YFM's DJ Supta on being the underdog - ‘I’m in no rush. My time is coming’

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YFM DJ Supta is set to release his 10-track album featuring some of Mzansi's biggest stars.
YFM DJ Supta is set to release his 10-track album featuring some of Mzansi's biggest stars.

He believes in the saying, ‘He who laughs last, laughs the loudest’. And one day, he will have the last laugh. His CV in the entertainment industry is as thick as a bible.

He has worked with music industry giants such as DJ Tira, Lady Zamar, and Thabsie to name a few, but believes his time is still coming. 

Producer and DJ Siyabulela Sithole (30), known to his fans as DJ Supta, is the host of The Alist on YFM every weekday from 9-12 alongside Tshepi Mabulana.

He co-produced multi-award-winning single Gugulethu with Prince Kaybee, worked with Afro Brothers featuring Ndlovukazi, and recently signed a deal with international label Universal Music.

He started his radio career 13 years ago, which meant he had time to work on building his brand.

“I started my radio career at Takalani Community Radio station back home in Aliwal North for two years before moving to Kofifi FM and Motheo FM in Bloemfontein." This was while he was doing his degree in Corporate Marketing and Communications Degree at the University of the Free State.

“I then went straight to work at YFM after graduating. I never got to work at an office doing what I studied. The studio is my office,” he says.

When he started at YFM, seven years ago, he was thrown into the graveyard shift before getting a weekend slot. 

“I was happy to be there because every day was a learning experience.” 

But he proved he was worthy to be on a weekday slot and he still hosts the Friday and Saturday 6 pm shows.

“Weekdays are more talk and I get to show my personality and intellect. But on weekends I get to be a DJ, play music, and make people party,” Supta says.

He is not leaving YFM anytime soon.

“There are so many opportunities still to explore at the station. I have just found my balance and I now understand my brand and my following."

He has been on the weekday 9am slot since April 2021 and is next gunning for a breakfast show or afternoon drive.

“My dream has always been to be on drive time shows and I know one day I will get there,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time. I’m in no rush because I know my time is coming. It's only a matter of time.”

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Same with his music producing career, he is not chasing fame. “I have worked with big names, but I know my big break is coming very soon.”

Supta believes he might be underrated now, but pacing himself was all intentional.

“I took my time developing my sound and I have never been in a rush to get to the top because it takes a lot more work and experience to remain there. I am underrated but I don’t pay too much attention to that because that is the best position to be because people don’t see you coming.”

His biggest challenge is not having his music played by opposing stations.

“People love the music, but based on the fact that I am on YFM, DJs from other stations will then refuse to play my music despite it being great.”

However, Supta says 2022 will be his year to shine with his upcoming album due for release early next year. “I have been producing music for six years but I decided to release a project only next year,” Supta says. 

“I took my time trying to master my sound, to figure out what genre I wanted to do and which direction to take, and find my identity in the music space. I was playing everything in the beginning of my career but found my niche which is Afro House and Afro Tech.”

His coming 10-track project will feature Aymos, Mthandazo Gatya, Zanda Zakuza, Donald, Nkosazana Daughter Thabsie, and Kasango.

Supta sees himself penetrating the international platform but wants to make a name for himself in South Africa first.

“There’s still so much that I need to do in the music scene and also in the community development space.” 

He is passionate about social development and loves giving. “It’s not just about music for me, but also about community development and inspiring people from where I come from.”

Every year he hosts the Supta's Homecoming event in Aliwal North where he was born and raised. All the proceeds from the concert go towards buying sanitary towels for schools in the area.

The youngest and only boy out of three other siblings, being raised by a principal father, and a teacher mom made him compassionate.

“There is a bigger purpose and longing of wanting to inspire. I have a social responsibility to my community. Aliwal North is a small town. People are discouraged and don’t believe there is hope. There is a lot of alcoholism, drug use, lack of development, and infrastructure. There are no facilities and extramural activities and there is a lot of crime. Being just a DJ from the area can help people change their lives.”

Growing up he thought he would be a professional soccer player, at university he played for the Bloemfontein Celtics development team. But music took over.

"I have no regrets about choosing music and from here onwards, it's straight to the top.”

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