He grabs mu­sic and fash­ion de­sign by the horns

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za

DJ TOUCH of Soul (TOS) might have made a name for him­self in the mu­sic in­dus­try but he now hopes to achieve suc­cess in the fash­ion world.

While the youth are be­ing cel­e­brated this month, the mu­si­cian, whose real name is Thabo Mnisi, is in­tent on ex­pos­ing his brand to young peo­ple and pro­vid­ing them with a form of ex­pres­sion.

The cloth­ing line has been such a hit that it has even caught the at­ten­tion of local celebri­ties, who have been spot­ted rock­ing his at­tire. Many more of his fans are flock­ing to clubs and events where he per­forms in a bid to get their hands on his wide range of gar­ments.

The 25-year-old ex­plained that al­though his pas­sion has al­ways been about mu­sic, as he played at the an­nual in­ter­na­tional MTN Bush­fire festival in Swazi­land last month, he has used mu­si­cal plat­forms to ex­pand his ex­per­tise with the fash­ion line.

“Mu­sic has been my thing ever since high school and var­sity,” he told The Star. “While I was a DJ, I started brand­ing my­self.”

When he started col­lect­ing mu­sic, peo­ple wanted a taste of it. “My se­lec­tion of mu­sic would al­ways stand out. I’d make CDs for peo­ple who asked me to com­pile to play in their cars,” he said.

The Dur­ban-based DJ might have a lot on his plate with his DJ stint and now his cloth­ing line, but he in­sists that he is up for the chal­lenge as he be­lieves they are linked.

“I have to be hon­est and say it is very dif­fi­cult to bal­ance (mu­sic and fash­ion). The Touch of Soul brand, which has gone vi­ral, has ex­posed me as a DJ.”

He added that be­ing a res­i­dent DJ at some of the top clubs around the coun­try had ex­posed him to many cus­tomers who could eas­ily buy his mer­chan­dise at the venues where he per­forms. This in­cludes the pop­u­lar Bush­fire festival, where he sold his TOS gear to the at­ten­dees and said the re­sponse was “over­whelm­ing”.

Al­though it wasn’t his first time per­form­ing at the Swazi­land festival, this year was more re­ward­ing for him as he had the op­por­tu­nity to sell his gear.

And with a strong team behind his brand and mu­sic, Mnisi has a strong sup­port sys­tem of a close group of fam­ily and friends who are a part of making the TOS cloth­ing.

But what has cat­a­pulted him into the fash­ion world was the TOS brand’s grow­ing clien­tele, which in­cludes the likes of ac­tor and tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter Thapelo Mokoena, rap­pers AKA and Kwesta as well as “Dash” mem­ber of hip hop group Dreamteam, who have all en­dorsed the brand by oc­ca­sion­ally wear­ing the fash­ion­able caps, T-shirts or jack­ets.

The DJ and fash­ion­ista has also re­cently been an­nounced as Vo­da­com’s NXT LVL am­bas­sador, and he plans to use the pow­er­ful plat­form to ef­fect change with the youth.

“Now that I have been made a Vo­da­com am­bas­sador, I plan on em­pow­er­ing the youth dur­ing this month.”

“I am go­ing to be get­ting to know what their dreams are and show­ing them that it’s pos­si­ble. I am a young man who started my own thing, which got no­ticed. I am work­ing hard as a DJ and the brand.”

DJ Touch of Soul

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