“In 2015 I decided to travel solo to Europe – for a summer tour to ingest some valuable knowledge on what the European music scene is investing in, and was also fortunate enough to play at several events, some of which included: Berlin Female Focus Festival and one of the Berlin Fashion Week after parties which was hosted by Eve Without Adam.”
You may have seen DJ Doowap’s face and work on some of the most baddest and international brand campaigns such as Nike, Ray-Ban, G-STAR RAW, Red Bull and Levis just to name a few. I had a brief convo with DJ Doowop at a Flying Fish event not so long ago, as she was about to hit the decks, but we decided to continue the conversation via email as she had to leave for a gig in Berlin. This is a conversation about her craft and her evolution as a creative and artistry.
IceKream: Welcome back! Can you tell us a bit about your trip to Berlin, we heard you were booked for a 3 hour set at one of the biggest clubs in Europe?
DJ Doowap: Berlin was an awesome “Long Weekend” trip. I arrived on the Friday to sunshine and left back to Johannesburg on the Monday. I love how it was a quick in-and-out slayage. I had a photographer throughout the weekend to capture the whole trip. Which was awesome because I have always wanted someone to document my movements. I played two gigs on the Friday; one at St George which is a sick Hip Hop and Bass club where the coolest peeps in Berlin hang out.
Then I had to dash off to play my 3hr set at SchwuZ which is one of the biggest LGBTQ club’s in Europe. The following day I had two shoots; one with a clothing brand called ‘Women’ and another with a big magazine. I ended the trip on Sunday having cocktails with homies at the “Africa Day” festival. I left Jozi with an empty bag and came back with a whole lot of clothes from my shoots, vintage stores and summer sales.
IceKream: We came across an old article / feature which you did with Sunday World newspapers back in 2015 and there you spoke about how you missed a chance at the 2008 Olympics for springboard diving – would you say that this was one of those defining moments that made you realise that DJing is what you really wanted to do?
DJ Doowap: My dream as a kid was to be an Olympic Champion in 2008, when I just missed making the team, I decided to start afresh with a whole new life and dreams; so that’s when I started dabbling hard in music and studying Sound Engineering with a champion state of mind. The DJ’n only started in 2013 when I moved back to South Africa from England and needed to make some money. I never realised how much I would enjoy it and it soon became a passion.
IceKream: After learning how to DJ under DJ and Producer Ian Credible, when did you get to a point where you made your own sound / mixes etc. and felt comfortable sharing your music?
DJ Doowap: I am still in the progress of creating my own sound but I still don’t feel comfortable sharing the music I make. The remixes of songs are created using my DJ tools…but full on songs by Doowap are still in the factory.
IceKream: What music did you hear growing up that sparked that desire for sounds like bass, gqom and hip hop?
DJ Doowap: I grew up listening to Old Skool Hip Hop and Kwaito. The love for Bass only came in my teens when I was living in the UK and loosing my mind to Garage and Drum N Bass. Now I am trying to merge all those elements together.
IceKream: Most people don’t know that you’ve worked with Riky Rick, when did you first meet Riky and what impact did he have on you?
DJ Doowap: I was Riky’s DJ for a bit when we were both starting out back in 2013/2014. I met him years ago, when we were still in High School and had mutual friends. When it came to music, I would say I was his muse and him my mentor.
IceKream: Would you define yourself an underground artist or do you think what constitutes the underground and the mainstream is blurring a bit more? Locally vs internationally?
DJ Doowap: I just consider myself an artist unfazed about whether I am underground or mainstream. I do believe when someone becomes mainstream in some cases, their image and sound becomes watered down because of the impacts and pressure from the outside forces.
IceKream: I’m a big fan of your fashion, I think you’re a fashion icon. Your fashion sense gives me those “hoesthetic” Rihanna vibes – which are all about women liberation and empowerment. Can you tell us a little bit about your approach to this aesthetic, is there some kind of responsibility you feel you might have when dressing up?
DJ Doowap: I feel no responsibility to please/inspire anyone but myself. I am constantly trying new looks and figuring out what I feel most comfortable in. The fact that I am constantly in search of my Authentic Identity is probably visible in the way I dress, so that in-tern is attractive to an outsider.
I do feel empowered as a women that I can wear anything my heart desires and pull it off because I feel comfortable in my skin.
5-scoops-of-facts you didn’t know about DJ Dowoop:
Scoop 1: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world — who would they be and where would you take them?
DJ Doowap: If I could resurrect someone, I would have dinner with Aaliyah and take her to WASABI so we could share sushi and have badass Gin Cocktails together.
Someone alive, I would take Grace Jones for dinner to MAMASAN in Melville so we can have an awesome meal then bar hop all the way to Braamfontein.
Scoop 2: Who are your creative influences / inspirations?
- Grace Jones
- Lebo Mathosa
Scoop 3: Name 3 songs on your playlist right now
- ABRA – Big Boi (Feat Tommy Genesis)
- Kali Uchis – Tyrant
- DJ Lag – Ice Drop
Scoop 4: Bungee jumping, sky diving or getting inked?
DJ Doowap: ALL OF THEM! The only one I haven’t done is sky diving… so that one!
Scoop 5: Gin, vodka, Jäger or tequila?
DJ Doowap: Bomay Sapphire Gin!
Pics via Instagram