The last few years have been nothing short of seismic for South African DJ and producer, DBN Gogo. “It’s amazing what I’ve been able to achieve in the last few years,” says the Khuza Gogo hitmaker. “It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’ve also just curated my first ever Boiler Room line-up and the experience was different from anything I’ve previously done. If I’m not mistaken, I’m the first black South African woman to do so. That’s a big deal.”
Born Mandisa Radebe in Kwazulu Natal, DBN Gogo started DJing in 2017 and has quickly become an omnipresent figure in the South African club scene and a figurehead in the nascent amapiano genre. In the short amount of time that she’s been a DJ, she’s become one of the most booked DJ’s in the country, performed at Afropunk South Africa and was the first South African artist to be chosen for Spotify’s Equal Music Program.
Half a decade into her music career, she has already cemented herself as one of amapiano’s most visible DJ/producer’s.
“The funny thing is, at the beginning of my career, I used to play old school house,” she says. “I wasn’t always an amapiano DJ but as the sound grew, I also grew into it. It also helped to have people around me who were part of the scene. Like my debut EP, Thokoza Cafe, was a collaboration with Dinho [a local producer] who’s well acquainted with the sound and the scene. But we’re always trying to push boundaries. French Kiss, for example, is an amapiano song we did. It’s the first francophone amapiano song to ever be released.”