The revolution won’t be televised but it will take place in the form of a conference on Friday. Catch the Pink Revolution’s co-founder, DJ Zinhle’s videos on Beatzone on BeatLab.tv.
DJ Zinhle has been in the news because she and rapper beau, AKA, are expecting their first child this year. She should be in the news for her other baby: her DJ academy’s birthday and her inaugural Pink Revolution conference that takes place at Melrose Arch on Friday 6 March.
The Durban-born DJ and businesswoman co-owns the Fuse Academy with manager, Nomndeni Mdaki. It’s a DJ school that teaches girls only and it turns 6 years old this year. To celebrate, Zinhle and Nomndeni came up with the Pink Revolution music conference that is geared towards a female-only audience. It will feature panellists like DJ Oskido, Culoe de Song, Euphonik and K.O.
We spoke to the ‘My Name Is’ star about her ventures.
Congratulations on Fuse Academy turning 6. What will you be gifting yourself?
I think I’m just counting my blessings and am excited about how far we have come. It’s not just the growth of the concept but showing what women are capable of achieving. That’s a milestone and that’s the greatest gift I could give myself.
Fuse has produced the likes of house DJ, Miss Pru and hip hop DJ, Miss Cosmo. Are you surprised at how well both genres are doing?
I’m a house head but obviously, I started seeing and liking the growth of hip hop in the country. Miss Cosmo is the first girl to do it this big so clearly there’s a market. We’ve trained so many girls [more than 500] but the amount that it takes to break into the industry is a lot. It’s like going to an academic institution and having to find a job. It takes some time.
Tell me about the Pink Revolution?
For Nomndeni and I, it’s about adding some pink to change. We’re girls and we’re passionate about what we do. So Pink Revolution is a female-empowerment movement. The information, which includes sessions on the new record deal and social media, is specifically tailored for girls.
What about the boys?
I have been a DJ for years and I can give you a number of DJ schools that just have a male vibe. Even when I studied music production, I was the only girl in my class and they’d always try to make an example of me if I was late or did something. If you look at the scale of opportunities and see how it tips in favour of the boys, it’s ridiculous.
There’s a session on female artists collaborating with brands. You’ve had a lot of success with regards to that part of the business.
It’s so crazy, sometimes I forget some of the things I’ve done. For instance, my relationship with Legit [with which Zinhle had a clothing line and sells her Era by DJ Zinhle watch collection] took forever to foster. I was their road DJ back when Bonang was still the face of the brand. But I was very clear about how I saw my growth and understood I just wasn’t the girl for the job at that time. So it’s about looking at what brands want and also seeing what brands appeal to you.
You’ve appeared on TV before but can we expect a reality show from you anytime soon?
Ha! I think I’m too reserved for reality TV. I respect people who do it but I always want to sit down and work and be quiet in the mornings so you wouldn’t get much drama from my show.
Now that you have a personal project that is motherhood coming up, when can we expect new music from you?
I’m going to be back in studio now that I have this personal project (laughs) but as soon as my personal project drops, I will have more time to dedicate myself to my music. I was looking at the ‘My Name Is’ video and it reminded me of how much I love music so I will be back.
You’re mentioned in NoViolet Bulawayo’s book, ‘We Need New Names,’ what do you want your legacy to be?
Oh wow, I need to get that book! I’m passionate about women empowerment. I want women to understand that they are not victims. I look at how men push themselves and I see we are not believing enough in our strength as women. I want to be one of the people who reminds women of their strength.