Breaking into the music scene in a genuine way is tough in this day and age. Yes, the internet era has made it ever-easier to connect with people, but this has also helped inflate the images of DJs; making average acts look like superstars.
But in a time where elevated egos can mean inauthentic music experiences; true passion is still, and will always be, the one thing that attracts people to DJs the most. Just look at Salvatore Ganacci at this year’s Tomorrowland festival to see the impact of energetic and passionate performance, albeit rather tongue-in-cheek.
Over the last year, Roxanne Kalie, better known as Roxcizzle, has become a hot commodity in Cape Town’s house scene, bringing her passion for music to a variety of parties in the city, as well as in Johannesburg. As a long time patron of the now defunct Home of House, Deluxe, she has experienced some of the best dancefloors Cape Town as seen. And now, even as an actress, model and mother, she is bringing that passion to life with her DJ sets.
With her performance at Smiley at the new Mash Tun in Woodstock this weekend, we chat with Roxcizzle to find out more about becoming a DJ in the Mother City.
Where did your love for house music begin?
I was invited to club Deluxe in Cape Town in my late teens/early 20s and that was what solidified my obsession with the genre. My passion stemmed from those interactions and experiences on the dancefloor. It was like nothing I had encountered before.
What are some of your early memories of dance music?
My mother exposed me to artists such as Robyn S, Sybil, Nightcrawlers, Daft Punk and Michael Jackson to name a few, which sort of moulded my ear to appreciate the energy of upbeat dance music. It was always a good time when their music was playing and nothing else mattered outside of the bubble the music put me in.
Your DJ career has taken off a in big way this year. What spurred the decision to start spinning records?
By God’s grace alone! People who know me for years, know that my first love has always been music. I did it in school from Grade 2 all the way through. All I wanted was to pursue a career in the music industry, but that was before I began to focus solely on modeling. My decision came about after being booked to play an event as a DJ, when all I did was curate a three hour playlist and people loved it. I respect the art a great deal, and decided to then go to school to learn the ins and outs.
What are some of the challenges you have faced starting out as a DJ?
Personally, for me it was overcoming fear/doubt. Getting out of my own head and out of my own way, because believe it or not, we are often our own biggest critics. I found it quite frustrating dealing with male promoters or event organisers who constantly try to ‘negotiate’ my rate, or expect me to play for free, or whom I have to ‘prove’ myself to – in terms of going over and above what’s required. Some of these experiences are necessary though, to build character and as part of the ‘job’. There won’t often be female DJs on the line ups, even at some of the coolest events/parties; but I can truly say when God opens a door for you, nothing and no one can close it.
You’re a mother, a model, an actress and now one of Cape Town’s freshest DJs. How do you balance all these things at once and still find the time to practice DJing?
Firstly, thank you for the compliment! I do not have this balancing act figured out, I do what I can with what I have and try not to be too hard on myself. Priorities come first and everything else second. So on some days I would only be at school once a week, or at a friend who happens to have decks set up, and on others, once my daughter is asleep I get to sit with music and get lost in it. Usually that happens around 23h00-02h00, and I have to be up at 6am daily, so you do the math. This isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. #realtalk
Embarking on your career in a male dominated industry, what advice do you have for women who have dreams of being a DJ?
Just like any other career path or hobby you begin to take seriously, do your research, educate yourself, learn as much as you can from those who have come before you, ask for help but don’t rely on favours! Put in the time! Then go out there and kill it! No one is you, and that is your power.
What are your thoughts on the current house scene in South Africa?
I think our scene is great in terms of the music our people are putting out and the fact that the quality is on an international level. We really have so much to offer the world and I cannot wait to share proudly South African music on international soil. I like that the house scene has its popular parties as well as more underground ones to choose from. Even though personally I prefer smaller intimate gatherings.
Who are your favourite local artists at the moment?
Off the top of my head, Pierre Johnson, Youngsta, Winnie Deep, Enoo Napa and Dwson to name a few
What can we expect from Roxcizzle for the rest of 2018 and going into the new year?
You can expect me to continue slaying! LOL That’s hilarious (yes I laugh at my own jokes), I just do me to be honest. I relocate to Los Angeles in November, so really what I’m doing right now is wrapping up on some big international commercial jobs, working on fresh content for my brand overall and making lasting memories with loved ones who I’m going to miss a great deal. I’m playing at a few dope gigs over the next weeks, so stay locked to my social media for info and COME THROUGH! #comegethappy
Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I LOVE being alone and in my own space where the mood, music and energy is controlled. I also love freestyling, which is essentially how I got the name Roxcizzle J.