If you’re a night-owl and you listen to Ukhozi FM, there’s a good chance you’ve heard DJ Prie Nkosazana taking you through the graveyard shift from 1:30. I don’t listen to Ukhozi so I heard about her from those more knowledgeable than myself. Turns out I’ve been sleeping – which is fair considering the time slot – because the 21-year-old DJ, producer and #hustler from Morningside in Durban has steadily been gaining plays and stage time. I mean, her track ‘Washa Gqom’ has racked up over 30 00 plays on Youtube in just over 4 months, her latest single ‘Balesa Ba Kulu’ is sitting on over 6000 downloads in 2 weeks, and she told me she got to share a stage with DJ Khaled at Vain Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which is just dope and not something many South African artists can say. Plus she follows nobody on Instagram which is pretty baller.
I couldn’t find much about the “Princess of Gqom” through Google so I bounced a few emails back and forth with her. Turns out she’s still new to the game, having only been producing for a year. Prie produces gqom because “Gqom is for young people, sometimes it doesn’t have a message that can inspire you, but the beat and bass can make you believe that anything is possible.” She’s multifaceted too, “My music stands apart because I’m creative, my beat changes, and I can produce commercial house as well.” The young DJ recently played the femme-focussed Pussy Party at Kitcheners in Jozi, and I heard she tore the place down. Her own experience was even better than she’d expected, “The reception was totally amazing, everybody was dancing to Gqom. Even the people I thought would never like Gqom. The crowd was welcoming and the lady who booked me (Colleen Balchin) made sure I was safe.”
Considering DJ Prie is from Durban and plays Gqom, I asked how much influence the city has had on her. She’s not as sentimental as most Durbanites, “Growing up in Durban didn’t influence my music. I believe even if I was in Cape Town, I would have been doing what I’m doing now because I’ve got so many people I look up to.” People like Ukhozi FM’s BigKid, and DJ Cindo, “They are hardworking and warm. The way they carry themselves to me and to everyone is just mindblowing.” Being on radio, even at such a late time slot, has been nothing but a blessing for a young DJ eager to learn. “Ukhozi has made me grow in so many ways, my gigs improved, my fan-base increased and I got to meet my mentor Gugu Yengwa (BigKid). I enjoy the freedom of the slot because sometimes I don’t have to pitch at the studio so it gives me more time to focus on my music.”