10 Questions with South Africa-based DJ, Deepee
It’s Woman Crush Wednesday and this week South Africa-based Disc Jockey, Lipalesa Mpemi, better known as Deepee is our Top Pick for for the all-new ‘10 Questions with’ interview series. That being said, we had brief chat with Deepee about her experience with deejaying, being crowned the 1st Vodacom Superstar Female DJ, and some of her plans for the future. You can checkout the whole interview below:
+ Can you please tell us about your journey & how you began with music?
My journey with music has been nothing but amazing. I’ve always loved music but never did it cross my mind that I’ll end up in the music industry. I used to sing at church back at home (CRC Lesotho), later during the years I became a dancer. I entered a few dance competitions with my crew but didn’t end up winning any of them (I wouldn’t say it was unfortunate but it was rather a blessing in disguise). We all decided to [go] our separate ways and venture in to something new.
In 2013 there was a Vodacom Superstar competition with different categories, so I decided to take part in the DJ competition category. This was a challenge for me because I knew nothing about DJ’ng. Moving right along, I auditioned and made it to the next round and after that day I called up my friend (DJ Thizozo) and told him that its about to get nasty (lol). I practiced every single day till the night before the grand finale. The most anticipated day came, my nerves were killing me because I was competing amongst the most talented DJs who have been deejaying for a while. We performed and that night I was announced the winner and was crowned the 1st Vodacom Superstar Female DJ. Words can not even describe how I felt. I had all the support I needed from my Mother, friends and the rest of my family. These kind of [achievements] are the ones I note down under my “Prayers Answered”.
+ Is there an interesting story behind your name?
I wouldn’t necessarily say its an interesting story or rather if there is a story to tell. I was randomly given the name ” Deepee” by a friend of mine because I was supposedly the only one without a nickname. So Deepee is short for Lipalesa. I’ve been using it ever since.
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+ What does house music mean, to you?
House music to me is [indescribable]. It makes me feel whole. It allows one to interpret it according to their mood. It touches the soul. You lose yourself in it, the drums and all the melodies that come with it is just out of this world. House music is life and slowly brewed to perfection.
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+ Any thoughts on the current state of local music in a digital age?
Most artists are now taking the digital route and for me I think that’s the best way given the high rate of innovation when it comes to technology/digital world. It is literally taking over. No one has time to walk in stores to buy hard copies, the digital world has made it much more convenient to purchase at the comfort of your own home, or on the go. Locally I’d say more artists should consider taking the digital route.
+ Did you have any bitter experiences with not being taken seriously, as an artist? If yes, can you please share at least one?
I have experienced moments where I was taken seriously as an artist ! Mainly because I’m a female. This industry is male dominated so for us females its not easy to just break in. What I’ve learned is that one needs to have a tough skin to make it through and I’ve learnt that the hard way. I’m a very sensitive being so I’m still learning to show people that they can not be a boss of me and that I actually do mean business. I know that I’m good at what I do and I love it, passionately. So it hurts when people take that for granted.
+ Can you briefly paint a picture of the preparation method for your live sets?
When I have a gig coming up I sit down and prepare my playlist for that night. The songs I choose will depend on whether or not I play during the day or at night and if the event is a festival or others with a different theme. But I always make sure I have backup lists.
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+ Let’s talk social media and the interweb. How has social networking benefited your brand?
Social networking has actually expanded my brand internationally. From Lesotho to South Africa and now Botswana. It allows you to interact with different artists and share your different views and how you can actually grow as an individual and brand.
+ What inspires you on a daily basis?
I’m inspired by different things really. I’m inspired by people from all walks of life and what they have come to achieve. I’m inspired by my friends, family and people who don’t even know I exist. I was never really a fan of books but now I am. It feeds my mind with positive thoughts.
Reading allows you to broaden your mind and you get to realise that everything is actually possible. Surround yourself with people who achieve greatness. Inspire yourself with the books you read, the people you hang around with and the people you listen to. Inspiration is everywhere, all you need to do is find it.
+ What can we expect from you in the near future?
What to expect from me in the near future is more than what you are receiving now. I should believe the only thing that’s restricting me from achieving what I want to achieve in this industry is school. Nothing comes between me and my studies. So once that’s out of the way I will do what needs to be done. I will probably consider production and a whole lot more of travelling without looking over my shoulder.
+ Any advice for aspiring DJ’s?
Do what you need to do to get to where you want to be but be ware not to lose yourself in the process. Go to school, gain knowledge because no one will ever take that away from you. If you want to be in music, go learn music, the history of music, that way you will broaden your mind.
You can listen to Deepee‘s guest mix for Lesedi FM below: