DJ Naves: The sky’s the limit

Naves, who hails from Soweto, discovered his love for hip-hop while at Jeppe High School and went on to study sound engineering. He sharpened his skills as a disc jockey at parties and clubs around Johannesburg and Pretoria on weekends.

He hosts "The Pre-Party" on MetroFM with Sphe Ngwenya (DJ SPHEctacula), who he also frequently tag teams alongside on the DJ decks.

The two recently released their first single Weekend which features George Avakian  and will be performing it live at Naves’s birthday party, the "Annual Naves Experience" for the first time.

Now in its 11th year, Naves has been celebrating his birthday throughout the month in Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Cape Town and other parts of the country.

How different is Lebogang from DJ Naves?
Lebo is the shy introvert guy, the one who stays home. Naves on the other hand is the crazy guy who canpick up the mic and say anything on stage.

You and DJ Sphectacula host a radio show together and do gigs in clubs – you're obviously a great team. What is the most annoying thing about him?
He is a perfectionist. It’s a great quality to have but, damn, it gets in the way all the time. It kind of slows down the process of getting things done. So yeah, it’s very annoying.

And the best thing about him?
He is a problem solver, a rational thinker, someone who is always calm and knows how to get things done. I love that about him.

Everyone is talking about Kendrick Lamar’s lines on Control. What’s your take on it?
I love it! The dude is amazing. He made it clear to other rappers that he is the one. He might be your friend but he wants your fans to forget about you. The game is about to change because of him. Rappers are going to have to step up.

You travel a great deal around the country. What is your favourite city?
Durban, of cause. 

What is your favourite place to go to escape the city?
Honestly I am a city boy. I am happiest here in the city.

The Naves Experience is in its 11th year. What is the Naves experience?
The Naves Experience is a direct interaction with the fans. There is no VIP. Sphe and Naves get to mingle with the crowd and everyone gets to experience us – VIP style. We have direct contact with the people and we have an awesome time partying together.

What are you playing in your car right now?
Weekend of course – me and Sphe's latest track for the ladies. We’re featuring George Avakian and it’s sure to make the ladies twerk all summer long.

Have you always wanted to release your own song?
Honestly, no. I was always afraid to release my own track, really afraid. I was worried about not selling, like imagine selling three copies (laughs). Then I grew up and realised it’s about establishing your brand and taking it to the next level. Your work is your business card, your song is your showcase of what you do. It was scary but I took the first step and people are loving Weekend.

Where to next?
The sky, seriously. No limits. We are working on our event properties, "One SPHEtacula NITE" and "The Annual Naves Experience". We want people to love the concepts and look forward to it every year. Like the Durban July, everyone know it’s in July, I want our events to be on that level. Also other ventures we are trying out, like I said – the sky is the limit.

DJ Naves and DJ SPHEctacula are on Metro FM, Saturdays between 6pm and 8pm.  Follow naves on Twitter @DJNAVES


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