The Mixtape Vol. 173

Fif_Laaa took to music as a form of therapy and hopes to uplift people's spirits in the process

"When mixing the music, I feel a release of all the tension I've created in my head and body. It just feels great to feel something." Having been diagnosed with clinical depression, 24-year-old advertising strategist, Refilwe Matabane, took to music as a form of therapy and a way to express her emotions. Through her music, Fif_Laaa she hopes to inspire a similar experience and help lift people's spirits – even if it's temporary. 

How would you describe your sound?

Through my sound you can tell that I'm a hopeless hip-hop romantic. It's not the only sound I limit myself to, but it has the greatest influence when it comes to track selection for my sets. It's a constant, always-on mood.

When and why did you get into DJing?

I got into DJing at the beginning of this year. Last year, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and got put on meds. It didn't make sense anymore to rely on chemicals so I chose the one thing I love the most, being music, and made it my personal therapy. Haven't looked back since.

What are your favourite musical memories?

Watching Little Dragon live on the 1st of September 2012. I think what made the whole night even more glorious is that my sister and I snuck in and paid a bribe. Tickets were sold out, what else were we supposed to do? I think when 'Twice' came on and everyone swayed side to side in sync, that will always be the best musical memory I've had.

How have your musical tastes evolved over the years?

I was into commercial music – from pop to bubble gum rap. My cousin then put me onto old school hip-hop and soul and my love for rap grew from there. When it got easier to share music I opened up my ears to indie music. My musical tastes essentially mature with me as I keep growing.

Describe this mix you've made for us?

It's mainly old school, mixed with new songs influenced by the former. I haven't meditated in a while or had the time to, so I turned this mix into something that can help block out everything just so that THINGS CAN GET DONE. It's a very relaxed mix I must say...

Any femme DJs, producers or selectors you think we should be listening to right now?

I could list so many but definitely my Pussy Party Fam...THEY'RE ALL AMAAAZING!

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