The Mixtape Vol. 54

A homegrown mixtape from the team at Don't Party

Recovering DJ Alex Wright stepped away from the wheels of steel after falling out of love with what he was doing. 

"Everything became really stale and I didn’t feel what I was doing anymore. I decided it was time to move on."

Now he's putting all of his focus into the passion project he started seven years ago, and is totally committed to turning Don't Party into something far bigger than it's ever been. 

"We really want to be more of a platform for African expression and dialogue, rather than a brand trying to own or dictate what we think people should know. Our whole purpose has been redefined and we want people to use the platform to represent their unique local perspectives, identities or crafts to the world at large."

This is reflected in the mixtape that Alex and the rest of his team has made for us today.

"We wanted to find sounds that represent who we are now. We asked the team to submit songs that reflected what Don’t Party is to them and tried to reflect that throughout the selection."

Read our Q&A with Alex after the jump. 

Is it just me or is Africa getting a lot more love than it did a few years back?  

Yeah, for sure. But it really deserves way more love. We have a really funny thing of refuting Western politics, but openly embracing Western pop culture. I think we could shift it more by concentrating, acknowledging and rewarding what people in our land are doing more consistently.

Why the focus on African stories and why is telling these stories so important?

Because of our lack of focus and representation online. We either have organizations, publications or personalities based in the United States and Europe telling our stories for us. We need to realize how much of a gift we have been given here. The world’s eyes are on us. Our cultures are full of incredible diversity and promise. So it’s important to have these stories represented by the people actually involved in order to further develop interest and opportunity to really establish our own identity in the otherwise westernized digital world.

Being in the same game we know how expensive creating decent content is, how are you funding this? 

Yeah, this is the catch-22 of this whole thing – you have a vision, but lack the finances. What we’re also trying to create is a space where brands and people can connect more authentically. So our strategy has changed from trying to spray-and-pray adverts everywhere, towards seeing where we can integrate content strategy and marketing opportunities to bring together audiences that are tired of being targeted by trivial digital promotion. We want to create content that is both enriching for the readers and compliments how brands can use their resources to connect with them. We’ve also got some great partnerships, such as TEAM BEST, our video production wing, where we have some great video stuff coming out in the next few months. So in short, mostly self-funded, but we’re moving in the right direction at the moment and are starting to work with brands and people that see and believe in the need for this kind of space.

I remember your Don't Party event from a few years back, that was a lot of fun, will you do another party or have you outgrown this phase of your life? 

Music will always be something we want to integrate and connect with, but instead of creating a blow-out styled event that is designed to get people drunk and blast heavy music, we want to create experiences that assist local artists – whatever that may be. I think it’s more of a conscious maturity that we’ve adopted. So, we will do more events, but the style and objective of them will change.

Tell us about some of the tech you've got going on here on the new website.  

We have incorporated some elements that we hope change the reader’s experience of the site. There are social media elements – you can now follow the authors you like and get notifications when they add new articles – you can also bookmark articles, so that you can come back to them later if you didn’t have time to finish them, or just want to keep them as a reference. We’re also changing the way content is displayed to you, so you get much more relevant content to your needs based on your preferences. We’re really just trying to create a space for a community of people who share in our vision. We’ve only completed phase one of three, so there will be a lot more in store. 

Anything else?