Lebogang Kgomongwe is the most sought after DJ in Jozi, but you wouldn’t know because he is modest and keeps a low profile. If you are in and around Jozi, you would have heard him play at a dance near you. He played at Anthony B’s show, Benjy Dread’s Annual Clarke’s Party, Back to The City Festival, and you can catch him on the regular at either Kaldi’s Coffee or Ko’Spotong. His next gig, Roots Rock Reggae will see him play alongside muso’s such as Rui from 340mil and Mozambiques Dub Sensation Granma. Always representing and defending Reggae Dancehall on ‘any turf, any stage’, turning Hip Hop parties into Dancehall Zones. He took some time out to have a chat with MissLee of MzansiReggae and this is how it went down.
I am DJ Coppashot. Real name: Lebogang Kgomongwe, a Joburg based Reggae/Dancehall DJ. Humble, humorous and fun loving individual with a massive passion, drive and addiction for music as a whole.
At what point in your life did you decide that you would like be a DJ?
The idea of me being a DJ came from a seed that was planted in my head back in high school days; when me and my mates would collect a lot of compilations and mixtapes which were mostly house and hiphop and we would just be in awe of the art of mixing one track with another, scratching etc. We would mess around with two portable FM stereos playing CD’s and tapes trying to mimic and do it like the real DJ’s. After Matric [High School] I moved on to study IT in Pretoria, completed my diploma, got a scholarship in Jozi and I had to move this side. That’s when I met a guy by the name of Mogomotsi Gae aka DJ Pee who had (still has) an impressive record collection at the time and used to play at parties around the area we stayed. What made it worse is that we both had a huge love for hiphop, Reggae and Dancehall. But my turning point was one particular night when I was alone in his flat and I started messing around on his Technics SL-1200 turntables, got my first mix right on vinyl with no lessons and from that moment on I was hooked and never looked back. Still doing it 10 or so years later
You have been around in the dancehall scene for a while now, but seem to be gaining prominence lately. What has changed?
To be quite honest I really cant pin point any major change other than trying by all means to be consistent and play better than the last gig/set I played. I guess people took notice of that and the word started spreading over the years even to people beyond the “borders” of Reggae.
You have just recently played at the Back to The City Festival 2016 and for three years running now, How did you get that gig? What does it mean for/to you?
As most people know in the Johannesburg Reggae/Dancehall scene, Bobotikal and I have been working very closely over the past 5yrs as a formidable DJ and MC tag team; and one of our goals and dreams was to play on some of SA’s biggest stages. So after a lot of hustling and convincing the BTTC organisers we were given that opportunity to represent Reggae/Dancehall on such a big stage. Performing at BTTC is a big deal for me especially being a Reggae DJ as that’s a massive platform to showcase not only our skills as reggae DJ’s but the genre as a whole. Like I keep saying “We defend reggae/ dancehall on any turf and any stage”
Playing at a gig like BTTC with such a huge Hip Hop audience, How was the response to you and your partners set? Were you able to carry the Dancehall mantle?
We did it three years in succession and on all those occasions was in the name of spreading awareness of reggae music to a broader and larger audience outside of reggae/dancehall fraternity and to also obviously build on our names. The response has been amazing and overwhelming. I still get goosebumps even today just thinking about the set we killed at the last BTTC festival. I think we did a good job and raised the Reggae/Dancehall banner high and I also believe anyone involved in anyway in Reggae is and should be an Ambassador of the genre.
You like mixing genres, [evidenced by the type of gigs you play at]esp. hip hop, is it because Dancehall don’t satisfy you or?
Lol….I think people are getting this all wrong. When a hip-hop promoter books me for an event he’s already well aware of what it is that i do….and thats REGGAE AND DANCEHALL. Its seldom that you will hear me play hip hop. Reggae is my business and always has been, but don’t get me wrong I’m a big hip-hop head as well as I believe the two genres are huge conduits used to convey messages of awareness, consciousness and our social ills as black people. A Form of “edutainment”. So when I’m out there best believe imma turn that hiphop gig into a BASHMENT lol.
You were also the main selector at the Clarke’s annual party, selecting for different artists, what was it like? Do you have an artist that you normally play with?
Clarkes Party is always a highlight for me as well. Always a pleasure gigging at “Malume Benjy’s” party. I was part of a team running the event and one of my duties was to play for the different artists and it was such a fulfilling experience. It was amazing to see so much talent come together in the name of reggae and making a success of that particular event. There’s no particular artist that I’m working with at the moment but very open to the idea.
Whats the difference in feel when playing for artists and when playing your individual set?
Its two totally different things because when you play for an artist its all about them and the focus is on the man on stage, I’m like a band member. When its me alone the pressure is all on me as i have to make sure the crowd is happy, on their feet and having an awesome time.
Your views in general about the Dancehall Reggae scene in Mzansi? in Gauteng?
We have come along a long way as the reggae community and yes, there have been some noticeable milestones and achievements. We’ve seen the rise of various production houses coming into the forefront and bringing international artists to South Africa and in turn exposing them to some of the talent that we have to offer. But I feel a lot of our energy needs to go into building a signature sound synonymous to “Mzansi Reggae” but a lot of work needs to be done for that to happen. We need more dope producers, Indie Record Labels, arm our artists with knowledge of the SA music industry, proper A&R, Investors, filmmakers, graphic designers the list is endless. And I’m sure we have all these expertise among us but its up to us as reggae people to step up and take it to the next level if we want to be as noticeable as our counterparts. It breaks my heart that the SAMA’s have a reggae category but not a single noticeable reggae artist is nominated. Ho tla loka…
Now, back to the selector: what was the first tune that you buss on the dance floor
I will never forget that night years ago, DJ Pee was scheduled to play at a dance at Drill Hall one Saturday evening but we had a few drinks that afternoon and got quite intoxicated lol, So he asked me to start off the set and I jumped at the opportunity. The first tune I played was Capleton – That Day Will Come (how ironic lol) and the place erupted.
What is your selection like? more dancehall? more reggae?
A mixture of both Reggae and Dancehall depending on the event and my time-slot of course.
How do you prepare for your set?
My preparation is typically entirely dependent on the type of gig or crowd I’ll be playing for. Sometimes I play it by ear based on the vibe of the gig and what other DJ’s have played. And if I’m playing at an event where I’m the only dancehall DJ and the crowd is mostly not too heavy on dancehall but appreciate it then I structure my track selection to suite the crowds needs.
If you were not into music, what would you be doing?
Outside of music I work in the IT industry, for a Law Firm as an IT Network Infrastructure Administrator and I’ve also developed a growing interest in Forex trading; but if I had it it my way I’d be doing music day in day out as a career.
Where would you most like to play?
I’d really like to do other big festivals like Oppikoppi, Woodstock, Bushfire, all over the country and tour the world eventually
Which musicians/DJs do you draw your inspiration from?
Madlib (hiphop Producer/DJ) He is my musical idol across the board
Which artist would you like to work/collaborate/play with ?
Momo Dread, Capleton, Madlib
What can we expect from you in 2016?
A lot of gigging, fresh mixtapes and try to take over the world lol. Last year was a bit of a slump because of personal issues but all is good now. Back pon di ting!!
How can promoters get in touch with you?
Hit me up on:
Tel: +27 734346021
Facebook: Selekta Coppashot
Follow DJ Coppashot on Soundcloud to listen to his Mixes.
Ten Q’s with the G’
Your favorite Sound System of all Time
Mighty Crown Sound System
Which artist would you like to work with [Dead or alive]
Club Gigs or Street Bash Vybz
The one chune that you play without Fail at your set
Capleton – SLEW DEM
First ever chune played at the Dance
Capleton – That Day Will Come
Killer opening track of all time at a Dance
Sizzla – No other like Jah
Killer closing track of all time at a dance
tough one, i never know where i end up lol
Are you married with kids?
not married, 1 beautiful daughter
What music is on your playlist right now?
Bossa Nova Jazz, Funk and DUB, new Kaytranada album