Newcomer DBN Gogo taking music scene by storm

DBN Gogo.
DBN Gogo.
Image: Austin Malema

If you haven’t seen the moniker DBN Gogo on a poster yet, where have you been?

The 27-year-old Durban native is currently the hottest DJ in the game. Real name Mandisa Radebe, DBN Gogo undoubtedly owns 2019 on the decks.

She’s forever booked and was busy even during the chilly winter season. It's getting even busier as the warmer weather heightens the party season. And playing the  Basha Uhuru, Rocking the Daisies, Home Coming Africa, among headline events this year, this month she’ll be activating audience members at the MTV Strongbow BIG Picnic - on November 30. 

Thereafter it's off to the hectic festive season in December for her, which she will be signing off at AFROPUNK 2019.

We meet at the launch of the MTV picnic gig and I jokingly ask if it’s safe to call her a Festival Queen she replies “a festival granny, definitely,” as she laughs. 

Gogo is relatively new in the business behind the decks, after starting to deejay three years ago.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I've always just been very musical. I used to play the piano, sing, dance, I used to do everything; it was just one of those things I hadn’t tried. It kind of sort of found me,” she says. 

She expressed her gratitude at the support she’s been receiving.

“A lot of ups and downs but more than anything, very good, very positive, I’m very grateful for the kind of support that I have.”  

Her whole family is musical, her mom used to sing, largely at church.

“I’m very strongly rooted in house music, but I listen to everything.”

Her playlist consists of anything from Kybza, Maphorisa or Scorpion Kings… "anything  good, anything [ama]piano", according to her. 

DBN Gogo, who studied law at university, got her friend to teach her how to DJ and it was all systems go from there. 

“Just being a woman in this industry it’s a challenge every single day, but you know you just have to keep going you just have to mind your business, mind your time and focus on you and forget about everything else.”

Her journey has had so many highlights so far, some of them were included above. She’s an independent artist, meaning she’s not signed to any record label and she’s loving it.

“It’s cool, I’m in control of everything that I do, it’s been great.”

Her words of wisdom for aspiring DJ’s out there: “Start now, start today, practice, practice, practice it’s not going to be easy; you have to have a strong will and a strong spirit [as] people will try to break you down but you have to do it either way. The end goal is what is most important.”  

Gogo is hoping to drop her EP or a couple of singles this month. 

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