Last week Thursday PUMA SELECT Courtyard in Braamfontein was hosting their SELECT Sessions event that featured a takeover from Kid Fonque’s music label Stay True Sounds. People experienced only the finest of underground Jozi beats, and guest performances from Sio, Fka Mash and Melo B Jones. Now SELECT Sessions is an intimate music event held in the courtyard at the PUMA Store on the corner of De Korte and Melle streets, every first Thursday of the month. Expect some of the best live music, listening sessions, DJ sets and artist takeovers that South Africa has to offer.
You’re a successful DJ, producer, own your own label Stay True Sounds and you have a radio slot on 5fm. What’s your favourite part of the job and why?
Ah I love it all. I have been obsessed with music from a very young age and I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, but If I had to choose a favourite part of my job, it would definitely be my radio show, Selective Styles. I think all good things stem from my show and it really gives me a great platform to showcase the music I love and the artists that I find. I also love DJ’ing and I always have – being able to share a feeling with others is a special thing.
You play everything from bass and broken beats to bossa nova, hip hop and every shade of house. Where do you find inspiration?
I do find a common thread between all these sounds and I love being able to find the best in music. From Kendrick Lamar to Atjazz and Azymuth, it’s all good music and I want to be able to showcase it together. Essentially music is a feeling and if it feels good and inspires me, then I love sharing it.
You’ve been involved in the South African electronic and club culture for over 20 years. What inspired you to pursue a career in music and dj-ing?
I never saw myself as doing anything different, from a young age I was just obsessed with music and how I could play with it and share it. All of that has led me down this road and to be honest I don’t know what I would be doing if it wasn’t for music.
Are you as much of a mover and shaker on the dance floor as you are behind the decks? And when you cut shapes, what’s your go-to winner move?
[Laughs] I’m not much of a mover but if I had a dance move it would be called ‘Tall guy shuffling with his hands in his pockets’.
You’ve enjoyed local and international success, playing Hong Kong, Dubai, the UK and Switzerland, and your compilations have been listed number 1 on the YFM Urban Top 20. What are some highlights so far?
Ah I’ve had so many highlights – such as owning my own music label and I love being able to release and represent music from the many talented South Africans I work with. A highlight is playing Jazz, Soul, Deep House and just “do my thing” on a national radio station every Sunday.
You’ve helped nurture many artists under label Soul Candi Records and your own label Stay True Sounds, plus you give exposure weekly to hidden talent on your radio show, Selective Styles. Do you have some swag advice for DJ hopefuls? And who’s an up and coming local music legend to listen out for?
I think the biggest thing I look out for is individuality. If you look at the artists I have on my music label, Stay True Sounds, and those artists I showcase on the Selective Styles radio show, their sound showcases that they are genuinely themselves. From Daev Martian to Sio and Fka Mash, these guys are creating original amazing music that is putting South African independent music on the global map.
What’s next on your radar?
2018 is coming at me fast. I just dropped a compilation on my label called ‘Stay True Beat Series vol.1’, which I compiled with Daev Martian and showcases local electronic/beat producers. I have a comp on House Afrika scheduled for March and I am finally dropping my hip hop and soul project titled ‘rkls’ with D-Malice on the 30th of March. I am also doing a little UK tour mid-March, so lots on the go but all very exciting!
Why did you decide to get involved with the PUMA Select Sessions?
Plenty of trainers! [Laughs] no really, I have been doing this for ages and haven’t worked with too many brands, as they usually look for commercialism and numbers, and that’s never been what I represent. It’s refreshing to have a brand like PUMA want to get involved in the independent music scene in SA and showcase what we are all about. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us