5 Minutes with DJ Kenzhero

Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied

You’re in Brazil right now, what’s happening there?

I am in Sao Paulo to play at a Black culture festival called Feira Prete and to strengthen my network, research and of course crate digg. I’d like to take my experience here to help shape Obrigado which is a lifestyle, culture and traveling brand I run with my Partners at MNM Marketing Tha_Muzik and Tebogo Moalusi.

What inspired Obrigado?

Obrigado is a lifestyle culture sharing brand based on music art fashion food of Africa and Latin America with South Africa and Brazil as the gateway. We celebrate our 3rd birthday at Constitution Hill on Saturday 2 December come through!

You seem to travel to the Latin region a lot, tell us about that and your love of their music?

The love for Latin music has been there from the get go. Brazilian Jazz, Bossa Nova having been sampled a lot in hip hop got me into it. In recent years I have traveled to Brazil and Argentina quite a few times; I do it to research and learn about the genre and the culture I am actively involved in pushing and exposing.

Have you been shopping for records in Sao Paulo?

Yes of course it has always been a lifelong goal, but now I have been doing it for a bit and it hasn’t worn off. It’s a crate diggers heaven.

When did you start collecting vinyl records? Why are they important to you and how many do you own?

I started seriously collecting around 1999 but prior to that I was buying for my pleasure at flea markets and bookshops. Only when I started DJing in 1999 did I start taking it seriously.

Okay, so your  favourite records right now are?

Jorge Ben’s A Tabua de Esmeralda, Marcos Valle’s Estelar and Djavan are always in the background at home...


Do you get a chance to play your records?

Some no, I always had a three way of looking at buying records. 1. When I used to produce music I bought vinyl to sample when beat making. 2. I bought to collect, if I find hard to find stuff I buy it, some to play for my own pleasure. 3. To play to an audience.

When was the last time you played a vinyl gig?

Geez it was two years ago at a party called Wax On.


What made you get involved with The Orbit Vinyl Sessions on Saturday at The Orbit in Braamfontein, Johannesburg?

I've had numerous talks with Kevin Naidoo (the owner of the Orbit) about this. I was just trying to find the right time and reason to do it. I like his stance, I like how he views the medium and how he wants to open live jazz minded audiences to new experience which I feel the jazz genre needs... Zara Julius is a vinyl specialist and I have heard good reviews. Boeta Gee and I have known each other from when I lived in Cape Town in the early 2000s and he’s a heavy collector and a lover of music. So us three playing will be special. If we have a full house there's no way we won't bring our A game

What can we expect from your set?

 To have fun.

Do you think a vinyl revival is happening globally? Why is one happening and why not?

Yeah it is happening globally, but some countries never stopped, I have been to a few countries in Europe like Sweden, Germany, France, Amsterdam and they haven’t stopped so has some parts of the states like New York where vinyl parties had a fair share of the entertainment market. Brazil is pretty much one of them too, it's normal here to play vinyl and it maybe one of the few countries in the world with a big number of record shops. In SA, sadly the vinyl printing machines were destroyed to make space for the CD market.

What else is lined up for Kenzhero in 2017? 

AFROPUNK is definitely a big one to look out for. I'm playing there 31st December. I'm going to Dubai with Kaya travels two days after I come back from Brazil as I have a 2pm show in the Saturday Sound Supreme segment. I am also looking forward to POP Bottles in Mauritius on the 17th of December. Obrigado happens in Cape Town on the 29th of December in Mauritius. Bradley Williams AKA DJ Bionic and I have opened a basement bar called Untitled on Reserve Street in Braamfontein and we are currently expanding the upstairs bar and eatery space - look out for that!


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