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31 Aug, 2017

AXE Finalist Q&A - Kutloano Nhlapo

  1. Name & Last name?
    Kutloano Nhlapo.
  2. How old are you?
    I am 29years old.
  3. Do you have a DJ alias or name you go by? Example DJ Ignite.
    Da Kruk (pronounced The Crook) which is an acronym: Da Kreative Real Unique Kutloano.
  4. Where is your home town? Which province are you from?
    I'm born and raised in a township called Daveyton in Ekurhuleni, the East of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province.
  5. Are you currently attending school or tertiary institute?
    Unfortunately, I don't have a tertiary qualification because I had to drop out of my second year of varsity which was a choice I made to ensure that I help my mother to put my little brother through tertiary. Which we did successfully and has gone to acquire Marketing Degree in record time.
  6. Were you self-taught or formally trained? If formally trained, where?
    I'm pretty much a self-taught computer DJ but a friend of mine (Mboza) whom at the time owned equipment (CDJs & Turntables) got me started. I obviously had a bigger vision and took it a notch further by putting mixes together while at tertiary and passing mixes out at RES and working my way into campus radio and now regional radio.
  7. How long have you been a DJ?
    I started DJing back in 2005 to pass time during holidays and to get me out of trouble and before I knew it I was making mixes for friends and started playing at bottles stores, taverns and birthday parties in and around my hood.
  8. What made you become a DJ?
    My father is all to blame. He was the guy with the biggest music collection amongst all his friends so I'd sit in on the nights where he was putting his friends on his latest music purchases from all over the world. So, he really was also a DJ by default by virtue of introducing people to music they'd never heard before. His collection varies from Acid Jazz, Nu Jazz, Afro Jazz, House Music, Backpack Hip Hip, Soul, Kwaito and Electronic music. His friends still call him the "MIS-FIT" of their generation.
  9. Tell us a bit about your passion for music and when did this start?
    I think just vivid memories of coming home after school and doing what my dad used to do for his friends for my friends, introducing them to new music and putting me in control of how music changes people's moods and energies. I mean I even remember doing a prepared English speech in my English class telling people I'm going to be a DJ when I grow up and the class laughed made me, which made me want to pursue this art even more.
  10. How do you feel about playing on the same stage with Black Coffee?
    Black Coffee's story is one that inspires me a lot because before being the musical pioneer of our time he was a young boy who against all odd (socio-economic and physical disadvantages) made it work by putting in the hours, by acknowledging that true craft takes time and re-inventing his dreams after reaching every little dream. So just being in those spaces and around those kind of people makes me look at my story and admire the strides I've made and what more the world still has to offer for VALID DREAMERS like myself.
  11. What is your favourite style of music?
    This is a very tough one coming from a multi-faceted music background but I really get excited when proudly South African artists try new things that don't confine them to genres, music styles and markets to pioneer fresh movements that take the world by storm.
  12. Where do you get your inspiration when creating new mixes?
    People and books are my biggest sources of inspirations. So being easily approachable and understanding the importance of sparking conversation with people from all different walks of life with point to understand instead of judging puts me in a better position to approach situations and environment with understanding and that's how I also approach my music making / mixes process.
  13. Who is your favourite local DJ?
    I think with what Black Coffee has done for the culture and strides that he has made it would be unfair to call anybody local but I think it would be between Culoe De Song and Black Coffee himself.
  14. What do you think of the local music industry?
    The local industry is one that is thriving and one of the most important to world music, especially dance. We're really making waves in places of the world that none of us could've ever imagined while offering a flavor that nobody copies or manipulate.
  15. Who is your favourite international DJ?
    I think how Calvin Harris keeps on shifting the cultural needle in amazing ways and has helped break the boundaries of how dance / electronic music was viewed and has made the world welcome the sound for what it is while exploring different vibes.
  16. What is your favourite dance tune at the moment?
    Da Kruk ft. Stones & Bones - Dream Afrika. This is more than just a song to me but a dream chant that tells African kids that everything is possible.
  17. What makes you stand out most from the crowd that puts you first for winning the competition?
    I think my understanding of success being a journey and not a destination makes me want to explore more within myself and what the world has to offer. So, my head I screwed on right, I acknowledge my short falls as lessons and nothing really scares me or makes me feel that I can't conquer anything.
  18. If you win, what are you looking forward to the most in Ibiza?
    I think obviously playing the hottest set that I've every played in my life and the kind of opportunity and experience that comes with being in the Dance Mecca of the world and the industry heavy leaders one will be exposed to and the various networking opportunities with promoters there to make sure that this will not be my last time in Ibiza.
  19. Future plans?
    Working harder on my quest of inspiring a new breed of "AFRICAN MUSIC TASTE MAKERS" that African dreams are also VALID. Hence the hashtag: #AFRICATOTHEWORLD

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