DJ Khathu talks competition and why he's his own favourite hip hop artist

IMG_6192We caught up with DJ Khathu Litshani, the 26 year old technical producer and mix DJ at Yfm 99.2.

How did you end up working at Yfm?

I studied radio and it’s always been my passion of mine. While I was in tertiary I interned at a community radio station in Tembisa called Voice of Tembisa,  shadowing the drive time DJ. After finishing school I worked at Radio Today, another community radio station based in Parktown for a year. As a kid I had always wished to work at Yfm because it was and still is the coolest station for a young black South African in Gauteng. I then applied for the Y-Academy, but I wasn’t successful the first, after my second time applying I struck gold and got in!…I’ve been there for almost 3 years now.

You’re not only a Technical Producer but also a DJ on Yfm’s ‘The Playas Club’ every Saturday night…How do you juggle all these titles?

Monday to Friday I’m a radio producer, then Saturday I’m a Hip Hop DJ. Being a mix DJ for a radio station requires a lot of discipline and dedication because you need to respect time, with radio there is no space for error and it also gets hectic at times because I’m literally at Yfm 6 days a week. At times I have to attend gigs but time slots clash with my slots on radio. I sometimes compromise and take gigs that are too far, distance wise, while I also have to be on radio but I manage and I love it! I love the adrenaline rush that comes with playing for so many people, being tweeted and making people dance.

Give us a brief explanation of the parties you host and how often you have them.

I host events called Turn You On which happen every two months in the East Rand. The event pulls a crowd average of about 2,000 people and it is the ultimate Hip Hop turn up in the East. I host them with my business partner and friend. The biggest project I’m working on this year is the second annual Cuff Yo Chick which boasts a crowd of over 5,000 people with prominent South African acts performing; it takes place in Kempton Park each year in December.

IMG_6210You recently released your debut single ‘Bad Habit’ with Malawian star Lomwe from Big Brother Amplified which is still currently being played on radio…How much work went into the track?

I was on vacation at Kruger Park when my business partner Lunga called me and told me there’s a Malawian rapper called Lomwe who is hella dope. A few hours later he sent me a voice note of Lomwe rapping and the next morning I drove back to Joburg and met up with him. He already had a beat so we sat and conceptualised the entire feel and how the song should sound. Once we were done, we got the track registered and released it on my birthday on 14 August, it has since been play listed in seven countries in Africa.

Who is your favourite South African Hip Hop artist right now?

It has to be myself man!  Like I feel like people are sleeping on Dj Khathu and I’m really tryna to say I’m nice with it to the world. Hear me out, I mean my song is too dope man!

 How do you plan your life? The industry is hectic and full of competition, do you ever sleep?

They say sleep is for the rich and I agree! Being in the Media industry one hardly sleeps, you’re always on the lookout for the next big song, the next big movement, dance and culture. There are so many people who wanna be DJs and they don’t know what it really entails, you gotta grow thick skin and competition is always there, you just gotta stay true to yourself and be humble. You have to work very hard, even harder than those who have already made it and never sell yourself short.

Would you encourage anyone seeking to follow your career footsteps to do so and why?IMG_6179-2

Yes I would encourage people to follow in my footsteps because I too saw someone do it and got inspired to do it better…Just know it’s not easy and anything that comes easily does not last. Work hard and believe in yourself.

Any big plans for DJ Khathu in the future?

I’m working on releasing another single before April next year and I’m also working on a tour of South Africa then the U.K. My main focus this year is to grow my band, push my single ‘Bad Habit’ and also drop a music video for it. I’m working on getting my own radio show; I also plan on venturing into television and just giving people good entertainment.

What inspires your hustle?

What inspires me is the hunger for growth, hunger for success, hunger for more. I believe that I am destined for great things in this world and I wanna achieve that. The person who inspires me is Shawn Carter, Jay-Z…From being just a rapper to being one of the highest paid entertainers of our time, that’s just amazing!

Written by: Bridgette Makhela

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