DHLA Innerview with Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo

8.12.15

It's not everyday that a writer allows another Writer on their platform. He'll, it's not everyday that a house music article writer welcomes another Writer in their Fort. Maybe it's cause there are not much writers for the genre, l wonder hehe

 There is always some risk, some feel, risk that they might aswell "steal" your audience. It's not the case here. We cross pollinating  here, House music Should live here!!

 Ladies and gentlemen, introducing DHLA's Themba Nyasha Dhliwayo lnnerview


We ask....‪

#‎DHLA‬: When exactly did you fall in love with House music?

‪#‎Themba‬: Looking back I realise that as I was growing up, even though I was a serious Hiphop head, there were House music tunes that I would always vibe to unconsciously.

At that time I didn't know it as House music per se but each time, usually on afternoon radio and off-peak slots, when the likes of Frankie Knuckles Whistle Song came on, I would be overwhelmed with a feeling of euphoria.

It only came together in the early 2000s, when my mates would come back for holidays from university literally with bags of House music CDs.

I mean all the definitive stuff like the Soul Candi compilations, DJ Fresh's Definition of House and other awesome music.
I was hooked!

#DHLA:What is it about House music that made you fall in love with it?

#Themba: Within House music there are quite a number of sub-genres and personally I am smitten by Soulful and Deep House in particular, with sprinklings of Progressive thrown in.

I like the way House music is able to capture so many different emotions and I also like the fact that it's timeless.
As a child of this beautiful content I have a special fondness for SA House music.
You can feel the heartbeat and soul of Africa, the smiles, the tears, the hopes, everything is all in there my boet.

#DHLA:How did you get to start writing about House music?

#Themba: As a writer there's nothing more fulfilling the writing about something you love.
I had always done reviews and other House music specific features, but it was only at the beginning of this year that the opportunity to contribute regularly to IDM Mag came along.
Like a bulldog I seized it for all it's worth!

#DHLA:What do you aim to achieve with your articles?

#Themba: To tell stories that have never been told in a way they will never be told.

I always aim to put the spotlight on under-appreciated artists.
At the same time I seek to ask recognised artists/individuals questions that they haven't been asked before.‪



At the end of the whole communication channel it must be a win-win-win situation for the publication, artist and reader.
Let's just say I'm a guy who aims to make sure everyone gets "some" lol *wink wink*

#‎DHLA‬:What is your take on SA House music?

‪#‎Themba‬: Note for note I believe South Africa has the most profound vocal talent anywhere in the world which has helped make SA House so distinct.

Each year I'm always blown away by the sheer large number of absolutely talented artists that emerge.
I also like the fact that growth of SA House has been organic.
It wasn't a copy paste affair.

The pioneering legends of the SA House music scene abo Oskido , Christos Katsaitis, Dj Fresh and other godfathers of the scene developed a sound that was unique and ear-catching.
I also like the fact that SA has very passionate audiences who understand and appreciate House music.

#DHLA: Of the interviews you've done which ones were most memorable for you?

#Themba: Each and every interview is unique but I must say Dj Cleo, Monique Bingham and Thiwe Mbola were super unique.

Djcleo is ultra-professional and crystal clear about where he is headed while Thiwe was very responsive and intelligent. Monique Bingham is as real as they get, very unvarnished, which to me is refreshing as we live in a world where reality is increasingly getting "photo shopped".
It's very unfortunate that whether spoken or unspoken, a lot of times society treats artists like they possess limited intelligence.

This is absolutely ridiculous as artists are some of the most intelligent people around.
The same people with this patronizing attitude, cry or throw their hands in the air when their favourite jam comes on smh...

Who's "dumb" now?

#DHLA:Apart from House music what other genres do you listen to?

#Themba: I have a very eclectic taste in music.

I also love Hiphop, Jazz, Soul and the traditional music of Zimbabwe.
Folk music also does it for me.
I can never listen to Zimbabwean mbira melodies, Scottish bagpipes or the kora without the hairs on the back of my hands standing.

#DHLA:Who are your favourite House music artists of all time?

#Themba: Wow! That's really putting me on the spot but anywhere heregoes...eish

I think let's just say my list of producers would include the following in no particular order.
Black Coffee
Frankie Knuckles
Quentin Harris
Oskido
RevOlution
The Layabouts
MAW

My favourite vocalists are:
Candi Staton
Thiwe
Adeva
Xoli M
Josh Milan
Robert Owens


‪#‎DHLA‬: How do you go about putting together a feature?

#‎Themba‬: I take my time in getting to understand the subject.

Whenever I'm doing my research I'm like "Nyasha, Black Coffee has been asked countless times pedestrian questions like 'Who inspires you', take a tangent, go a little deeper and ask something offbeat like 'What kept you going each time a recording company slammed the door in your face?'
Once I am confident I have explored the subject as fully as possible I set about penning questions, talking to people and jotting down any other ideas that come up.

#DHLA:Dream interview?

#Themba: I am a huge fan of the older school cats, the OGs, so locally it would be Oskido.
He has not only witnessed the evolution of House music in SA, but at many stages of the growth of the genre, he has been very instrumental in the direction it took. An absolute legend is what he is.
Internationally it would be Larry Heard just to get an inside look into the first creation of what we now know and love as House music.

#DHLA:Dream collaboration you would love to see?

#Themba: My dream collaborative effort would span New York/Chicago, London/Amsterdam and South Africa but seeing that might be a tall order I would probably lock up Thandiswa Mazwai in a studio with St Germaine and see what magic they conjure up.

#DHLA:What are some of the greatest lessons you have learnt to date?

#Themba: Without a doubt the greatest lesson I have learnt is that communication is all about people and people have feelings.

When you are chasing deadlines you sometimes lose sight of this and you get irritated when your calls/emails are not being responded to as fast as you would want.

That's when you need to check yourself and appreciate that the person you are trying to link up with is a also a HUMAN BEING with pressures of their own.

Find a way to navigate around their feelings and you will get far.
Going the extra mile also helps.

I've gone out of my way to wake up at odd ours so
that I can interview someone in a different time zone or waited patiently backstage for hours just to get a ten minute interview.

#‎DHLA‬: What's on your heavy rotation playlist right now?

‪#‎Themba‬:
Undiphuza - Jus Native featuring Rachel
Come a Little Closer - Micasa featuring Tortured Soul
Searching (Jazzuelle Remix) - Fred Everything featuring Jinando
Never Let You Go (Mobi Dixon Remix) - Tresor
Spirits at Midnight - DJ Mlu
Deep in the Bottom - Monique Bingham
Soul Searching - Death on a Balcony
Wish (Franky Feliciano Ricanstruction Mix) - Matthew Bandy featuring Josh Milan
I believe that good music never dies but just hibernates, so of late I've also been listening to older tracks like To be in Love by Masters at Work featuring India, Culoe De Song's Elevation album and the entire catalogue of Rev Olution 's work. The Mothiba brothers duo was way ahead of their time and managed to tap into some serious Afro Soul.

#DHLA:What's your ultimate goal?



























#Themba: My aim is quite lofty to say the least.
It is to become an influential communicator on the continent finish and klaar.
With each feature, interview and piece of work I put out I'm clawing my way towards this goal.
"So little done, so much to do" in terms of the vast possibilities of what publications, television and radio can do to take the continent forward.

#DHLA:The relationships between journalists and artists can get prickly with artists sometimes accusing journalists of not "getting them", reporting wrongly etc and journalists accusing artists of being inaccessible arrogant etc. How do you think harmony can be achieved between the two parties?

#Themba:That's quite an accurate observation but like in any other interaction, conflict is always present in any relationship.
How you deal with it determines the outcome.

At the end of the day when both parties appreciate that they are all trying to get a job done, things are smoothed out somewhat.
Where you feel wronged, it's ok to say so in a respectful matter.

Personally I believe in nurturing long term working relationships with artists.
I'm not into one night stands, well at least in terms of relating professionally to artists lol

#DHLA: Any words of advice to other journalists?

#Themba: Always be learning, always be improving.
As a journalist your only claim to relevance is your access information and how you interpret it.
In this digital world we live in you must appreciate that by the time you sit down to review a release, it's been downloaded thousands of times and people already have an opinion of it.
Whatever you are then going to write must add value to the reader.

Journalism is not for pack animals, break out on your own.
Listen to the other tracks that are not exactly making waves on the charts or on heavy rotation. There is a whole world of great "undiscovered" music out there.
Friggin read, switch of the telly and read my guy.

Lastly. Get the basics right. Learn how to spell, put sentences together properly etc, don't you dare disrespect readers by putting out sloppy s*‪#‎t‬.

#DHLA:...and to artists?

#Themba: Do unto others...
The creative industry, or any other industry for that matter, is all about relationships.
If you go around stepping on toes or being aloof, lets just say you must always carry a bottle of Vaseline, because sooner or later.

#DHLA:Any parting words?

#Themba: Sure. It would be improper of me not to acknowledge the opportunities and support Dave Mac, my editor at IDM Mag has provided.

Beeeeg shout out to my super hero DJ MuZI.GP for the support and guidance. That ninja is a walking encyclopedia of the SA entertainment industry!

‪#‎ThatsAwrap‬

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