Music

DJ Lamiez Holworthy's summer song list shows why she’s so hot right now

'It was actually my mother who inspired me to pursue DJing as a career,' says the 'Live Amp' presenter

22 November 2020 - 00:02 By andrea nagel
DJ Lamiez Holworthy says the best place she's ever DJ'd was on the beach front in Swakopmund, Namibia. 'I played at sunset and the views were breath-taking.'
DJ Lamiez Holworthy says the best place she's ever DJ'd was on the beach front in Swakopmund, Namibia. 'I played at sunset and the views were breath-taking.'
Image: Supplied

To DJ is not just to play other people's music. That's called selecting a playlist - and even that requires skill: like knowing which tracks go well with each other, what songs will set the mood and which emotions will be stimulated by the music.

Knowing exactly what will get a hopeful crowd away from the bar and onto the dance floor, what will get the hips moving, the hands in the air and eyes closed in pleasure, and most importantly, what will keep the crowd dancing all night long are skills which are the purview of a great DJ.

DJs find greatness in music and squeeze it together. Like master chefs they have all the ingredients at their fingertips and can put together something that astounds and delights where others, using the same basic recipe, create a school-night dinner.

DJing is about condensing the talent of hundreds of musicians into a concentrated performance, perfectly suited to the time and place - and they can't teach you how to do that in DJ school.

DJ Lamiez Holworthy should know, she tried a few, before deciding that her love of music would be enough to get her a starring role at clubs and parties around the world.

"It was actually my mother who inspired me to pursue DJing as a career," she says, across the screen, perfectly made-up for our Zoom conversation with flashes of bright yellow eye shadow demanding attention when she blinks.

Lamiez has a face for television, and has been the host, along with DJ Speedsta, of the most popular local music show, Live Amp, on Friday on SABC 1 for years. She also has a voice for radio, but insists that she DJs precisely because she can't sing.

"I started DJing 10 years ago because my mom got retrenched, so I couldn't afford to further my studies. DJing was my mom's idea. She could tell how frustrated I was to be stuck at home so she suggested that I learn how to mix music to keep myself busy. Ten years later and I haven't looked back," she says.

Lamiez had no formal training, but had friends who could show her the ropes. "I had a friend who owned a place called The Mushroom Lounge. I'd take a taxi to go and practise on the CDJ [Compact Disc Jockey, a specialised digital music player] at his place for hours and hours."

Lamiez sets are mostly old-school house music fused with some Amapiano towards the end. "I love music that makes people dance, feel-good music," she says. "Time and place is key. It's all about knowing how to read the crowd."

And which has been her best gig? "Every gig is special," she says. "Seeing how people go crazy when they see me, how much they appreciate my music - it warms my heart. What means the most to me is how much women love me. That narrative of women not supporting each other is wrong. My fanbase is proof of the total opposite. Women show me so much love."

Being on SABC has definitely boosted her profile and made her famous across SA.

"It's a crazy story," she says. "I was on my way to a gig and some executives from SABC spotted me. They liked my voice and my style and asked if I wanted to go to some auditions. I got the hosting gig on Live Amp out of thousands of hopefuls. Now people come up to me in shopping centres to have their pictures taken with me."

This month marks the one-year anniversary for Lamiez and rapper Khuli Chana. Her husband is one of the people she says she'd like to collaborate with in future.

"I'd like to get Khuli Chana on a house track, Focalistic is a dope vocalist, I love Elaine, so having her on a house track would be sick," she says. "In terms of producers, I love Black Motion."

But, she says, her most exciting project so far is her collaboration with Red Bull. "I love the drink - it's the only thing that keeps me going at gigs."

Lamiez is the face of the new Watermelon Summer edition of the energy drink. She's also put out a Sounds of Summer playlist with the brand that people can listen to on Spotify.

Lamiez has enviably original style, including a full sleeve of tattoos and tattoos covering her back.

"My first one was my mom's name," she says, "I also have 'love, prayer, music' because these are the things I could never live without."

WIN A PARTY ON A YACHT

Share your perfect summer moment on Instagram and stand a chance to win an invitation to join Lamiez for the experience of a lifetime: a party on a yacht!

Here's how to enter:

  1. Capture your perfect summer moment on camera.
  2. Post the photo on Instagram using #SummerYaMagapu and tag @SundayTimes_lifestyle.
  3. Once posted, DM your name and contact details to @SundayTimes_lifestyle and we'll send you the Ts&Cs.

The most creative entries will gain access to the yacht party for themselves and a partner. 

Note: Winners will be selected by a judging panel. Competition duration: November 22 - 27 2020. Winners announced: December 1 2020. Terms and Condition apply.


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