everyone in the industry needs to work together. The South African music industry needs to become an entity.

How does the song making process work when creating music for Boyes Drive, do you all write together or chip in ideas to make it all flow?
I write the chords at home on my guitar and the lyrics late at night. I bring my progressions and my lyrics to the Boyes and they tear it apart and put it back together. Each of us needs to enjoy playing the song. If all of us are having a good time playing it, we know it’s right.

You have had a taste of music festivals now with your debut at Up The Creek in Feb, how was that experience and are there certain places you would like to play in the future?
Up The Creek was an experience. To be able to play on a stage of that size with that sound was incredible. I had never done anything like it before. All I want to do it play on a stage like that again.

Which local artists/bands are you most excited about currently and would like to possibly collab with down the road?
We’ve got a little family going on at the moment that started on the dance floor of Up The Creek at 4am. Money for Bali, The Steezies and Fractals. We’ve decided that later on in life we will start a super group called ‘’THE STEEZIE MONEY FOR FRACTAL BOYES’’. It’s gonna happen. In terms of collaboration, I’m a huge fan of Southern Wild. I absolutely love their sound and would love to do a song together some day.

image of boyes drive
Image supplied.


What does the rest of 2019 hold for the band, any new music videos around the corner or exciting gigs to come?

In 2019, we’ve got plans. Our 2nd single ‘Dive’ was just released which is exciting. It was recorded at Mountainside Studios which will eventually lead to an EP release in the second half of this year, resulting in a lot of promotional gigs. We are going to try extend our reach by doing a tour in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Tell them we are coming. If you haven’t seen Boyes Drive live yet I would highly recommend it. Catch them live at The House Of Machines tonight if you are in Cape Town or follow their socials below to find out when they are in your area code.

Follow Boyes Drive on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube.

Listen to the latest single by Boyes Drive titled Dive.

Categories
Featured Interviews Music

From Kriel to Paris: Oscar Mbo On His Beginnings, Brand Partnerships, Music & Fashion

South Africa is teeming with deep house DJs and producers, but not many have the inimitable capabilities possessed by DJ and producer Oscar Mbo. Born Oscar Mbongeni Ndlovu, Oscar Mbo is a matchless breed of modern DJs and producers who is known for his precise mixing and timing technique which touches the soul and leaves many astounded yet dancing or sluggishly moving their head.

Born in Pretoria and raised in a small mining town in Mpumalanga called Kriel (West of Witbank), Oscar collects and plays an array of eclectic genres which sets him apart and has the capability to make you fall in love with whatever genre he is playing on that particular day. “Oscar Mbo is a collector of music, an entrepreneur, a travel fanatic and a big lover of fashion”, he shares briefly about himself.

image of oscar mbo
Image supplied.

An Occupational Health and Safety graduate, the Bog O (as he is affectionately known amongst his fans) follows his passion as a DJ and podcaster of his own show titled ‘The Ashmed Hour’, under Podomatic — a show that has been most downloaded under Deep House for nine consecutive years even above world renowned Freerange Records Podcast. “The Ashmed Hour is a podcast that I formed in 2011, it caters for various sounds; lounge, trip hop, neo-soul, latin, break beats, soulful and deep house music”, he shares about The Ashmed Hour. On its 100th episode and 4th year now, The Ashmed Hour has grown tremendously from what started as two mixes (local house music one and international on the other) which were released weekly and then bi-weekly, spearheaded by the man himself and the show was later joined by Ezra and Luu.“ The idea of putting out mixtapes that I record in my personal space for the world to consume drove me crazy but as I grew with it I realized that I need to come with a system that’s going to keep people intact and I moved from dropping them weekly to bi-weekly then eventually ended up dropping monthly to date”, Oscar shares more insight about the history of the podcast. Along the years Ezra and Luu joined in on the show, which meant that we were going to rotate between us on who does the Special Mix – Lounge, Downtempo Mix, Main Mix – strictly international House Music and Local Mix – South African produced music. Then on each and every show have two Guest DJss (a total of five mixes monthly). The show grew for itself, quality being the main contributor — people fell in love with the idea and its consistency I’d like to believe, then numbers racked up gradually”, he elaborates.

The show entails five mixes per month, one by himself and the othe two by the other Golden Boys members (DJ Luu and Ezra) as well as two chosen guests on submission. All of the mixes are recorded on the first Thursday of the month at a venue in Middelburg, Mpumalanga (Junxion Lifestyle) — which is always packed upon recordings. The show is freely available for download on iTunes under the podcast section as well as directly on www.goldenboys.podomatic.com.

image of oscar mbo
Image supplied.

Golden Boys Entertainment is another movement Oscar Mbo is known for and one where he works alongside Ezra Mlotshwa and Daluxolo Sithole, it is an entertainment company that was formed in 2010 which focuses on lifestyle events and was primarily built to host social events in the eMahlaheni region of Mpumalanga. “It is purely the love of music that elevated into other forms to keep the culture alive. Our field has the smallest community and everyone who’s involved can help it grow with their own creativity and influence”, he explains the concept behind Golden Boys. Golden Boys Entertainment has hosted a vast number of national DJs on different platforms and themes such as ‘The Golden Boys Easter Hangout’, ‘GB & Friends Picnic’, ‘GB Dress Up Sundays’ and ‘Annual GB Birthday Celebration’.

Inspired and influenced by a strong musical background, Oscar fall in love with music at a tender age and went on to discover and pursue different sounds and eventually pursued DJing and subsequently music production. Fresh from delivering remarkable sets at the world famous Djoon Club in Paris, Oscar Mbo continues to tease us with snippets of his upcoming album on social media. “Djoon was an amazing experience and has opened many doors for me, I would like to thank Shimza for affording me and Darque this very unique opportunity and my album is almost done — it has been tiring and challenging but I will announce the release date after submitting the project for mixing and mastering”, he shares about his trip to France and his album. “I’m a groovy DJ — I play sets that get you in the mood to bob your head, dance or have fun where we are. Same element goes into studio, like I mentioned earlier it’s all about connecting with you as a stranger”, he shares about his song making process and the concept behind the album. “I’m into soulful and deep house sounds, so when going soulful for instance, a certain scenario or sound is usually in my head then the work begins, creativity usually meets up during that process”, he elaborates.

Oscar Mbo is not only known for his ability behind the decks but his ability to dress well which has led to him being appointed by Diesel Menlyn Mall to be part of the monthly in-store promotion titled ‘Denim Friday’ where he plays throughout the day alongside guests as that are aligned to the brand. He invites his followers to check out new season stock as well as frequent sales and specials. The shop has been breaking national records of sales during the promotion day ever since he’s been involved and he plans on nationalizing the movement. Having overcome a number of challenges in this volatile industry he advises one to always be professional and learn from the people you work with which makes your brand solid and respectable.

His love for life-changing stories is what inspires his music and one can surely patiently wait for this album as it will be a blissful musical journey. Having started the first half of the year strongly, Oscar Mbo promises a documentary, compilation and lots of singles (after the album release) and his birthday tour in August for the latter part of the year. As we patiently wait for his album you can download and stream his single ‘Show Me Love’ by Oscar Mbo & Spuman on all digital platforms.

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Culture Events Featured

Win Tickets to See German Techno-Brass Group MEUTE & Eclectic South African Group Bombshelter Beast

Germany’s coolest marching band, MEUTE, is coming to Southern Africa. With a tour that will see them visit two South African cities, Johannesburg and Durban, and the Kingdom of eSwatini, we are in for a techno-brass treat and experience. This fantastic tour is supported by the Goethe-Institut and it is set to wow South African music lovers who have a great love for live interpretations of their favourite electronic tunes.

To give a little more background, MEUTE is a world-renowned brass ensemble that is celebrated and respected for their groundbreaking approach of fusing brass band music and electronic music. The eleven-man group interprets DJ-favourites and packages them in a brass band format, which is often delivered in an electrifying performance. Their entertaining impromptu street gigs have allowed them to build a loyal offline and online audience, allowing them form genuine connections with people just off the strength of their  performance.

Johannesburg is their first stop for their Southern African tour and they are to be joined by South African eclectic group, Bombshelter Beast, known for its interesting take on popular and current sounds delivered as brass band music. Founded by South African jazz legend, Marcus Wyatt, the group has grown to become a great force that is reimagining recorded and live music as we know it in South Africa. The event is set to be held at the Good Luck bar in Newtown on the 23rd of May with DJ support by respected South African dance music pioneer, Kid Fonque, and Joburg based German DJ, Jonny Mtsamay.


MEUTE is also set to perform at the Zakifo Festival in Durban on the 24th of May and the MTN Bushfire Festival in eSwatini on the 25th of May.

As loyal Nusoulhub Radio supporters, we have a surprise for you. We have two double tickets to give away for this exciting event. Simply follow us, tag us and a friend you’d like to attend the event with on Facebook and Twitter. Our handle is @nusoulhubradio.

Facebook Competition Rules:
1) Share this article on your timeline.
2) Tag us (@nusoulhubradio) and a friend you’d like to attend the event with.
3) Include the #BandsofBrasse hashtag to your post.

Twitter Competition Rules:
1) RT our Bands of Brasse tweet.
2) Tag us (@nusoulhubradio) and a friend you’d like to attend the event with.
3) Include the #BandsofBrasse hashtag to your post.

Winners are going to be announced on the 22nd of May.

Categories
Featured Interviews Music

Getting To Know DJ Buhle: Thriving In A World of Motherhood & Full-time DJing

We often see female artists in the music scene being associated or stereotyped into the softer, feminine role of being singers in music rather than the hard, masculine technical role behind the machinery of the DJ decks. Nobuhle Nhlapo, popularly known as DJ Buhle, however represents a different kind of woman. She has been DJing for over 13 years now and is one of the most seasoned underground DJs in Johannesburg. Playing in some of South Africa’s’ major events and shows such as Oppikoppi Festival, We House Sunday, VUZU TV’s Hit Refresh and Deep Town Jozi.

DJ Buhle talks to us about being a mother, twin sister and bread winner in her family as a full-time deejay and how perseverance, patience and a positive state of mind has led her to being one of the most booked and sort after deep house deejays in the country.

Let’s put aside the music and DJing for a minute and talk about you. Who is Nobuhle Nhlapo?
Nobuhle is a mommy to a 7-year-old daughter called Matshepo, a twin sister to Nombulelo, older sister to Nonhlanhla, younger sister to Manzo, younger sister to Themba and Bongani and so forth. So, I have 8 siblings, one of whom passed away, so there are 7 of us left (4 girls and 3 boys). However, I don’t stay with all my siblings, it’s just my daughter and I where I live now.

Take us through your daily routines and rituals as a mommy.
So day to day, I wake up and prepare my daughter Matshepo to go to school and make sure she catches her school transport on time. When she’s at school, I’m busy with chores in the house or I’m on my laptop working or I’m recording mixes or else I’m in meetings. When she comes back home from school, its mommy and daughter time; I cook, she eats, takes a bath and goes to sleep, while I carry on doing my own work. So, day to day my weekdays are more or less like this except for Thursday nights where I have to go play at my residency in Rosebank.

We know you as a full time DJ. Tell us how you manage to do that and raise your daughter as most DJs we know often have full time jobs and only deejay on the side?
I used to have a job before where I worked at a bank for 8 years. However, as soon as my daughter Matshepo was born I realized that every weekend through DJing I was earning almost double what I was getting paid in a month at work, so I decided to resign from my 9 to 5 job and started hustling from there and became a full-time DJ.

image of dj buhle
Image supplied.

That’s really amazing and almost the opposite of what most people would do, especially after having a child. What made you have the confidence to make that decision and stick to it, especially since we know DJing as quite an unstable career?
If you know me you know that I am a fighter and I love challenging myself. The day I left my former job they thought I was joking, especially when I handed in my resignation. They tried to convince me to stay because I have a daughter and I told them that my daughter is the reason why I was leaving because I would work the whole day during the week and on weekends I was out DJing and I ended up not having enough time to spend with my child.

So I took it upon myself to leave work and make sure that my child’s upbringing is alright and from a young age she understands that when I’m going to a gig at night, mommy is going to work. I sometimes also go with her to day time gigs so she knows what mommy does and she’s my biggest cheerleader when I’m on the decks playing.

Tell us how you were able to navigate raising a child and the hectic lifestyle of being a DJ which requires constantly going out to parties? Also, how does your daughter feel about your unorthodox career?

I would leave my daughter with my twin, Buli, who obviously looks like me and she felt safe and comfortable enough to stay with her whilst I was away even though she knew that she wasn’t me. She saw her as her other mom and it wasn’t too much of a transition when she was with her rather than me. So my twin sister played a big role in helping me raise my child.

Was money not an issue at the time you quit your job and how did you manage to get around that and still raise your daughter properly without a full time salary?
What happened was I was DJing while I was still at work so when I resigned, they gave me a payout package. So with that package I took the money and paid off my debts and then bought myself a car in order to make sure that I am visible everywhere so that promoters believe that if they book me wherever, I would be able to get there by myself. I made sure that I made things as easily accessible as possible for me as Buhle.

Yes, at times I did have thoughts about my child and what would happen if the money I had saved up ran out but I made sure I equipped myself with everything I needed to push my career on my own e.g. my own house, car etc., and take care of my child’s needs as well. So I managed to get money to do all these things through my deejay bookings, without any other side job.

You seem like a very positive and spiritual inclined person, particularly on your posts on social media. How important is positive energy and God in your life and to where you are now?
Yes, I am a very spiritual person. I believe that if I am not okay spiritually then I won’t know what I’m doing and my existence will seize to exist. Remember, the music industry can break you at times and that’s why I choose to motivate people on social media and rather not talk about the negative side of the industry because I don’t want to see someone else going through that. I was able to handle the negative aspects of the industry but someone else perhaps won’t be able to so that’s why I’m always putting positivity in everything I say or post.

Also, having to channel my mind to constantly be positive also brought many opportunities for me, because as they say what you speak is often what will manifest and happen. I set targets for myself for where I want to be in my career and then work hard behind the scenes to plan and make the right moves for me to get there. And when I achieve those targets, I quickly move on to the next.

So yes, God has been a very important part of my life because I grew up without my mother and my father was not there. My grandfather raised me but it was hard to get the love that I could have possibly gotten from my mom and dad from him as he was mostly there just as a guardian.

image of dj buhle
Image supplied.

On a lighter note, it seems like you spend more time in the Barber Shop and the Nails Boutique than you do in the DJ booth. What inspires your look and fashion sense, and how important is it to the brand of DJ Buhle?
Yes it’s important to me as it goes with my image because as a female your nails need to be clean. There was a point where I never used to do my nails and saw that people who take pictures of me when DJing focus on my hands and I didn’t like how untidy and unprofessional it made me look. Also, at that time a lot of DJsboth male and female, didn’t really give much thought into how they looked, how they portrayed themselves or how people look at them.

So I told myself that whatever that I do regarding my look, which includes how I cut my hair, I need to set some sort of trend with whatever I am doing. At some point I was dying my hair blonde, red, blue or purple and made sure that I’m trend setting. I get very frustrated if my hair is not on point and so I always make sure that I get my hair cut almost every week. So these are the things that I did and didn’t even realize that they were becoming a signature look for me, which were my red lipstick, my fresh haircut and as my glasses (Spex) that I have on all the time.

I’m sure you are tired of being asked the typical questions about how hard it is being a female DJ, however we would still like to know what the challenges you had as a female DJ coming up were and how you overcame them?
Well, apparently when I started people said I was privileged because I worked with house music legends such as DJ Mbuso, DJ Claude, DJ China and they taught me how to play. I was the first lady at Phezulu Records where I had first-hand access to the vinyls that were ordered and when they arrived I would test them out. So people thought I was privileged because of that, meanwhile Mbuso was always on my neck saying that they were not going to give me that benefit just because I’m a girl. They said I must earn my place there, work hard and make sure that even if Phezulu Records closes down I can go to other record stores such as Soul Candi and people still give me respect as a DJ and want to give me the exclusive vinyls and not someone else who is male and push me aside just because I’m female.

Also, at that time females were associated with the Disco-like, flowery sound and there I was playing deep house and deep tech and collecting vinyls of that sound, which a lot of people didn’t understand at that time. At that point I also didn’t have a manager so getting bookings was a challenge. All this happened until I decided to start hosting my own events and I started “Sunday Phola”, which caught a lot of people’s attention and I built a reputation with a lot of DJs, promoters and club owners. From then on things started moving upward for me and my career.

What advice would you give other female DJs who are coming up in the game?
If there’s one thing I know about the music industry is that I am not bigger than it is, and I always treat myself as a newbie, as if I’m someone that’s starting out. Remember that I’ve been playing for a long time but the market I wanted to play for I hadn’t gotten into yet until recently. So, when I eventually got into the market that I wanted to get into in 2013, it still took me another 3 years to start playing at the parties that I wanted. That means I started from scratch after 7 years of being in the industry. I had to look at things in a different light and now that I am in the market that I want I’m still learning a lot of things and making a lot of new contacts. Therefore if there’s one thing I’m not going to do is to disrespect what I’m doing and think I’m bigger than the game.

So, with all these other female DJs emerging, I believe that they must earn their stripes, put in the hard work, and not doubt themselves just because other DJs are getting certain gigs and not them. They must carve their own lane and not be jealous of what other female DJs are doing. Be yourself, don’t try to be or mimic someone else, be consistent, patient and persevere. I had to believe that my time will also come and that is the mentality that I used to get where I am, and I advise them to do the same.

What can we expect from DJ Buhle in the near future? Any projects or ventures you want to share?
Getting into production is the next logical step for me. I have an EP that I am working on coming out soon so that’s what I am going to be focusing on. I might be taking a break on hosting events as I feel that I have done enough in that space and I’m looking forward to the challenge of breaking into the production side of things and fighting for my place there.

I will also be featuring on one of the biggest DJ online streaming platforms in the world, Mixmag, where I will be headlining alongside Da Capo and Seth Troxler. I am so overwhelmed and nervous about it but I have a whole lot of good emotions as well that are telling me that Buhle, the world is watching you now and after all the years of hard work that you’ve put in, it is now your time.

the lab johannesburg by mixmag x budx
DJ Buhle is performing at the first Mixmag X BUDX event, The Lab Johannesburg, on the 15th of May. Find out more about the event here.