Ryan the DJ won the 
Red Bull 3Style SA Final on Saturday.
On Saturday, Ryan The DJ was crowned the winner of the Red Bull 3Style SA Final. The global competition sees the energy drink encourage six finalists to play at least three genres in just 15 minutes and still keep the crowd entertained. The winner gets to rep Mzansi in Krakow in Poland in 2018.

Jozi spinner, Ryan The DJ beat fellow Joburger, DJ Shameless, Durbanites, DJ Eighty6 and Ameeth Shah as well as Capetonians, DJ Tekneek and DJ J-Efx. But before all that, I joined some of the six finalists on a crate digging mission. The first stop was Afrosynth in Maboneng. It’s next to the Museum of African Design so the tiny store enjoys prime real estate for tourists.

The visitor is greeted by vinyls of Solange’s last album, A Seat At The Table. The award-winning body of work sits alongside Letta Mbulu and TKZee records. The diversity in genres and geographical locations was nice to see. I made my way out of the shop just as DJs were clamouring to get their hands on the Halloween vinyl.

Outside, I encountered a very nervous DJ Eighty6. Although the finale was still a day away, he seemed like he would have preferred it to be right then so he could get the nerves out of the way. He said that he’d been DJing for over a decade but here was the surprising bit: this was going to be his first battle.

With a few records under their arms, the group made their way to the second store, which was the complete opposite of Afrosynth.

At Collectors Treasury Books and Antiques, the service lift moves so slowly it’s easy to lose track of how many floors are part of the building. But on every floor, there are piles and piles and piles and piles of books and vinyls.

None of them are ordered according to genre or release date. None of them are ordered.

From Harry Potter to James Baldwin, this hoarder’s paradise has a variety of collectables. It’s like one giant, dusty lucky packet.

“I’m gonna need a shower after this,” said someone from an aisle far, far away. I couldn’t make out who said it since the place is so big.

DJ J-Efx is possibly the most interesting collector because while he moves in silence like the g in lasagne (thanks, Weezy), he managed to walk out of there with titles that most people missed.

I handed him some of the vinyls I’d found - originals by Shirley Bassey, Cher, Barbara Streisand and more. If anyone deserved to sift through what might be the most sample-worthy from my stash, it was him.

While he didn’t win the 3Style SA Final, which was judged by Karve (who won in 2010) and DJ Byte (who won in 2015), he was an interesting character.

Keep up with Ryan The DJ through social media via @RyanTheDJ