Thanks for your time Sam. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Sam Hall and I go under the stage name “DJ Goldierocks”. I’m a female DJ and a TV and radio presenter from London.
Cool. So could you tell us why you’re touring SA?
Well, I present a radio show called “The Selector” – which is funded by the British Council and we broadcast in 40 countries across the world. The show is about showcasing innovative underground music and the idea is that we support and build artists until they get mainstream recognition. We gave Amy Winehouse her first ever live session. So we [The Selector] are here with Connect ZA and The British Council to try and find a partner station in South Africa. Plus, as a cultural ambassador for the British Council, I’m also here to soak in as much as I can about South African youth culture and educate people back in the UK about it.
You actually started your career as a journalist. How did you make the switch into music?
For me it was a pretty natural progression. When I started out as a music journalist, it was all about getting into the music industry because I really love how live music makes me feel. So I started reviewing bands and live gigs – mostly unpaid – and then I started a music showcase called “Goldie Rocks” which was about showcasing new music. I started DJ’ing round about that time. It wasn’t even proper DJ’ing at the time (laughs). There was no mixing; just track selection. And now here I am.
That’s pretty dope if you ask me. So, in your time as a DJ, what’s the toughest crowd you’ve played for?Definitely Johannesburg (laughs)! I found it really intimidating when I played at Kitcheners. But I think it’s because everything I played was British. I did that deliberately because that’s part of the reason I’m here: to showcase British music.
Any local artists that have impressed you?
Yeah. Wildebeats is amazing. He’s actually coming to Roundhouse in London to perform for the Future Music Series. Black Coffee as well. I didn’t know him before I got here so finding out about him was cool. And Black Motion as well. They’re pretty impressive.
All of those guys are pretty talented.
Yeah. I mean, I just want to learn as much as I can about South Africa. What’s interesting is all the different subcultures you guys have here. Like yesterday I was introduced to…gosh I can’t pronounce it properly. Skho…skho –
That’s it (laughs)! I was impressed. That was so amazing. So yeah, there are so many new things to learn and discover here.
You’ve performed for people like Madonna and Giorgio Armani. What’s the difference between playing for celebrities versus the crowd you played for at Kitcheners?
The money (laughs). But seriously, there is no difference. People are people. You could be a multi-billionaire but when you throw a party you just want to have a good time like everyone else. So, it’s exactly the same.
But there must be a celeb you particularly enjoyed playing for?
Sir Richard Branson. He’s a really cool, down-to-earth guy.
And what’s the most challenging gig you’ve ever played?
I went to Libya last year and although the people are amazing, the country is going through a really tough time. We could hear gun-fire at night and we had to be driven around in a bullet proof car.
What advice would you give our readers?
Work really hard. I know that sounds cliché but it’s true. Also, be passionate. I worked for free for a long time and I realised if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you’re going to get fed up. Be kind. The same people you meet on your way up are the same people you’ll see on your way down. And, finally, find a niche you want to focus on. It may sound like I do a lot of different things, but my primary task is finding new music whether as a DJ, journalist or radio host.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my weekend with Goldierocks.
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/