Kool Out sat down with DJ/Producer/Graphic Designer/Video Producer/ Record CEO Romz Deluxe. A man of many trades Romz discusses his label (Music Atlast), the state of DJing in SA, his transition fro a DJ to a producer what we can expect from him in 2016.
Check it out!!!
1. The Music Atlast name has been around for a while, but as a DJing and events crew. Can you tell us a bit more about how that started?
Myself and Captain Schti (Rest in peace) were chatting about how we could get booked for certain events and that was not happening! And back then we wanted to Dj at Kenzhero’s Party People and there was no possibility of that happening too. So i came up with the name Music Atlast and i told Captain Schti we were going to start doing our own gigs that same week! We went on with the gigs later on brought in a couple of Djs like Just Themba, Symatics, Kongisto, Pilzy Lee to the team and grew the list. One of the mistakes i did was speak to the members about exactly what Music Atlast was and what it was not. I never told them it was a multi genre events company. It was not a hip hop event. And so it became a Hip Hop event. We did good. All the time. People were talking about us and we were a threat to a couple of events. Things changed after Captain Schti passed away in an accident coming back from another Music Atlast event in Cape Town. It was very sad and all of us were stressed out so we shut it down. I went into studio for four years and started making House and Hip Hop tracks, at the back of my head thinking that really would love to start a record label. Boom! Music Atlast Records was born. I’ve already signed 2 Artist and planning to work with just those two Artists for now. We’re going to surprise you! www.musicatlastrecords.com
2. You’ve been a DJ on the scene for years and have seen the progression of the culture. What are your thoughts on the current state?
I used to hear some Djs talk shit about CDJs when they came in. Then Serato came in, then the CDJ djs were talking crap about Serato and Virtual dj. Technology is something that is going to keep evolving but what matters is what do we as “Djs” do with the technology. The dj scene is more competitive now. It’s more a popularity contest and not about who can scratch and mix songs. Okay let me stop beating around the bush. It’s bullshit!!! There! Djing’s gone to the dogs. Okay wait! Let me finish. Let me take a breath. Okay, I think todays Dj has to be more than just a Dj who is selecting songs to play at a club. A Dj also has to me a Music Producer too. We can easily influence people on what the next hot track is. It’s also cool to test songs on the crowd because if the song sucks you will know it immedietly and go back to the lab to fix it up or polish it up.
3. Over the last couple years, you’ve made two transitions. One is from Hip Hop to House and the other from DJ to producer. Can you explain how this came about and the technical aspects of the transition?
If you knew me very well you’d know that I see Dj Spinna as my idol. I met Spinna in 2002 here in Jhb. I was also hanging out with Dj Jazzy Jeff I realised that these two Djs also produced music and not just Hip Hop. I never stopped trying to be like them. I have my own style and my own sound. It took a while to come together but yeah. I can tell you that i am a multi-genre producer/dj and i write songs too. And oh, Spinna is remixing one of my songs as we speak. I exchange emails with him now and then.
4. At a time when we’re seeing the decline of the traditional record label and shifts in the market, what prompted you to start a small independent record label and what are the challenges?
I know that Artists do not need big record labels now. All they need is funds to make the necessary Public Relations, Marketing and Distribution possible. The internet can make you an intertional superstar if you have a proper strategy.
5. You’ve been very vocal with your End Payola campaign. What inspired this and how has it been going? I got pissed off cause for some reason I’ve always know that I made good music but for some reason it’s not getting played on radio. How do you explain 26 000 downloads and not radio air play?
What’s going on guys? Once I heard Cassper Nyovest and Reason complaining about radio air play I knew I wasn’t crazy. So I went on to speak to a couple of people in the media industry, in fact they called me. We ended up on eNCA and a couple of publications. Aluta Continua!
6. What is the strategy for MAL Records and who is involved?
Right now I’m sole owner and founder of Music Atlast Records. I plan to come up with some mind blowing strategies which are best kept secret for now.
7. Who is on the roster and can you tell us a bit more about them?
James Hadi and Soul Lu are not new to Music. I met James at a cypher and he was killing Mcees there. I knew I was there for a reason. He is from New Castle and he’s been rapping for some years now. We’re in studio with James Hadi working harder than ever! Soul Lu is a Female Dj-Producer from the Eastrand. She used to be in a Dj Trio with Dj Zinhle. I have no idea what happened to the Trio but I do know that Soul Lu is dropping a single and video in March.
8. What are your plans for 2016?
I’m releasing a hot Hip Hop track with Atlanta Rapper, Blake Murry. The guy is talented! Then we also drop some of James Hadi’s singles while he is working on completing his single. We are also hosting some dope events. Watch the space!
Keep up with Romz Deluxe & Music Atlast via the social media platforms below.
Facebook: DJ Romz Deluxe