LEADING Plumtree disc jockey Dumisani Magalane has exhibited exceptional music prowess by distinguishing himself through a unique versatility that has seen him attract a huge following. The Bulawayo Arts Award nominee for Outstanding Club DJ in 2018 featured in six international gigs last year, which he said were an eye opener in his career. Popularly known as DJ Yugoe when spinning the decks, Magalane (DM) spoke to NewsDay (ND)Life and Style reporter Sharon Sibindi about his life and experiences as a DJ. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Sneak Peek: Sharon Sibindi
ND: How did you venture into the music industry?
DM: It all started back in 2008 at high school events with Nqobizitha Dube (DJ Cooldread). I used to accompany him when he had events, so he would give me a chance to have a taste of deejaying and by that time, we used DVD players. I kept on pushing and here I am today, getting bookings from outside the country.
ND: At what stage did you begin to attract recognition?
DM: I have been in the industry for 10 years, but I started getting recognition in 2014 when I was a resident DJ at 4Js bar in Plumtree.
ND: What are the values behind your staying-power in the industry?
DM: Persistence and patience have kept me going. You have to respect the people around you and stay humble.
ND: What are some of the treasured memories you have in your line of work?
DM: Two nights to remember: The night I played at Club Euphoria in Namibia and they doubled my payment because of the great performance.
Then the night I was featured in the Hot Mix sessions at Clun Cosmopolitan in Bulawayo.
ND: What are the challenges you have faced and how have you coped with them?
DM: This entertainment industry is a bit tricky in our country. Very few DJs earn a living through the art, and the current economic situation contributes so much to that. All we have to do is to keep pushing and stay focused.
ND: What projects are you currently involved in?
DM: I have a single track which will be released this month and I am also working on another single, which will feature Tsibi (Plumtree hip-hop kwaito sensation).
ND: Besides being involved in the arts industry, what is it that you do which your fans don’t know about?
DM: I also do graphic designing. I am a graphic designer.
ND: Does one require some kind of training to be a disc jockey?
DM: Training is needed especially when it comes to the proper use of the equipment.
ND: What are you doing to ensure that upcoming generations do not lose interest in deejaying?
DM: Giving them a chance to showcase their talents in the local events and sharing with them the positives of being a disc jockey, hence there are challenges faced.
ND: Tell us about your family; are they in any way involved in what you do?
DM: I am from a family of nine and when it all started, they never accepted the fact that I was doing late-night events. As time progressed, they got to understand that I had a passion for what I did. Now, I have their support.
ND: Looking at the year 2018, how was it as most artistes found it challenging, and what lessons did you learn?
DM: 2018 was a great year, I can say. With the help of my manager, Handsome Sibanda, I managed to get six international gigs and being a nominee of BAA for the Outstanding Club DJ category, so 2018 was a great year for me. I had gigs in South Africa, Dubai, two events in Botswana and Namibia, and this year I am looking forward for gigs in the United Kingdom and Uganda.
ND: And the lessons learnt?
DM: From my international gigs, I learnt that Zimbabwean DJs are as equally good and that other places get government support in the arts, something which we lack. Zimbabwean music is acceptable.
A lot of people learn about other cultures and people. I saw that one can make a living off being a DJ and it opened doors for others back home that, networking grew.