Brian Blaq has been a DJ for just over a decade, having started out while in high school. Like many DJs, Brian began his radio career at a campus radio station, when he enrolled at Boston Media House. Not long thereafter, a friend advised that he visit the Voice Of Soweto as they were interviewing DJs. Brian’s natural talent impressed and he found himself being offered a job, as a DJ, at the station.
Starting off by doing the graveyard shift, it wasn’t long before management noticed his ability. Initially standing in for various DJs during prime time, Brian was offered the drive time show when Zak Dakile left the station. Unfortunately due to school commitments he could not take the slot.
His talent opened many doors in the radio industry. Soon after his time at Voice Of Soweto, he auditioned for a slot at Jozi FM and was successful. He was offered the opportunity to co-host a Saturday morning show with DJ Hloks. This proved to be so popular that he was offered his own dance show on Saturday afternoons. Brian eventually progressed to the breakfast show from Monday to Friday. Competing with the likes of Bob Mabena and DJ Fresh for listenership. Leaving the airwaves due to school commitments, he later joined the Soulcandi family. It was then that he branched out and started organizing events. His ability caught the attention of, locally renowned, Deep House DJ Vinny Da Vinci. Who then started featuring him at a number of his Deep Soul Sessions. During this time Brian started hosting his own Blaq Soul Session and these elevated his name.
Brian Blaq recently joined Do It Now Recordings as the company’s label manager and a performing artist. As an artist, he’s released the much anticipated Mechanix Of House Volume 2 compilation, which features his most recent production ‘Happiness'( currently on high rotation on YFM ).
Welcome to The Lost and Found
Thank you so much. I’ve been a follower for some time now and it’s an honor to finally be interviewed by you guys.
Please introduce yourself to our community
Well, my real name is Brian. A friend of mine added the BlaQ because he felt the name is Brian was too ‘simple’ and didn’t set me apart from the rest of the DJ’s out there. I was born and raised in Soweto and grew up around the time when there were a lot of riots in the neighbourhood. But through all of that, there were a lot of good times. Music played an important role in my life. My parents used to have a lot of friends around the house and I got exposed to a lot of cassette tapes and vinyl. They would play anything from Teddy Pendergrass to Jimmy Smith and Brenda Fassie. I was always the ‘entertainer’ when their friends were around because I would be the one dancing and providing the entertainment for them (don’t you dare laugh). I knew that early in my life that I would end up doing something that had to do with the music industry.
How long have you been DJ’ing for and how did you get started?
I started DJ’ing when I was in high school. I had been collecting a lot hip hop when I was in Std. 6 (Grade 8). When I got to Std. 8 (Grade 10), I moved to another school where I met a friend who was also collecting music. It didn’t take us long before we started exchanging and buying music together. We would visit just about every record store we came across. One particular store we visited was up the road from our school and it belonged to DJ Christos. The shop was called Groove Records. We never knew who he was at the time but we became regulars at his store. Even when we didn’t have the money to buy music, we would go there just to hang out. DJ’s like Fresh, Static P and Bob Mabena would come in and out of the shop on a regular basis and I was inspired to become what these guys were and I took it upon myself to start doing something about my music collection. I then volunteered to become the DJ at all school events. That escalated into DJ’ing at the various taverns in and around Soweto (and all this time, I would tell my parents that I was visiting friends). This was all back in 1995. In 1998 when I was at the Boston Media House, I started getting into nightclub DJ’ing. It was also during this time that I landed a job as a presenter for the Voice Of Soweto (a community radio station). Radio became my passion…still is.
Describe your musical style and what makes it exceptional or different.
I like to see myself as an all-rounder. I play anything from deep, to soulful house and hip hop. Anything that I listen to at home, I want to be able to play it for the masses. I think that’s what sets me apart from most DJ’s. I don’t just specialize in one particular genre of music. I play all kinds of music.
You are currently the label manager at Do It Now Recordings. Tell us a bit about your day job.
Basically I oversee the overall running of the label. I deal with the artists, the contracts and any enquiry that comes from the outside. Not an easy job…hahahaha
Name 3 local artists who are currently leading the way when it comes to electronic music production.
Not sounding biased, but we have a group called Those Boys on Do It Now Recordings. These boys are super talented and are about to release their album. They are going to blow a lot of people away. I think Jullien Gomez is another guy that’s on the right track. I admire the passion and skill he puts into his art, especially his production. Everything comes from the heart and there is no pretending with this guy. Oddxperience are also doing some amazing deep, tech, broken house. Given enough exposure, they will blow a lot of people away with their production.
What has been your favourite DJ gig to play thus far and why?
I can honestly say that The Warm Up has been my favourite gig thus far. I’m a resident DJ and the one thing I like the most about the Warm Up is that people are not there to look pretty. People are there to party and dance. They appreciate good music. A lot of the places in Joburg are all about what you are wearing, who you are with and who is behind the decks. People only dance to the music that’s played by their favourite DJ’s. The Warm Up is the complete opposite of that.
You host a radio show called the Soulful Kollective. Tell us about the show and what listeners can expect.
The Soulful Kollective Radio Show is a weekly show that is podcasted live every Monday night between 19:00-21:00pm (C.A.T.). It’s hosted by 3 DJ’s who’ve decided to do a radio show that focuses on a lot of music that’s being ignored by mainstream radio. We have guest mixes from all over the world and do live interviews as well. You can check us out on www.soulfulkollective.co.za
Which labels ‘Do It’ for you, when it comes to deep house?
Do It Now Recordings (Hehehe… Yes, I know…), Dirt Crew Records, Tsuba Recordings just to mention but a few of MANY…
DJ culture has exploded worldwide. Any advice for young DJs starting out?
Do it for the right reasons. So many people want to become DJ’s for the money. It has to come from the heart. Be different as well. There can only be so many DJ Fresh’s in the world…
The future for Brian Blaq
I released a compilation called Mechanix Of House Vol.2 last year. In that compilation, I did a tune with TriGo and Mr Lee called “Happiness”. We released the remixes of that song a few weeks ago and it is available on Traxsource. I’m also working on my follow up compilation, which is to drop some time this year… Watch this space.
Thank You for taking the time to out to chat with us. We look forward to following your progress and support your success.
Thanks guys, much love and respect