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2lani the warrior

Africa Disctinct 011: 2lani the warrior

Welcome back yet again to another episode of our Africa Distinct series. Hope you guys enjoyed my edition for 010.

2lani the warrior: a true maestro of his craft

This week brings rise to our special guest who will be handling 011 which brings me great honour to welcome a veteran in the electronic music scene here in South Africa. From breaking down dancefloors since 1997 our guest this week is a true maestro of his craft. Besides being one of the most respected DJs in the country, 2lani also heads his own record labels – Do It Now Recordings, Deep Stitched and Music Basket where he ensures that each artist is both locally and internationally recognized without losing their deep essence and by making sure that there is continuous support for local music development.

By staying true to his own sound, 2lani the warrior has shaped and influenced the South-African music scene when it comes to Deep House and underground electronic music. His selection, flawless mixing style and knack of bringing a full musical experience to his audience have allowed him to play for crowds both locally and internationally.

2lani the warrior brings us a special mix for 011 of Africa Distinct and as always, I’ll just let the music speak for itself.

I give a warm welcome to 2lani The Warrior!
It’s War!

Connect with 2lani the warrior on Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

So this year marks over 20 years in the industry. What is your secret for staying on top of the ever-changing game?
I think the main thing for me is that I am aware, I am aware of what is happening around me and I ensure that I do not follow anything that happens around me. When you are aware, that is a good thing that can take you anywhere.

Tell us a little about the name 2lani The Warrior. How did that come about?
When I was a guest DJ, back in the early 2000s on Rude Boy Paul’s show, everybody had a radio tag/jingle and I needed one. So the one day, I was playing on the show and we were taking calls. One of the guys called and said: “this man, he is a warrior behind the decks.”. This is when 2Lani the Warrior was born.

What sparked this amazing journey of being an artist?
My uncle, he was the one that started all of this. He used to host a monthly jazz gathering with 30 of his friends. Sometimes, he would take me with. All of his friends were really hardcore jazz collectors who would bring their collections and play it. At first, when I started going there, I was mostly going for they braai meat, but later, I started understanding the music. Towards the end of the gathering, once my uncle and his friends had had a few drinks, they would let me handle the records and play. I became so good at playing the records that it got to a point where all their record collections would end up at my house so that I could bring them to the next sessions and play. Man, those were amazing times.

Having just recently played Mixmag’s The Lab, how was that experience for you to have played on one of the most pristine platforms for electronic music? How were your nerves?
hahahahaha …. The nerves! Lol. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for such an event. I still get nervous for every gig I play because I care deeply about the music and my performance. The Lab Mix Mag SA was such a diverse crowd that I had to make sure I was on point.

Being a label boss, what can we expect from your labels for the rest of this year?
We are always cooking on the labels. Once in a while we will introduce a new artist, but if you follow the labels very well, you will always see that we like to keep the circle very small. Recently we just had three hot releases on DeepStitched by the likes of J. Axel, Deephope and Continuum. For the rest of the year, we will be taking things up a notch. We have Rory Cochrane doing our next GetStitched release, for which he will be in South Africa in November for a mini-tour. We have Krippsoulisc with Sound Dwelling Part 2 as well as Malkov, Matt Prehn, Joe Le Bon and Soire

What has been your favourite show in these past two decades? (That’s if you can even name one haha)
There are so many because for me, each show is very special in its own way. I always go out to bring out the best that I can (it’s war, lol), but recently, I had a chance to play out in Russia and that was something amazing for me. I came back as a different person musically.

What’s installed for 2lani The Warrior for the rest of 2019?
I have some amazing shows lined up for the rest of the year. I am also excited that I am finding my feet in the Cape Town music scene, but I think 2020 is the year that I will be doing the most.

You are infamous for you ‘TechnoLani’ sets. What got you into the more techno sound?
When I came back from Russia, I was really hooked on the sound. I played a set at Toy Toy and it went down. One of my friends, Byron Ashley, came up to me and said, now you are TechnoLani. From then on Technolani was born. 🙂

Being in the industry can take a toll on you as an artist. What has been your main source of inspiration/motivation?
It’s very important to have breaks and to have something that you do on the side that takes you totally away from the music. I have recently started photography and I find that it helps me to mellow down and find myself, but mostly, I have a good support system at home.

Which up and coming artist have been on your radar that are doing amazing things in the scene?
Oh man, there are so many up and coming artists that really blow my mind. Some of the artists I am about to mention are not necessarily new but are also artists that I feel we need to pay close attention to. They are just turning this whole music scene on its head. These artists include Zee Essential, Shervaan Bergsteedt, Troyder, Sand Isle, Krippsoulisc and BillowJazz.

What can we expect from this mix?
I never know where my mixes will take me when I do them. On this mix, it kicks off nice and deep. The second track on the mix is one that I totally think is going to be huge on the dance floor. The rest of the mix is more melodic, dreamy, story-telling. This is one of those mixes that you need to press play and listen from the beginning to the end in order to understand it and as always, some of the tracks are from the label.

What is your absolute favourite record at the moment?
J. Axel – As Love Decay ( DeepStitched )

Thank you!

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