For someone who grew up around DJs, Keenan Williams has made his own mark in Cape Town’s urban music scene. Not only as a clinical, versatile DJ with a knack for rocking dancefloors, the man better known as DJ Waggy is also a promoter, helping throw some of Cape Town’s favourite events like Sizzled and Private Affair.
As a well known social influencer, his knowledge of Cape Town’s club culture has brought him to the upper echelon of the urban scene, and he can frequently be found spinning tunes at popular Cape Town spots like Kennedy’s and Chilli Bar, as well as at the Cruel Section events of which he is a resident DJ for.
After the Private Affair NYE party, we caught up with the “Wagster” to find out more about his journey into the clubbing industry.
What is your experience within the music industry?
I have been around for about six years doing my own events and find it to be something I really have a passion for, and see myself only getting better at it after every experience encountered. It’s a tough game out there but if you put 110% into what you do, you can achieve great heights.
What is your earliest memory of DJing?
My earliest memory of DJing was when my Uncle Paul (Van Reenen) took me to a club in the ‘90s called Arena, and he basically let me press play at one of the matinees. Just seeing the crowd's reaction at the time was magical! When I hit my teens, I played around with DJ software and became a Virtual DJ addict. I started messing around and landed a few gigs at house parties travelling around with a PC. I also did weddings with a friend of mine at the age of 16, and my favourite genre was ‘90s dance tracks.
What are some of the clubs and DJs that influenced you when you started DJing?
My influences growing up were the Grandmaster Ready D, while he was a part of the iconic hip hop group Prophets of Da City, and my Uncle Paul Van Reenen, who still gives me good advice up until today. Jazzy Jeff has been and still is one of the favourites, as well as DJ Angelo from the UK, who is also somebody I look up to. Some of the clubs that had on influence on me are Dockside, Deluxe, Galaxy and the Chilli Bar.
What are some of your favourite clubs in Cape Town, and why?
At the moment I don’t have a favourite club, but as an establishment, the Chilli Bar in Southfield is right up there. I love the vibe and the people, and the food is amazing! I am more of an event attendee, so instead of doing normal club nights, I support the growing event scene at a few venues around Cape Town. My favourite parties include LoveAll, for the diversity of house and hip hop, Rhythm at Nomad, for when I need my dose of house music, and Cruel Section events for a proper turnup.
You have helped build two of Cape Town’s best urban lifestyle events. What makes a successful party in your opinion?
Building a successful brand is determined by creating an experience in your own special way, to make sure you stand out and not just fall into the same category as other events. It takes weeks or even months of brainstorming, and lots of in-depth planning. You also need to be ready to work longer hours than usual and build a great network for yourself. Networking and relationships are very important in the events industry in my opinion. Also, your brand itself is the most important part—it needs to speak for itself and its reputation. But not forgetting the biggest factor being your patrons, who are there to have an amazing experience, and without them you basically have nothing.
Who are your favourite DJs in Cape Town at the moment?
My favourite DJs at the moment, this could take all day but here is my list
-Beatbangerz (Ready D, Azuhl & E-20) no explanation needed.
-Bryan Travis for his versatility.
-Dunn Kidda because he always destroys dancefloors.
-Grimehouse because I’ve never seen anyone use a mixer the way he does.
-DJ Codax because he literally is the champ.
-DJ Willy because I witnessed him play huge hip hop sets on CDJ 100s years back—like no other.
-Shane Langdon because he is highly underrated but can make any crowd move at any kind of party!
Who is your favourite local producer?
My favourite local producers are Kymac, Dunn Kidda & Dwson. They are all very young extremely talented producers pushing boundaries with only a third of the resources that the bigger international producers have. They deserve much more than the credit given to them thus far.
What has been the standout moment in your DJing career so far?
My standout moment actually consists of the many moments I’ve had as a DJ at Cape Town's biggest events over the last two year, which I was once a patron at. Namely LoveAll, Sizzled, Daghood, Frat and Private Affair.
For more details visit the Private Affair event page.
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