“I was intrigued by any piece of music,” he says. “Back then it was CD, cassette and vinyl. My first DJ gig was by pure chance when I was 14yrs old and a friend who knew I collected asked me to come to DJ at his sister’s birthday party. I fell in love with the art and craft of playing the music I love for other people from that moment. It got serious in my first year of Varsity when I landed a resident DJ gig at WhoZoo which was the biggest club in Johannesburg.”
Today, he describes his sound as eclectic — heavily influenced by African sounds but also global. He says this is an exciting time for Afro-house.
“The focus on it is great and the music being released by everyone who loves and enjoys it is also great,” he says. “I just hope the current momentum the sound has keeps going strong, but it’s definitely heading in the right direction at the moment.”
His latest release is the Heritage EP.
“Heritage is a project where I’m bringing the music I grew up listening to, the heritage of my roots, to the modern day,” he says. “It’s a collection of edits featuring legendary African musical heroes, namely Fela Kuti, King Sunny ADE and Shina Williams. We put a lot of time & effort into creating beautiful handmade artwork to compliment the music. Musically it’s a dream come true for me, and I’m so excited for the rest of the world to hear this as I’ve been been getting great reactions in my sets over the last 12 months.”
Looking ahead, Themba has plenty planned for the remainder of 2022, going into 2023.
“Besides growing musically and as a performing DJ, I really want to plant as many seeds around the world, playing in as many new territories as possible to expose the world to my music,” he says. “Release wise, following on from ‘Stomp Your Feet’ is the Heritage releases, then I have another single ‘VhaVenda’. Something else I’m really excited about is a limited edition double gatefold vinyl of my debut LP ‘Modern Africa’, and to round off the year, 2 remixes of classic house tracks- Kerri Chandler ‘Bar-A-Tym’ and Bob Sinclair ‘World Hold On’. I’m now working on ‘Modern Africa Part 2’ which I’m producing here in Ibiza, and really looking forward to presenting that in 2023.”
Themba Digs into his Heritage: Themba’s Heritage EP is out now.