Tandaring Dawta

There you go folks…
Another humble beginnings feature brought to you by thngsOfThatNature.


Frequently referred to as shelekta (a variation to the male term selecta) based in JHB. Her career as a selector stretches back to her high school days back in the 90s when she fell in love with the music though her attracton to the Rastafarian way of life. Her musical influences vary from Artist like Shabba, Beenie, Bounty Killa, Capleton, Sizzla, Antony B, Buju Banton, Ce’cile to old school Artist like Super Cat, Born Jamericans, Barrington Levy, Garnet Silk just to name a few . In Jhb she attributes her inspiration from what African Storm Soundsystem & Cutting Edge Soundsytem (both Jhb based soundsystems) did by spreading the music like wild fire. Being the first female reggae/dancehall dj in JHB behind da decks, was a choice motivated by her love for the music.

Right through high school without fail on weekends, she was moving around playing in dub sessions & venues from Soweto, Vosloo, Sebokeng, Yeoville, Mellville, Newtown and many other places in & around Jhb. Cutting Edge Soundsytem (now called Crucial Hi-Fi), led by Elder Crucial gave her the platform to learn the workings of being a dj.
Even after high school, she knew her calling was in the music industry, so she went on further by studing sound engineering.
After completing her studies, motherhood called which resulted in her hiatus from deejaying. With her daughter being a little older, she has returned to her 1st love, deejaying. Now with an objective of spreading and promoting reggae and dancehall music in Africa across. “I strongly believe in the power of music to educate, elevate, and entertain , hence I cant imagine a world without dancehall and reggae music- infact MUSIC period!!”
You’ve been in the game for sometime now… Do you find it harder being a female in the DJ business? 
Yes, of course it’s hard for a female dj, the challenges are countless so you often doubt yourself. But daily I see how hard it is for so many young people right now that it’s not even about gender anymore. It’s hard for everybody, in any industry—so that motivates me more!
Explain the difference between reggae and dancehall
Reggae appeals more to the ‘mature’ or older generation, and/or basically any listener that prefers lyrics with more substance, because it’s also often associated or influenced by Roots Reggae, Ska& Lovers Rock. Dancehall is the voice of the youth. So it’s more fun in nature, and also often controversial. I personally relate more to dancehall especially because it’s influenced by many styles hip hop, rnb, soul, dance, I even hear influences of kwaito lol… But lately the difference between the two is harder to spot, because both influence each other so much.
Compared to other countries, where would you put S.A reggae scene? 
Truth be told right now SA reggae scene can only be compared to the African countries so not yet international I think, & has been surpassed somewhat by other various African countries, due too many reasons. What needs to be known though, is that it has grown beyond the impact of the loss of the late Lucky Dube made globally through Reggae. There’s new artists bringing a voice for modern day South Africans, producers, deejays, dancers, promoters etc.. so the music is now building an industry.
No challenge is too small to ignore, how do you deal with industry challenges? 
I accept that my challenges are no different to others, that way the challenge doesn’t seem as big as you might exaggerate in your mind. Plus I know I’m still going to make lots of mistakes so that eases the pressure. And I’ve learnt not to sweat the small issues of the industry, but also not compromise on the big issues.
What is your favourite track in your box at the moment? 
Right now….Konshens ft. J Capri – Pull up to mi bumper …. Puts me in a good mood no matter what!!
What is your favourite venue to play? 
I think it is OST in Newtown. There’s always a great vibe & love there!! But of course at Rockafellas in Yeoville also, because I receive the most love there…… So those are my favourite venues at the moment…
Tandaring Dawta
Which DJ would you most like to play alongside, local and international?
Whoa locally hard to choose, but ultimately would have to be Admiral from African Storm. When I fell in love with reggae, Raggattack a radio show Hosted by Admiral & Jah Seed on Yfm , That was one of the avenues that opened my door to reggae/ragga and now also dancehall in SA so that would be an honour for me. And internationally there’s many great dancehall/reggae pioneers I’d love to work with from Jamaica, UK & the East. Infact even other dj pioneers in Hip Hop, Dub, Dance, House I would love to play with, because in many ways my style of playing is influenced by those other genres.
Top 5 reggae tunes? 
  1. – Jah cure- Stronger than Before
  2. – Richie Stephens- Real Reggae music feat Daddy U roy
  3. – Romain Virgo ft. Konshens- We no worry bout them
  4. – Chronixx- Beat & a mic
  5. – Jah9- Gratitude
Top 5 dancehall tunes? 
  1. – Busy Signal- Bedroom Bully
  2. – Buju Banton- Stop lock off di dance
  3. – Romain Virgo ft. Konshens- We no worry bout them
  4. – Cecile- Regular
  5. – Yellow man ft Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Shabba Ranks & more) – Champion
Where to from here? 
Work hard. Work smart also. Music is love. So spread more love & spread the music that promotes love and unity . I’d also love to travel more within South Africa, throughout Africa and the rest of the world, not particularly in that order. But one thing I found my home in music.