I hope you are well and enjoying the warm weather that has reached South African shores. I have a question for you that was posed to me recently. You may only answer Yes or No. Do you love what you do? If your answer is No, then my second question to you is - Why are you doing it, then?
I've been writing for publications for nearly a decade, but I still get a rush every single time I see my name in print. So many people ask me what inspires me to write. The answer is simple - life! It's not as easy as it may seem. There are some days where I stare at a blank screen and become so frustrated that I feel like screaming! However, on other days I write frantically. I sit typing till my eyes are red and before I know it, I’m only heading to bed at 3:30am!
One of the best rewards of what I do is receiving e-mails from readers telling me that they could relate to my stories. At this point in my life, I can say (without hesitation) that I have passion about what I do. I get a thrill from it. I can't imagine doing anything else that would give that sensation of a fire raging within me. I knew from an early age that I was meant to express, communicate and relate to thousands of people through my writing.
The person you will meet this month understands completely what I mean about passion. DJ Damage from the Eastern Cape is making waves around the country after he won the title of The Next Big Thing, a national DJ competition, similar to Idols. The soft-spoken 22-year old beat finalists from Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal when he played a 10-minute set live on Channel O in July.
So why does ‘Damage’ enjoy being behind the decks as much as he does? He says, “It allows me to share my passion with people on the dance floor or those tuning in on the radio.” He’s also had the privilege of playing alongside some of the country’s golden names in the industry, including Ready D, DJ Fresh and Dino Bravo. Speaking about these turntable gurus’s, Damage says that, “They re-invent themselves every time they go out there [behind the decks]. They inspire him and he considers himself lucky to have been mentored by some of them.
Damage plays a variety of genres in his mixes, including old school, hip hop, rock and pop. You may have even jammed to his beats on 5fm’s Ultimix at 6 on The Fresh Drive and on Your Friday Night Fix with 5fm’s Fix.
Of course, passion isn’t the only thing you need to get to the top. Damage believes that on the path to success, you need a combination of various things – a supportive family, hard work of long hours, determination and of course the proverbial blood, sweat and tears.
Damage admits to feeling nervous before a gig. He says, “The day you stop getting nervous about what you do is the day you quit. It means you’ve lost that energy and love for what you do. You should always try and outdo yourself each time.” This reminds me of a previous column I wrote recently where I spoke about being in a comfort zone. The minute you feel comfortable, you may work less to improve and grow. I know this is something many people can identify with, right?
So many of us are afraid or hesitant to follow our dreams, but Damage believes that, “Failure isn’t something you should fear. It’s something you should look forward to because failure is a learning process.”
Damage is open to bookings for events so if you wish to contact him you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org You should also keep an eye out for his forthcoming CD release. And if judging from his mixes up to now, it will no doubt cause “damage” to your system.
I hope you have a fabulous month ahead. Be safe, but have fun! See you next month…