Many of us have just recently discovered the DJ who goes by the name “Kat La Kat” A purveyor of all things deep, slow and emotional… For The Record SA caught up with him, to find out a bit more..
You’re originally from Pretoria, which many claim is the ‘real’ House music capital of South Africa. How much truth is in this claim?
Well it’s a claim that even internationals can attest. It is now slowly evening out throughout the country, but Pretoria has always been at the forefront when it comes to consuming deep house. It’s been a part of the urban youth culture in PTA for a long time.
If my calculations are correct, you’ve been DJ’ing for a decade+ now and producing for 7years. Why then have many of us only just heard about you? Is it because you’re “proper underground” hahaha?
Could be?! Hahaha. Well firstly I was a bedroom dj for a long time because 1) I wanted to make sure the moment I start DJ’ing; I know what I’m doing and doing it well and 2) I couldn’t do club gigs for a while because of my age when I started. 3) I played different styles of music in the earlier years, was a bit “soulful” when I started then got very “minimal techy” then very afro influenced which a lot of people got to know me by, so I have tapped a bit into different markets. Lastly I think it’s also because it hasn’t been what I do on a full time basis.
Take us back to how you got into playing the music you do and who were the main influences [locally and internationally] to the sound you now enjoy?
Growing up where I grew up, deep house has always been around me. I started collecting tapes in the late 90’s then there was a boom of compilations so was collecting CDs, though it was mainly the mainstream sound and a bit of Mid Tempo which I enjoyed big time. I fell in love with the underground sound around 2004 playing the “flipsides” of records, the versions most people overlooked but most I’d only play at home in my room, then the bug really hit around 2006 when the minimal and deep tech sound was getting very popular in Pretoria so I can’t really pin point main influences. It was just a matter of a bit of history, maturity, exposure, exploring music and trying out new unheard of artists, that I stumbled upon this awesome sound.
Listening to your Deep Vibes podcasts, you’re always pushing ‘rare’ sounds and you seem to have a love for the slower/deeper cuts, has this always been the case or have you refined your sound over the years?
As a deep house listener, yes I’ve always liked my music a bit slower than usual and most of the times it made so much more sense to me and tracks would hit me harder at a slower tempo. I thought I was a bit weird and that people wouldn’t appreciate that type of sound and that’s why I almost never played it in public, but it felt so good to me that after a while I felt bad that others around me were not experiencing what I was and that’s what inspired me to start the podcast.
Your DJ name “Kat La Kat” is a lot easier to roll off the tongue than “Kgakgamatso Tlholoe” Did you have the nickname before you started DJ’ing or was it one you acquired for your stage presence?
Well throughout my life people have always found funny ways to shorten my name. There has never been any -one consistent nickname which sucked ‘coz I had memorized sooo many names that people would call me hahaha. The name was almost accidental because my initials are K.A.T and that’s how I would mark my books at school. After a while people were calling me Kat and there were a lot of those so I just added a bit of spice to the name
Tell us about your other moniker “Deepnotic” where does this name fit in?
That is the name I normally use a lot for remix projects
The last time we spoke, you were now staying in Johannesburg. Has this increased the amount of DJ bookings you’ve received?
Not really, I found Johannesburg to be a bit too mainstream for my liking and I’ve been very picky with the bookings. I know many say that I haven’t been to “the right places” but back in Pretoria “The right places” are way easier to find.
I see you’ve just been booked for The Warm Up, which is arguably the premier [deep] house night in the City. You must be really excited to play alongside a quality contributor like Lance DeSardi?
Yes im quite excited about it because I attend a lot of “The Warm Up” parties and the crowd there is always great. Playing alongside a big name like Lance Desardi (whose remixes kill me!!!) and the awesome resident DJs like 2lani the warrior, Brian Blaq and Phat Jack is an experience I wouldn’t pass on
You’ve been rather busy on the production side. Had a listen to some of your work on the Reverbnation website and your sound moves from the full-bodied Chicago house sound to the more Afro-house style [Joy Fantacy for example]. Is this where Kat La Kat is most comfortable?
Yeah I like exploring and trying out new things with music listening to it, making and playing it. I don’t have a specific style or formula that I stick to
What are you currently working on and is there an EP or album on the way?
I have taken quite a long break from making music but yes there’s a couple of remixes and projects of my own that should be dropping soon this year.
I know you currently do not have a bookings agent, which is something you’re working on. How can promoters get in contact for bookings/enquiries?
firstname.lastname@example.org should sort you out
Thanks very much my friend!
It has been a pleasure brother