With Gqom music making waves these days, the growth also means more exposure for local deejays who have been taking the music genre to the people before it gained popularity and was commercialised.
Durban based sound engineer, deejay and music producer Smanga Sikhakhane, who is popularly known as Jay Cube, is one of those artists who are benefiting from the Gqom culture through the exclusive fresh sounds he plays when he is on the decks.
“More Gqom producers are being called in by big brands such as myself being called in by Afrotainment for production and sound engineering purposes. As much as this doesn’t mean instant money, the exposure and work experience plays a big part in my overall career,” said Jay Cube.
The 20-year-old club deejay, who was born in Durban but grew up in Eshowe (KZN) says he has come a long way since he started making music from the age of eight and it is now that all the hard work is starting to bear fruit.
“My dad and late cousin poured into me the basics of music and helped with fine tuning my skills of using musical equipment like the piano, virtual DJ and fruity loops production software.”
It was his move to Pietermaritzburg, during his early high school years, that opened many doors for Jay Cube. His potential attracted the interest of Dakota Music Store founder, who became his manager, and later introduced him to Dr Thabiso Ngobese who owns a record company called Music Invaders.
Although Jay Cube never dreamed of becoming a DJ, the opportunities he was given by prominent DJ’s encouraged him to enroll for a Sound Engineering course at the Creative Arts College.
“I found that DJ’ing had more opportunities to advertise my music and also get exposure as a performing artist. I also loved the element of traveling to different places and entertaining people. I believe that my deep understanding of the fundamentals of music and passion for it makes me stand out from the rest and as a DJ you need to understand your audience and what kind of music they love. I also play what I produce which is a unique selling point for me,” said the young creative.
As exciting as the entertainment industry may seem, it also has its testing times. Many artists have seen the downfall of their careers within a short period of time, due to a variety of reasons. For example, arrogance, mismanagement or the loss of focus. “Resisting attention from the opposite sex is a major challenge we tend to ignore, as well as alcohol & drugs; and they are challenges that can possibly end a career. I believe that knowing what I want and keeping a positive mind-set will get me to where I want to be,” he says.
With a bright future seemingly coming towards his direction, part of his wish list is to work with international acts and possibly start a music school to help the underprivileged kids who have a passion for Dj’ing and music production.
Interact with Smanga on his social media accounts:
Facebook – JayCube SA
Instagram – JayCube_SA
Call (+27) 74 058 7579 / (+27) 72 036 5498