I saw Sideshow at Jozifest earlier on this year. She performed some time in the afternoon when energy levels were high, the sky was pouring down with rain and drunkenness levels were low. From then I knew she had game. The previous DJ had managed to drag a few individuals out onto the dance floor, myself included, and I was only there because I was already drunk from the Hotbox Express. Within moments Sideshow managed to form a crowd around her. Each person had their wackiest moves on display in the daylight and their bass faces on. I saw her name on the Saturday line-up at Oppikoppi and that was the confirming decision that I wasn’t going to leave the Red Bull stage at all on the Saturday night to go see some of the bands. 

I found her in the Ray Ban artist area and was super excited when she agreed to an interview with Drop Your Drink. The interview was carried out just before her set, backstage at the Red Bull Stage and sans recorder because I promised her that I have an insane memory. She was nervous and excited before her show. I can’t imagine the levels of both emotions but if you read my review of Oppikoppi you will know that she killed it and the rest of the crowd got to see something I already knew she was capable of.

With the sounds of PhDJ blaring in the background the first thing I asked Sideshow was how her name came about. It’s a simple story she told me, she’s always had the nickname and when she moved from playing private gigs and started gaining popularity she fell back onto her nickname in order to name herself. Personally, I don’t think she’s anything that would indicate a side show. Sideshow has spent a long time in the music industry. Her time spent has not always been as a DJ but her experience has shaped her into the DJ she is. For years she worked at a music venue and it taught her a lot of the ins and outs of DJing. This has contributed to her skill of being able to sense the crowd and how they are responding to her music. Having this sense has made her make sure her sets are flexible. Not many DJs like to leave their sets down to mixing live because they make mistakes and often will leave the crowd experiencing whatever comes up. I then went on to ask her if she will ever produce music because I know I would like to hear a Sideshow track. It’s all down to time, was the response. She would love to have a day where she could sit and do these things.

Of course the Johannesburg party scene was compared to Cape Town’s party scene. Joburg always comes out on top. She’s found that Joburg people are more accepting of her music and the different styles featured in her sets. Cape Town people have grown to trust her and whenever she includes new stuff at her gigs then they will accept it because they trust her.

I asked Sideshow what her mode of operation is, what is her inspiration for her music and she said something very interesting. She works with shock tactics. Her audience must first understand that she’s a female DJ. The second part of shock tactics plays on the first, being a female DJ her audience often doesn’t expect her to play the tracks that she does, which is why she does it. I for one, as a listener, was not shocked by her but rather amazed, I guess the element of surprise did come into play.

With such a large gaining in popularity you’d expect her to feature more prominently which led to the suggestion that she should feature her mixes on 5FM for the Ultimix at 6. Sideshow would consider entering a mix. She’s particularly proud of the mix she did as one of the opening acts for GTRONIC when he was on his South African Tour but once again it would take time to make another mix and perhaps one day she will sit down and get to it.

She’s a seriously cool DJ and if you want to see her soon then you should get tickets for Earthdance Cape Town (21st of September until the 23rd of September).

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