MVELO is gearing up to play at his year’s the annual Mieliepop Festival. We caught up with him to find out about his stance on the electronic music scene and what festival goers can expect from his set this year.
Originally from Durbz – what made you decide to move to Jo’burg? Is there a DJ scene in Durban at all?
I came to Jo’burg to study sound engineering about 9 years ago. I had totally given up on DJ'ing after facing difficulties of not getting to play anywhere in Durban. Then one day the big opportunity arose when I was working at a club, doing lighting and bartending. What I was doing just landed on the right ears I guess. The scene in Durban is amazing. The best part about it is that it is underrated – that is the one thing that makes it great and sustainable. I mean, if I hadn’t learnt what I have learnt musically back at Umlazi, which has brought me as far as playing at Mieliepop, I don't think I would be DJ'ing. Mental structure to a practical hustle.
What, according to you, is the one things that makes or breaks a DJ in SA?
There is nothing or anyone to blame in this matter except for yourself as the DJ. So to answer to that question, I think you as a DJ make and/or break yourself in SA and even abroad, if you get the opportunity to travel.
You are making waves as a DJ who isn’t scared to experiment and adapt – is this a characteristic you specifically aim for or is it just a vital part of the DJ game?
Ah, thanks for the “making waves part” hahaha. I spend about 10% listening to music that I play, mostly at home or when I’m not DJ'ing. The other 90% is spent on other genres or styles of music. I think that plays a huge role on how I play or how my style gets directed.
Is it safe to say you hate the “mainstream” element in the popular music of today? How do aim to change this?
Hahaha it is entirely not safe to say that. Music is just music. The reason why music is perceived as mainstream is because people easily catch on to it and they also have easy access to it. Underground producers wish that their unique sound catches the interest of more than just “one person”, but it never tends to happen that way and stays underground. Which is perfect. I don’t aim to change that in any way, but enjoy music as broadly as it comes. Mainstream is also cool.
What are your three festival must have’s?
Great company, positive vibes and water.
Be sure to catch MVELO on the Cool in the Pool Stage on Thursday 22 March at 14:00!