This South African FHM model is now a popular DJ in Los Angeles and played at Burning Man

2019-04-14 06:38
Jeanné Kietzmann
Jeanné Kietzmann (Photo: Justin Munitz)

Cape Town - South African born DJ and music producer Jeanné Kietzmann, who is making a name for herself in Los Angeles, spoke to Channel24 about living in Hollywood, and what she misses most about home.

While living in South Africa, Jeanné worked as an actress and model and appeared in multiple editions of FHM. 

To the South African audience, she is best known for her role as Tamara Blaine, the girlfriend of Jonathan Grant (played by Charlie Keegan) in the M-Net soccer drama series League of Glory, in 2010 before she decided to relocate to the USA and follow her dreams of a music career. 

The ambitious DJ, who grew up in Cape Town's Southern Suburbs, decided to relocate to The City of Angels after she wrapped up a supporting role in the eight-episode BBC science fiction series Outcasts.

She says: " I loved the idea of living in another country and getting to know a different culture, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to do so."

It was mostly the all-year-long warm climate and the laid-back culture that drew her to Los Angeles. 

And of course, which aspiring actor doesn't dream of living next door to the Hollywood sign?  

But at first the transition wasn't smooth, Jeanné says: "I didn't know anyone when I moved, so for a long time it was extremely lonely. The time difference made it difficult to pick up the phone and call my mom whenever I was having a bad day."

The loneliness was a big obstacle for the local entertainer who dealt with feelings of isolation and depression when she first arrived in Los Angeles. 

Another challenge she had was building a credit record so that she could lease a car, and an apartment or take out a cellphone contract.  

"But once I found a good group of friends it was a definite game changer for me."

Talking about one of her best friends Joseph, she says: " He helped me feel at home and was someone I could rely on."

Born in East London, the 32-year-old classically trained dancer took part in several productions at the Artscape Theatre while growing up, and is heavily influenced by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Chopin.

She believes that her dance and music career go hand-in-hand, saying: "I've always felt connected to music through dance, not to mention that being a ballerina exposed me to many genres of music especially classical."

Jeanné, who goes by the stage name Kietzn, describes her sound as "underground deep tech house."

She says: "I love dark bass lines and African percussions. The sound is generally the core of most of my sets and mixtapes. With so many sub-genres of house music,  I can play around with a variety of different pieces."

Recently Jeanné, who has performed her music at Sky Bar at the Mondrian, Waldorf Astoria, Estrella and Soho House, has become most famous for her DJ sets at Burning Man.

Despite her impressive repertoire, she says it's still "absolutely terrifying" performing in the hottest Los Angeles nightclubs at times. 

Jeanné will be releasing her first official single later this month from her upcoming EP, which is yet to be titled.

Her primary focus with her EP is to "differentiate herself" from what is currently out in the house music scene, while still staying true to her South African heritage. 

"It is going to be dark and emotional but moving." 

Her dream collaboration would be with Black Coffee and Themba she adds, saying: "They are changing the house music industry and I love how they create and the way they perform. The fact they are from South Africa is very inspiring."

The multi-talented artist also hasn't given up on her acting career, and says we'll see her return to our screens "somewhere down the line." 

"I have a few ideas for short films I want to write, direct and star in but at this point, it would be more of a passion project."

Notwithstanding all her success, Jeanné misses a lot about South Africa, especially her family, Llandudno beach, braais, Woolworths, biltong and wine farms.

"Whenever I'm back in South Africa I usually buy a bunch of South African products, like 'Charlotte Rhys,' and keep them around my apartment to makes it feel more like home.'

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