What do you do to psych yourself up before a gig? Any rituals?I generally go through my music at home. If there is enough time before the show, I'll fire up the turntables and have a mix. A good home-cooked dinner does wonders too.
How amazing have your European tours been? Tell us some of your most memorable moments.It's always fun and amazing being on the road abroad; there's always something new and exciting about to happen. One of my favourite moments was being in Stockholm for a show with SFR in 2008, our set time was 12-2am. It was still light outside right before we came on and when we finished our set at 2am, the sun was rising again. Apparently the only two hours of night, was during our set!
Congrats on being nominated by DJ Mag as the number 15 DJ in South Africa; what was your initial reaction on hearing this?Thank you. I was not even aware of the poll. I'm glad and humbled that people voted for me. It doesn't really change much though, I'll keep doing what I love doing.
Explain to people who don't understand it, the appeal of a catchy, heavy bassline, and how does it move you?This is one of those things that you need to hear or experience for yourself to make sense. It's hard to explain, like the appeal of a catchy hook in a pop song. The best way I could explain it is on the dance floor...
How has your Cape Flats roots affected your taste in music and the sound you produce?It's helped create a taste for hip hop, funk, R&B and old school disco. Those were the genres that I was most exposed to whilst growing up. Those influences are quite evident in a lot of what I do today.
You've been involved in local radio, what's your opinion of the current state of radio in SA?Radio in SA has improved greatly over the last few years, but it still has some way to go. I'm happy that stations like 5fm have started to take more interest in other forms of electronic music. Public demand has been there for a while, and now they are catching up.
How did you arrive at Niskerone? What's the significance?It's a name I had from my younger days in graffiti. When I made the switch to music, it just stuck. There is quite some significance, but if I tell you...
Why the decision to re-launch It Came From The Jungle?Over the last few years, It Came From The Jungle has become a weekly home to much of Cape Town's night owls, both friends and strangers alike. When Fiction closed for renovations last year, it felt like there was something missing on Thursday nights. I bumped into scores of people asking me when "ICFTJ" was coming back and letting me know how much they miss it. It just became the natural next step to bring it back.
Would you say Niskerone is your alter-ego? Tell us something your fans would never have guessed about you, Mark Stevens.Yeah, he's the mischievous me. Something no one would've guessed... I don't like peanut butter.
If Niskerone could be characterised as an animal, what animal would that be and why?An ape... OK, a monkey. I can act a fool and it'll be ok.
How'd you get here? What would you say was the catalyst that catapulted you to success?I still don't quite know. I enjoy playing music and somehow that's landed me here, with you. I think everything I've done so far has played a part in it, from the smallest backroom show, to my time at UCT Radio, to my Fiction residency, to the larger festival shows. It all plays a role.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone hoping to walk in your shoes one day, what would it be?Stay true to the person you are and your ideals. There's too much fake out there...
What's up next?In the immediate future is my next European tour and more studio work with SFR.
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Posted on 8 May 2012 10:41