We hang out with Lil Bow ahead of her Capital Craft Beer Festival 2016 set.
How do you define your DJ sets? And what music inspired you to learn how to mix?
“Bitchin’ Beats.” Nostalgic but fresh; filthy but pretty.
In the early days, I never thought about mixing at all because I had never intended to be a DJ, it just sort of happened. I was an incensed little punk back then and didn’t get the point of DJing. (Oh the irony.) So when I first started played it was a complete mixed bag – disco punk, ska and 90s hip-hop. My sets have evolved as I’ve grown as a person. These days I find myself enjoying and playing more bass-driven music. Hip-hop got me thinking about beats and samples though –I’d say it has a big influence on my sets overall.
You’re one of the few successful female DJs in Johannesburg’s music industry. What has this journey been like?
Oh wow, thanks. It’s been an interesting journey of figuring out things as I go, gaining confidence, making friends, seeing people at their best, seeing people at their worst, losing confidence, making mistakes, gaining confidence again, growing a thicker skin, evolving, trying new things without losing my roots, being open to everything, learning how to push back, feeling the utter rush of people having a good time to my sets and most importantly, having the most amount of fun.
What was the learning curve like for learning how to DJ? Did these things come easily for you?
Picking music has always come easily. The technical side of it took some time. It’s something that you never stop learning and crafting – that’s what I’m still doing.
It was like learning how to drive. At first you’re conscious of every gear change, you confuse the indicator and the windscreen wiper, clutch control is a luxury, parallel parking is out of the question and you’re nervous the entire way. Then one day you just get from point A to B without thinking about it and you’re like, “WOAH! I CAN DRIVE! Now how do I get better? How do I do it smoother?”
What should we look forward to at your Capital Craft Beer Fest 2016 set?
Well I’m playing the opening set which is pretty early, so I’ll keep it light and friendly. The kind of stuff people can tap their toes and bob their heads to while on their quest to getting day-drunk.
What is your ultimate musical success?
I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible – sharing a stage with international artists I love.
A particularly insane moment was when I was playing the change over before The Cat Empire (one of my ALL TIME favourite bands). They were setting up and DJ Jumps came up to me and was like, “Cool song,” and we jammed to it for like three whole seconds. You could’ve killed me at that moment – I would’ve died happy.
I’d love to play more festivals locally and hey, maybe overseas one day too.