With a career spanning over two decades, DJ and Afrotainment owner Mthokozisi Khathi – DJ Tira – shows no signs of slowing down.
Cooking365 Entertainment got to witness DJ Tira in action on the set of his music video for his upcoming single ‘Korobela’ featuring Murumba Pitch and Q Twins, where he opened up about his longevity in the entertainment industry.
“It’s the Makoya Bearings level,” he confidently said when I asked him how did he scout the upper echelon venue in Inanda, which works perfectly for the love song video.
He is gearing up to release a new album, ‘Malume Way’ and on this album, his fans can expect to get a bit of all the facets of DJ Tira that they have grown to love.
“I’m trying to do different scenarios because the album has different vibes, from gqom, gospel sounds turned into love songs.
“The song (Korobela) we are shooting today, it’s more of an urban, classy song. I’m also trying to position the DJ Tira brand in that way, that my music also caters for those who enjoy beautiful music, not going down to the piano tempo.
“I can still do house music, not the typical gqom music, that they know Tira for. I’m coming more soulful, trying to touch the ladies, the upper market. I’m basically trying to cater to most people that love DJ Tira, from those who know me for my earlier music.”
The album has a mix of songs, even a collaboration one wouldn’t necessarily expect , D’Banj, Master KG and Nkosazana Daughter.
“You will have to listen to the song for you to decide what genre it is. For me it’s nice and soulful that it accommodates them and since they managed to sing on the song and make such a beautiful song, I guess I got them exactly where I wanted them.”
DJ Tira has seen all the different phases of music our country has been through, but also maintained relevance throughout, coming a long way since he won the Smirnoff SA DJ Knockout competition in 2000 and 2001.
“I like to position myself as a people’s person. I am loved by all kinds of people and I try to make sure that I cater for those who are growing with me. Twenty-three years later I’m still here, I’m still giving people good music and I’m showing no signs of stopping.”
One has to wonder how Tira does all he does: he lives between Durban and Johannesburg, has artists he works with under his label Afrotainment, has a cider brand Makoya Bearings Cyder, hosts events under the Afrotainment umbrella such as Fact Durban Rocks and his marquee at the Durban July.
“I try to make my time productive as much as possible, as long as I’m doing work, it’s okay for me, play time I give lets say 10 percent.”
Despite being able to successfully host his marquee at the Durban July, Tira explained that he does have doubts about doing it again next year.
“It’s a lot of work and it’s too expensive to put together. I ended up using a lot of my time in marketing the marquee instead of Fact Durban Rocks.”
The DJ will certainly be hosting his Fact Durban Rocks concert, which is usually hosted around New Year’s eve and has plans to secure a broadcast channel between SABC1 or Channel O to bring back that live broadcast element he has been missing.
One of the artists Tira has mentored and been able to create stable careers for are the Q Twins – Virginia and Viggy Qwabe, who signed with Afrotainment Records, after their time on season 15 of the ‘Idols South Africa’.
After Virginia was eliminated from the singing competition, her twin sister decided to withdraw from the competition. At the second annual Basadi Awards in Music Awards, the twins thanked the DJ for all he has done for their careers.
“I’m a scker for good talent, if you are talented, then me and you are going to do wonders. I don’t have time to play. I have to make hits, build brands and give opportunities to those who are serious about work.
“The Q Twins, I saw the talent and I saw that they needed guidance in the right direction. There are so many people who win ‘Idols’ and you find that they don’t have someone who is going to nurture their talent and push them to the level that they need to be on.”
Another person that DJ Tira publicly declared that he would be helping with their career is Babes Wodumo; “We are in communication with Babes, she said she is ready now,” explained Tira.
He added that time has not been on his side with him being focused on his album, but now that it is almost out of the way, Tira and Babes will be getting things rolling.
This weekend, Tira will be reuniting with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) philharmonic orchestra at the People’s Park Moses Mabhida Stadium for the Pop Opera Concert hosted by FNB.
The musical extravaganza will see a stellar line-up of renowned artists, including Zakes Bantwini, Good Luck, Shekinah and DJ Le Soul performing their hits with the philharmonic orchestra.
“Through this concert, we hope to bring people together while supporting South Africa’s talent and creating an unforgettable experience for the public,” shared Faye Mfikwe, FNB Chief Marketing Officer.
The Pop Opera Concert takes place on August 20 and tickets are available at an affordable price of R200 from Ticketmaster.co.za.