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Bobbejaan Talk Mixing it Up

| Interviews

By James Hammerton

Published Thursday, 17 March 2016 07:18

Tell us about Bobbejaan. How did the idea come about and what do you guys do besides for DJ?

Bobbejaan wasn’t suddenly born or created, it was always here, lurking in the jungle, studying, learning, patiently waiting for the opportune moment.

The initiative emerged out of pure lust, angst, energy, enthusiasm for life and above all the love of music. It’s a love /idea/ way of life that has been growing and building since we were kids and, we just finally put a name to it and made it official. Tired of not hearing the music we wanna hear, and not playing the shows we wanna play with all our friends, we decided to stop waiting for moments to come to us, and instead, we’re creating the moments. Starting off as a Facebook platform, within a month we hosted our first party at Schivas, 2 weeks later we launched our first event, a few months later we hosted our first live mini-festival, a month later our first national tour and opened up our first music venue. That’s what we’ve been doing ever since so the rest is history I guess.

As a family/company our intention is to take an artist and their work from the point of creation to the point of the exhibition and so naturally along with all the live events and collaborations, we do artist management, booking, tour bookings and planning. Additionally, we run an independent and DIY live music venue in PTA CBD called the Red Right Hand. The venue was built in 1929, so we’re keeping the culture and heritage alive and kicking.

Could you tell us about your team and the roles they have played in the music scene over the past few years?

Personally, we’re teachers, skateboarders, booking agents, managers, advertising consultants, financial consultants, freelancers, horticulturalists, garden boys and generally a bunch of dorks/dickweeds.

We all have quite an extensive background in the music industry which ranges from carrying amps, shows, tours, guitar techies for our friends, publishing zines, hosting gigs, spending time in recording studios, to tour managing and all playing in an array of bands. Warren is a pioneer from the Pretoria punk movement. He also spent a long time in London working in studios and on tours with the likes of names like Nick Cave, Tricky, Radiohead, ACDC and a whole lot more.

The team is:

    • Ziggy AKA Professor Panga // bookings, designs, art direction, social media, artist liaison, and marketing.
    • Warren AKA DJ Horseblood // logistics dawg // artist liaison and venue manager at Red Right Hand
    • Finn AKA Archie AKA Dj Scrumcap AKA Susan // media liaison, photography, vibes, artist liaison, bookings,
    • Brendon AKA DJ Gumguard // Brendon is Dr.Calcualtor! Amongst various other things, he’s our finance guy!

When Bobbejaan, has a DJ set who out of the team takes the decks and what sort of music would you expect to hear?

Every show and scenario is, obviously different but, usually, Prof. Panga and Horseblood run a couple of standard songs as a sound check (making sure we got stereo and all that)  and we take it from there! Prof. Panga gets things cooking up with the vinyls, vintage garage and psych, Horseblood brings in some heat with the more punk orientated flavours with Scrumcap and Gumguard making sure the heat keeps coming!!

You guys travel frequently across the country to a variety of different events, do you have any travel stories that stick out?

I think my favourite story actually happened in PTA Novemeber last year. We were hosting a day-long art festival collaboration with Capital Arts revolution at the Red Right Hand. About 14:00 in the afternoon the program for the main hall was scheduled for a live poetry reading. Now to put it into context, 150 people in the hall, mixed ethnicity, all quiet as a mouse, listening to the soapbox poet speaking about black liberation, and next thing, captain scrumcap aka Finn fuckin Mackinnon, just getting back to the venue and being not even slightly aware of his surroundings or what’s going on starts blaring in punk enthusiasm NOFX’s “DON’T CALL ME WHITE, DON’T CAAAAALL ME WHITE!!”

Generally, they involve questionable morals and levels of legality, but I can say how much Ziggy loves driving around policemen in tight traffic situations while remaining totally calm (sarcasm).

We have also done some bizarre shows, once Djing for a DEAF school.

Also, our general, Mr Ziggy Kruger can sleep like a fucking log wherever and whenever the opportunity presented itself. But not just sleep, sleep like a Harley Davidson at full throttle, the man can snore!!

You guys have had great success with your events last year could you tell us more about this and what do you see in the near future for Bobbejaan?  Could you give us a heads up about any events we should know about for 2016?

Thank you, last year was a great year for us and we did have successes beyond our wildest imaginations. Finn said it best when he stated that we work all week just to be able to work on the weekends. And that’s pretty much the crux of it. There are a lot of things that come into play (way too many to mention here) but essentially our first series of shows taught us to solve problems damn quickly and effectively and from there, our focus was honestly just on taking every little opportunity that we could, using the extremely minimal resources and zero budgets at our disposal and making it happen in the sexiest, loudest, most DIY, honest and true way that we possibly could. Always pushing to make the next show better than and different from the last one we did.

For the future… Again there are more things lined up for this year than we could possibly mention here. We will continue to challenge ourselves and those around us, and continually push to break out of comfort zones. But for now… all we’re gonna say is that 16 June is gonna be a date with Bobbejaan that you don’t want to miss! Also, just keep an eye on or the Bobbejaan and Red Right Hand Facebook pages for more info.

As DJ’s how do you judge what music to play when? Do you force your idea of music on the audience or do you try to cater to the crowd and how do you manage this without compromising what you’re about?

Rule number 1: No pre-planning or playlists. Rule number 2: Read the crowd and energy in the room. Naturally, it depends on the gig. We do adapt to the environment were dj’ing in and cater for a crowd to a certain degree, but we never compromise. People want a vibe. It’s that simple. And that’s what we provide. We usually end up playing people the music they wanna hear without them even knowing they wanted to hear it in the first place. In all honesty with careful, curation of aesthetics, mixing in the old with the new is the best, most educational manner to not deal with bullshit and compromise what were about.

With Bobbejaan I see a greater agenda than just DJing for DJ’s sake, do you have an agenda when it comes to exposing new crowds to good music? Do you feel it is your responsibility?

Our dj’ing just started as a means for us and our friends to have a good time. It was never the intention to be considered as bobbejaan DJ's, or even for us to personally be considered as DJ's. When we started the Facebook platform the idea was to share the new music that we were into with like-minded people, and we began to realise that people really enjoyed that element, and enjoyed it, even, more when all that good stuff was playing at a party, so for us we certainly see our dj sessions as educational moments and most definitely feel that it is our responsibility to expose and introduce crowds to new music. People don’t know what they want. Ou’s wanna jol, and that’s where our job comes in.

Your brand seems to be an all-encompassing experience with a strong aesthetic, what do you do to translate this aesthetic into a DJ performance?

Our brand aesthetic is based on energy, passion and true grit. We have a good time when we’re dj’ing and when people see this, the energy rubs off. We force ourselves to simply keep it natural. We play music from feeling, just like RnR is intended to be done. We keep an attitude toward the scene and our brand that we embody both on and off the stage; RocknRoll is honest, heartfelt and always will be bigger than those that embody it, we embody it on and off the stage by simply doing it.

What type of tunes could the Mieliepop crowd expect from your set and when is your slot?  

After the last bands end on the stages, make your way to the bar. You can’t miss us. We’re playing there until the sun comes up. Expect the unexpected. Expect sweat. Expect beer and Jagermeister. There are always a couple of flying bottles and bodies. It’s gonna be sexy. See you there!

Updated on:
>> Friday, 30 September 2022 13:56

Rock & Roll


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About Bobbejaan

Bobbejaan is a South African-based initiative that stands as a platform to bring you only the best beastly parties, events, grooves and mixtapes to keep your jungle jives swinging. The Pretoria jungle has become quiet at night when the creepies come out crawlin and we, the boogie men, aim to return to you the tree shakin rock and roll jams. We live to HOWL. We live to swing from the chandeliers like the apes that we are. We live to hang out with all our Bobbejaan comrades and we want you to swing on down and jump till you break your branches! Bobbejaan blaf!