During my first trip to South Africa in July 2010 Halo, Ralf Gum, Martin East and I gave plenty of interviews. One of these can now be found on the South African electronic music / nightlife blog BPM Life.
Some DJ’s and Producers seem to appear from nowhere, exploding onto their respective scenes like white hot shooting stars. That’s cool; a shock of a new thing has always been an alluring and evocative sentiment in music and music business in general. However, this isn’t the only method to adopt when wanting to get noticed by the record-buying public. There’s also something to be about developing your craft, biding your time, authenticity in what you do and accumulating enough knowledge needed to be a true sonic excavator.
Guess what? I'm back in South Africa. Last week I got a call for a last minute gig inquiry and today I'm already here. In Vaal to be exact.
Confirmed gig for this coming Sunday, December 5th in Mafikeng.
DJs Lars Behrenroth, Harrison Crump, King Deetoy and many more. Venue: Kedirile in Mafikeng Party starts at 1600 and goes till very late (after all this is all part or Deetoy's birthday celebrations.
And the best thing is, the party is FREE..
Now, I know there are def. some other gigs coming up for me (hopefully I can confirm something for Friday night in Johannesburg, cross your fingers) and to stay updated on other gigs while I'm here, please follow me on Twitter or add me on Facebook!
I'll try my best to get some blog posts going to keep you updated on this trip as well with pictures etc.
This live recording from Bar 9 in Midrand, Johannesburg is the only recording that exists of any DJ gigs I played during my last trip to South Africa. Prepartyradio.com streamed the entire night and I found this archived stream. I've posted the link on my Twitter and Facebook fan page before but why keep it from you, my Deeper Shades family. The night was truly magic, the music was amazing and I will never forget the smiles on peoples faces.
Other DJs that night were Ralf Gum, Halo, Christos, Black Coffee, Culoe De Song, Maestro, Martin East etc.
There's no tracklist for this mix, however, it shouldn't be too hard to figure it out :)
I'll give you the first one for starters. TALK - Touching You (Lars Behrenroth Subtle Koffee Rmx)
Enjoy the video and a big thanks to everyone who came out. I will hopefully soon getting around to editing the videos I filmed with my little Flip Mino so you can see (and hear) how things looked from my perspective.
It's been a few days since I posted the last update and the reason is a nasty flu I've been fighting. So let's see where I left off.
Wednesday was another great day at the conference. Ralf, Halo, Martin and I did 3 or 4 more interviews and got to talk to a few of the attendants face to face and answer their questions. We were able to sell some T-shirts during the lunch break and then joined the stage for the final session of the day, speaking about how we're running our labels and what to look out for if you're planning to start your own. Another session worth mentioning was the remix session done by Black Coffee and Culoe De Song. At the end of the day I could feel my sickness creeping up on me so after we had a joined dinner, I've decided to skip the conference on Thursday to get a good rest. However, I was planned to appear on DJ Fresh's and Euphonik's radio show on 5fm that night, so it was back to the hotel for 2 hours rest and then off to the station. Fresh and Euphonik are great presenters and interviewers and had asked me to bring in 5 special tunes selected out of several suggested categories. This is what I chose:
My favourite choon that I made:
Talk - Touching You (Lars Behrenroth Rmx) - Perfect Toy The house choon that made me cry:
Blaze - Lovely Ones - Lifeline My favourite local production:
G.Family - Break The Silence - Deeper Shades Recordings Choon that defined an era:
Inner City - Big Fun - 10th & broadway Favourite choon of all time:
Marvin Belton - Bleed To Be Free - Ferrispark
After the show I went straight back to the hotel to sleep and be ready for an afternoon set at the FIFA Fan Fest in Tshwanwe, Pretoria. The turnout was amazing especially since it was an all ages event and cover was very low. People truly appreciated all the DJ sets and live performances. It was getting cold so we would hang out in the artist tent to warm up and have some great food. It was my first time trying Chakalaka, a sort of salsa with a kick. VERY TASTY! We went back to the hotel early and it was once again straight to bed for me where I stayed most of the day on Friday besides a quick excursion to Christo's restaurant Shaguma Cafe to enjoy another set of his lamb chops. This time I took a picture as well :) We got picked up later than night to appear on The Urban Beat on Metro FM once again to reflect on the SAMC and for me to play a guest DJ set. Right after the show we moved on to The Lighthouse to play some dope sets and a nice venue on the 10th floor in Downtown Johannesburg with good sound and great people. First it was Martin East, then yours truly followed by Halo. I'll post some video from this event as well as others later during the week when I'll find time to edit them. The night was long and we finally made it back to the hotel by 6am. After spending the entire day in bed again it was off to the SAMC closing gig at Bar 9. We went to dinner again at Oskido's restaurant and the lack of appetite had me finish only my salad but I was smart enough to take the chicken I ordered which came in handy at the end of the night :) Bar 9 was filling up when we got there around 9.45pm and Martin East was up at 10pm to get the people moving, followed by Maestro and then yours truly from midnight to 1am. I must say this has been my favorite gig so far and the place was jampacked by the time I was behind the decks and the floor was crazy. People were shouting 'Deeper Shades of House' and singing along to the vocal tracks I played. 'Lovely Ones' by Blaze was certainly a highlight of my set together with my opening track 'Touching You' as well as Quentin Harris' remix of Black Coffee's 'Crazy' and Osunlade's dub of Tamara Wellon's 'In My Lifetime'. I must have sweat out a lot of my cold so I actually changed my shirt in the middle of the set :) talking about wardrobe change. I stuck around a bit longer after my set to hear Ralf Gum play as well as checking out Halo on the outside floor before heading back to the hotel. I wish I could have stayed for the rest of the night but I had to get better. All the rest has certainly helped and even though I still feel weak and am still coughing, I can tell I'm about to get rid of this flu. Tonight I'm playing what will be my last gig this time around in South Africa at another Fan Fest at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, Pretoria
We slept and chilled all of Sunday, so I wasn't able to sleep before 3am which was way too late since we got picked up at 6.45am to make our way to day 1 of the Southern African Music Conference at the Alexandre Theater in Johannesburg. After we collected everyone, traffic was so bad that we decided to wait it out and have some breakfast. At Wimpy's :) .. It was actually quite good, eggs, sausage, coffee, you get the idea. Once that was done the streets had pretty much cleared up and after a short drive we pulled up to the venue around 8am only to find a huge line of attendants outside of the theater. We made our way inside and let me tell you, that place was cold :)
After setting up for Halo and my Traktor presentation, the doors were opened and people starting streaming in. All members of DJU welcomed the attendants of the SAMC2010 and we got started with the first session, called 'The Perfect DJ Set'. Christos Katsaitis talked about technical aspects of mixing, using FX during your sets while Ralf Gum talked about how to prepare your set depending on venue, timeslot etc. The panel was very informal and flowed nicely. We all added our two cents to what everyone had to say. Halo and I touched on the topic of digital DJing and shared our enthusiasm for Native Instrument's Traktor software and their Kontrol X1 controller. Like everything during the SAMC, this session was filmed and we already received an edited DVD. I'll encode most of the video once I'll find time and you'll be able to watch some of the panel here on deepershades.net. Other sessions of the day involved talking about licensing your tracks to labels, making sure you read and sign the right contracts, how to get your music to labels etc. Very interesting and again Ralf, Halo and I had a lot of information to share alongside Christos and Oskido who would lightly guide and host the panels. Lunch was served on the premises and it was hearty and good. Rice, Lamb, Vegetables, Salad and juice.
In between sessions we'd roam around the theater to meet and mingle with the attendants who were very excited to exchange a few words with us while being able to take pictures and maybe ask additional questions regarding earlier topics. I also met a lot of people I've been in touch with online, especially Deeper Shades Recordings artist BlackAngel, Culoe De Song, Black Coffee, Petro from Afrodesiamp3.com and many others. The first day at SAMC wrapped up around 5pm and before we'd leave to make our way to dinner to celebrate Ralf Gum's birthday and his and his wife's 2nd wedding anniversary, Ralf, Halo and I were interviewed by House On, a south african online and hopefully soon print magazine about House Music. It was a nice dinner but rather quiet since we were all EXTREMELY tired. Around 9.45pm We arrived back at the hotel and immediately after I entered my room I passed out cold only to wake up a few times within the night. So annoying and draining :(
The second day of SAMC started when we got picked up from the hotel at 7.45am. The first session was Halo and my remix session. We took 'Machunga', a local track by the Infinite Boyz and showed the crowd how we approach a remix, how to EQ, compress, add FX to different parts, slightly touched on the topic of arrangement and answered a lot of questions. This session took a little over two hours and Halo and I will finish our remix when we get back to the US. Can't wait to see the DVD of that session.
For the rest of the day we would hang out with the people, take more pictures and answer questions while popping up on stage occasionally to add our opinions where necessary :) Martin East showed up since he's in the country as well to add his take on production on DJing using Ableton Live. During the lunch break Halo and I sold some of our T-Shirts to the kids for a special price since we didn't wanna push it too hard. After lunch one of the sessions would introduce up and coming producers like the Mushroom Boys, Mr. O., Essential-I, Mindlo and others. They'd answer peoples question on how they got where they're at, how to present their music to labels and more. Very interesting and inspiring cause the Deep House scene here in South Africa is very young which gave us veterans a lot of hope about the future. We weren't part of any more panels so we decided to leave early to chill a bit in the hotel. Dinner was at Oskido's restaurant where we had REALLLY GOOD STEAK with a bomb pepper sauce and an amazing bottle of red wine .. 2008 Meerlust .. South African red wine which was smooth, fruity, dry and soooooo nice to drink. The hospitality in this country is very unique and special and we had nice conversations and were joined by some other young producers who asked more questions and we dove a little deeper into the topic of mastering, samples etc. At the same time the game Netherlands - Uruguay was going on and of course the South African's were very happy when those who kicked them out of the tournament were sent home by the dutch. Can't wait for the Germany game and I'm hoping my prediction of a German - Dutch final will come true.
The wine did what it does and when I was back in the hotel around 11.30pm, I once again passed out without doing anything. Of course I couldn't sleep as much as I wanted and have now been awake since 6am, downloading some promos, arranging some meetings and of course writing this blog post. We were supposed to hold a second remix session today but decided to postpone it until tomorrow. The only panel we'll attend today is the 'Independent Label' one which I think will be very interesting not only for aspiring label owners but artists and DJs alike. During the lunch break we'll also most likely sell more shirts to the fans. Hope to see you there if you're in Johannesburg and for the rest of you, stay tuned for the next post when I get to it.
Keep It Deep
The jetlag was def. working me on Saturday. After I was finally able to sleep at 3.30 am I already woke up again at 7.15 am and couldn't go back to sleep. I think it had at least partially to do with the fact that I didn't have a heater in my room, or at least I thought. Remember, it's winter here. Later in the afternoon, Ralf Gum's wife was kind enough to let us know how to work the machine that we thought was just an A/C and now it's nice and toasty in our rooms :)
Halo and I enjoyed an early breakfast at our hotel and hung out until we got picked up early afternoon. First stop was lunch at Christos Katsaitis' restaurant Shaguma were we tried Christos Lamb Chops. Greek style, oh yeaaahhh .. they're the bomb. And yes, I should have taken a picture. Next time. Then it was off to pick up Ralf from the airport who had played in Durban the night before with Christos. We went directly to Yfm radio to be guests on Oscar 'Oskido' Mdlongwa's show 'Oskido's church'. Each of us gave him a 30minute mix and were interviewed individually to talk about music, our labels, DJing and what we're planning to share during the panels and sessions at the SAMC. We had a really good time on his show and left to meet Christos, his wife and Ralf's wife at dinner. Jetlag was present once again, I couldn't eat much and started to get really tired.
LUCKILY I had a chance to take a one-hour nap before we would make our way out to Ekhaya Lounge for the first SAMC party this year and my first gig ever in South Africa.
OOOOHHHHHH DAMN, is how I would describe it.
It is my first time here so I only heard about people in SA and their love for deep house. It's almost an obsession. They were chanting 'Deeper Shades of House, Deeper Shades of House, Deeper Shades of House', when they just saw me making my way on the stage to set up and the energy in the room was boiling when I started my set with my remix of Gyasi's 'The Dance'. Biggest tracks during my set were 'The Dance', Busi Mhlongo's 'Awukhu Muzi (Blaq Souls Dance Mix)', Jay Tripwire & Boddhi Satva's 'Dema (Lars Behrenroth Remix), Rocco's 'Memories', Laid's 'Punch Up (Marlon D's Rmx) and Paolo Rocco's 'Yellow Brick Road' (to be released on Deeper Shades Recordings). The real madness began once I was done with my set. First, EVERYONE was asking me to get one of the DSOH shirts. I hadn't brought any since we're still figuring out the best way to get them out to the people. Once I know where and how you can get them (besides ordering from this site of course), I'll post it on the site and my Facebook fan page. Second, EVERYONE wanted to say hello and take a picture. I've met people who are passionate about Deep House before but Pretoria is a different world. People wanted pictures but also had so many questions about what I do, my show, Deep House, other DJs and so forth. A lof of genuine interest and curiosity. This basically sums up the rest of my night. Walking around only to be stopped every two steps to be asked for pictures and more. A LOT OF LOVE. I was able to catch the end of Halo's set who had the outside floor packed and crazy for him just as much and of course parts of Ralf Gum's set who followed me inside. People truly loved the entire night and all DJs delivered as expected.
After we picked up some Lebanese chicken and salad we finally made it back to the hotel and I was asleep by 7.30am :) Sunday was spent in a VERY lazy manner. Slept until 4.30 in the afternoon, chilled out, went to dinner and now are back in the hotel to finish and prepare some things for tomorrow's opening of the SAMC. You can check out the program for the SAMC right here.
I'm excited to see what the conference and the rest of the week have to offer and will update you all tomorrow night with another post.
After a 23 hour travel Halo (Citydeep Music) and I arrived yesterday in Johannesburg. The flights were actually not as bad as I had anticipated, sitting in the same spot for that long at all. We had a good time in between flights. After the first leg - 4,5 hours from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. - we had a 2 hour stop over which we used to get some food and in my case also a memory card for my new camera (which I actually bought from a Best Buy vending machine at LAX since I couldn't find the charger for my regular cam). We boarded South African Airways after the layover to find out that the flight would actually stop in Dakar, Senegal instead of going straight to Johannesburg. So, 7 hours later we arrived in Dakar but could stay on the plane before it took off to Johannesburg again .. FOR ANOTHER 8 HOURS .. aarrrgggg... However, we used the time wisely and slept most of the time. When we arrived in Jo'burg at 5pm we actually felt sort of rested and ready to go. I'm sure the excitement helped :)
We got picked up and taken to the hotel only to drop off our stuff,
brush our teeth and change shirts. After that we went to dinner where we kept it light with some salads and appetizers.Timing was perfect as we arrived to SABC which is the headquarter of Metro FM. The Uruguay - Ghana game had just started and we were able to enjoy it before 'The Urban Beat' would start at 10pm. Halo and I were the guests at the Jo'burg studio hosted by Zeal and T-Deep while Ralf Gum was connected from the Durban studio with Christos by his side and Vinny Da Vinci was at yet another studio (forgot the name of the city).
We had a great time and a dope interview with all of us on air at the
same time from all different parts of South Africa. Around 2am we finally arrived back at the hotel and I was able to get in 4 hours of sleep. You gotta hate jetlags :)
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