DHLA presents the Keith Phakathi aka Dj-Sticha Mixking innerview


There some talent music bakers in Southern Africa. One that caught our DHLA eye was the magic of Keith Phakathi aka Dj Sticha Mixking. He is not only a Dj but also a writer, a producer and also a digital music store owner


DHLA: How did you come up with your stage name?

Sticha: My stage name "Sticha" comes from my family, my great great grandfather to be precise. It means S'jula(isijula) umkhonto ngesiZulu. He was a respected Zulu warrior and always nailed his targets he never missed hence the name Isijula, I then modernized it to Sticha in relation with a sewing machine that never misses it's patterns. I got that name from home because they say am a spitting image of him from the looks to the character.

DHLA: Take us through your Dj journey and your music production?

Sticha: I started djing when I was 14 in night clubs in and around Gauteng, many upcoming djs were into virtual djing softwares but I opted for the old school way and learned how to play using vinyls. 

This later became my strength because it was easy switching to CDjs which helped me clean the Djing battles and got myself a name extension to Dj-Sticha-Mixking. Am still new in production, I started producing music in 2012 March after buying the studio equipment. I had some money lying around and had a lot of things in mind to do with it, I founded a Dj and sound hire the same year 2012 in January so it made sense to me to just buy the studio equipment as an investment. When I bought the equipment, I honestly had no idea about production, I knocked on many doors trying to get the experienced guys to teach me but none of them had the heart or time for a ‘nobody’ lol. 

Somehow I downloaded a lotta production tutorials videos from Cubase, Pro-tools and Reason and sat in recording studios watching from a distance, I finally gave it a try around May in 2012, as they say the rest is history.

DHLA: Is there difference between the music scene in SA and that of KwaBulawayo

Sticha: There's not much difference between the music scene in Bulawayo and S.A because the sound there is hugely influenced by South African sound, there are talented guys from Bulawayo who can make some big S.A producers look like amateurs if they had a chance to be heard. Am not ex[posing anyone but some big names in S.A music industry are actually Zimbabweans in hiding.

DHLA: Tell us about Zim artists you have worked with and upcoming productions

Sticha: I've worked with a handful  of Zim musicians, from Peshy, Team Bulawayo, Khuxxman, Alex, Brian and Zhwane's finest to name a few I'd like to keep mom about the upcoming productions as I want it to be mega surprises.

DHLA: You are also a writer, how did that come about?

Sticha: Am not a full time writer, I just love researching about the music industry so when I have some information that can help anyone, I like to share that with everyone else that's how I got into it.

DHLA: What's on your music right now?

Sticha: My music for now has a signature in sound, am versatile I don't want to box myself into a container and say am doing a certain sound, anyone can actually pick my sound even if it's not named, that's all into it.

DHLA: Your work is mastered by heavy weights like Dj Micks take us through that

Sticha: I always believe that music is for the people am just a medium who has the musical message in me, people trust me to deliver that message in form of production. If i make any beat, I make sure that it's best quality as I have to deliver a clear message that represents me as a growing brand. I spend a lot of money in making sure it sounds good hence am always on the lookout for great production people to master my sounds, I usually send to the U.K for mastering but this time I decided to keep it local and chose Dj-Micks because his sound is bold and thumpy and his personality nje speaks to what

DHLA: Any dream collabos?

Sticha: Honestly I don't have any dream collabos as I believe that the music connects people so am open to any possibilities, I know my path is already set am gonna meet some people on the way with similar ambitions and direction that will be the beginning of new working relationships.

DHLA:  Producers such as the great Maphorisa have been critisised for remixing hits, why do you feel the need to thread that thin line?

Sticha: When someone remixes an old song, they not trying to correct or take anything away from the original. It's more of a personal scale to measure your creativity and strength because honestly your remix has to be more spicy or must bring new life to the already existing hit, I know that some people don't understand how the deeper production culture works so it doesn't surprise me to see the likes of Maphorisa being attacked, am prepared for such.

DHLA: How do you empower upcoming Djs and producers?

 Sticha: In empowering the upcoming Djs and producers, I've taken it upon myself to groom the generation of producers you might never know who will help in the near future, when I wanted to learn no one was willing to help so I wanna break the circle of selfishness in the industry. For the past months I've taken in some young people and taught the basics of production and still teaching some more people about the industry ins and outs free of charge.

DHLA: Any advice to them

Sticha: I'd like to advice anyone in the industry or someone who wishes to be in ti that, it takes time to get somewhere there are no shortcuts, just be yourself stay true to your sound don't try to be Oskido or Black Coffee and most importantly don't burn any bridges.

DHLA: Tell us about Beats98

Sticha: Beats98 is a 100% black owned business which is an online music store which gives musicians a chance to sell their craft direct to the public without the middle men and keep their profits. You do know that in order to sell your music on i-tunes and some other online stores, one needs a publisher which means you'll split your hard work earnings with the middlemen, Beats98 is here to correct that.

DHLA: What is your vision for Beats98?

Sticha: My vision for Beats98 is to see it become a tool to liberate independent musicians and become a portal for every business minded musician to reach their goal.

DHLA: What do you call the music that you produce? Where do you get the funding?

Sticha: All the works am doing are self funded, it's an investment that will put me in a better position to afford better production gear and marketing.

DHLA: How do you prepare for a Dj set?

Sticha: I don't prepare for the Dj set, the environment and mood of that place tells me instantly in that moment what to deliver to the people, I like to connect with the people on the dance floor, so if I prepare before meeting them that means we already on different pages of the book

DHLA: We have had the likes of Dj Kent gracing us with their vocals would you attempt the same?

Sticha: At the earlier stage of production, I was doing my own vocals but that's not my strong point so am not thinking of doing it, we might never know music has a way of changing a person so am not closing that door yet.

DHLA: What are the youth in Bulawayo listening to? How is the dance scene there?

Sticha: I don't have a vivid idea on what the youth is listening to in Bulawayo I only assume according to what I see on social media and I think they listening to commercial house music.

DHLA: How is the dance scene in Yoeville?

Sticha: The dance scene in Yoeville can't be placed in brackets because that place houses a lotta people from different walks in life and it's seasonal.

 DHLA: What can be done for ensure that music lovers get a chance to hear music from Bulawayo

Sticha: You might get the scene ablaze by playing house on the following night they no longer feeling house music they want hip-hop or dancehall, that's how I see it.

 DHLA: How do your fans get hold of you?

Sticha: People can get hold of me via social media:

Facebook: Dj-Sticha MixKing​
Backdoor Records​ (Fan Page)


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