Blade Deep – “There’s More To Me Than What Meets The Eye”
Born and raised in Southern Africa, Blade Deep knew his career calling would involve music; he began his remarkable journey as a DJ at the tender age of 14.
At that time his genres of choice were RNB and Hip Hop, forerun by his father, a savvy businessman and record collector he learnt his way around the legendary “Technics 1200s” turntables mastering the art of DeeJaying.
Migrating to the UK in his teens, he linked up with like-minded individuals and it was here that he began what would be a journey of discovery. Starting out by hosting his own parties he eventually earned regular sets at some of London’s most prominent nightclubs including the Pent House along with a string of Underground events & pirate radio station guest appearances.
It was not in until the year of 2006 that would transition him from Hip Hop and R&B to House Music from here his ascent into the “Underground ” realm would propel his evolution into the sound that has brought about his love and passion for Afro, Soulful, Deep and Deep Tech House.
His versatility as a DJ and unique ability to take listeners on a ‘musical journey’ has afforded him the opportunity to perform at a number of exclusive events in South Africa, Dubai, London, several islands in the West Indies including his current place of residence Barbados to name a few. He has had the privilege of spinning alongside some of House Music`s most prolific DJ/Producers.
Having migrated to Barbados, he observed that Deep House music was an unfamiliar territory in the region. Never hesitant to allude to his love for the rich rhythm and culture of Africa and recognizing that Caribbean music is a derivative of traditional African music, he saw a unique opportunity to expose new listeners to the diverse rhythms and beats of Africa, through House Music.
A niche for Deep House was identified among the 25-55 age group of savvy, eclectic, open-minded individuals who were craving for something new and stimulating and have since fully embraced the sound Blade Deep has introduced known as Deep Afro Soul/Afro House among many.
In December 2012 Blade Deep launched the record label JusVibe in an effort to further promote Underground House in the region & internationally. With the help of a fellow DJ/Producer from South Africa, they sought to find a way to bridge the gap between Africa and the Caribbean by creating the “AfroCarib Movement” which seeks to introduce new listeners to Afro House and the dynamic Underground Scene in general, by releasing new music, hosting local and regional events, sharing the knowledge through social media and by developing a pool of Caribbean Underground DJ’s committed to the promotion of the sound by the joint creation of an online ‘Live DJ-Mix’ show called the ‘Hot-Box Sessions’ hosted by Digital Buddha out of Trinidad, Blade Deep has earned the title of the ‘Pioneer of the Afro House movement in the Caribbean.
As a producer having several releases which include a sampler for the 2014 Miami Winter Conference (WMC), Blade Deep demonstrates a keen interest in development of fresh talent particularly DJ’s and Vocalists many of which have crossed over into Underground House from a number of mainstream genres.
Indeed a young talented man on a mission, It speaks of his talent, his commitment and his clear understanding of his purpose.
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
Blade Deep: Afro, Deep & Soulful House. However, my mood tends to shift according to the energy I receive from the audience.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
Blade Deep: I would have to say my father. Back in the day he was a savvy DJ, music executive and radio personality with an impressive record collection, who delivered all of the classics in Soul, Funk and R&B. A man who truly knows how to play enjoyable, uplifting music for the people. He was also a well-respected club owner, who promoted one of the hottest club brands in Southern Africa. To this day, I still lean on his vast knowledge for my musical direction.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
Blade Deep: My love for ‘feel good’ music; my desire to communicate and share positive and negative life experiences through the music. My African Heritage (Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa) where one can harness the power of the drum and of course my supportive family and my adorable son.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
Blade Deep: To be honest I have never been much of a request DJ or a crowd pleaser in this regard. I’ve always used the approach of taking listeners on a journey into the sound with a desired result of making people ‘feel good’ and wanting more… the energy I put into my craft is fueled by the energy that surrounds me.. I believe that when you impart positive vibrations the results will always be something delightful, something fresh.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
Blade Deep: I come from a 90’s hip hop era so occasionally I’ll listen to some of the classics; Eric B and Rakim, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, J Dilla, Nas, Tupac, Biggie etc. When I’m in my eclectic mood I’ll listen to Jazz, Broken Beats or take it back to some old skool soul, funk etc. I also like 90’s R&B and popular music from my culture such as Chimurenga (Electric Blues, Mbira), Kwaito/Bubblegum or Mbaqanga which are grass roots of urban South African pop music.
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
Blade Deep: Yes of course! As I mentioned earlier, my Dad was a popular club owner, so my siblings and I got the opportunity to tag along with pop’s (as I was still quite young). I got to observe some great Deejays in their element, and took every opportunity I had to spend time around them learning the craft, the use of the equipment, playing around with different beats. Eventually, I got my first opportunity to perform at an afternoon session at my father`s club catering strictly to teens, and it was there that I realized that this was something I was passionate about, that I felt I could make a career out of, something that I knew would have a lasting influence on my life.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
Blade Deep: There’s more to me than what meets the eye. I’m passionate about world issues, an activist of sorts, I love the culinary arts, I love to cook, I love astrology in that I enjoy stargazing; some of my greatest ideas are born when I am relaxed and aligned with the stars. I’m a joker, but I take my business really seriously, so any work that I put out must be of a high standard, whether it’s a live performance or a new release.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
Blade Deep: For the last 4 years I have been dedicated to supporting OXFAM. I am a supporter of their initiative to provide global outreach to countries in Africa in need of assistance. I volunteer my efforts through the hosting of small but effective fundraising music events under their music charity Oxjam. A few DJ friends of mine and I get together each year to put on an event to raise funds and awareness about these charities. People need to remember, that 1$USD can go a long way towards feeding families or providing clean fresh water or shelter. Check them out here: https://www.oxfam.org
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
Blade Deep: Not really, I prefer to let the music do the talking and the explaining. If you want to get to know me simply tap into my music.
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
Blade Deep: Yea, do you have any David Guetta? Lol Just kidding! I’m actually ok with people asking a few questions, after all, knowledge is power. You’ll never know something unless you ask, but whether you like the answer or not is another story.
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
Blade Deep: I’d have to say Jaicko. It was a good experience being able to introduce a billboard pop artist and cross him over to Deep, Soulful and Afro house with the help of DJ/Producer Master Fale; a phenomenal guy in his own right. Big shouts out to my other DJ/Production family – 4Matic and the L2M Family, Lilac Jeans, Nteeze & Andy, My brother and mentor DJ Pierre of my Afro Acid family, Alric and Boyd, Delura, Eman, DocLink, Black Terry, GSparks, Silk & Skip, Sqwayi Utay, MusicaleSoul, Deep Montage, PK Major, Loose Grooves, Luis Armando, AfroSoul, Mykel Waters, DJ Sonic & and the whole JusVibe family. Delura and I previously released a single entitled ‘Perfectly’ ft. vocalist Liezl which I am happy to announce, has been nominated for a prestigious AFRIMA: All African Music Award 2015, for ‘Best Artist or Group in African Electronic Music. We’re very humbled by this achievement, and look forward to seeing where it goes from there.
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on collaboration?
Blade Deep: There so many! #1 Draft Pick, Osunlade… all day! Black Coffee no doubt, Martin Atjazz a phenomenal producer and from my homeland the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi.
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
Blade Deep: Well, as the Pioneers of Afro House music in the Caribbean we are experimenting with some House/Reggae collaborations. We have just finished producing a single with a renowned Jamaican reggae artist. He will be blessing us with a taste of rich inspiring reggae vibes on the single, so you can look out for that. Following that, we are scheduled to release another talented songstress out of Jamaica with a very jazzy appeal. We still developing the track and its sounding really good. We`ve being doing all we can to promote the philosophy of the label ‘JusVibe’ that is to ‘Preserve The Sound of The Underground’.
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
Blade Deep: I’d like to leave the legacy that when we work together we can achieve great things. No man is an island, so it’s important to understand that there is power in numbers; there is power in differentiation; of cultures, of classes of ideas. When we bring all the elements together, the end result will always be something spectacular. Also, there is something to be said about having humility and taking the time to understand your process and being willing to work through it. These are basic spiritual principles that I am grateful to my parents for instilling in me.
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