DHLA Dj Lusanda follow up innerview by Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo

22.3.18


"I want to be known as the People’s DJ..."

Catching up with DJ Lusanda

By Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo


While the world rightfully commemorates women during the month of March, at DHLA we celebrate the amazing beings known as women pretty much, all day, every day.'

            One of the special ladies we can't quite get enough of appreciating is one Lucinda Roux, most likely known to you as DJ Lusanda. Some of you might remember the innerview we have with her, not so long ago 

            Born and bred in Paarl in the Western Cape, this spinstress has taken the organic route towards building her career as a DJ.


            This means continuously working on her craft, establishing and nurturing relationships within the industry as well as putting a lot of heart and soul into her passion.
            Join us in this first half of our Innerview as we chit chat with this "Pearl from Paarl" about her ongoing journey in establishing herself as a brand.

DHLA: The past few months have been quite special for you as they because it saw your debut guest mix being featured on Metro FM's legendary show, The Urban Beat. Subsequently you were also a Red Bull Studio guest where your mix was featured as well as quite a number of exciting developments in your DJing career. Let's talk about that first Urban Beat guest mix where you blended a number of "unShazamable" tunes! Laughs How did you go about (in terms of track selection and the mood you wanted to create) putting this 20 minutes of niceness together?

DjLu:I wanted to put together something fresh yet with that familiar Deep House sound. 
            A radio mix is an opportunity to showcase your unique DJ style and taste in music as you don’t have a crowd in front of you.


            I wanted it to sound like a love mix, with minimal vocals, that takes the listener on a dreamy journey, true DJ Lusanda style..

DHLA: Indeed it took us on an emotional voyage into sound! Talking of journeys, when you look back on your career, what would you say have been the major milestones?
Our late pres. Mandela said: after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

DjLu:   I am still very far from what I would like to achieve, but I definitely have some cool highlights.
 Last August I was featured on The Godfather’s House on Good Hope FM and The Urban Beat Show on Metro FM that you mentioned.
 In September Redbull Music Cape Town published a guest mix of mine and more recently in October I was featured on The Ultimix on 5FM.

 I was also featured on Bush Radio and 2OceansVibe Radio, both local radio stations in Cape Town during Sept/Oct to further my reach locally.
 I worked closely with KFM last year and did some different type events with them, like their Gun Run (marathon) and Big Chill (camping weekend for their listeners).

 I have shared stage with some big names, but the biggest milestone for me is meeting the people who support and follow me, the real people.
 Having someone come up to me and thanking me for the music and my selection, always make it totally worthwhile, because it’s for them that I do what I do anyway.
 Healing one person at a time!

DHLA: Diana Prince is Wonder Woman Linda Danvers is Supergirl and Lucinda Roux is DJ Lusanda...Tell us the back story to you creating the DJing alter ego we know as DJ Lusanda?

DjLu: I started working as a civil engineer on a construction site in 2012 which also marks the year I enrolled at Soul Candi Institute of Music for my first DJ course.
 On site the workers all called me Lusanda and I needed a DJ name.

Then I realized the people already gave me a name and I became DJ Lusanda.
 It just made sense, worked with my real name and what I intend with the brand.
I want to be known as the People’s DJ.

 Perfect match!

DHLA:What do you appreciate about those first lessons  at the Soul Candi Institute?

DjLu: When I attended Soul Candi Institute of Music in 2012 Banzi Mazimela (Blanka) was my lecturer while Ryan Murgatroyd from Crazy White Boy, managed the school.
 Interesting times hey?

They taught you the basics and gave you the opportunity to mess around on your own.
 We were quite spoiled when it came to the equipment, as it was club standard Pioneer CDJ 2000’s and DJM 900 mixer.
I later went for another DJ course and there I learned how to play on CDJ100’s and what commercial club DJing is all about.
 Oh my, that was something else I tell you.

DHLA: Having gone through this formal process learning how to DJ, what would you say are the basic skills every DJ must learn before they start playing for audiences?

DjLu: People skills! Laughs

My top 5 would always be:
1.      Learn how to find the first beat
2.      Learn how to beat match by practicing your ear
3.      Only play good quality tracks
4.      Practice, practice, practice
5.      Be confident, look at the people in front of you and then just rock it

DHLA: Going a step further what "secret sauce" do you think will rocket an average DJ from being ordinary to becoming extraordinary? 

DjLu:The Gestalt effect! 

            It’s based on a theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
You can give five DJ’s the same 30 songs and tell them to each come play an hour set using those tracks and of course it will be different every time.
            We can have the same music (parts of the whole) but it’s how you put it together that makes the difference. 

            Like for example when I listen to a track, I automatically think what I would play before and after it.
            In other words, of which other songs does this particular song remind me of?

DHLA: It's very interesting that you mention how different DJs will approach their sets in various ways. As DJ Lusanda, what unique "superpowers" would you say differentiate from other DJ's?

DjLu: I love Deep House music that just takes you away, but I also love to dance and make people dance.
            So even though I can start a mix slow and deep I like to show progression throughout until I get the crowd grooving.
            To me it’s important that people feel good and elevated in spirit when listening to me play.
            I am still new on the block.
Not many people know of me yet and that’s fine. 

            What makes me different is that even though I haven’t been playing for long my ear and eye has been on the House Music scene for about 12 years.
            Unlike other young DJ’s I have been on the crowd’s side of the decks (with the heart and ear of a DJ) longer than I’ve been in the booth.
            Thus I have a more intimate understanding of what the crowd like and what takes them away or wows them.
            That is a different type of experience you can’t gain within a few months.
It takes time and time can’t be bought.
            It takes countless hours, yeas actually, of listening to and collecting music, of being around people, building relationships, gathering information and analyzing situations and dynamics of how things really work around you and then working with that.

DHLA: First gigs can be a super success or a downright disaster, but whichever way they turn out they are always memorable. What do you still remember about your first ever gig?

DjLu: Wow, I don’t even remember what my first gig was, but I am sure I was very nervous.
            I used to get very anxious before a gig, to the point of nausea, but it’s DJing that helped me overcome my anxiety.
            You know what, I recently realized that actually I have always been a DJ.
When I was at primary school (Standard 3), I used to organize the year end “parties” for my class.
            I used to record music from my brother’s CD’s or the radio on my TDK cassettes and play it on a Coomber. 

            Laughs The millennials would not know what I’m talking about right now, but they can Google it.
            I even knew that I had to record the HIT SONG of the time, first on the cassette, because the “crowd” will ask me to repeat it and then I know exactly where to find it, just rewind right back to the beginning of the cassette.
            Classic!!

DHLA: Clearly the Coomber days are well behind you! What type of equipment do you prefer to play on nowadays and which brands wouldn't you be shy to endorse?

DjLu: Pioneer, Pioneer and once again Pioneer. 

            I dream of becoming a brand ambassador for them, but for that I still need to up my game BEEEG TIME!


DHLA: Over the past few years we have observed you building and nurturing a brand as opposed to just spinning records. If a prospective investor into your brand were to ask you what exact investments have you made into your career as a DJ, how would you respond?

DjLu: Some investments cost money, others don’t. 

            It took a lot of hard work, time, dedication and effort to get it to where it is now.
I am still a new kid on the block and this is only the beginning of what I would like to achieve.
            First of all I invested in a good pair of DJ headphones.
Spending 3k five years ago on professional DJ headphones was the moment that made it all so real for me. 

            It was like: “Now I mean business.” 

My next investment was educating myself and learning the technical skills from accredited/recognized institutions.
            I also attended music conferences and workshops to network with others and further educate myself.
            Then I won a cash prize in a DJ competition and saved up and bought myself some equipment. 

            I have a Pioneer XDJ R1 and KRK Studio Monitors in my room, which I find quite convenient as it is easy to move around with and I use it to record my live mixes, do private parties and for corporate events. 

            Investing in good quality music is an ongoing never ending process.
The next investment was designing my logo’s and marketing material like business cards, CD labels and covers, as well as printing thereof.
            I think above it all the most important investment was my heart and soul.
I am very passionate about what I do.

DHLA: Which venue holds the fondest memories for you?

DjLu: Chippa’s Place in Paarl. 

            It’s my favorite spot in my hometown, five minutes drive away from my house, music is good, food is great and booze is cheap. 

            I have made lasting friendships from going there.
I still go there a lot, but I always find people asking me if I am okay as if it’s my first time there. You should come!!!

DHLA:When the thirst (the type that can be quenched with drinks) hits when you are spinning, what's your go to drink?

DjLu:Water or anything that looks like water will do the trick. Laughs
            Gin or Vodka with some energy drink or tonic is my go to.
My weakness is beer though, that’s why I am not a skinny chick!

DHLA:Let's say a giant meteor were to crash into the earth in the next few hours and you were given the opportunity to play the last set of the last gig before "Armageddon", what tunes would you jam?

DjLu:"I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith :D

DHLA:Why this particular tune though!?

DjLu:It’s from The Armageddon Movie and Soundtrack! Laughs

            Shame, it will make everybody cry!

Honestly, I would play Spirit House (a concept DJ Lusanda has pioneered with some colleagues to "uplift and inspire" people through rare House Music tracks) and get people to pray in the last hour of their lives, to get closer to their Creator before we all die.

DHLA:Oh wow! What other unusual or shall we say "weird" tunes are in your collection!?

DjLu: Probably Y.M.C.A! Laughs

            It’s for my private clients.
Basically all the music for my private clients!

Join us in the next installment of our Innerview with DJ Lusanda as the "People's DJ" talks about being a woman in the industry, handling the business side of DJing and the "healing power" of House Music


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