Fast-forward to 2015 and DJ Switch has a thriving music career and has brands like Red Bull and Flying Fish behind him. There certainly is no stopping the power of the Switch brand.
DJ Switch glistened under the afternoon sun, giving the Maasai warriors and their fine physique a run for their money as he showcased the Flying Fish designs; curated by Rich Factory and Punk & Ivy; as part of the Flying Fish Beach Volleyball Series. He tells Previdar Magazine about his journey, music, talents and future plans.
So DJ Switch, you have been in the game for over a decade. How have you managed to sustain the DJ Switch brand in the market?
Having started on YO-TV and getting my big break so early, I learnt that being unique, different and constantly reinventing oneself is the trick of the trade. Following trends has also been somewhat of a phenomenon, but being a trendsetter is always the better option. I embarked on multiple ventures, in different places, and started my musical journey over the last 2 years and that has helped me find another way to sustain my brand and my music. What I figured is that I need to take it up a notch.
You have a hot new single, tell us a bit more about the collaboration.
My latest track, a true club and hip-hop hybrid, is probably my best collaboration yet. It’s a little jiggy but it has authentic rapping and MC spitting on it; people get excited because of the lyrical flow. It’s not just foul language and the usual drivel we hear but it’s MCs playing with words and rhyme schemes.
What is the next big thing for DJ Switch?
Pushing the music – I did a mix tape that featured at the Hip Hop Awards last year. I’ll keep on going with the mix tapes because I think there is a lot more groundwork to be done. We cannot stand on our own and sell an entire album. Making EPs consistently and having successful projects of that kind in the music space would be a success. We did a legit download on Slikour’s site and it hit 20K downloads. If it were done via Datafilehost or the like, it would have reached 100K. Knowing that there’s still pull even if you don’t use the same route as others, is reaffirming.
How was the experience of shooting for Previdar Magazine in Zanzibar?
I think it was really, really awesome. I mean, I am not a generic model but I certainly have some flavour to add and it’s cool that Flying Fish made that possible in a different country! I really enjoyed how some of the pictures came out and working with the ladies, both Lootlove and Amanda, was amazing. Big ups to the stylists who pulled out all the stops on this one – the scene and everything took it to another level.
How do you keep the spring flavour alive in your wardrobe?
My flavour is definitely in my feet! I get compliments from my interesting and unique sneakers. The second thing would be my hair, I think – because I can play with that, but with sneakers, I always win.
How will you be bringing in the spring flavour in some of your playlists?
My EP is out on iTunes, called the Switch UP! You can get some of the songs on my SoundCloud, and you can download old and new tracks on the net – Google me baby! Hahaha.
Your career has seen a lot of growth and coming into the industry at your prime must have brought with it a lot of pressure. How have you managed that transition?
I think it is about constantly reinventing oneself. I’m from the hip hop route, and as a skater boy, we got introduced to different sports and it puts you in a different environment so we got the chance to see uncomfortable spaces and our brands got more reach because of that. I’ve also been acting and doing awesome work on this new drama that has been screened in France, so staying relevant and testing your boundaries has always worked for me.
What other hidden talents do you have and will we be seeing a lot more of you through these lens in the near future?
I’m actually a graphic designer by profession so we are working on dropping a new t-shirt brand, we also do corporate work and we are into doing sneaker prints and ya man, its not just the music, its everything around the music too.
Interview by Star Khulu. Article by Jay Badza. Styled by Rina Chunga. Make-up by Queen Motlatle. Directed & Photographed by Lawrence Manyapelo.