Interview With DJ Thobs
I recently had a chat with one DJ who’s been in the game for a while, DJ Thobs. We spoke about her new album and being a female DJ in SA. Here’s what she had to say.
Brown Shuga: Who is DJ Thobs and where did it all start for you?
DJ Thobs: Thobs is one of the premier female Dj’s & the first to release a CD compilation in S.A. ‘Sghubu Sa Mampela Vol.2’ which came out in Feb 2004.
BS: Wow, I didn’t know that… so when did you know that you wanted to become a DJ?
DJ Thobs: It wasn’t my dream nor did I plan to become a DJ. I’ve always loved music & hanged a lot with Djs, then one day one of my Dj friends forced me to it. To my surprise it felt so natural, it took me a week to master the pich bending & mixing. Within 8 weeks I was ready to rock the masses. So, I’d say it was a matter of talent meeting opportunity.
BS: Nice. How do you describe your music and what do you think differentiates it from what’s in the market at the moment?
DJ Thobs: If your music is deep, soulful with a touch of jazz, then there isn’t much that differentiates it from mine, except the way I deliver it. I have through years & years of practise developed skills that I think, set me apart from the rest. I am very particular about my track sequencing and mixing plus I pay attention to detail.
BS: You have been in the industry since 2001 way before there was a DJ Cyndo or DJ Zinhle but your name is not that much known out there, why ?
DJ Thobs: Commercial music will make you famous & fast! The music I chose to play (DEEP HOUSE) was followed by a minority when I started and the only person they could tolerate it from was Vinny Da Vinci. But through persistence & perseverance, I stayed true to Deep House and look at how much It has grown since then….
BS: Do you think being female makes it harder for you to break out?
DJ Thobs: Back then it was, but now it’s a gold ticket. It’s even a plus when you’ve got great skills. All you have to do is get yourself acquainted with the right people.
BS: You have worked a lot with Glen Lewis, what did you learn from him about Deejaying?
DJ Thobs: I have learned that as much as I love Deejaying, it is NOT a hobby but a business and i must always be professional at it.
BS: Would you say being a DJ is a good career that you would encourage your kids to take up?
DJ Thobs: It is a good career that requires one to have a good head on ones shoulders. With the kind of values I instil in my child, I would encourage him to.
BS: Everywhere you turn, everyone is a DJ, what would you say differentiates “real” DJs from chancers?
DJ Thobs: Djing is a very expensive business to maintain. Those who are real will stick it out & those who take changes will fallout.
BS: Your 2 cents worth to the argument that it is not good for DJ’s to be competing with real artists for CD sales?
DJ Thobs: We are artists too & we fill a huge gap in the industry. We have thousands of fans, who love the music that we compile. We save these people hours of surfing through the music download sites. If we don’t compile, how are they going to own this music?
BS: Okay, I hear you. Tell us about your current album Colors of Soul – how did you decide on the title?
DJ Thobs: Colors of Soul is the first deep soul album by a female DJ. It boasts exquisite vocals riding atop jazzy chords and gently hypnotic beats. The deep treats come from some of the most respected practitioners of infectious house music: the likes of DJ Spinna (remixing Matthew Bandy & AphroDisiax featuring Adeola Ranson), The Rurals (remixing Tone Control), Foremost Poets & Johnny Dangerous (remixing Mona Bode), Lisa Shaw, AtJazz… All artists who’ve made names for themselves in the last few years for delivering quality and soulful fuel for dancefloors. It will surely Color your Soul….
BS: Go Thobs hahaha. What process did you follow to compile the songs?
DJ Thobs: I selected music that appeled to my fans. I worked with Sakhile Mzizi to compile and our friend Themba who is based in the U.K, helped with the licencing of tracks.
BS: And the message you are spreading with your music?
DJ Thobs: Soul music is the new pop.
BS: What is the biggest honour you hope to achieve with your music?
DJ Thobs: To repeat the success the success of House Afrika Sessions by achieving Platinum sales, A Metro Award/ Sama.
BS: Thanks for your time DJ Thobs