Kyle Russouw has burst onto the local music scene in spectacular fashion. Having heard his name being mentioned by the likes of Erefaan Pearce and having played at the monthly Tableism events, I thought it best we get to know a little bit more about the new face on the House music scene.
Hi Kyle, thanks for chatting to us. Can you give us a bit of background on yourself? Where you grew up, what interests you etc?
I was born and raised in Kensington Cape Town (the beautiful Mother City) where i currently still reside. The past 20 years of my life i have been exposed to different genres of music, but my one true love will remain deep house. I grew up in a house in which music was always played from jazz, R&B and even instrumental. My teen years, I joined the club and house party scene, and this just drew me closer to my calling of becoming a DJ. My uncle (Falko) is also a well known graffiti artist and is a part of the classics event.
My second love has always been sport, which is why as a youngster I never really took my passion for music seriously, as it was my dream to be a professional soccer player. I also obtained my Western Province colours for baseball 8 years ago and still enjoy the game.
You’ve not been DJ’ing for a long time, right? How long has it been and what were the main factors behind you becoming a DJ and playing House music?
I’ve been DJing for 2 years, but out of that 2 years I would only recognize 1 year which has truly made me feel a part of this industry.
A close friend of mine moved down to Cape Town in 2009 from Johannesburg. Our friendship and the music he brought down with him influenced my interest for house music. Ziyaad Salli and I would fool around for hours on Virtual DJ and he would always update me with the latest local house music. Since then my archives have grown from buying albums such as Sutra and the Soul Candi collection.
Being a youngster and not being able to attend house parties such as Shake your pancreas: Funky Buddah ; Soul Revolution and the list goes on, all I could do was add these dj’s on Facebook to keep myself updated and with this the interest grew.
My ears were really opened to my calling of becoming a DJ at the age of 17, when i was invited to play at a car wash fundraiser by my good friend Alister Fester. I found myself extremely comfortable behind the decks, and the reason for house music would definitely be the melodic side. I also wanted to find some sort of isolation to the everyday music, and found that deep house not only does that, but it also takes me on a spiritual journey. To sum it all up house music rocks!!!
I believe you studied at the Soul Candi Institute of Music right? Tell us how that came about and how it’s benefited you as a DJ?
Thats correct i studied at Soul Candi Institute of Music for only a year, but i have to say it was the most exciting and enlightening year thus far.
I found myself inspired by one particular person, he was my dj lecturer Blanka Mazimela, we spent a lot of time together and he most certainly matured my taste in music. He became my mentor. The production course helped me understand the finer details that a songs’ production consists of. Therefore when I listen to a song I know how much time an effort was put into making that track and I appreciate it more. This also affects the way in which I select my music , as I look at music in a different dimension: knowing and listening.
Listening to some of your mixes on your Soundcloud page, it’s evident you are able to play the slower, moodier side of [deep] house music as well as the slightly more melodic style too. Are these your two chosen areas of house music or does it run deeper than that? [Mandatory pun]
Yes it most definitely does run deeper, as not all motion is physical movement. With my style of music I get to feel the rhythm in the strings an melodies; also with this style you get to feel the movement from the inside and just allow it to flow.
Taking into consideration this ‘slow-mo’ style you’ve taken on as your own, would you say you prefer playing the earlier slots or are you comfortable adapting to whatever time of the night you are booked?
I can play to any style, as a DJ you need to be versatile and be able to adjust and adapt. I must admit I do love the moody and down tempo beats, this stems from always getting the opening slot. When I entered into the DJ scenes I was always given the opening slot but I never minded as I actually enjoy it, but I can play an awesome set at any time of the day.
It’s easy to become disheartened in this industry, especially in a City where everyone and their friend is a [deep house] DJ! How do you stay motivated and how do you differentiate yourself from the rest?
There are 3 main reasons why I remain motivated: I try to maintain a fresh approach by always seeking new ideas to better my skills. I just recently started buying records and this has pushed up my motivation to a whole new level. Then there is pleasure of collecting new music. The last one would be my loyal listeners who have continued to support me even when I played at 9pm and there was no one else at the club yet.
The music industry is rather cut-throat, as you may have discovered. At 21yrs of age, you have a long way ahead of you. Do you have any short to mid-term goals in place to ensure you can maintain this career as well as support yourself?
I do have an important goal set out for next year, I would like to have one of my own productions pressed and released, this was a personal goal but now its put out there, and I know this industry is hard core, but i believe with the right attitude and consistency i can make that goal a reality.
Who are your favourite DJ/Producers/Record Labels locally and on the International stage?
There are so many I favor, it would be unfair to pin point; but if i have to i would say:
Smallville Records, Desos Records and Secretsundaze
DJ’s: Rene Wolski
I know you’ve only been playing for a short while, but I’m sure there’s been a few stand out DJ sets you’ve played. Would you like to share one of those please?
All my sets I play at CTDHM for me are all standouts, but there is one particular set I played at an event called Two Doors Down which I enjoyed the most. It was at a nightclub in Cape Town, Manilla Bar. It was like I could feel the floors move as i stood behind those decks; truly an amazing experience.
Finally, do you have any residencies at the moment and/or where can we see you playing out?
I recently became a resident/ member at Alba Lounge with the cloud 9 Sundays crew.
Thanks very much for taking the time to chat to us and all the best my friend.