Back in the 90’s and 2000’s, Club Deejaying was the in-thing.
DJs were the coolest cats in town – they had that vibe, they were super- fly and charged with so much swag.
Crowds flocked only where the coolest of DJ’s were playing, watched them flip, scratch, turn and mix those vinyl and cassette records creating magic. Venues like Circus, Turtles, Archipelago, Maze, Stars just to mention a few had to make sure they hired and booked the most followed DJ for them to be assured of a crowd.
You would be going through the newspaper and you would find a few of these DJ’s advertised at two or more venues and fans would know that a busy night of club hopping’ awaited them.
Those were the days!
The likes of DJ Dee Nice, Dee Vine, Jadie Jam, Dee Nosh, Kaycee the Gigmaster, Kimble Rogers, Peter Johns, Zad the president, Sammy T, Tony D, Ellington, Josh Makawa, MickyTee, Hatty the mighty, Stan Soul Pound, Ronnie Cool, Daniel Mackenzie…that list is endless – kept folks on their feet dancing the night away.
The club DJ’s showed up and showed out!
Looking at our world today is there any room for yester years club DJ’s in today’s world where everyone can be a club DJ and a hot mix is just ‘www.com’ away?
We live in a world that no longer recognises the beauty, the expertise and the talent really required for one to keep revellers on their feet dancing the night away.
According to veteran radio personality Tich Mataz: “You needed to have the gift and the talent, one needed to also be an attraction besides the talent. There was a lot more pressure.”
Music wasn’t just a button away, DJ’s had to actively look for new music and do more than just keeping their ears on the ground.
Even their entrance was epic, if you were in the club already some commotion at the entrance would announce the celebrity DJ of the night.
Back then DJs didn’t just walk into a club for a gig, no way! They had a strut, a leisurely swagger that had a slide appeal, as if there was no hurry and the world could wait. Indeed we would all wait.
Following closely behind, around or on the sides would be an entourage which usually included some of the hottest girls dressed to the nines with a hint of boredom on their drop dead gorgeous faces.
You would then know that party has started when they stepped on stage.
They shared their art not just at night clubs but the classiest of weddings, cooperate functions and the elite house parties.
Fast forward to 2020, and it’s a whole new ball game. Can one not be a prospering and elderly club DJ? Is there no room for ‘older’ club DJ’s to still continue their work and still fill up clubs?
Why is it that most of today’s Zimbabwean club DJ’s are not a full package?
Tich Mataz further expressed that “DJ’s were the social network- they were the Instagram and Facebook and technology has stripped them of their potency. Government needs to guide and protect the arts”.
Sadly Club DJ-ing isn’t really looked at as part of the Arts industry, and yet it is. There is a need for the whole of the arts to stand as one and speak as one.
Two weeks ago the industry lost a legend Jadie Jam. The one who helped celebrate and celebrated with others, was somehow not celebrated enough on his passing by a nation he entertained for decades.
Young club DJs failed to show up for a legend who opened the way for them.
There is a lot that can be said about a generation that does not look back and applaud the generation that walked before them and made the road easier.
In truth we took so much from them, and all we paid was the measly cover charge. Yet we made memories, fell in love, learnt life’s biggest lessons and even had babies inspired by their mixes. Musicians always cry foul at how their treated, but the truth is Club DJ’s may just take the misery cup in the arts industry after all.