Meet Eastern Cape DJ and Producer, Von Dirty
By Sibu Mabusela
Luniko Futshane is small-town DJ/producer Von Dirty from Grahamstown, who made his debut at a house party and has been hitting the decks ever since. Opening and closing sets for some of the bigger names in the industry, including Roger Goode, Veranda Panda, Grimehouse, Black Coffee, GoodLuck, Das Kapital and more, he creates his unique sound by seamlessly merging trap with Drum and Bass.
The Red Bull-affiliated drum and bass, tech house and trap DJ/Producer is a member of Impo Studios, and is also currently finishing his Masters in Social Sciences (Sociology) at the University Currently Known As Rhodes.
We spoke to Luniko about his sound story, being a student in 2016 and where we’ll be able to catch him this summer. Read our interview with Von Dirty after the jump…
How did you get into DJing?
In high school I started messing around with DJ and production software and then soon after that I started playing at house parties around my area. During that time everyone was into South African house music, so I discovered my niche with Dirty Dutch Music and EDM. In 2010, while still in matric, I joined the campus radio station and from there everything escalated with more house parties, digs formals, club events and residencies.
Who and what are some of your biggest influences?
This is always a difficult question. Various music genres are massive influences. I consider myself rather versatile and have the ability to adapt to different styles of music to suit different audiences. I think the UK Drum & Bass scene is currently one of my biggest influences. Then, through my DJ experience, I’ve had the honour of meeting a number of humble and super talented acts. My local influences and favourites, off the top of my head, are Veranda Panda, Grimehouse, Das Kapital, Xane, Hyphen and Niskerone.
You’re currently studying your Master's. How are you juggling that with the demands of being a DJ?
Yeah, I’m on that grind now. I think it has a lot to do with hard work and determination to make it in both fields. At first it was hella difficult but as soon as I got the balance it wasn’t all that bad. Plus, my half dissertation is music-related. Around Hip Hop: Conscious hip hop as a means of rethinking and reconstructing urban youth identities in South Africa. A case study of Fingo Village, Grahamstown. So, both my DJing and my thesis express my passion and appreciation for music.
What’s it like being a student in 2016?
Yoh, 2016 has been rough, man! I personally know how stressful it is not being able to pay your university fees. Being in an institution such as UCKAR for 6 years requires a lot of financial backing that most working-class families can’t afford. I am fully behind the #FeesMustFall movement, but I’m also aware that the free tuition for tertiary education is going to take a while to achieve. We as students have been trying to negotiate with higher management around the country and it’s time for them to meet us half-way, so that we can make constructive plans to push forward as a nation.
Tell us about the Red Bull traineeship. How were you chosen? What did it entail?
The Red Bull Campus Clash DJ Competition was a student-based competition where competitors had to win the crowd over with their style and skills on the decks. A little bit of swag will go a long way, too. I participated in the competition in 2015, and after winning the competition at UCKAR Red Bull took me and 9 other competitors to the Red Bull Studio in Cape Town where we were taught the tricks of the trade and shown how the DJing world operates.
You’ve shared stages with some of the biggest names in the industry, tell us about what that means to you?
It’s been a humbling experience to play opening or closing sets for national greats. It’s always overwhelming to encounter these DJs/Producers who you admire, but you have to remain professional. It’s a great opportunity to play for these artists in an oversaturated market, which speaks volumes of how far I have grown as an artist. For these national artists to acknowledge my progress is a magical feeling.
What's next for you?
Superbalist Mixtape Tracklist
1. London Elektricty ft Pete Simpson – Impossible To Say (Etherwood Remix) [00.00]
2. Low5, T:Base & Jess - Rollercoaster (Maduk Remix) [3: 01]
3. Technicolor & Komatic – The Glow (Original Mix) [5. 14]
4. Technimatic – Side Hustle (Original Mix) [8.11]
5. Muzzy ft Charlotte Colley – Feeling Stronger (Original Mix) [9.40]
6. Camo & Krooked – All Night (Original Mix) [12.35]
7. The Autobots – Waiting (Original Mix) [14.48]
8. Metrik – More Than Words (Original Mix) [17.45]
9. Krakota ft London Elektricity – Powder Coated (Original Mix) [19. 23]
10. Friction & Karma – No Return (Original Mix) [20.51]
11. Craggz & Parallel – Musik (Original Mix) [23.49]
12. Hoogs – Dry Wall (Original Mix) [25.17]
13. Loko - What You Do To Me (Original Mix) [27.29]
14. Mutated Forms – In Your Mind (Original Mix) [31.09]
15. Amoss ft MC Fokus – Shapeshifter (Original Mix) [34.03]
16. The Upbeats ft Ivy Lab - Pharoah (Original Mix) [36.47]
17. Culture Shock – Low Frequency (Original Mix) [39.48]
18. Dimension – Whip Slap (Original Mix) [42.21]
19. 1991 – Bad (Original Mix) [43.30]
20. Deadmau5 – Strobe (Dimension Remix) [45.35]
21. Rockwell – Hoez to the Floor (Original Mix) [47.54]
22. Icicle ft SPMC – Dreadnaught (Phace Remix) [49.45]
23. NickBee ft Syze – We Fight (Original Mix) [53.48]
24. Break – Groove with It (Original Mix) [56.01]
25. Bredren ft MC Swift – Legion (Original Mix) [58.13]