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We got the lowdown from Uncle Partytime and Symatics about their epic Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa Finale sets

2018-06-27 12:40
Symatics, Uncle Partytime

Cape Town – Ahead of the Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa Finale in Johannesburg last week, Channel24 spoke to Uncle Partytime and Symatics who both performed at the event. 

The two DJs told us about the one Boiler Room set that inspired both of them, what they did when the got they were on the line-up and what’s next for them, individually. 

ICYMI: Channel24 also spoke to singer Moonchild Sanelly, ahead of her Boiler Room X Ballentine’s True Music Africa Finale performance and she gave us a scoop and half about what she’s getting up to in London with Blur front man Damon Albarn. 



Can you tell us what it was like when you got the call asking you to perform at the Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa Finale? 

I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I was losing my mind. Like, I was so excited because that’s the one thing that I’ve always wanted to do, since I started playing. And the fact that it happened so soon for me, was like, crazy. 

You started off DJing with your friends and then it evolved into a professional thing. Can you tell us more about that? 

I started in 2015 and until here and now. 

Has it been more of a rollercoaster or do you feel like it’s been a gradual process? 

It’s been hectic because there’s a lot of stuff that I’m going through with the industry here in South Africa. Of course, there’s like all the guys, that really don’t appreciate new talent that much and I had to push through that and I had to work my way eventually to getting international bookings, like Boiler Room. So…it hasn’t been easy. 

Is there a Boiler Room performance that you have seen in person or in a video clip that you have seen that really spoke to you? Or you connected with ?

I was watching, I think it was Montreal, it was Kaytranada, that was the one gig! I was like: ‘I want to play here one day.‘


You’ve spoken about how you don’t really plan out your sets and how they flow more organically based on the crowd. Has there one time when the crowd was a little stiff and what did you do to loosen them up?

Well first I have to make sure that I am loosened up. Because I do get nervous. All the sets that I played I get nervous, for probably the first two songs. And once I get into it and I see how the crowd reacts; automatically I should know what they want to hear. So, I try to work around that and if it works, I push harder, to get (to) the climax of the set. 

And when the groove is really going is there a song that you know will really rip the roof off? 

Yes, definitely, it’s a song by Anatii – a South African rapper – called Thixo Onofefe


You are a bit of a trendsetter in terms of clothes and your fashion aesthetics even got you the nickname Uncle, is there something that you always have to wear on stage or when you tour?

No, I don’t really have props or anything like that, I wear what I like. That’s how even the name came about...I used to wear like these big chino pants and people never understood it (laughs) because I got the inspiration from fashion so from there, the fashion came about. But, I get most of my inspiration just from regular people on the streets, just walking around, maybe from 50 year-old and upwards. I do sometimes keep it to my age and wear tracksuits or whatever.  

Are you working on any new music right now?  What can fans expect?

I am currently working on my debut single. It’s been recorded but there’s like a few options I have and I just have to choose the one that makes sense. 

When can fans look out for that?

I don’t want to set a date or anything, because it’s too much pressure. I want it to be organic. 


Can you tell us what it was like when you got the call asking you to perform at the Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa finale?

Man, getting the call from Boiler Room to perform at the finale of True Music Africa, it was quite amazing. It was one of the platforms I have been wanting to play on for a while and to be afforded the opportunity was really great, yeah I hope to maximise what I do for it. I’m looking forward to spreading good vibes with everyone that is there. 

Is there a Boiler Room performance that you have seen in person or in a video clip that you have seen that really spoke to you? Or you connected with?

I think one of my favourites and a lot of other people’s favourites would be the Kaytranada Boiler Room set. I also think that was when Boiler Room was starting to kind of like, reach the people. You know, starting to create interest. And, you know, it was new, it was ground-breaking and something fresh. That’s always what music needs and that’s what music is, it’s always growing. You never know what direction it’s taking and when Boiler Room came out I the whole approach of just being able to perform with people in a room and sharing it with other people worldwide that are just like you or in the same network. It was inspiring. 

You’re a cinematographer as well as a DJ, is there one artist in local music – other than yourself – who you think really marries the two mediums together well?

I mean, as a part of a We Heart Beat, we started a festival last year to create a music platform that merges music and digital together and we on our second year this year and we are just trying to explore the idea more to see where the relationship really lies because as technology advances, music is also advancing. So, it’s kind-of it’s the right time to think of the visual element of whatever you’re offering. 

You co-founded We Heart Beat, what role do you think creative entrepreneurship plays in the local music industry?

I think being a creative and being an entrepreneur goes hand in hand. I don’t think you can be a creative and not be able to push yourself. At We Heart Beat, we have had to invest a lot in stuff to be seen, or to be heard and to be understood. But, with us investing in ourselves a lot has come from that and I think people need to stop waiting for opportunities and create their own opportunities. I think the world is a big playground and there’s a place for everyone. And I think with the internet you can be based anywhere in the world. 

What’s next for Symatics? 

I think I would like start touring in Europe or maybe The States. I’m going to start pressing for a couple of things and once everything I in lockdown I’ll be able to announce that. But between now and December we’ll be working on the We Heart Beat festival coming up in September with Siv Ngesi. 

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