Hit-maker pleased that he is still rel­e­vant af­ter his win at SA Dance Mu­sic Awards

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Boi­tumelo Mat­shaba

Thumbs up for DJ Ganyani

ONE of the biggest DJs in South Africa, DJ Ganyani (49), re­ceived two awards at the sec­ond an­nual Dance Mu­sic Awards. The artist tells Move! about his ex­cite­ment for his recog­ni­tion and the chal­lenges that come with be­ing in the mu­sic in­dus­try.


DJ Ganyani, real name Ganyani Tsha­bal­ala, re­ceived the Record of the Year Award for his bang­ing sin­gle, Emazul­wini, fea­tur­ing Nom­cebo. His sec­ond award was the Pioneer of Dance Mu­sic Award for his con­tri­bu­tion to the suc­cess of dance mu­sic. The star is ecstatic and hum­bled about the vic­tory.

“It feels good to have won. It shows that af­ter so many years in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, I am still rel­e­vant,” he says. “Mu­sic changes, and so does peo­ple’s taste in mu­sic and it feels great that as a DJ I can still in­flu­ence the in­dus­try. It hasn’t al­ways been easy. As old school DJs we have to work twice if not thrice as hard.”


Even though DJ Ganyani is a master at what he does, and has been in the in­dus­try for more than 27 years, the legend has never won a South African Mu­sic Award (Sama) or a Metro FM Mu­sic Award, which are some of the biggest awards in the coun­try.

“I have won plenty of awards and it means a lot to me. How­ever, it still hurts me that I have never won a ma­jor mu­sic award in the coun­try, a Sama or Metro. It’s not that I am un­der­min­ing any artist, I just don’t know how th­ese things work,” he says.

“For ex­am­ple, in 2012 my sin­gle, Xigubu, was listed as one of the most played songs in the coun­try, but we never re­ceived any­thing for that song. I am not giv­ing up though, I am still work­ing to­wards win­ning them some day.”

The artist says as much as awards are a great recog­ni­tion, they do not de­fine him or his work.


Many of his sin­gles have been hits, which has kept the ex­pec­ta­tions of fans quite high. The

Talk to Me hit-maker shares with Move! what his recipe for mak­ing good mu­sic is.

“My for­mula is sim­ple; we get a rock­ing beat, amaz­ing lyrics and a good vo­cal­ist,” he says.

The Soweto-born en­ter­tainer says the rea­son he started us­ing rel­a­tively un­known vo­cal­ists is that when he be­gan his jour­ney as a pro­ducer, peo­ple did not want to work with him and his team be­cause they did not know the kind of work they did. To add to that, they also could not se­cure well-es­tab­lished vo­cal­ists. Even though they had to use un­known but good vo­cal­ists, they have had many suc­cess­ful songs ever since.


When DJ Ganyani is not mak­ing mu­sic or per­form­ing at events, the dance mu­sic guru is usu­ally catch­ing up on some sleep or watch­ing soc­cer at home. He also loves that his job is quite a fun one and al­lows him to en­gage with his fans.

“I love in­ter­act­ing with fans and tak­ing pic­tures, but it’s not al­ways a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. At times, fans show you love and at the same time oth­ers can make rude com­ments or treat you like an ob­ject,” he says.


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