Dynamites come in small packages and DJ Teedo Love is a living proof. The Dancer, DJ, Producer, Presenter and mom has got it all packaged in that robust petite personage. Born Noluthando Rotwana to parents who were house hold names in the 80’s music scene, Teedo was destined to be in the entertainment industry from the get go.
She has just completed a successful run as a resident DJ at the famous Thursday Ragga Nights at Bassline hosted by African Storm Sound System, she played the warm up set at Damian Jr. Gong’s Concert in Johannesburg and was the first Dancehall DJ to play at Oppikoppi Music Festival in 2017. These days you can catch her on SABC 3 on Thursdays as a roving reporter for an actuality programme interviewing celebrities at events or catch her every 1st Wednesday of the month at Kitcheners Bar in trendy Braamfontein.
The ever so busy DJ took some time out for a lengthy chat with SoulSista to talk about Music, family and Love infinity. Below is the interview for MzansiReggae.
SoulSista: You have been a DJ for more than a decade now, how did it all start for you?
DJ Teedo Love: It all started when I was 16, I was given a chance to be on the decks for a few minutes, a few months after that I joined a DJ competition and won, never looked back from that day.
SoulSista: Who is/was your biggest inspiration?
I have to say that Black Coffee and DJ Fresh have always been an inspiration to me. I look up to their tenacity, they had a goal and didn’t stop until they reached it.
SoulSista: You left the corporate world to be a full time DJ, are you happy with your decision?
DJ Teedo Love: Yes I am happy about the decision, there came a time where I felt if I don’t put in my full effort into what I love. So decided to do that while I still have the energy and capability.
SoulSista: What has been your biggest challenge as a DJ. Have you been able to overcome that challenge?
DJ Teedo Love: My biggest challenge as a Dj is actually being a female, there seems to be a general skepticism about female DJs in the industry. It turns to be a bit more in my genre of specialty which is Reggae & Dancehall, but in the years I have played these genres and grew into other genres I have been able to create my own path and platform and be known amongst the best in the industry.
SoulSista: You play reggae, dancehall, Hip hop, Kwaito and Dubstep. Which genre would you consider your main genre and which would you say it’s your sub-genre?
DJ Teedo Love: Well the 2 genres that have been the drivers of my career are reggae and dancehall, but all the genres I play I feel are equally important.
SoulSista: You’ll find that each of those genres will attract a different crowd for a specific show (yes some are interlinked but for this purpose, How do you prepare yourself for different crowds?
DJ Teedo Love: I stopped playing Dubstep a while back because there really was no market for it for me personally. I don’t really change who I am, when people hire me they hire me because of what I can offer so I give that, the full DJ Teedo experience. If there are any special requirements my clients normally request on booking.
SoulSista: The reggae dancehall scene/music in South Africa is much marginalised. How do you feel about it?
DJ Teedo Love: We have a long way to go, the key is unity and perseverance with that we will eventually grow and get the respect we so need as artists in this genre.
SoulSista: You have played in a lot of shows and attended a lot of shows, what would you say was the most memorable show you played in and one you attended as an attendee?
Dj Teedo Love: Gosh there are so many shows that have been memorable, at the top of my head, 2 of my most memorable performances are the Arts Alive JHB NYE count down 2015 I performed after DJ Cleo and for a crowd of about 10 000 people if not more, it was amazing. The 2nd being Oppikoppi in October 2017 because I made history playing there, I was the 1st Dancehall DJ to play at Oppikoppi in its 23yrs of existence.
SoulSista: Crowds can get very fickle sometimes, how do you get them pumped?
DJ Teedo Love: I’ve just been fortunate to always get a good response from the crowd, but old school music always does the trick.
SoulSista: What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
DJ Teedo Love: This is a tough one because there’s so much music I love, but the one song I can think of now is Sean Paul and Sasha – I’m still in love.
SoulSista: You recorded a track “Peng Ting” with Stilo Magolide. How did the masses receive it and are you planning on releasing a full album soon or in the near future?
DJ Teedo Love: The track is still a work in progress because dancehall is on the slow come up in SA, but so far wherever I’ve played it the masses receive it really well. I haven’t decided on an album yet, but I have more projects dropping soon.
SoulSista: You are also known as the Dj that dances, how did that come about?
DJ Teedo Love: I’ve been a dancer longer than I’ve been a DJ actually, I even won a competition in high school for best dance duo. I felt that since I’m passionate about both dancing and Dj’ing, why not do both when I perform? That’s where the #thedjthatdances started.
SoulSista: You are also an insert roving presenter for Tv magazine show, how did it come about?
DJ Teedo Love: In the long list of things that I’m passionate about I also love TV, I’ve been pursuing a path in the television entertainment industry, working for this particular show was really luck, and being at the right place at the right time, I’m still hoping it works for me in the near future.
SoulSista: You are from a musically celebrated family, do you think that had any influence in your choice of career?
DJ Teedo Love: With both my mother and father being musicians, music has automatically been a part of my life, but I never really thought of pursuing anything in music, I initially wanted to be an Economist. I did dancing as a hobby and never looked at it as a career, but the music bug bit me at the age of 16 when I started being a DJ.
SoulSista: And how was it growing up with parents who were in the public eye, and how did you handle the attention?
DJ Teedo Love: It wasn’t that difficult, here and there, I would get special treatment at the salon or shops because my mom is a musician, also I think she made sure she never really exposed me too much to the public, otherwise life was just normal. My biological father passed on in 1996 so I never really experienced his fame.
SoulSista: How did your parents handle it when you told them you are going into the entertainment industry?
DJ Teedo Love: My mom was the only one who had to handle that situation, actually she took it way better than I had imagined, of course I didn’t get a 21st birthday celebration because of my decisions, but I still wouldn’t change a thing. She was very supportive though when I entered my 1st competition she was waiting for me in the morning to see if I had won. That was a special moment for me actually, it meant a lot.
SoulSista: Now that you are also a mother of two beautiful girls, and in the public eye, do you find any similarities in how you were raised and in the way you are raising your kids?
DJ Teedo Love: Well like my mother I think I’m a bit weary of putting them in the public eye, they do get approached at school because when I pick them up and maybe some of their peers see me and recognise me from TV then they get asked, either than that life is fairly normal. My mom did encourage me to follow my dreams so I do the same with my girls, if they want to be doctors that’s ok, if they want to be artists also that’s OK. The main thing I’m instilling in them is that they should be independent thinkers and to embrace their individuality.
SoulSista: The Entertainment industry is very taxing, in terms of all the travelling, the late nights, how do you balance your career and motherhood?
DJ Teedo Love: There is really no actual remedy, the one good thing about being self-employed is being able to work from home, which means I’m always at home during the week unless if I have appointments or such commitments. We also have a very open communication system in the house, I tell them what my schedule looks like and we always work around it. The late nights are literally the less taxing days because I leave around bed time, so I get to tuck them in then go to work and I’m back before morning, it also helps to have a stay in nanny for when I have to travel for a few days. Also when I’m far I’m a video or phone call away.
SoulSista: If your kids came up to you tomorrow and said they want to be DJs. What would be your advise to them?
DJ Teedo Love: That’s already happened my eldest wants to learn how to be a DJ, still waiting for her to nag me to see how serious she is lol! I would tell them like I do every day they must believe in themselves and never give up. If they want something hard enough they must work to make it happen and never lose focus on their end game.
SoulSista: A mother, a Dj, a dancer, and an insert presenter! When do you find time to sleep?
DJ Teedo Love: Never! My body doesn’t even know how to shut down before 2am anymore, aside from the mentioned I also have other jobs that I do and those are the things I do when I’m not on stage or travelling. So I really have a messy sleeping pattern so even if it’s during the day and I have a gap in between my commitments I sleep, if I’m not going anywhere I just sleep, because I know once I start it’s none stop.
SoulSista: What’s your superpower, or what’s your spirit animal?
DJ Teedo Love: Hahahahahaha let me think…. My spirit animal is an Elephant an elephant never gives up until it reaches its destination, and my spirit flower if that even exists is the sun flower because it that flower that follows the light (sun) always. I would say my super power is being a mom because being able to still be a functioning adult and a fun mom for my girls is not easy, because they don’t know how bad your day was or how tired you are going from appointment to appointment, all they want is mom to help with homework and listen to their playground stories and them asking you to move house because they had a fight with their friends and they take turns with that hahahahaha. So you can’t be anything but mom, not Teedo, not Thando just mom.
SoulSista: What do you want to be remembered about you?
DJ Teedo Love: My happiness, I’m happy when I’m with my children, I’m on stage.
SoulSista: What would be a good theme song for your life?
DJ Teedo Love: Adventure of a lifetime – Cold play. Also this might vary on the days but most days that would be the song, if not it would be Joey BadA$$ – Devastated.
SoulSista: That Joey Badass song is very telling, is that how you feel about your career or life?
DJ Teedo Love: It’s really more of a motivational song to not give up.
SoulSista: Is Dj Teedo taken? If so, how do you handle the pressures of the industry and being in a relationship?
DJ Teedo Love: I’m happily single.
SoulSista: What would you like to say to all the aspiring DJ’s out there?
DJ Teedo Love: Trust your brand, never give up, not all criticism is bad take note and improve from it. Egypt wasn’t built in one day.
LinkOp with Teedo Love on Social Media