Real name Khetsiwe Morgan, DJ Doowap chats to us about quitting athletics, her childhood, finding her passion for music and her upcoming performance at the MTN Bushfire Festival. By Kwanele Mathebula
Images: DJ Doowap IG
I grew up in Johannesburg and relocated to Canada when I was 15 years old. This was to attend a sports school and pursue a career as an athlete. I was the South African springboard diving champion for a few years, competed in international Grand Prix events and had dreams of going to the Olympics. I also spent four years in the UK where I did intense training as an athlete before moving back to South Africa in 2012. My sister says I spent my childhood being an overachiever; I’ve always aimed for gold in everything I did.
I gained interest in the music industry through my social life in the UK. During my stay, I started going out more, frequenting underground clubs. This resulted in me taking an interest in bass-driven sounds and music such as jungle, drum n bass and garage. I dropped out of diving and started studying sound engineering in London. Following my return to South Africa, I took up another sound engineering course at The Academy of Sound Engineering. I also did a course at DJ4Life so I could earn extra cash by being a DJ. At my first gig at Roxy’s in Melville, I was scouted by YFM. The station liked the music I was playing and offered me a show.
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My music is inspired by the sounds found in the UK and South Africa. The UK inspires the electronic bass side while the fearless energy of the youth in South Africa inspires everything else. South Africa is so rich with wisdom that inspiration continuously surrounds us; we just have to listen.
The discovery of self through acquiring knowledge: ?Ngugi wa Thiong’o – Decolonization of the mind – let us create from our own soil – Colonization has made us feel that the knowledge comes from outside and not at home – We must be careful with the vocabulary that defines us…to not internalise the negativity ? Frantz Fanon – Peau Noire Masques Blancs (Black Skin White Mask) – Dis- alienation of blacks and whites ?? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture. ?? @misslovecraft
I enjoy being active and adventurous. I love hiking, running, swimming and dancing. In fact, I just got back from running the Berlin half marathon (21km) with NIKE.
I was born in Mbabane, Swaziland, and am excited to return to my roots for the MTN Bushfire Festival. My brother informed me that I’d be performing at the festival. At first, I didn’t want to get excited. But, when my agent confirmed the news, the excitement kicked in! This edition is going to be extra special as I have never performed in Swaziland.
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Fans can expect an amazing show. I have added a new dimension to my performance – dance. I found two incredible dancers to perform throughout my set. We have captivating choreography that we’ve been working tirelessly on to perfect. I will also be adding awesome visuals to ensure that the audience gets submersed into the sonic journey I am creating.
This year, I plan to broaden my work as a DJ. I am learning to be multi-dimensional. So, you can expect the unexpected. I will be performing at a few international gigs, and running some half marathons.
The MTN Bushfire Festival takes place from 25-27 May 2018 in Swaziland. For more details, click here.