Real Talk with Nemeton

Spread the love
1. What sparked your interest in becoming a DJ, and how do you usually kick off your sets to captivate your audience?
My dad played the drums as a kid and had a massive passion for all types of music. I grew up listening to his vinyls all weekend and naturally fell in love with music on all levels. I picked up the drumsticks and gave it a go in my teens and was really drawn to the rhythm and beats. Then at the height of the 90’s rave scene, I took to electronic music like a duck to water. I quickly enrolled in a DJ academy to learn how to mix and to understand more about the music industry. From there I picked up a few gigs here and there, but life got in the way. Fast forward a few years, Covid kicked in, things changed and I decided to give it more attention and push forward with my passion.
I always try to start my sets with an interesting electronic track to indicate a change in musical taste and the start of a sonic journey. Using my love for old classic rock and roll, blues and jazz, I tend to explore these genres and use elements from Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys and System of a Down to name a few to create a mood. I then lead in two tracks that will define the set and give a glimpse of what the crowd can expect from me.
2. Can you share some memorable experiences from performing at various venues or events, and how they have shaped your musical journey?
My first real taste of the stage was at a unique South African Rock Festival called, Oppikoppi. A true stalwart in SA music culture. They showcased rising talent and established artists in a variety of genres. Afro Jazz and Acoustics by day, Rock and Heavy Metal in the evening and then Drum ‘n Bass and Breakbeat till the early morning. It was about 2am and I was chatting to the DJ playing his set, after a bit of general chit chat, he informed me he needed to go relieve himself and asked if I would step in to cover. Naturally I said yes. Oppikopppi is quite a big place so it took the guy 45 minutes to get back to me so I had a decent session jamming with his music crate. It was a profound moment and I knew immediately that I wanted more of this.
More recently, at Afrikaburn, I was gifted two opportunities to play at two different theme camps. One was in a Rainbow coloured, Sparkle Unicorn mutant vehicle and the second amazing experience was opening the Friday sunset set at one of the biggest sound camps that year. Once you have played on Funktion 1, it’s never the same again! Both these sets humbled me and really entrenched my love for performing.
3. Where do you see yourself playing in the near future, and what excites you about those opportunities?
I would love to play at more festivals as this really suits my style of mixing and structure. I am aiming to make it to Burning Man in the near future as I do have family that go every year and would love to be a part of that experience. I am making inroads with the Boom Festival as they too have a solid ethos and energy that I would like to contribute to. Of course a couple of gigs in Ibiza would not hurt. Who doesn’t love this amazing place!
4. As you continue to evolve as a DJ, what are some challenges you anticipate facing, and how do you plan to overcome them?
The advancement of technology is always a challenge. New software, new hardware, new techniques and new ideas; it can be quite a lot to take in and get a handle on. Staying ahead of the curve is a constant challenge. But, this is what propels us forward, the passion and desire to learn more, and adapt and ultimately hone our crafts for the benefit of the audience. Using the technology to your advantage, mixing genres, track selection, the overall experience and contribution to the industry is what’s going to make DJ’s stand apart and get noticed.
5. From your perspective, how would you describe the current music scene in South Africa, especially in the context of events like Afrika Burn Festival?
The music scene has always been huge in SA, no matter what style or language. From Amapiano to Hard Rock, Afrikaans Folk and Hip Hop, South Africans love their music.
The electronic scene is massive with a surge in preference for this music style since the early club days of the 90’s and eruption of the rave culture. Having lived in both the two major cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town, I have no doubt that Cape Town is spearheading the scene and taking it to the next level. During Festival season (our summer November – April) there is a festival every weekend if not more. The festivals are packed with local and international acts and are hugely supported by the community. A string of clubs line the city streets playing a variety of styles and genres catering for all electronic music fans, Monday to Sunday.
Afrikaburn does stand out on its own though due to the 11 guiding principles of the event. Afrikaburn is not a festival, it’s an experience and an expression of music, art, culture and diversity. And it has garnered quite the following. The majority of attendees are from Europe, and it’s growing every year. Overall, there is a massive shift in the music scene in SA to be more eco friendly, sustainable and consciously aware of your fellow man, nature and the idea of “Ubuntu”.
The scene is rooted in our culture and daily lives. And it is only going to get bigger!

5/5 - (16 votes)

3 thoughts on “Real Talk with Nemeton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *