DJ TIRA
Durban is known for being the pioneer of many dance moves and sounds such as the latest "Gqom” music, a township take on house music which is heavy on bass and reverb.

The “Gqom Oh!” dance is a popular dance at home and across Africa. The Gqom sound has become so popular that US artists such as Chris Brown are featuring the sound and dance in their songs.

Tira Khathi or DJ Tira, as he is known affectionately, is at the forefront of most of the Durban sound. The owner of Afrotainment, a one-stop entertainment shop, he is also part of “Durban's finest” along with DJ Cndo and Big Nuz.

Afrotainment also holds exclusive parties aimed at the affluent black market. The Afrotainment hospitality marquee at the Vodacom Durban July is where everyone wants to be this Saturday.

Hosting heavyweight performers such as Cassper Nyovest and Babes Wodumo, it’s the hottest place to enjoy the July, which brings together the country’s influential in politics, business and fashion.

I spoke to DJ Tira about his career and what to expect at the Afrotainment marquee.

What is it about deejaying that interests you as opposed to producing? I hardly produce for other artists unless it’s an Afrotainment artist but this year I produced a song for Kaylow, which is doing well on radio stations. I've also done a collaboration with DJ Maphorisa and Busiswa. Lately I am enjoying both producing for myself and other artists.

What makes you play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criteria other than subjectivity? I always plan my sets ahead. I normally start my set with vocal records to warm up the crowd, then play stronger songs to climax the party.

Do you think the entertainment industry as a whole is a man’s world? In your opinion, is it harder for women to become famous DJs? It’s not a man’s world, it’s all about your skill to turn up the party and market yourself as a DJ. A pretty female DJ can grow a following faster than a male.

What is the coolest thing about being a DJ? You get to travel, see different people, make them dance and get paid.

It’s very nice to produce good music that is received with love from people and also getting the whole world to sing to your song.

What can guests expect at the Afrotainment marquee? They will get the opportunity to interact with Afrotainment artists and celebrities, and there will be good music and good food.

The day also features a fashion show by young SA designers.

* Afrotainment Durban July Marquee tomorrow, from 10am to 10pm, at site F5, Greyville Racecourse. Tickets from Computicket. See www.afrotainment.co.za