25-year-old Josi Chave is a man on a mission. In a country where every second person wants to be a DJ it takes something really special for someone to rise above the riffraff and be noticed. Josi seems to have found the path that leads right to the top. His secret seems to be to not put all his eggs in one basket. In addition to being a DJ he also owns the record label Blacknoize Records and co-hosts the popular show The Warehouse with fellow Yfm DJs Ankle Tap and Just Mo. Josi explains that “It’s a Dance show for all the born again House heads every Saturday at 3pm.”
Oskido, Black Coffee, DJ Gregory and Dead Mau5 are just some of the DJs that keep him inspired. The trouble began back in 2000 when he was 14 years old. He started playing at House parties. In no time he was doing clubs and corporate events. Fast forward to 2011. This year sees the release of his latest compilation Black Frequency. Die-hard SA music fans will be pleased to know that this compilation is free of international interference. All the tracks are locally produced. Gone are the days when we relied on folks way overseas to get our parties started. It is evident from the first track that Josi’s style has been enriched by an expansive array of musical genres. Should you see Josi cruising along the high way chances are he won’t be bopping his head to a House song. He lists Hip Hop, Kwaito and Reggae as some of his favourite genres.
Josi sheds some light on some challenges and misconceptions that plague DJs; he also gives some advice to all aspiring DJs that could help you avoid some major music industry potholes.
- What does releasing a compilation do for a DJ?
A CD can get to places a DJ doesn’t even know about, thus exposing your brand to people and places you never imagined existed. This does mean, however, that you will have to go to these places for CD launches week in week out. So if you do release a compilation be prepared to travel a lot.
I started producing before I started mixing. Producing beats from my small computer introduced me into mixing. Production played a big role in my career because the music I made in studio got me a lot of DJ gigs. So the two go hand in hand unless you’re solely a full-time producer.
The biggest challenge was making an income from what started as a hobby that I loved doing everyday after school – and the transition of turning a hobby into a career and realize that it is a job
- Misconceptions about being a DJ
Wow, every DJ is able to write a novel just from this question. For me it’s guys who want to be DJs because it looks easy and their friend does it too, hence they cut and paste other people’s styles and do a bad job at it. Rather follow your heart and let everything that follows be a bi-product of your work.
- What have you learnt now that you wish someone had warned you about when you were starting out?
I wish I had been warned about the fact that you have to travel a lot. Too often DJs are faced with the challenge of having to compromise family life for their career.
- Top 5 tips you would give to someone who wants to be a DJ?
5. Be open minded about music.
4. Accept criticism.
3. Always practice.
2. Find your own style that works for you.
1. Enjoy it and make the crowd enjoy your set.
Top 3 favourite songs of all time?
Robin S – Show me Love
Boom Shaka – Lerato
Lil’wayne – I’m me