160812. A young Dj Salvatore "Sally Dee" Diago at home in Houghton, Johannesburg. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Seventeen-year-old Salvatore Diago is a man on a mission. This budding house producer and DJ has decided to impart his knowledge of house music and production to other youngsters who are less fortunate than himself.

“I fell in love with house music when I was very young, but it took me a while to realise that it is my passion and something I want to do as a living,” says the quiet teenager.

“Unfortunately, it was difficult to learn the art of deejaying and production. I tried places like Soul Candi and even 5FM, but I couldn’t get anywhere.”

He then decided that teaching himself was the way to go, and because he comes from a privileged background he had access to the best.

He and a friend began deejaying at under-18 clubs and he went by the name of DJ Sally Dee. As he learnt his craft he realised his fortunate position and decided to impart his knowledge to those who were less privileged.

“I have designed a course of sorts for aspiring DJs because it is important to help people,” explains Salvatore. “It is under the name Sour Cherry.

“The kids are mostly from the township. They come to me and I show them the basics. The course is for free. Then I send them to other DJ friends of mine for a month or so. They go to DJs with different styles so they come away having learnt something about rave, deep house etc.”

After that, Salvatore endeavours to get them their first gigs before sending them on their way.

“I know how hard it is if you have no support, because I had no support in the beginning. My parents were against me making music. This is why I want to help others.”

The remarkable teenager is also planning to put on parties to raise funds for Sour Cherry as his student numbers expand. On Friday night he is putting on an under-18 party at Voodoo Lounge in Linksfield.

There will be no liquor sold and no illegal substances and weapons will be allowed on the premises, thereby providing a safe party environment for under-18s. Set to play on the night are Bhavs, Krazyboy, Groovin and Dillyn Will. Doors open at 6pm and close at midnight. For more information go to Facebook and search for Sour Cherry.