As we celebrate women' month, we take a look at some of the female artist making their mark on the music scene. Meggan Diedericks aka RetroRootz is a uniquely talented female DJ and bassist from Cape Town, who is bringing the soul back to the Cape.
She describes her style of music as a fusion of RnB, HipHop, Neosoul and Future beats and through her performances, her main goal is to leave people with a feeling. “I don’t just want to play beats for people in a musical setting. I want to take them on a musical journey of beautiful melodies and sounds that resonate with their souls and just in that moment they forget about life and lose themselves by being completely consumed in the music,” says Diedericks.
How would you define your sound? - My sound is defined by one thing only and that's soul. When music comes from deep within the soul, that soul shines through your music and you can never go wrong. Soulful bass grooves, melodic keys and guitar riffs - that's my thing! In every set I play, with my main sounds being RnB, hiphop and Future (which fuses all of these genres) I always try to bring as much soul to the music as I can.
What made you move from being a bassist to being a DJ? - I am still a session bassist, but my main focus is DJing. I just love music and love playing good music for people. When people go out they want to groove to good music and I feel that when you go to an ordinary club, that aspect is lacking greatly. That is why I became a DJ. The rise of all the amazing events in Cape Town, has created the space to bring back quality music, played by quality DJ's to the people and I wanted to be a part of that as music is my greatest passion.
Having played at top events such as Uppercut, LoveAll, Fiction Nights and at the newly established Thirst - of which she is a resident at - her progression towards being a DJ has been a major step in her career. She has since been invited to play at a few Red Bull gigs as well as performing with Petite Noir at CTEMF and the Zeitz MOCAA Gala in 2016.
What was it like performing with Petite Noir? - It was a very new and different experience for me when I compare it to playing bass for other artists. His music comprises of so many different sound elements and genres, which come together and create beautiful songs. I found that bass notes would be in places I would never expect them to be, but they made sense and sounded great. This challenged me to play in an unconventional way, which I loved! Performing with him was definitely a highlight of my career and a unique and amazing experience! What a great guy too!
Along with her brother Kurt Diedericks, she played the bass for fellow South African artist Nonku Phiri and together, they played some big music events around the country such as the Design Indaba, the Durban July and the Castle Milk-stout Unplugged sessions held in Joburg.
Who are your influences? - I come from a very musical family, but I would have to say my greatest influence is my brother, Kurt Diedericks, who is also a musician (drummer, keyboard player, producer) and has been involved in the industry since he was a teenager. He is seriously a jack of all trades, he can pick up any musical instrument for the first time and just play it, as though he's been playing it for years. Hanging out with him as a kid was the best, because he would always introduce me to various genres of music and instruments and encourage me to pick up instruments (even though I had no experience) and jam or sing with him. Through this, he nurtured and inspired my creativity and love for music, while encouraging me to express it from my own perspective. My other greatest influence is the decade of 90s music, specifically RnB (I grew up listening to RnB). There were so many quality artists and producers in this time, a few of my favourites being Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, Timbaland and J Dilla.
Why do you think there are so few female DJs and musicians in South Africa? - I don't want to speak for other females lol but my opinion is that I think the industry was previously perceived to be male dominated, I am however unsure of what this was based on. I personally love breaking into areas (especially career areas) which have been perceived as 'male-dominated areas', because I feel that a woman can do any job that a man can do and that is how I was raised. Also, for a long time, women all over the world have been and continue breaking those barrier perceptions and have been thriving in their roles. This is evident in the music industry as more and more females are become MC's, DJ'S, producers and so on. Therefore, females entering the music industry overall, is on the rise!
What is your end-goal as a musician/DJ? - My end-goal is to be a producer. I would like to perform my music live, with my decks and my bass in hand, as an international DJ/producer and I am currently in the process of pursuing this! I would also like to get back into radio (I love working in radio). Then once I have achieved all this, I am going to run for president hahaha and be DJ president (music heals all) Lmao!!
With "real" music at the heart of this multi-talented artist, Meggan Diedericks, both as a DJ and bassist, utilises music to its full potential and allows her to create an experience for all to be captivated by.