Durban’s rising afro-house DJs nominated for Dance Music Awards

It’s time to celebrate the movers and shakers in the South African music industry through the Dance Music Awards South Africa (DMASA).

Now in its third year, the DMASA was created to honour the leaders of the genre.

Awards representative, Ricardo da Costa said this year’s response has been phenomenal with a record number of nominations in all categories.

“As anticipated, the amapiano category got the most entries this year so this addition was clearly applauded and loved by the fans,” said Costa.

We spoke with Durban based rising stars Siphiwe Mkhize aka Enoo Napa, Joshua Sokweba, and Mncedi Tshicila (known as Kususa) ahead of the awards in October about their nominations, and their careers.

Born in Umlazi, Mkhize said what he enjoyed about music was that it was knowing you could create art from scratch, and in yourbedroom, using a laptop or computer, and music production software.

“There came a time where people started to be really taken with my sound, and showered with me compliments, and some with advice. Right now what I enjoy about my music is seeing people react to what I create, whether they are in their own spaces  or in clubs dancing. I don’t think there’s any better feeling,” he said.

Asked how he felt about being nominated for best producer, Mkhize said it was about time – “it’s just crazy”.

“I’m excited and I feel like a winner already even though it is down to votes, and I’m up alongside really big hitters in the scene. I always say that in situations like these, I’m right up there with the best and not against them because I don’t compete. We are all winners. Winning would be a cherry on top. Also it would mean that there are a great number of people who believe in my craft and love my music, to me personally that would be the ultimate victory,” he said.

Mncedi Tshicila and Joshua Sokweba aka Kususa. Supplied

Tshicila said Kususa was an electronic music duo from the Eastern Cape. He said music was an escape to them, as SA youth faced socio-economic challenges.

Nominated for best producer, compilation of the year, remix of the year, and best underground record of the year, Tshicila said it was their third time being nominated for the DMASA, and it still feels like the first time.

“We are thankful to our fans for nominating us three years in a row. This is proof of our fan-base interaction that we strive to keep. All categories are special for us as it wraps up the work we put out this year,” he said.

Tshicila added that a real special one that they worked on is their collaboration with Durban-based Argento Dust called “Incwadi Encane” which was released on an Ibiza based label – Sudam Recordings, and supported widely by heavyweight artists like Black Coffee, Themba and Dean Fuel just to name a few.

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