Lutendo Kungoane, also known as Dj Sliqe, made history when he became the first hip-hop DJ to win a South African Music Award (SAMA). We speak to him about his love for DJing.
Please tell us about your love for Djing.Djing always appeared cool to me while growing up. I used to watch a lot of YouTube clips of house DJs like DJ Kent, Shimza etc. I played around with a mixing program called Virtual DJ and became the best bedroom DJ. I went to a high school called Rand Private Schools, and because it was fairly new at the time, they didn't have much social culture like other high schools. We begged for a social and got what we wanted as long as we were actively involved in it. We managed to get what we needed with a minimal budget in terms of production, but fell short in terms of booking a big name DJ. So my friends and I decided to DJ ourselves.
When did you pursue it as a career?One of my housemates was also a bedroom DJ like myself. After endless nights of partying, we thought we could do better than the residents who played every night at bars. We approached management during the week and asked for a job to be their residents. They liked our mixes and that was that. We played three days a week from 6pm until 2am non-stop.
How has the journey been so far?
My growth has been very organic. The next step I took was creating my own events culture. I started an event called VSS (Very Special Saturdays) with a friend of mine Eskay, which was hosted at Liquid Chefs in Rosebank every Saturday. We kept it going for about 2/3 years. It was a fast-growing movement and this is where I met most of the people I now know in the industry. When this hit the ceiling in terms of my brand needing more growth I then ventured into making music, creating my first hit single “Do Like I Do”.
You were the first hip-hop DJ to win a SAMA, how did that make you feel and what does it mean for your career?
It simply means that DJs are now accepted as artists. I feel DJs lend a helping hand to push the industry and culture forward. For me, it’s a validation solidifying my mark in the game. At 24, I’m still young and yet I’ve achieved a lot in the short 4/5 years of my journey. It will be easier now to achieve my dream collaborations and do what I really want in terms of expressing it through the music I release in the near future. I feel as though our culture is still obsessed with creating hits – let’s take it back to the music and evoke different emotions in people. With the SAMA, I feel I have the power to influence and lend a hand to pushing the industry forward.
Who have you worked with?
To date I have released 4 singles with Kwesta, Flabba, Riky Rick, L Tido, Nadia Nakai, Reason, Kwesta WTF, JR and Okmalumkoolkat and Thaiwanda.
Who would you like to work with?
I look up to hip-hop giants AKA and Casper Nyovest. I’d also like to work with Tressor – his talent is unbelievable. Internationally, I’d love to work with Kanye West and Drake. I know I’d be crippled from joy but I would definitely mix either with local acts. The world is an oyster, they looking at us now so I think for everybody it is now possible.
What are you currently working on now?
I have an upcoming album, which will be dropping around September. I have been blessed to work with an array of artists from Shekinah, Ma E, Yanga, Shane Eagle, Tweezy and so much more. I can’t give much away but the next single off the album will be with Yanga, and Jr.