Ryan The DJ

Interviewed by Deshni / Pics supplied by Ryan The Dj


RyanWhen did you develop an interest in music beyond appreciating it as a listener?

It all started in the late 90s when my elder brother received dj equipment as his 16th Birthday gift. I was curious as to what could be done on the decks that I would come home from school and fool around until I had an idea of what was going on. My brother was a huge driving force behind my interest to dj and once I acquired my first set of turntables, he made sure that I was able to take my interest to the next level. Besides djingv, my interest in music stems way back as both my dad and late mum were singers.

You’ve been one of SA’s favourite Djs for a good couple of years now, how do you keep your mixes fresh and relevant?

I always keep up to date with the current trends in the music scene locally and internationally. I constantly think of ways to up my game and add creativity to my sets so that I’m able to take listeners on a musical journey.

What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music that makes it interesting for you?

Staying relevant is a challenge, there are new djs popping up constantly and this is an industry where you can be forgotten very easily. I love challenges though, so upping my game and maintaining my brand is something that I enjoy doing. You get Djs and Producers, and then you get some who do both. Production, just like djing takes a lot of time, patience and creativity to perfect. The live element and hands on approach of djing is what interests me the most, I am very much the scratch dj/turntablist so naturally djing will take preference for me.

Any pearls of wisdom to our aspiring local DJs?

Practice your craft, be unique and don’t replicate what you hear from another dj. As much as he/she may inspire you, it’s important that you create your own sound that people will identify you with. Don’t limit yourself to one genre; being an open format dj may help you out in the long run. If this is something you really want to do, then take yourself seriously and market your brand. Lastly, pay your dues as a dj and don’t rush to the finish line if you are just getting started.

“The key to your success is through practice, hard work, determination and patience.”

What is it like being a part of the radio Dj scene and performing live on TV?

It’s a great platform to showcase my skills and passion for what I do, and it
brings me great pleasure knowing that I am able to connect with such a huge audience every time that I am on.

Apart from Djing, what are your other interests?

I consider myself an undercover techno geek because I love technology, gadgets and everything that comes with it. I’m also a bit of a gamer as well as a huge TV Series junkie with Suits, Breaking Bad and Dexter being some of my favourite shows that I have watched.

What or whom would you say is your musical influences?

My musical influences are some of the DJ’s (local and international) who I’ve looked up to in the industry for some time and they are: Ready D, Vice, AM, Jazzy Jeff, Qbert, Craze, Flipside, A-Trak amongst many others.

RyanIf you could collaborate with any artist / Dj living or dead, who would it be?

The late DJ AM without a doubt.  He was way ahead of his time in terms of Djing with skills that were second to none. I still listen to some of his mixes and draw inspiration from them.

Who are your top 5 local artists at the moment?

Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Da L.E.S, Mi Casa, Goldfish

Of all the places / concerts you have toured, which can you say has been the highlight of your career?

I’ve been blessed enough to have played in many different places in and out of S.A but the highlight of my career was most definitely being a part of the 5fm Ultimix CD launch tour in 2012 and 2013. During this tour, I travelled with and Dj’d alongside the likes of Fresh, Euphonik, Dino Bravo, Kent, C-Live, Fix as well as the rest of the 5fm crew. We played at various cities in S.A including Bloemfontien, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Having the opportunity to experience these cities with great and well respected djs in the industry was a dream come true.

We got to ask, what would your dream car be?

I have so many to mention haha! Currently I have my eyes on the Golf 7 R and the new BMW M3 but since I love the old school so much, a pimped out 64 Chevy Impala would be a dream to own.

How can our readers get hold of your beats?

Check out http://www.soundcloud.com/ryanthedj for some of my mixes and then http://www.ryanthedj.com for links to all my social network profiles as well as booking info.

It was a pleasure meeting you at A State of Stance SA earlier this year and for the opportunity to interview you, any shout outs or special thanks?

The pleasure is all mine, it was an honour being a part of such a cool event and I would like to thank everyone out at Gas Magazine / A State of Stance! Till the next one!

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