Spin Doctorby Andy Davis / 23.11.2009
If God is a DJ, Euphonik is one of his high priests. A high priest of groove. Call it what you want, mid-tempo, deep, township groove, afro house – whatever. What is undisputed is that South African electronic dance music has got something fresh to offer the world. And the world is responding by shaking their asses on the dancefloor and turning our DJs into global superstars. And that’s where Euphonik comes in. Known as Themba Mbongeni Nkosi to the people at Home Affairs, and his mama, Euphonik has been setting dancefloors ablaze and making big African butts shake to his rhythm since he was in his teens. More than just a DJ, Euphonik also hosts The House of House radio show, Sunday nights on 5FM and he writes, produces and arranges his own tracks too. Hailing from big 5 country, Mpumalanga, he made the jump to the big smoke of Jozi in stages, first Likazi, then Daveyton and finally Benoni. Euphonik also cuts a lonely figure on the SA dance music scene as a role model. He discloses his negative HIV status loud and proud on his website. More than that, DJ Euphonik is a god damn ambassador for peace, love and racial integration. “The key thing about the music I play is that it crosses over all racial borders. I fuse a lot of hip hop into my sets but house music is my preferred choice.”
Euphonik has cross over appeal. He can jump from a club gig in Sandton to a street party in Soweto without changing his set list. Moja! And that’s a clear sign that we’re pulling together.
Where were you born?
I’m born in Mpumalanga, raised in Benoni and live in Jo’burg.
Why do you live in Jozi?
I love the hustle that everyone one in this city has. From the street sweeper to the taxi driver and the businessman, everyone is constantly on the hustle.
How does the city influence your work?
My surroundings are very diverse and dynamic. Except for the usual traffic there’s never a case of same shit dfferent day in the Burg.
What was your first vinyl record?
It was Boris Dulgish – Boom, on Peppermint Jam records. Myself and a friend of mine, Ninja, paid half/half for it from our pocket money back in 1998, back them I would have never imagined things being this massive for me.
Tell us about the Mzanzi house scene
It’s the best. The club culture seems to be dying but people still want to party and dance and be social so you find the majority of people hanging out at a Newscafe, Cappello’s or at home but the music is always cutting edge and DJ’s in Jozi are particular about defining their style of music. We consume more genres of house music than most cities in the world could imagine.
What is the sound of here?
What gets the people up? That’s what I love about this place, music follows trends it’s never constant but things always go full circle.
Who are your music gurus?
Firstly the people that listen to and buy house music. Overseas house music isn’t as mainstream as it is here. Fresh, Vinny, Christos, Oskido and particularly Greg Maloka I would blame all these guys for this thing we love and cherish called House. Togther they made this thing big.
What are the every day challenges you have to deal with?
I do a lot more than just DJ. I have to stress about my radio show on 5FM, CD’s, albums and artists for my record label Soulcandi, gigs, staff and travelling the country for Euphonik Productions. Then I’m building and nurturing a baby called F.eU which is a collabo for various things between myself and DJ Fresh. Then you got to save some time and energy for the family, who I love and cherish.
Which places, spaces and landmarks inspire you?
Sandton, the wealthiest part of Jozi. Alexandra, the poorest and both these places are literally a street apart from each other. Benoni outshines them all though! That’s my hometown.
Find out more about Euphonik and the other Nike IAM1 Revolutionaries here.