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Last year was a tricky one for house DJ Euphonik (pictured). Despite all the international stages he played on and the good music he made, to some, 2012 will go down as the year the DJ was involved in a domestic violence scuffle with TV personality Bonang Matheba.
With all the drama surrounding him, it was probably a bad idea to release some new music, but the DJ stuck to what he knows best and in November released Total Blackout.
The 26-song CD features a host of South African singers including Chomee, Clint Brink, Shota, Phumeza and Leanne, among others.
“I started working on this album at the beginning of last year. The funny thing is I didn’t mean to work on an album, but I kept on working on some new music and in the end I gave in,” said the DJ.
Perhaps his love for adding South Africa to the international house music scene pushed him to drop his 13th studio album.
“I want to push the boundaries. I want to lead people in a certain direction where I use what is happening globally and make it as local as possible,” he said.
“It’s like learning from what (David) Guetta and them are doing, but giving it a local flavour both in sound and sometimes vernacular lyrics,” he said.
So it makes sense that Euphonik had the likes of Shota, Phumeza and Chomee feature on Total Blackout as they all bring their different flavours which are all uniquely South African.
This is probably why he is one of the best in his trade and why the international world is interested his work. Just last weekend, Euphonik was one of the few local DJs who was selected by the giant dance music trio Swedish House Mafia to feature at their concert.
“They have their own sound which comprises of some material that is known worldwide so I am carving my own niche by doing the same sound, yet with elements that are uniquely South African,” explained the DJ.
While some of the songs on Total Blackout are purely for the dancefloor, there is some material that Euphonik wrote from a personal perspective.
“I have a song called Shut Up which I took from what Bheki Cele used to say along those lines. Although it is not direct, it is something I wrote for the media that was publishing false things about me when that issue with Bonang came out. They didn’t know a lot of what really happened, but they decided to publish lies instead and I just felt like telling them all to ‘shut up’,” he elaborated.
Then there is Lose Yourself, a collaboration he did with Chris Sen and Shota which he describes as “taking an ordinary South African boy and placing him in David Guetta’s world.
“We have some vernac on the track, but I can tell you that the song can be played anywhere in the world,” he said.
Things get a bit spiritual when singer Leanne steps in on Get Lifted. Euphonik feels that the song brings the church to the club.
“It is a huge EDM (electronic dance music) track with a gospel feel that will make you ask yourself where Satan is, because he is definitely not in the club,” he said, chuckling.
Of all the artists Euphonik worked with, he did not hold back when saying he had the best time working with Shota.
“Man, that guy is really talented. I sent him beats in all the songs that we worked on and I was impressed with whatever he wrote. We never had to rewrite,” he said.
Total Blackout hasn’t yet got the intended marketing plan, but the sales are skyrocketing.
“We released in November and by the end of the month we had 20 000 copies sold without hectic marketing. It shows people are loving the brand. Now we are trying find out where people want us to perform and we’ll go there,” he said.
• Total Blackout is available in every music store nationwide.