Interview done by Malik
Interview: Getting to Know @AyandaMVP before the Castle Lite unlocks concert on the 30 April . #CastleLiteUnlocks
Ispeakhiphop caught up with 94.7 radio personality and DJ, Ayanda MVP. Since her big move from YFM to 94.7 and being booked for the Castle Lite Unlocks concert we wanted to find out how she’s handling all of it and get some knowledge on the industry. Below is how the conversation went.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since moving from one station to another?
A: Getting accustomed to the audience or the market that I was broadcasting to. At YFM it’s a youth station. YFM was viby and all about what party is happening on the weekend, while at 94.7 the market is a lot more broader, its dealing with people from the age of 21 to 35 mainly and over. You are dealing with people who are in the office, working and building a career. Those change for me where slightly challenging but I adapted.
What can people expect from your set at the Castle Lite unlocks concert?
A: It’s going to be fire and my set will represent what the ladies are all about today. How far we have come as women, what we represent today which is strength and independency. It’s also going to be a reflection of my DJ skills. That does not mean I’ll be playing love songs and so on, I’m still going to be representing Hip Hop, as I’m mostly a big lover of Trap Music. But what the song choices and what they songs say will describe how far I have come as a hip-hop DJ in the industry.
You have the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot, how do you prepare for it and make sure your show stays fresh?
A: Because I love music so much, its natural to me. I start mentally preparing for the next show, from the time I leave the station. I naturally have the energy for radio, so that energy just flows. I think a lot and that’s why 94.7 gave me a five-hour show. It’s never been done before in the country and especially by a female. That 5 hours slot is why I mainly decided to take up the show for me it’s like doing a normal 9 to 5 job. While people are at work my job is to assist them through their work process. I also need to make sure my content makes sense to the listener, that its relatable and by making sure the listener can trust me, see me as a friend and become loyal fans of the show.
You originally studied law, what pulled you towards the radio life/DJ world and not pursue law?
A: I wanted to study law, but I ended up studying psychology and criminology because I could not get into law, it was already full and I needed to take another option. I’m still keen on studying law, it’s something I love. When I got to the University of Pretoria, radio was never something that interested me. I was very bored, and I found out you could join any community, charity or NGO and I just thought why not choose radio because it seemed interesting. To this day, radio is what pays the bills. It became something that I just grew into naturally. I started DJing after being on campus radio for a bit, I used to play in campus square but had to stop for a moment to prioritise my radio show. Things such as YFM took preference but once I was established, I still wanted people to see me out performing, so I went back to work on my DJ skills and to performing at events. You could say, that radio was an unexpected calling.
As a local hip hop DJ what are your top 3 SA Hip Hop albums of the present era?
I have four , not three. A: Ricky Rick ‘Family Values’, Rouge ‘New Era’ sessions, Emtee ‘Manando’ and Shane Eagle ‘Yellow’. I have so many albums that I enjoy, but these four are up there.
What is the hardest thing you have to deal with, when dealing with hip hop whether as a DJ at an event or a radio Host?
A: it’s the debate of SA Hip Hop sound identity. When you have to introduce, SA HIP HOP to a new crowd. We have good music, but we don’t have a specific standard or unique sounds to identify South African Hip Hop as. For example, with house music you can say this is soul, this is lounge or other, but with local Hip Hop we’re still trying to find our own unique sound and identity even though we have so much variety. We sample a lot of old school songs, now especially we sample kwaito, but do those sound really define south African Hip Hop? How would you describe South African Hip Hop to someone that comes from overseas? That is a bit of an issue for me, we don’t have a standard sound that can describe SA Hip hop.
Who do you look up to in the industry in general, not Hip Hop specifically and why?
A: It’s mainly Anele Mdola, who is also on 94.7, she’s a strong and powerful woman. She’s more than just a radio personality, she’s also a philanthropist, a TV personality who takes on topics that people try to avoid talking about, she’s very in your face, very smart and informed. That is what I wish to become in a few years’ time, a female mogul in the making in this industry and I would like to also include TV in my résumé.
What’s your day like after the radio show or should we say what’s a typical day like for you without counting the radio show?
A: After the radio show, I mostly go and do voice overs. Sometimes, I play auntie by going to pick my niece and nephew from school, I try to exercise as much as I can. I’m constantly working on fresh content, for my next radio show. If I’m not on radio, Voice overs are mainly what keeps me busy after the show.
Did you just agree to perform at the Castle Lite unlock concert like every other show or is there more that went into you agreeing ? Like your partnership with Castle Lite, what attracted you to the castle lite unlocks concerts?
A: Firstly, Castle Lite has been unlocking many artist since 2011 and I’ve been a fan. I’ve been watching from the beginning when they unlocked Drake, Kanye, Nas, Timbaland and more. They always bring an extra cold experience to winter and I fell in love with the concept before being asked to be part of the concert this year. The reason I mainly accepted to work with them this year was, because they were not just unlocking an international artist, they were unlocking our own local artists. Artist that represent where SA Hip Hop is currently and where its heading for the next few years, the new revolution of hip hop is in people such as Nadia Nakai, Frank Casino and Shane Eagle. The artist performing, will determine how hip hop will grow in SA for the next few years. I also jumped on cause I’m part of the young generation of hip hop that will determine tomorrow’s Hip Hop in SA, I believe and Castle Lite must believe the same, that’s why im performing at the concert.
What do you enjoy most about your life right now?
A: Everything, I just love my life right now. I feel blessed to be doing something I’m passionate about and make a living from it. I’m not from a rich family, so I count every blessing and chance I get to use my voice to make a difference. I also enjoy , that I’m using my voice to make a difference , so I’m always in people’s faces whether they like it or not.
Is there anything we should look out for in 2018?
A: I don’t want to jinx anything for now, but let me say that when it happens I will let you guys know.
In an industry where males mostly run the hip hop radio and DJ game how do you stay amongst the top and do you at any time feel intimidated?
A: I’m never intimated by what anyone does, specifically men. If I was, then I’d be intimidated every time I do something in my life. When I started at YFM, I was replacing Thando Thabete and people asked me “what does it feel like to replace her and be in her shoes?” I said “Thando and I are not the same, plus we don’t wear the same shoe size how can we be the same?”. That’s the same thing, I will say now and every time people ask me, if I feel the pressure of being in someone else’s shoes. You can never feel pressure, when you walk in your own shoes, you need to decide if you either going to be good at this or you going to fail at this. Don’t be put into a box that minimises you or compares you. The pressure comes from me, always wanting to be better than my last performance, I constantly practise my craft to stay fresh.
Describe Ayanda DJ in 1 word?
Life. I am full of life every day, because I’m thankful for the life that I have and that reflect in my show and my attitude. That is mainly why, they decided to give me a five-hour show and why Castle Lite chose me.
This was an interview, we at ispeakhiphop really enjoyed. Ayanda was easy to talk and relate to. We are looking forward to see her at the Castle Lite unlocks concert on Monday the 30 April .#CastleLiteunlocks