A Quick Interview with Vaal-based Disc Jockey, Jabba The Deejay
Sole Essential’s Vaal Insider is a multimedia presentation of the Vaal Region’s entertainment & pop culture. We highlight local tastemakers, music producers, recording artists, nightlife destinations and everything in between.
In this first instalment of the interview series, we had a quick chat with afro house disc jockey, Jabba The Deejay to ask him a few questions about why he became a DJ, his undying love for the house music genre and life in the Vaal Region.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in the music & entertainment industry?
Jabulane Mangezi, better known as Jabba The DeeJay, is a 20-something year old disc jockey based in a small township called ‘Bophelong’. Besides being a solo act, I am also part of an infamous and fast-rising music, media and entertainment collective known as ‘BlaQsnaps Media”.
I’ve always wanted to work in the music and entertainment industry but never really thought that I’d become a professional DJ. That’s mainly because (before the year 2010) I never really saw it as a viable option.
Nevertheless, I first fell in love with house music back in 2001 when I heard DJ Fresh’s “House Flava 4”. I can remember (quite vividly) that it was my uncle who brought that particular album to my attention.
Anyways, this one day I decided to steal it from his room so I can go play it at a popular school bash. It was on that very same day – when I saw people dancing to my music selection – that I decided to start toying around with the idea of becoming a DJ and, as the popular saying goes; ‘the rest is history’.
To paint a clearer picture though, I have since then, been flexing and showcasing my DJ skills at various entertainment hot spots and private house parties alongside some of my fellow cohorts including Sole Essential, V.Underground, Mudyaroots, and Petjoza01, to name but a few.
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I have also been a resident DJ at some very notable nightlife destinations in the Vaal Region – this includes places like Lefelong Café, Diwetse Chisanyama, and Ebuhleni Devine Foods, among others.
From your perspective, what makes your style (on the decks) unique?
Well, to be quite honest, I’ve never really perceived the relationship between myself & the crowd as a battle. What I mean by this is that you’ll often hear some deejays talk about how important it is to introduce people to a selection of new sounds.
Which is very true to a certain extent, however, I also think that it is equally important to entertain people and ensure that they do have a good time – and that is exactly what I do. I am an entertainer, first & foremost, I am not “an educator”.
I simply work together with the crowd to establish a connection so deep that it naturally transforms into strong bonds and pleasant memories. Now, if that doesn’t make my style unique, I don’t know what does.
Can you list three songs on your personal playlist that do not fall under the house music genre?
- FKJ & Masego – Tadow
- Ours Samplus x GrandHuit – Downtown
- Fat Freddy’s Drop Flashback (Live at Village Underground)
What is the hardest thing about being a deejay in the Vaal Region?
I would say that not getting many bookings because you are not friends and/or too familiar with some popular deejays and/or promoters, is a big challenge.
Basically, you first need to organize your own events in the Vaal, and then invite these ‘more established’ local deejays to come play. This way, they can also “return the favour” by booking you to play at their own gigs in the region.
What is the best advice you have ever received for overcoming challenges?
“Put your head down and work hard. Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard work and not giving up.”
What are the two most valuable lessons you’ve learned about the DJ profession?
- Never stop learning, because it gives you courage.
- The more knowledgeable you are, the more comfortable you feel.
Name one female DJ that you think we should know about and the reason why.
Now that is a tough one, but I would definitely mention ‘Chainz’. She is an amazingly talented Hip Hop DJ and her style of playing is (arguably) very unique, quite simple and she definitely knows how to read the crowd. Not to mention, she is also very beautiful & fairly stylish [hope my lady doesn’t see this last comment – hahaha].
What is your ultimate goal for the future?
Firstly, I would love to see myself playing at some notable music festival abroad, alongside industry heavyweights like Black Coffee, and Bodhi Satva, etc. Secondly, I am also planning to start making my own music – which I will release through my company.