#DIYwithDYD is a series that follows incredible individuals. We learn how they made their amazing projects happen. We talk to Nelson Mendes in our latest post. He one of the co-founders of Trio Nova, No Curfew, Mixed Apples and one of the creators of We.The.City..
You’re the one of the co-founders of Trio Nova, No Curfew, Mixed Apples and one of the creators of We.The.City. Where do you find the time to do all of these things, especially when all of these things happen at the same time?
You know the saying, “Good things come to those who hustle?” Not? Well, now you do. ;) I am a passionate believer in our industry and a hustler to get the best out of it. I have managed to position myself firmly within the Pretoria house scene, making some amazing friends along the way. All these brands work seamlessly together because I manage to differentiate them slightly, one-from-the-another. This allows them to capture a certain little following, it’s tough work but I love it!
We’re talking to you through #DIYwithDYD and not from a blogger’s perspective because of the way you’ve worked various pieces of the puzzle within the music scene. We think that it’s great how you have identified a gap. We want to know why you got involved with Trio Nova.
Well, Trio Nova chose me actually! I was approached by my two friends, Sisco Umlambo and Tino, who had previously thrown events in Pretoria, SMOOVE. They missed the scene after taking a four year break from the events game. So they contacted me to join them by starting something fresh in Pretoria, for the house music lovers. We sat around a table, drinking beers, putting ideas down on paper and playing with names, which is where Trio Nova was born. The idea with this brand was to offer events for the deep house lover, focusing on quality music and unique venue choices. You will see that we never throw our events at established ‘clubs/venues’ but rather go take over a cigar lounge or restaurant for a night to remember. We have acquired a very loyal following over the past four years.
What do you think differentiates We.The.City. From any other Gauteng-based event venture?
We.The.City. is a brand new concept that myself and my Mixed Apples partner, Grant Reston, came up with. We also decided to include good friends and industry-known artists, such as; Deep Suite and RoLo. The primary focus of We.The.City is to get the young, affluent party-goers to venture into the Pretoria CBD, where we are host top quality local and hopefully international acts at a beautiful rooftop venue overlooking the city skyscrapers. We believe that this project will grow into something really amazing and will attract a distinct multi-cultural following. Please do join us for the next one early next year.
I hear Mixed Apples now has an hour radio slot on Ibiza Live Radio. Tell us about Mixed Apples. How did you decide on the name and what prompted its creation?
Mixed Apples is a blog-based media platform that myself and Grant created in 2013, where we wanted to showcase all the; amazing events, artists, bands, local photographers, graphic designers and all other creatives. It is now very much focused on music and events, with weekly interviews with your favourite local DJ’s and bands. The name was something I had in mind for years before we stared the blog and seemed to just fit perfectly with what we were trying to produce with the blog. Mixed Apples doesn’t constrain us into a specific topic or genre, but rather that it’s a “mixed bag/mixed apples” of information!
Regarding the weekly radio show on Ibiza Live Radio. We were lucky enough to meet an awesome German woman by the name of Maxi, who lives and works in Ibiza. She has become a good friend and a industry contact, which is how we got connected with Miss Luna, who runs the radio station. She gave us an opportunity to showcase local South African DJ’s on a weekly-basis. We’re on our 30th show now!
We live in a time in which there is so much music coming from so many different places. It’s become so accelerated that there is now difficulty in identifying what constitutes as an original and a remake. What is your opinion on movement of music scenes within South Africa?
On one hand, I believe we are in a great space regarding local music and the development of quality local acts but on the other hand, I believe there are too many “wannabes” in the game that are doing it for the fame and not for love of the music. The artists who are doing it for the love of music are really doing well and production is on the rise. The other issue is that you don’t have many venues supporting LIVE music, so it’s tough for bands to really get out there. The ones that are well know will always get the booking but it’s the up-and-coming acts that are struggling. My hat goes off to the homies at Arcade Empire, who are giving local acts the platform to showcase their music.
Sadly, we’re all getting old. Do you think your audience will grow along with you? Have you ever struggled to communicate with your younger readers?
I try and focus on the music instead of the followers. If we bring quality articles or amazing line ups, then the right people will read it or come to our parties. I have realised that youngsters are very much attracted to the now and what their friends are doing. This usually tends to lean towards “commerciality” which is not what I wish to promote or showcase. I am focused on bringing quality music to a mature audience that appreciates it!
What does an average day look like for you?
Well, I work in a sound and lighting company running their marketing and design. That puts me in front of my laptop most of the day, where I can easily juggle between my day job, running Mixed Apples and also doing promoting for whichever event is up next. Whatever I don’t get done during the day, I will get done in the evening. I keep myself very busy and on top of things.
Do you have any ‘ragrets’ about any of your tattoos?
Hahahaha, I see what you did there! ;) I have zero regrets with my tattoos! I see my tattoos as my story and my body as the story board.
This feature falls in our “Do It Yourself” series. We’re trying to get young people to see different ways of handling their futures. What advice would you give to young people about starting their own projects and/or businesses?
My advice is to find something that you truly love doing and work every single day, without fail, without giving up, until your work gets the respect and credit it deserves. I also encourage working with like-minded people when working together to grow the industry, instead of making it a competition for who is better. “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”.