The unicorn of South Africa’s entertainment industry oozed an undeniable magic through her finger tips unto the decks which opened a new sphere for her. She catapulted from being a DJ to adding on radio presenter, TV presenter, and brand ambassador for many really cool brands and all round conceptual artist to her repertoire.
We talk to DJ Doowap about her journey in the industry and get a feel of this unequaled being.
Who or what influenced you to start DJing and do they still play a role in your life today now that you’ve branched out into different fields in the entertainment industry?
I started DJing for some guap, whilst I was studying Sound Engineering at ASE. Little did I know that YFM would scout me at my first gig and help me make DJing a successful career. I give credit to Incredible, my DJ coach, who introduced me to the craft. He’s thankfully always around for questions.
You’ve now taken a broad-based approach to your recent sets, what has driven you in the direction of playing a fusion of genres like Grime, Kwaito and Hip Hop opposed to what you were originally known for, Dubstep?
I am glad you have done your research and are asking me relevant questions. I think music nowadays is breaking down all barriers of “genre”. My number one focus is to dabble in BASS. I am attracted to a wide range of musical styles but it always has to have that BASS undertone to raise the vibrations.
Many people struggle to fully embrace their style for the fear of what the next person might say, how did you boldly step more into who Doowap is today style wise? What was the journey like for you?
The journey of Doowap is continuous, natural and beautiful. I decided to fully embrace myself and life in 2012. My prime focus is to listen to myself, as well as the messages from Allah and my guardian angels. I am on a quest to discover my authentic identity, so as I peel the layers, my style changes in both fashion and music.
Have there been instances of ‘dream’ gigs passing you by because your external appearance was more than what the promoters could handle or have you rather had a more positive response to your image? Also, has being in the industry made it easier or difficult to stay true to your personal style?
I am sure there have been many instances that I have lost out on gigs to conservative promoters or brands but none that are memorable. I have been breaking down barriers with my image and music since I entered the game and I think I get a lot of respect for knowing my lane and being proud of my authenticity. I stay inspiring your favorite celebrities. The industry hasn’t had an effect on my personal style. The appreciation I receive on the daily is reassurance that I should continue to listen within for inspiration.
From having your own show on one of South Africa’s biggest radio stations to presenting a fresh new TV series about the “culture,” explain how the transition has been for you?
The various domains I have been dabbling in lately are ridiculously different. A whole new learning system has to be applied for each one. With radio there’s no need too be expressive with you body language but your voice must project the message. Whereas with TV it’s all about bringing your crazy energetic side out, with huge forms of expression. Live Mixing is when I am in my element. When I get to DJ my favourite tunes and put people in a happy trance I feel the most liberated. TV is a lot more nerve wracking and demands more effort from me than anything else I have ever done.
In Taste Makers, you guys showcase young creatives in South Africa’s street culture. What do you personally think of our local street culture and its growth over the years?
I am forever inspired by the young local street culture and it’s creatives. It is this rich South African culture of ours that pushes me everyday to take risks and better myself to be able to share our stories with the rest of the world. We have so much to offer as our youth are driven, unapologetic and risk takers. We drink from a fountain of eternal inspiration and have so much to offer in art,music, fashion and visual art.
We as South Africans are ever-growing and will finally truly be unlocked when internet is uncapped for everybody. Our melting pot of powerful cultures have created diverse, daring and rebellious youth that will take our street culture to next levels. The more I travel the more I appreciate where I come from, because I know we are the source.
You’ve had the opportunity to travel and spread your waves in different countries, being exposed to their street cultures and sounds. In which city did you most enjoy playing at and which was the worst, with reasoning?
A: Berlin has been my favourite, as I am never limited and the crowd is always open to experiencing new sounds. The city is full of magic that allows you to discover your powers and who you truly are. The only downside to the city, is there is no money for creatives as there is always someone willing to do it for cheaper.
The worst city was definitely Munich; People there are so stiff and stuck in a boxed routine with zero emotion. They have the money but no freedom. It was so hard to get through to them and have them enjoy a dance.
I’m sure you’ve been hounded about this but we need to know are you planning on producing/releasing any of your own music any time soon.
I wonder why I get hounded by this question all the time? I am doing so many different things and seeing how far I can stretch myself. Making awesome music is definitely something I am focusing on. Only confirmation I can give is Doowap will definitely drop music in 2017.
Favourite sneaker brand: NIKE
Favourite album of all time: Salt n Pepa – Very Necessary
Favourite piece of tech: My Traktor Controller
Most favourite venue to chill at: My Parents new slick Karaoke spot called Phaze – Corner Jan Smuts and Republic
If you ever got the chance to collaborate with any musician/DJ, who would it be: There are so many incredible women blowing my mind at the moment! Either FKA Twigs or Abra because they both have the EYE for music, fashion and visuals.
Where can one get hold of you in terms of social media and for bookings?
Facebook: DJ Doowap
For our second guest mix, DJ Doowap hooked us up with an exclusive 55min wavy session. She tells us she actually decided to call the mix ‘Moon Waves‘ as it was developed over the period of the Pink Super Moon.
Listen to the mix below.
Written By: Thando Nkwane