Interview: Dj Pearl
When did you discover that you wanted to be a Dj?
2005 was when the idea came about. I used to go out a lot and as a result got exposed more to the music culture in a broader sense. I was already a big music lover and the idea of playing music and sharing it with other people was quite a fascination for me. Music to me has always been more than just music. It was and still is a very powerful & influential force. It is memories, it is emotions, it is healing... it's powerful! Music is life.
How was your first experience playing for a crowd?
My first experience was nerve wrecking! Considering how big the event was, I was so scared but excited at the same time. I was literally shaking when I played my first song but ended up enjoying myself so much. It was a beautiful experience. One I'll forever be grateful for considering it was one of the biggest events to ever take place in my hometime.
How do people react when they see you djing?
They dance! Lol... they turn heads to see who's the Dj playing, they walk over to give high fives & fist pumps. The response is so fulfilling. Makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing.
Are male djs intimidated by your skills?
This question is tricky. I don't even pay attention to them. To my surprise, some would come over and give me "props" or say "o shapa number". I think I've noticed one who might have shown signs of intimidation.
You're a Mother and a married Woman, how do you find time for djing at gigs and taking care of your family?
It's not easy at all. I'm still trying to find some sort of balance in all this. Thank God for my mother who holds it down for me looking after my babies while I'm busy making people dance. She's a true blessing.
What can people expect from your sets?
I don't believe in restricting myself to only one "style" of music. I am a house Dj. But I refuse to stick only to "deep house" or "Afro tech" alone. I play all sorts of house music. Mostly soulful house, deep house and house classics. My sets always have that "element of surprise". Music has the power to take one back to a moment that may have taken place years ago. It brings back memories. I will sure get you on your feet!
How can other women who want to do what you are doing start?
It took me so long to start. I guess it wasn't the right time yet. But one thing I can say is, DO IT! If you are serious about it, just do it! Don't listen to people trying to put negative thoughts in your head saying it's a "male thing". Ladies you can do whatever you want as long as you believe in yourself! You need to believe in yourself and you have to be willing to put in the work, be willing to put in the hours. If the love and dedication is there, you're well on your way. Pay someone to teach you, go to Dj'ing school if you have to. Always be open to learning and growing because this requires a lot of practice. And lastly, stay focused.
What are your plans for the future?
For now, I plan on getting better and better at this. I refuse to be stagnant and restrict myself to only playing locally. I will be branching out of my hometown soon. I need to get my mixtape out there, I have events I want to host, putting a lot of focus on Female Djs. I just want to keep growing! Gotta keep the ball rolling...
You were born in Sharpeville, what would the township look like if you were President?
Sharpeville has played a big part in fighting for human rights and liberation during the struggle. Sharpeville would be a place that celebrates its rich history and would have the recognition it deserves.! The youth would be empowered with great ambitions.
I would engage more youth activities and bring more social educational activities for the youth and elders so unity is learnt from a young age. With infrastructure I would make sure the youth participate in the building and the maintenance of their environment to avoid social ills and negligence of water and community needs in Sharpeville.
Your top 10 favourite tracks right now?
(1) Don Esquire- Jullian Gomes & Atjazz
(2) Blow my mind - George Lesley ft. Earl W. Green
(3) Bondade E Maldade - Cesária Évora (Yoruba Soul Mix - Osunlade)
(4) Perfectly Lovers - Chymamusiq ft. P Tempo
(5) El Contraste - Shigeru Tanabu (Atjazz Remix)
(6) Shingirira - Skaiva ft. Joy
(7) Love Glow - Luka ft. Alison Crockett
(8) Mind Stains - Spinworx
(9) Hallelujah Anyway - Candi Staton (Larse Vocal)
(10) Musica Feliz - Rodamaal & Nicinha