As the son of a popular Zimbabwean Gospel producer and VOJ Studios owner, Lazarus Chikwewo, music has always formed part of Young DLC’s upbringing. However, instead of following in his father’s footsteps, the young producer chose quite an unorthodox genre to work on, he chose Electronic Dance Music (EDM).
South African-based electronic dance music (EDM) producer and songwriter DJ Darlington Lazarus Chikwewo, or Young DLC, is proving to be quite the hit.
Though the EDM industry in South Africa is not yet fully established, the 22-year-old is excited about how dance music is growing in the country and the continent.
“The pop scene these days is shifting towards the dance scene and that is encouraging," he said.
Young DLC explains how he got into EDM, by chance.
“The first [production] program my dad bought me was a dance music program. I was interested in learning that type of music and also the culture of dance music such as their big festivals. I was mainly into production until my friend suggested that I started deejaying, that is when I went fully into electronic dance music,” he explains.
Following on his trend of things happening by chance, his journey to Coke Studio Africa started with him being in the right place at the right time.
“I literally walked into their offices while they were still doing Coke Studio South Africa. I was looking for Micasa, but when I got there, they had already moved and Coke Studio was moving into that space. They asked me what it is that I do, and the next thing, I got into Coke Studio South Africa as a guest producer," he recalls.
“After I got into Coke Studio South Africa, the next year they called me and they were like do you want to do Africa? I was like yeah, mos def!”
Claim to fame.
During his two year term as a resident producer at Coke Studio Africa in Kenya, Young DLC had the pleasure of working with artists such as AKA, Yemi Alade, Nasty C, Patoranking and Olamide, to name a few.
“Because I had been working on music alone as a kid, working with new people is exciting. It’s like a new journey for me, an adventure,” he says.
DLC believes that having lived in and experienced music from other countries has helped him become a better producer.
“Every country has its own sound. In SA there is Gqom. In Zimbabwe, we have Zim Dancehall and in Kenya, there is Kapuka. Going into those different environments and experiencing different kinds of cultures, you pick up elements from each space and use that into your own music. That’s what I'm gaining moving into different environments and working with different people,” he said.
In just three short years since becoming professional, DLC has become a sort-after producer that’s worked on various other genres such as Afrobeat and Afropop.
Nge Thanda Wena
In 2018 Young DLC got the chance to produce "Nge Thanda Wena" on Mlindo the Vocalist’s critically acclaimed debut album "Emakhaya". The album that has recently gone gold.
DLC has also been making waves with artists outside the African border. In December, Young DLC had the opportunity to work with award-winning American rapper, Desiigner.
“I met Desiigner last year in Kenya when he came to do a show for Jameson, I think. So he wanted to make a song before he left. A friend of mine had the actual session, but did not have any music that Desiigner wanted to work on,” he said.
If the journey looks like this thus far, it looks like 2019 will be a very successful year for Young DLC.
Follow Young DLC on Twitter @YoungDLC96