Image: Musa M Photography Solutions

A groundbreaking South African house music legend with his grooves accomodating the old and new school truly indeed this defines the essence of a true pioneer.


“I regard our label as a dance label (not a deep house label)”

People who knew house music way back where not that exposed to social media where people can get in touch much more simpler than today but, people would say DJ’s At Work is a South African version of Masters At Work?
Yes there was no social media then, but somehow the music and trends travelled the world. I believe that we had to move with the times. Look how far we’ve gone now, so yes social media has brought the world closer than we ever thought. So if people say that Dj’s At Work is the South African version of Masters At Work, I’d say well that’s their opinion. Maybe to clarify to everyone, DJ’s At Work is a concept project where 2 DJs decided to mess around in the studio with various musicians and make the kind of music they’d like to play (music that was totally different to what everyone was producing at the time).

Since House Afrika being one of the biggest deep house labels in Africa what led to the release of Amapiano albums?
I regard our label as a dance label (not a deep house label). We would put out anything that we feel is working or would work. The amapiano genre is unique to South Africa. Somehow you can even call it (I know I’m going to get slammed for this) ‘the new Kwaito’. It’s young guys with starter pack equipment just making beats with a bouncing bass line and ‘sometimes’ off key piano work. The fact that it’s the talk of the town now across South Africa means that there is something there (it’s the soundtrack to most Shisa Nyama joints and taverns on weekends). I personally don’t like it but funny enough it is selling out there. I don’t really think it’s a sound that will last but for now, let’s just let it be.

“I still feel there’s a lot that we have to do in order to grow this industry”

Our artists are not selling the way they should and mainly we are not that exposed to upcoming talent of which we have in South Africa, would you say the SAMC (South African Music Conference) it’s playing its crucial part when it comes to that?
Yes we have a lot of talent out there that’s waiting to be unearthed (be it DJs/producers/vocalists etc.). Most of them are in the unprivileged townships and rural areas. The annual SAMC would be 13 years this year (and yes we have done a lot of good improving the industry) but I still feel there’s lot that we have to do in order to grow this industry. Hopefully we will be able to reach that goal in the future (getting to most of those unprivileged areas).

Which crucial tip can you give to an upcoming DJ/producer?
I know most would say that they would want to be like somebody out there… I also believe that it’s ok to dream as well… I’d say follow your dream / get inspired / have passion for whatever that is / love music / be humble and most importantly be yourself.

2018, what can we expect from the Legend himself?
I can’t reveal yet, but watch this space!!