We have an ocean of talent in this country across an array of disciplines and industries. Every now and then, however, a child prodigy emerges; a gifted youngster who exhibits skills far beyond their age.
Tumelo Hlompho Merementsi (who calls himself TeeJay on stage) is eight years old and in Grade 2 at Laerskool Seodin in Kuruman.
“I became interested in deejaying when I was five years old, but only started being on the decks when I was six,” he says.
It is like the second coming of DJ Arch, but with the wires attached to the turntables and actual blends happening. TeeJay’s talent have his parents, Tlale and Mavino Merementsi, brimming with pride.
“We support his interest in becoming a DJ. He loves music and we don’t know how far it will take him. However, there’s no pressure at all on him – it’s about him all the way,” they say.
TeeJay’s parents own a restaurant and bar, which is where their son began exploring this creative activity.
“The place is called Biker’s Joint. I was five when I started chilling with the resident DJs during the day. I somehow persuaded Art Keith [Tumisang Sepalamelo] to teach me to play and surprised everyone when he allowed me to do that one afternoon. Even my parents were amazed,” says the youngster.
READ: How easy is it to become a DJ?
He loves amapiano, which is what he plays most often. His favourite artists in that genre are Mr JazziQ and Felo Le Tee. A few weeks ago, DJ Thuli P (Thulisile Phongolo) was exposed for simply playing premixed recordings. At #Trending, we believe that this sham is happening more often than we realise. TeeJay, however, assures us that he is actually putting in the work.
He has plans to release an album, but not quite yet, as he is humble enough to realise that he still has a lot of growing (and schoolwork) to do.
“Hopefully, I’ll release it sooner than expected. I’ve performed at local and national events, as well as kids’ events around the Northern Cape and North West. The biggest event was the Desperados Kuruman Charity Run,” he says.
Naturally, when he grows up, he wants to be a DJ and a pilot. What he enjoys most about playing to crowds is seeing their reactions when he cuts the base to a track and feeds it back as the beat drops.