British Council Connect ZA, @Connect_ZA supported Goldierocks’ tour of South Africa as part of the Campus Invasion series. British Council Connect ZA’s initiative is to connect young creative artists and audiences in South Africa and the UK. Check out their website here: http://www.connectza.tumblr.com.
It’s a warm Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg and I’m at the “Easy Hotel” in Braamfontein, just a block away from Neighbourgoods Market. Today I’m set to interview, not just Goldierocks, but Yfm’s very own Dj Doo Wap – who hosts the hot nine-nine dubstep playlist every Wednesday. Both Goldierocks and Doo Wap are accomplished DJ’s who have successfully carved out their own niches and achieved mainstream success in a predominately male industry. This is what they had to say during the interview:
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Doo Wap: Definitely the gigs I play at a weekly event I host called Cotton Club. I host it at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein with a rapper friend of mine – Ricky Rick. It’s pretty cool because we get to introduce people to trap and dubstep and they’re loving it.
Goldierocks: With me, it was definitely a gig I did in Glastonbury. I was backstage with the Chemical Brothers so that was pretty cool.
As a female DJ in a male-dominated industry, what are some of the challenges you encounter?
Doo Wap: I don’t understand why I get asked this question all the time. Why should it be any different? I haven’t seen a difference.
Goldierocks: Well, I guess there aren’t as many challenges now but definitely, when I began, there was a lot of sexism out there. I’ve been called a bitch in the middle of a set and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been on the only female DJ on the line-up. I’ve also had my drink spiked. That was terrifying.
Doo Wap: I had my drink spiked as well. It was, like, three weeks ago. I wasn’t deejaying though. I was just out at a gig.
You started deejaying because…
Goldierocks: I thought it would be fun (laughs). At first I was a music journalist and I made a decision that I just had to work in music. I just loved the feeling of hearing a live band perform or the rumble of a bass note. So initially I would interview bands and review their live performances. Then I started a showcase club night called Goldie Rocks where I’d showcase new underground music. I didn’t go to DJ school. I just had a lot of indie records that I would just play without mixing. As time went on I get more theatrical and then I got bigger bookings. So yeah that’s me. How about you?
Doo Wap: I was studying Sound Engineering and I wanted to make money on the side so I decide to start deejaying. At first I just played songs I liked and everyone else liked. Then I went to DJ school for 3 or months and learnt the basics. I worked on the basics and, yeah, that’s how I got started.
What’s the one thing you hate about the music industry?
Doo Wap: Well, in South Africa, I hate how narrow-minded people are. I’m trying to introduce kwai-dub – a fusion of kwaito and dubstep – and I’ve got a show on Yfm where I play dubstep. The music industry made a big deal out of the whole thing and I thought “why”? People can’t see further than themselves and what’s happening in front of them.
Goldierocks: You know what? Whenever you introduce something new it’s always going to be challenging. Like when dubstep started, no one understood it. But now, even Britney Spears has dubstep songs! You’ve got to be willing to experiment to find something new.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your country?
Goldierocks: On a trivial level: that it rains all the time (laughs). But also, people think the UK is all rosy but not everyone in the UK is rich and polished.
Doo Wap: Well the biggest misconception is that we have lions roaming the streets and people walking around in loincloths. Oh, and crime too. People tend to exaggerate the crime in South Africa.
Having been to both South Africa and the UK, what are the similarities between the two countries?
Doo Wap: Braamfontein and London have the same swag. Both cities are trying to revisit the 90’s vintage swag. And Cape Town and London have huge underground music scenes.
Goldierocks: Both countries really embrace dance music.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever worked?
Doo Wap: Waitressing. I was a waitress for so long and I hated the way people talked to me. The hours were pretty terrible, plus I hated doing trivial things like polishing cutlery. It did my head in every time.
Goldierocks: I completely agree. I went to university and got a degree from a really good university but I didn’t want to work an office job, so I started waitressing. But it was stressing. I was the only British person in the staff so it was really difficult. But it was also really humbling.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about each other?
Goldierocks: I’ve learnt that Kay (Doo Wap) is really passionate. You have a really good vision about what you want to achieve and I really admire that.
Doo Wap: What I learnt about you, Sam (Goldierocks), is that you have tons of experience I could learn from. I’m glad we got to do this.
So that concludes my weekend with Goldierocks. I had a hell of a time interviewing her and an even better time watching her perform. Follow her on twitter: @Goldierocks , and check out her website here. Also check out Dj Doowap on twitter: @Dj_Doowap
Photography by: @rebelleROGUE
Follow me on Twitter: @RofhiwaManeta
Goldierocks’ tour of South Africa was supported by British Council Connect ZA.