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DBN Gogo speaks on her new venture Zikode Records

DBN Gogo. Picture: Instagram

DBN Gogo. Picture: Instagram

Published Feb 21, 2022


DBN Gogo, real name Mandisa Radebe, has been a household name since 2018 on the South African music scene and has risen to be one of the country's top DJs.

When the popular DJ, in 2020, released her smash hit joint EP, “Thokoza Cafe”, it became the first amapiano Balcony Mix release to hit a million views, and she affirmed her superstar status with the release of her classic “Possible”.

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TheKhuza Gogo” hitmaker continues to break records and create her own lane, when it comes to amapiano music.

The leading amapiano DJ-producer has teamed up with UMG Africa to launch her record label, Zikode Records.

DBN Gogo explained to IOL Entertainment that the name for her record label was taken from her clan names.

Deciding on it was no easy task for the DJ but she eventually picked Zikode.

The names, “Radebe, Bhungane, Mtimkhulu, Zikode, Mashwabadada inkomo nempondpo zayo'' are seen tattooed on her arm, a clear nod to how much her ancestral roots mean to her.

There are several plans for the record label, especially when it comes to working with upcoming talent. Which is something that DBN Gogo is really big on, lowering the ladders for those trying to make it.

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"The whole point of Zikode is obviously to sign myself to a label where I can manage myself and partner with a major so that we can push this thing beyond what I could do.

“I think it was just that time, where I needed a bit more help than actually what I could do,” she shared.

DBN Gogo also shed light around the inner workings of her deal with UMG Africa, which gives them access to her catalogue but also gives her control in terms of the acts she signs.

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“We do have an A&Ring agreement which would work directly through myself and Zikode to find upcoming fresh talent,” she said.

With amapiano being the fast-growing genre that it is, DBN Gogo emphasises the need for artists and those behind the scenes to work together and push it further.

“There is so much space, unfortunately the rate in which piano moves, you can't gate-keep it, you can't keep it to yourself. You can't be the only front runner, you have to pay it forward.

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“The kids are the culture and they are coming with all the new styles and innovation. It's really important that we all work together, collaborate and change people's lives,” she shares.

Since she burst onto the music scene DBN Gogo has shown that she is a force and now with her own record label, she will be revealing her strengths as a boss.

DBN Gogo has had a wild ride that has seen her dominate the airwaves and the club scenes; she is among the most booked DJs in the country.

IOL Entertainment asked the first South African artist to join Spotify’s Equal Music Program, how she felt about the success she’s had - and even for her it’s a lot but she’s not complaining.

“It's a bit surreal, it's actually crazy that we've been able to do what we've done, obviously with the help of our distribution partner electromode and JR's company (Fyve).

“It's just crazy that this is how far we have come. We have kind of reached the (plateaux) of what we could do independently, and of course looking for more global opportunities, it just made sense at the time to partner with Universal for the resources that they do have.”

The Glamour cover star celebrated the achievement at what was meant to be a low-key event at the popular Soweto- based epicentre of status, Konka.

Collaborating with the local culture-forward hot spot, she hosted The Landlord, De Mthuda and Motswako Originator, Khuli Chana.

DBN Gogo has already released her first single, “Bambelela” under the label featuring amapiano’s leading young crop Pabi Cooper, Felo Le Tee and Young Stunna.

This single is the first of many expected releases under the label.

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