The story of a young boy who came from a place where dreams don't always come true. A youngster who traveled around South Africa getting from gig to gig using public transport until he fulfilled a mission to purchase his own vehicle , which took him to places that no-one believed he would go.
Welcome to the journey of The GrooveMaster
THE LIFESTORY OF DJ JAZZY D
I too, faced the difficulties of growing up as a youth being tempted by the forbidden: drugs, alcohol, smoking and generally trying to hustle everyday to make an extra buck, however, I had my eye on a goal and that was to make a success one day. I also did not understand how "school" was going to help me achieve my goal - after all a good education was not going to help me become a better DJ. I was forced to stay in school by my parents and today I can say that it was the best decision that was made for me. You always need an education to fall back on no matter what career path you have in mind. Many of you will not agree with me but this will only become a reality once you are older.
Let me take you back to what I said initially about my goal - that was the turning point in my life. It was not always smooth sailing. I started off helping my uncle at Club Bel Air and becoming a DJ was a far off dream. I started watching him play since I was 7 years old and mentally took note of what he did and knew that one day I would be able to apply this skill.. That one day came and I never looked back. That was 21 years ago where I was given a chance to DJ at the kids matinee session at Bel Air. I knew that I had to constantly improve my skill to stay in the game and as the years went by my skills improved, my confidence level was higher and my experience of good and bad played a major role. Certain doors started opening up for me and I began DJ'ing at different house parties, weddings, clubs, street parties and later festivals,Even with all this happening, I knew that I had not reached the pinnacle of where I wanted to be.
After I had mastered the basic skills of DJ'ing, my next move was to learn the different styles of music, that being understanding a black, indian, coloured and white crowd, each one having a different taste of music, I moved on slowly and mastered the South African dance floor, the next step to DJ'ing was to start creating my own music. I started off with a keyboard and computer and focused on the type of music that I thought people would want to dance to. I created a few songs but was young and naive and trusted people too easily. I got ripped off on my first production,by one of SA's leading artists “ A##### ’’who was then the biggest star with the black market. This was a scary introduction to the cut throat music business and it frightened me but I knew that one day I would produce successful songs again. This time I would do things differently.
DJ JAZZY D (THE PRODUCER) My big break came when coca cola hosted a show called coca cola pop stars and the executive producer of the winning group gave me an opportunity to produce 2 songs for a group that later became known as Jamali. I was fortunate that their album went platinum in SA which is 50 000 units which made them the most successful Popstars ever in South Africa these ladies later became very good friends of mine and we still work together constantly.The confidence in my production proved my ability to create hits and I was given songs by Kabelo from Tk zee fame, Dr victor, TK aka the black butterfly, Glen lLewis (metro fm) & Denim, Chris Ghelakis executive producer and CEO of Electromode music offered me a recording contract to "release' my own CD - which was later self-titled DJ Jazzy D - Another story. The CD was a huge hit throughout the country and featured 4 songs that hit the playlist on top radio stations throughout the country. One song in particular "Lady Soul" became the biggest cross over song in SA history, making no.1 on 30 radio stations and also becoming the 1st local song to make the no.1 spot on 94.7s Take 40 chart since the inception of the radio station. I started becoming a household name and traveled throughout the country and later visited countries like Swaziland, Botswana, Dubai, Namibia, Zambia, playing at VIP venues, every club in the country wanted a piece of DJ jazzy d as I was reeling in my success for all the hard work, I woke up each weekend in a different city and spend most of my Sunday's at airports until tragedy struck.
On the fatal night of the 06 Jan 2006, I did a fund raising event in Lenasia and after the gig my best friend and I were involved in a major car accident. Solly Bennet was the guy that used to tell me I'm selling myself short , He always just wanted to give me guidance and make sure I had the best for whatever was waiting in my future, We were like left and right hand very close to each other and I remember that day very well. I had 2 cars and both cars were giving me problems one had no lights and the other no wipers. Solly came to visit me and he volunteered to take me to my gigs that evening. So after a successful event with rebel power and Dr Victor I was heading to my 2nd gig. Solly was driving, he always wanted to drive whenever we were together, Suddenly someone ran across the road and Solly tried to avoid him, he never bumped the guy but because of avoiding the guy we ended up in the other lane and an Audi TT collided into us... I woke up after 45min later unaware of my surroundings and very confused seeing about 7 people above me looking down at me , its then when I realized that we were in an accident , I was lost did not know where I was and I remember calling his name... Solly Solly Solly..... no response, this carried on for about 15 minutes then I passed out, I work up to sounds of people screaming Emergency vehicles noises, I could here the Fire brigades machinery as they spend a lot of time to get me out of the vehicle. As they got me out I told them my friend don’t forget about Solly and I yelled out his name Solly say something, I was dragged away in a stretcher and seen the faces on the emergency workers like their job was done, I taught maybe they took him out before me, I was lost , I had no pain but remember all the faces of everyone that saw me, it was like they were seeing a Ghost
I later heard the story of how my family was informed about the accident. That was very scary and very sad. My family received a call that there were 2 people involved in a car accident and that one of them did not make it. They were told where the location was, they said there was silence in the car when they had to travel for 1hour from Pta to Lenasia and not knowing what to expect. Everyone was very afraid, my son Cazzleigh (aged 6) was with them. He was very brave and though everyone was crying he told them MY DADDY IS NOT DEAD (when I heard that I just burst into tears and it happened right now as I’m writing in tears). I can just imagine the trauma they had to experience. When they got to the accident scene they taught that I had died as the passenger front seat was more damaged and the only way they could confirm was to go to the hospital, When they got to the hospital in Lenasia and heard I was alive they all were just crying, I was later moved from Lenmed to Unitas hospital in centurion. Solly Bennet never survived the accident He broke his neck and died in the car, I remember the frustration and hurt I experienced , as I knew he had a wife and two kids which he loved tremendously. He told me how he was rebuilding his marriage and that he loved his wife and kids so much, He was a man that always inspired me on getting the best for me, we shared a lot of secrets and losing him was a major loss for me. My heart was more broken that I was the last one to be with him and not his wife and kids. I remember the day they had his funeral I could not attend as I was in hospital. I was tied down with a ventilator and I asked the person laying next to me if his visitors could just come hold my hand and say a prayer for my friend. Tears were rolling as I prayed to God , Father forgive me for being the last person to be with Solly, Father stay with the family, Keep them strong, I was lost in speech with tears as I was starting to realise what was really happening here , My family told me the hospital was hectic , they never have the chance to see me, as fans, family and friends came in numbers to say their prayers and show support. I remember the story getting out of hand on S.A radio and this drew more attention to my music , my songs started getting more airplay at all the radio stations countrywide, My brother had to handle media and my family could never see me as they had to accommodate all the people that came in their numbers, I can just say thank you God for blessing me with so many great hearts and well wishers, My injuries were bad I was left with a broken femur bone that pierced into my inner thigh after breaking, 3 cracked ribs, broken right hand in 2 places, broken collar bone and an internal injury affecting crystals in my ears. Doctors were not sure if I was going to walk again as my injury reports were not good. It was obvious that my injuries would affect my career as a professional disc jockey. My hand was in a folded position and could not be opened.
I remember the day I was discharged suffering to get in the car, My 1st opstical was to accept what has happened and motivate myself to rehabilitate, starting off with my wheel chair my right hand was folded and could not open so it fit like a glove on the wheelchair and this gave my hand exercise and it strengthened my muscles and brought my hand back to normal, I gained strength by wheeling my self around the house, the yard, and eventually around the block. From 1 block to 2 blocks and later 3 blocks. People were looking at me from the neighborhood and motivated me to carry on, I knew my arms were getting strong enough to carry me , I started assisting myself with crutches and learning to walk with these - first short distances and then longer distances was a massive task. After few weeks of physio therapy I was frustrated as doctors explained to me that my body does not know how to walk and I have to start from scratch just like a baby, Imagine you forget how to walk, it was frustrating as I could do nothing without help this never discourage me and the 1st day that I achieved taking my 1st 2 steps without assistance set tears in my eye and jubilation in my family its then that I understood that God gave me the strength and restored all my broken bones.
On that day that I took my 1st steps I received a phone call that TK was found dead in a hotel in jhb, Depression and frustration were starting to get the better of me as Tk played a major role in my career and the 2 of us had big plans for our future. I was a miserable person and my girlfriend Shiela taught that I should start DJ’ing again. She contacted a club that I used to work for and they were glad to give me the chance to gain confidence, I remember Shiela walking with me around her arms as I entered the club, she carried my cds and took me to the dj box, We had eyes on us from the time we entered, Shiela went back to the car to sleep as she had to be at work at 7am and although i was only spinning for 2hours the extra sleep helped her a lot. Whenever we walked up the stairs, people use to look at this half cripple guy walking into the club thinking will he make it to the dj box, My music played a major role in my rehabilitation as it encouraged me and helped me build my confidence, I improved with every gig I did and it never stopped until I was almost completely healed. Shiela was an anchor and she overplayed her role in getting me back to where I am today.
After 4 months out of the public eye without any production, along came 3 boys from Soweto known as Denim. I produced 5 songs on their album and our number 1 hit - cant take my eyes off from you - confirmed that my previous productions were no fluke. The song went on to be no1 on 10 radio stations and is still being play listed by major radio stations in SA. The guys had major success with the album performing the songs in Dubai and Brazil and it was a major boost to my confidence to completing another successful hit.
GIVING UP ALL MY HARD WORK ON MY DEBUT ALBUM DECEMBER 2007
My relationship with my record label was not a great one, but I have to admit they were doing a great job and played a vital role in my journey to success, after having a meeting with them trying to put the past behind and work on the future, I proposed an album budget and they were not willing to outlay the budget , they later offered me free clearance meaning they want to release me from my contract but with one vital stipulation that I was not allowed to claim any royalties from my debut album and it made me think that all the hard work that I had put into the album, starting 80% of the production and now just to give it all up and not receive anything, My agent advised me not to sign it. I came to one conclusion, I phoned my record label and set up a meeting and signed the dreadful form they offered 3 months previously. Now I’m free, free and not owned by any record company and that means I will have to start all over again and my friends let me tell you this is a tough journey to do everything for yourself when your skills are to make music, But I'm blessed that God gave me the wake up call to learn these skills and prepare me for better things. (Note from the future- It was a huge mistake leaving Electromode music, I was influenced and misled by people who were not interested in my brand) Me and Chris Ghelakis remain friends and are in contact.
LOOSING PAPA 2008 February 2008 was an extremely sad time for me as my father was very ill , I remember my family and I sitting outside the hospital laughing and talking and within a split second the doctor called us and told us that he has 5minutes left we must say goodbye, We rushed in the hospital and mixed emootions started getting the better of everyone of us as we have never lost someone in our immediate family, I was not ready and I kept praying and believing that it was just a phase or some miracle was going to happen and that the doctor’s assessment was wrong, we got to his bedside and he was calm with little movement, Tears roll down my eyes as we all stood around him everyone lost not knowing how to react, I remember my mum calling his name and telling him we were all by his side and we loved him, he should not worry , she said all these repeatedly in a crying voice, I was lost for words, I could not do anything to help him and he looked very scared of dying. I remember the machine which checks the heartbeat’s noise it was the constant reminder that he is still alive and yes I still believed that the sound was going to continue, I started having flashbacks of my experiences with him all the times I lied to him , all the times where he really stole my heart, all the good times, all the sad times, it was like I had just 5minutes to some up his life and the machine was still making the heartbeat noise, my emotions was at a high, I was NO GOD please dont take him , he was the source , he was the anchor, he was the strenght, he was the man in our house, I need him to be with us and as my mum and my sister Anthula continued crying, My brother Sudesh was quiet and content but I could see the hurt, It was like he knew he had to take the role my dad was leaving us and as I stood there for the shortest 5min in my life the dreaded sound of the machine tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooootttt.... I exploded and my dear friends there is nothing like losing a parent. I did not want to accept it because this felt like a movie , this cannot happen to me , that is my dad and he has to be with us he cannot go, No he cannot go, No............................ I felt the pain for my mum as she and dad got married in 1969 that was 39years , they have been friends for a very long time, how do you tell someone who has had a friend so long that they have to continue living without that friend, Dads funeral went by , Jamali sang You raised me up at his funeral and that song hit me home, A youngster raising a family and every time I needed something my Dad knew about it without me telling him that , he knew when I need a helping hand, he knew when he had to stand up for me and guide me. I felt his presence at the church and I knew this was the final goodbye. Few weeks Just before he passed on he was singing a song of “ Josh Groban - To where you are ”and it was only on his funeral day that I went back and listened to the words that I understood the message - Till this day I cry every time I hear that song.
2008 went on by very fast and my heart was very fragile,
THE BREAK IN August 2008
I left my home to visit my agent to discuss the release of my 2nd album in the 1st week of September, I left home at 11h30am and returned home at 14h30pm. So I was gone for 3hours. I came back home and found my house was emptied out all my dj equipment ,my home based studio, all my high tech furniture, my computer ,my laptops , my dj collection of 18years vynils and cds including my headphones. What kind of robbers steal dj vynil’s and cd’s, everything that was associated with the dj jazzy d brand was stolen, I was distraught and could not understand as I live in a security estate with 16 Ccv cameras and there was nothing , no-one saw anything in broad daylight. How does one lose everything you have ever worked for , imagine that all your hard work of many years just taken away from you, I must confess I did not want to hear anything of coming back to the industry, I taught and believed that there was no way as all the music I play are remixes and some of my remixes no one had access to, The worst news was that I had lost my new album, they stole 2 back ups and my home studio, spending just over R200 000-00 on my album it was a " forget me now " album, The robbers probably don't know what they had. I told family members that I won't be able to make a living anymore as they took away my life, I was crying like a baby feeling sorry for myself, halfhearted thinking back of all I went through in life to end up with nothing, This made me think for a while That whatever skills God gave me no-one can steal. He implanted it in me and that was a ticket to prosper and not give up because somebody decided to steal my belongings. I remember telling everyone tomorrow is a brand new day I will turn the page over and started again from scratch , Whatever got stolen from me got replaced 10 times better, my production skills increased to another level, my gig profile increased to major levels in the corporate world, my new album attracted new massive stars that collaborated with me on the next few hits in 2010, I got a sponsorship from major sports brand store STUDIO 88 worth R100 000 , the money will be used for production of my album, my heart became a golden pond and i could only understand love and thats what God showed me. I learned that assets are just assets and they don’t make us, if I had to lose everything today, I will just start again tomorrow, there is too much to live for and I have too many dreams I want to achieve.
THE SPONSORSHIP 2010
Then the Devil intervened again the sponsors Studio 88 wanted to get out of the contract as they were not happy of the delivery time of the album. I looked at our contract and If I had to give it to a grade 2 learner to read it, he would be able to tell you that the contract had no date added as to when the album will be released. So I was confident that if a judge read this they would see what I see right? No, this case was dragging on and on and the lawyers were coining it and nothing was getting done, in the end it became to expensive to challenge the big boys and I could not manage it and caved in and chose to pay them off for something I knew I was not at fault. My friends this was probably one of my biggest mistakes I ever done. It was like you knew I am not at fault here but I have to throw in the towel, At the time I committed to paying them off and after 6months things just went downhill , I told the sponsors legal team that I could not afford the agreed amount and if we could decrees it just for few months till I get back on my feet - the result was NO. I started asking friends for help borrowing money to survive and Yes some really helped me , they know who they are, they helped me at a time when No - one was willing to assist me, before I knew it the sponsors had the Sheriff knocking on my door with a big truck and a trailer ready to empty my house and that was the lowest point of my life. They advised the Sheriff to not even look at the household items but start off in my studio , the place that kept me going , the place that allowed me to make an income. They took everything and by everything I mean everything, my studio room was empty they even took the carpet in the studio. They even took my kids Christmas presents which was left in the studio, I was at a LOW , I felt cheated , I felt the justice system failed me, I felt the sponsors screwed me, They got what they wanted , it is like they wanted to kill me slowly, I felt alone, I felt deserted. ( Note from the future I learned afterwards that a Sheriff cannot take something away from you that allows you to earn a income so to my previous sponsors SHAME ON YOU ) I remember when the Sheriff left with all their trucks full , I called my family and I told them what I just experienced, I knelled down to God in front of my house and I said Father I know you have a great plan for me and though I cannot see it now I will accept every thing that you have chosen for my journey, I stand before you empty handed , with no money in my hands and I believe that your way is the only way. God here I am lead me, my hardships in life will not determine who I am , My pain and mishaps will not be a factor and I said it loud , NO - ONE WILL BRAKE ME NOT THE SPONSORS, NOT THE SHERIFF, NOT A EMPTY STUDIO, NOT A EMPTY WALLET , NOTHING. That night I sat down with my family and I told them that we all have to experience tough times before we get to the promised land and you guys I made a confession to them and when I made this confession I had an empty wallet, I said to them from this day forward I will NEVER be broke again , I cursed the devil out.
I purchased a book which played a major role in inspiring me , this book taught me How to behave and How to live - Yeah I know it sounds funny but trust me guys this was a life changer - The next day I started doing online research and started offering my music production services to international clients, they started paying me as much as $5 dollars per job which took me about 20min to complete that was like R150 per hour, I done this for few months where I got paid in U.S Dollars the money took 8 days to get to me and I started buying equipment again, I became Jazzy D again I had a different outlook on life , it was like I got reset, I did’nt have any hate over anything, I only understood love, I found that everything that I was doing I applied God to the formula and the wonders it has done for me , is something I would not trade for the world. Few months went by I started getting more work and became stable again, then Jacaranda fm came offered me a weekend spot..... If there is something I love with all my heart is to entertain people and JacarandaFM came and believed in me and added more fire to my brand, They played a major role with the upliftment and joy in my heart, I was like you want to pay me to play music for 2 million people ? Ok where do I sign. One month went buy and guess who came back again Yes the Sponsor’s they sent the Sheriff to studios during my show and I remembered when I seen them , there was a little fear as I taught of the lowest point of my life , I learned that my equipment that the Sheriff took from my home which was worth R250 000 everything was sold in a Auction for R9000- and The sponsors came back and wanted to empty my house little did they know I became a POWER HOUSE unbeatable , not destroy able. I knew then that the sponsor wanted to embarrass me as The Sheriff who came to the studio said he found it to be a weird request to come on a weekend to a studio at night to deliver a Notice. My friends and fellow presenters were there and yes they witnessed it.
I update this bio as the years goes by and have recently added this story of my bad experience,
Although I have settled and paid back every cent that I owed to the sponsor last year, I need to share my Lows with you guys , I am not afraid to let people know I suffered , I cried alone at night but there was one thing, No-One could do was brake me, You see when i started dreaming I was all alone in my room and the world was not with me I believed I was and will be good enough for the world, I believed that nothing will intimidate me, I believed that I will be a success, so I leave you with this don't ever think u cant be better or good enough than the big stars we see on Tv, Don't ever think negative about yourself as I believe that if you plant a negative seed it will not grow a successful crop BUT a positive seed, leads to fertile soil and that leads to a harvest, You are the master of your own destiny. I did not have financial support to make my dream come through, My mum and dad were factory workers earning almost nothing but they gave our family a chance in life, You must never believe that if you have no money you cant have success, You don't need money or assets to believe in yourself, I trusted God and I still do because he has led me in a life with every type of tribulation one can experience I have done it all.
Do you think anyone is going to BRAKE me?
Look at the photo in this post that face is called #TheNoiseMakerFace It is my motivator and reminder to those that want to hurt me that I am protected by GOD , If my story inspired you please share with a friend and to end of this message off on a lighter note ,I walked into a Studio 88 store and supported them, there is no space for Hate in my life your mistakes in life can only become victories if you believe they are amendable.
My name is Dj Jazzy D and I have given my heart to GOD