The highly-contested Favourite DJ category always packs a punch at the DStvMVCAs! This year will be no different, as the list of nominees marks a high-powered assembly of the country’s most talked-about DJs.
It also comes as no surprise that, in addition to their blockbuster street anthems and sprawling catalogues, every nominated DJ has a thriving international career. They embody the essence of “If Mzansi to the world was a group of DJs”. What’s more, they are all lauded for their beautiful techniques on the decks. So, while you vote for your favourite turntable dab-hands, we’ve decided to define the rare vibe each of their set brings!
She wasn’t recently booked to rock out at Coachella for no good reason. Ever since DBN GOGO skyrocketed into the scene at the height of the previous decade, she has redefined the amapiano sonic scape. Not only has she mastered the art of blending amapiano, pure Afro-House and Kwaito seamlessly, but she also has the rare gift of making unreleased music trend through her sets. As for the sound of her sets? DBN GOGO usually plays towards the end of the night because her job is to close it off with a banger.
We are now past the question of the real genesis of amapiano, which went on for a while after De Mthuda dropped the anthem ‘Shesha’, that would cast a massive spotlight on an emerging sound. The momentum has been sustained, what with the release of a bevvy of bangers since then. Think ‘John Wick’, think 'Liyoshona', think ‘Abekho Ready’. You will certainly want to think of ‘Jola’, the lush collaborative offering that featured Sino Msolo’s honeyed vocals. The song would go on to accumulate one of the longest runs on the Channel O Top 30 chart, proving that De Mthuda’s ability to make a stable bop remains undefeated. For his sets? You are getting his massive bangers blasting up the speakers back to back.
MAJOR LEAGUE DJz
The twin duo has had one of the most inspiring musical reinventions in recent history. Having appeared on the radar due to their Hip Hop records and cultural associations, their entry into the amapiano soundscape could have easily fallen through the cracks. Instead, they are taking their famous energy to London, where they are hot property. Their impact was later leveraged into the popular Balcony Mix Live XPERIENCE. All of that comes on top of their hit-filled discography and expertise in curating urban lifestyle events. Their sets are known for being thorough amapiano experiences that are often packed with lesser-known gems to be discovered.
DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small have been at the crest of the amapiano wave for so long that they have earned themselves the title of being kings within the genre and its solid culture. Also known as the ‘Scorpion Kings’ thanks to a series of records released under the same moniker, the dynamic duo has become synonymous with having the streets in a chokehold. When not dropping their own chart-toppers, you know they still boast production credits on whatever song is number one. Their sets? Epic and - as house music fans would say - private school.
Think of Shimza as an architect. He builds lasting experiences that go on to redefine cultures and soundscapes. You know this is true because the Lockdown Houseparty on Channel O gave the world the direction it needed on how to deliver virtual parties. Think of UR, the One Man Show, and many more. At the centre of these experience are his Deep House sessions, which often fuse Techno House, Afro House and electro to create an electrifying experience. His sets are considered to have remained true to the ethos of “expensive music”, bucking the trends in order to focus on sonic deep dives.
Who will take top honours on the big night? Well, that’s up to you. Voting closes on 11 June, so you still have time to get your votes in. You can do that right here.