DHLA presents the Thobani Mbhele aka Nqalastyle innerview


There was a birth of a new wave of house music not too long ago. A sudden influx of South African made house music washed ashore. Not that house music wasn't made indigenously, before the year 2008, don't get me wrong. This was a special time as a lot experimental tribal house music was spreading like wild fire, a scenario that played out in the Miami music conference of that 2 to 3 years period
What then emerges, are front runners within the game. Enthusiasts that are far from the production reigns but know a thing or two about the game. Enter Thobani Mbhele aka Nqala aka Nqalastyle

DHLA: Who is Nqala and the Nqalastyle part of it?

Nqala:  Nqalastyle is a music enthusiast born in Durban (a city not so deep), known to many for his deep underground sound and known as The Music Guru to those close to him or those in the know.
Nqalastyle comes from Nqalastani, which is a street moniker I have had since childhood, so had to put a twist to the name some 10 years ago.

DHLA: When did it all start for you in this House Music genre

Nqala:  Glenzito made me fall inlove with underground house music be it soulful, deep house or tech, that was around 2002 if I remember correctly then he had a guy called Dj Sefaty on his shows as a guess on a regular basis who played almost the same style as him , some really superior music man those days I will not forget, so because I was still very young at that time and there wasnt any djs or anyone I knew who was into this kinda sound I would just buy empty cassettes and record all the mixes on Glen's show then try mixing music that was already on a mix tape, it was just the love of this sound.

DHLA: You propelled Darkie back in the day, fill us in?

Nqala: Darque is a brother to me and we have come far, he had the talent I had the vision and at that time I was hands on pushing the local house sound that was coming out , Oskido was giving us airplay on Yfm it was great, so we did some interviews on Yfm, I would mostly focus on compiling the music to play on our interviews with the guys I used to push, my name was familiar with everyone who knew what was happening, was also responsible with compiling the music for Vintage Soul on their interviews on Gagasi fm, I was also part of the Iklwa Brothers music label, I have promoted and done a lot for many producers and djs at that time.

 DHLA: Are you'll still as close?

 Nqala: we have spoken in a while but we are cool, think we last had a call some months ago when I saw his video on Chanel O and had to congratulate him.

DHLA: You've been exposed to different house scenes and different clicks that follow the genre, how would you sum it up

Nqala: that is a very important question for ever since I have kinda left the djying thing, I decided that I need to learn as much as I can about the house music scene in SA while touring this country, I have full knowledge of how the scene is in Jhb, Pta , Dbn, Pmb, Newcastle and now currently cape town which is actually the most interesting because in the year I am here I have attended some really life changing gigs and the plan is to finally transfer the knowledge I have gathered and have something solid for underground  music lovers that will last a lifetime

 DHLA: Would you say house music has changed?

Nqala : the sound changes all the time throughout the world.

DHLA: What is your prediction for the next 2 years?

Nqala: SA house is still going to be big for a long time as people from outside the country are enjoying it since its a different sound for them.

DHLA: Where do you currently live, how is the house scene there? What could be done to get more SA house music overseas? Any upcoming producers and Djs to watch?

Nqala:  I am currently in Cape Town and exploring the scene as much as I can, there is some really good movements here, the Waxon gig every first Thursday of the month takes it for me, it is not strictly confined to one genre or style.

 DHLA: What are you favourite record Labels locally and internationally

Nqala:  Sound Signature, Peacefrog, Ninja Tune, Future Vision/Prescription, Deepex, Freerange ..just to name a few

DHLA: Tell us about your mixes

 Nqala:  my mixes are very random but very educational at least that is the intention, there's no music restrictions really could be soulful, breaks, lounge , deep , afro ..if it sounds good to my ears, I will play it.

DHLA: What's your advice to upcoming house musos

Nqala: information is out there, gather knowledge then you will be great but if you are made for this.

DHLA: Any chance of you venturing into production

Nqala:  I do not think so, l’m happy appreciating other people's sound

DHLA:  What is the current state of house music in SA

 Nqala:  my opinion has always been that SA has the best djs on earth, we have some really unsung heroes.
DHLA:  Where can your fans catch you

Nqala:  unfortunately, though I get reasonable gig requests especially for someone who has been. Inactive for so long  ,I am not playing probably still for a very long time, l’m not in that space , right now is still about learning and enjoying what others put out there

DHLA: What is on your music player

Nqala:  check out "Space & Time" , a recent tape on my ..i am busy working on a new mix to be out soon with some really celestial vibes, those who know will know.


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