Lutendo Kungoane, best known as DJ Sliqe, talks about his new album and navigating the music scene.
‘Yinja Yam uSliqe’ I’m sure you’ve heard that line once before in a hip-hop track? Well, he’s that guy. Award-winning producer and Hip-Hop DJ Sliqe grew up in the southern side of Joburg and found himself deejaying for a high school social and has never looked back.
We get to know Sliqe below:
Why the name Sliqe?
Funny, it started in high school days while there was till Mxit. I called myself Sliqe in the chatroom and it kind of stuck.
How did you get on the decks?
In high school, at Rand Private School, we tried organising the first social so we had to organise everything to a T. We learnt how to play using virtual DJ and I think it manifested from there. I always lived music and had all the latest hip-hop songs. I was playing as a resident DJ in Melville in 2012 while studying at the University of Johannesburg. I changed courses three times because I got over things easily but ended up sticking with logistics but quit in second year to take up music.
How did producing come about?
I started learning how to produce while making my first song Do like I do. I caught on real quick. I met Psyfo through DJ Capital who was actually related to a friend of mine in high school and he kind of opened doors for me. The stars aligned, I guess. When Do like I do was released in 2014 I decided to focus on my music. But my logistics came into play because I have a transporting business.
InjaYam Vol. 1 did really well. How was the feeling of success?
To be quite honest, I don’t dwell much on feelings even when I won the SAMA, I don’t know how I felt. I never know when someone asks. It’s a pat on the back for doing well, I guess, but it’s for doing well in what I’m supposed to be doing. For me, winning awards and being nominated just means people are listening to my stuff. Also, when On It went gold, it made me realise I’m doing something right and I should appreciate the people.
How do you choose your features?
I have to imagine it. If I’m working on a beat and I hear a few rhymes in my head, then I think of who will execute that feeling I want on that track. I’ll decide and talent-match with whom I hear in that track but I must say, the talent pool is very small.
Let’s talk about your new album Navy Black?
Navy Black is a darker shade of black and it makes sense in terms of the message I’m trying to put out with this album. This album has a lot of stories that black people have gone through and a lot of blacks are still suffering in South Africa, you know. It’s like an empathy album putting you in someone else’s shoes and trying to encourage and motivate but there are some fun songs. I don’t think we push black consciousness enough, so this album is a step in the right direction.
DJ Sliqe’s Navy Black is out now on digital platforms.