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Shimza pauses international tour to attend DStv awards

DJ to fight for gong with amapiano stars

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Shimza hopes to nab the Best DJ award at the DStv Mzansi Viewer's Choice Awards.
Shimza hopes to nab the Best DJ award at the DStv Mzansi Viewer's Choice Awards.
Image: Supplied.

Shimza is pausing his international tour this weekend to attend in person the DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards, where he is nodded.

The 33-year-old musician doesn't take his Favourite DJ nomination lightly, especially since he's the only non-amapiano artist to receive a nod in the category. Real name Ashley Raphala, he will on Saturday duke it out with Scorpion Kings, DBN Gogo, Major League DJz and De Mthuda.

I connected with the Tembisa-born star on the phone in Morocco, where he informs me that he will land on home soil on Saturday morning.

Shimza's global tour in the last three months has taken him to all corners of the world including Saint Tropez, Madrid, Ibiza, Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam. He will next stop in Greece, Germany, Egypt and Portugal.

“The reason why these awards mean so much to me is because I’m the only DJ that doesn’t play amapiano who’s nominated in that category – that says something about how people see me,” Shimza says. 

“Not only that but the fact that Mzansi gets to vote and choose who they want to win. Even though I’m still on an international tour, months ago I made sure that my team adjusts my gig schedule to allow me to attend the awards. I’ve got high hopes that I win.”

Image: Supplied.

While he is known for dressing down, for the awards the Afro-tech DJ will suit-up in Henrietta ZA , made by his kasi friend and designer Calvin N. 

He jokes that the last time he donned a suit was at Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung’s wedding three years ago. 

“I like looking comfortable but I thought to myself that maybe this time around let me switch things up and look formal for these awards,” he says. 

Shimza cites that the secret to his success is always to move with the times and incorporate popular sounds into his music. 

“I’m filled with joy being on the road and meeting new people and witnessing how happy they are to finally be outside.

“We’ve all been yearning to physically touch one another and being able to do that is quite fulfilling. Now that the (Covid-19) restrictions are relaxed, myself and other artists can continue to chase our dreams in becoming international superstars.” 

Shimza shares that lockdown showed him that he has a tenuous spirit and always fights to thrive ahead.

Image: Supplied.

When gigs were shut down, he and friend and fellow DJ PH came up with Channel O’s Lockdown House party that served as a vibe in people’s homes as large gathering were canned.  

With representation in mind, Shimza is the face of Ballantine’s SA as one of the local music game-changers. He was a part of the There's No Wrong Way tour which travelled across the country. 

“Being the face of Ballantine’s ultimately means that I can stay true to who I am and my sound. The sound I keep pushing during the hype of amapiano... which to me is my superpower.” 

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