Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Tshepiso Makhele
4 minute read
31 May 2017
6:59 am

The highs and lows of Mobi

Tshepiso Makhele

DJ Dixon: A decade in the industry – and he opens up about falling into depression.

Mobi Dixon.

If you love the dance floor and are a big fan of house music, then Mobi Dixon’s City Rains might be a track you danced to a few times.

Despite being one of the valued giants of house music, the award-winning DJ and producer says he had other dreams, poles apart from DJing while growing up – even though he has always been drawn to art and enjoyed poetry writing in primary school.

“I used to write poetry and collect tapes, and then I would turn these rhymes into rap. I produced my first song when in standard four,” he said, adding that he only took music as a career seriously at a later stage in his life, regardless of his passion for it.

Ten years in the industry

The East London-born artist says though he has a decade in the industry, most people only started knowing about him and paying attention to his music about three years ago.

“I have struggled, but my biggest struggle until this day has to be when I released an album in 2008 and it turned out to be a disaster. It flopped,” he said.

Irrespective of how badly this impacted his life, it taught him the importance of marketing.

“I fell into a depression and started abusing alcohol and drugs. These are some of the mistakes that helped me to turn into the better person I am today.”

The musician says acknowledging where he went wrong with his first album motivated him to go study marketing and music management.

Big plans

With a new single, Ezizweni, out and fans raving about the love song, Mobi says he still has big plans in the pipeline, which he believes will wow his massive fan-base.

“I’m working on a documentary. It is one of the ways I’m celebrating my 10 years in the music industry,” he said, pointing out that it will be based on his life story and how he managed to persevere in the harsh competitive house music industry.

“I’ve been planning this since 2015 and taking footage of my journey. It will touch on the day I released my album as an independent artist straight from high school, distributing it in record shops and going from one taxi rank to the next,” the artist says, looking at his struggles and what he had to endure, it would turn a lot struggling artists’ lives around if the government and the corporate sector would lend a hand and assist the music industry.

Mobi says though he doesn’t want to reveal too much about his future plans, he feels it’s safe to announce that he is working on hosting a concert in celebration of his time in the industry later this year.

Mobi’s music

“City Rains is a song that most people got to know me through. It introduced my sound to the masses.”

The 32-yearold says he labels his sound “Tribal Soul,” and that those who know his music can attest of how unique it is. This sound is what drew the industry’s attention to Mobi Dixon, after he took a three-year break from it to try and find his uniqueness.

The talent says winning a Best Dance Album at the Metro FM Music Awards this year is one of his biggest accolades – a moment he says will remain close to his heart.

“It solidified me as a player in the industry. I’m not going anywhere. It showed that I’m not a one-hit wonder,” he said, pointing out that he was happy to get recognised for doing the one thing he is passionate about.

New single

Ezizweni is the third radio single to be released off Mobi Dixon’s Live The Music album, and follows his signature tribal soul house sound, with sultry lyrics from renowned singer Berita; a first vernacular song from Mobi.

“Berita and I met in 2012. She had the hit song Thandolwethu, and we had a chat about doing music together but decided to wait for the right time – and then the time presented itself and Ezizweni was born.”

Mobi says the track talks about how love can take you places you have never been, adding that he feels blessed to always being afforded an opportunity to work with strong female vocalists.

Wanting to fly

“Growing up I dreamed of being a pilot, but my parents discouraged me, telling me how I will always be in the air and not with my loved ones – and telling me to dream bigger.”

The DJ then wanted to become a sound engineer, even though he wasn’t too sure what it entailed, but felt that it had something to do with music.

“I got a computer when I was in standard five and ended up studying Information Technology and Sound Engineering.” He says today music is his life, hence the title of his album Live The Music.

“I can’t imagine life without it. I don’t do music for fame or money. It comes from within and it feels wonderful to share it with the world.”

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