One of the hottest upcoming Zimbabwean DJ Dylan Chikarango aka DJ Smallboytaf is in the running for the People Choice award during this year’s Zimbabwe achievers UK awards which honours the achievements of Zimbabweans in the UK. DJ Smallboytaf was nominated for the people choice award along with the controversial UK based socialite DJ Smallboytaf Olinda Chapel
DJ Smallboytaf who is part of AGE Universal Ltd stable, a fastest growing urban entertainment group in the UK .The collective was formed in 2013 and has grown to expand into different entertainment and media sectors ranging from events management, consulting, marketing services, artist development, graphic design and music. To date the group has catered for over 10,000+ patrons to the range of events organized and executed across the UK. Working alongside internationally recognized artists and Industry leading companies and groups. Ruzvidzo Jena recently met up with Dylan Chikarango and below are excerpts from the interview.
RJ: Can please tell us a little bit about yourself, who is Dj smallboytaf?
Dylan Chikarango aka Dj smallboytaf is a 21 year old multi genre Dj based in the UK, specializing in African music mainly southern African music such as Zim dancehall, SA House/Gqom etc. He started his journey as a Dj in November 2016 using mobile phone apps. In January 2017 he then progressed to using professional Dj equipment. Soon after he made his first mix which was positively received by everyone he later joined AGE SOUND & INNACITY ENTERTAINMENT which he still works with and they have been a big part in his growth
RJ: How did you find out that your were shortlisted for such a prestigious award?
Dylan: A friend of mine Lewis Semakula told me that the awards had started and he put my name forward to be a nominee for the awards and asked to push for more people to nominate. When the nominees were announced it was on Zimbo Live Tv which I missed and I got a call from my mum soon after telling me I had been nominated for the People’s Choice Award
RJ: How does it feel to be shortlisted for such an award and have you shared the good news with your family?
Dylan: I was ecstatic I couldn’t believe it because it’s such a big platform and I could see all the possible future opportunities. I called all my friends and family to pass on the good news and they were proud considering I had only been djing for a year to get such recognition in such a short period of time was a big achievement for me.
RJ: Who inspired to you to became a DJ?
Dylan: I was always passionate about music from an early age, I used to burn cds to play on the car and I was always on the hunt to find the latest music, I used to look up to the likes of Dj Khaled and Dj Cleo but I never actually understood the concept of djing when I was 14, I downloaded virtual Dj on my computer but I didn’t explore any further as growing Djing wasn’t something you could tell your parents you want to do so I always brushed it aside until I started meeting other young djs and they showed me what they knew and from that point I felt alive for the first time it was just me and the music and I haven’t looked back since
RJ: What would you say your major achievements over the past year?
My major achievements so far in the past 12 months are –
Headline Dj for artist concerts such as Davido, Nasty C, Mayorkun, Tocky vibes.
Also being part of the Zimbabwe cup clash in with my Friend DJ Nash who also taught me some of the things I know about DJing
RJ: What are your goals over the next 12 month?
– Dylan: In the next 12 months I aim to
-Be able to make my own music(producing)
-have played in more than 3 countries mainly South Africa
-meet some of the great SA house djs such as BLack coffee, shimza and artists as well
RJ: Have you recorded any songs or done any collaboration with any Zimbabwean artist?
Not yet but hopefully soon
RJ: How long have you been staying in UK and you have plans to stage shows in Zimbabwe in the near future?
Dylan: I’ve been in the UK for nearly 8 years and yes I do, I will be coming to Zimbabwe in September this year and hopefully stage a show in Jesus name
RJ: What would say are the biggest challenges you have face in your career so far?
The first challenge was I wasn’t sure how my family would react to the idea and I was hesitant to tell them but when I add non of them were surprised they all have supported me from the beginning and they continue to support me which really has been one of my biggest motivators to keep moving forward.As a young Dj a lot of promoters tend to take advantage in terms of payments etc and that’s sometimes demotivating as you’ve put in so much work made the effort to promote and come to the event and they won’t pay the full amount or a fair some but now it’s not a problem anymore we have contracts and deposit and business goes well
Where did you attend your schooling?
Dylan: Grade 1 and 2 I went to Mhatiwa primary school in Masvingo then move the Stanley Primary school in Gweru for grade 3-6. However, Because of the strikes that were going on during my gr6 I moved to SA and repeated grade 6 again and Selly Park Convent Primary school in Rusternberg then moved again to Witbank before the end my my Grade 6 and attended Laerskool Reynoriff for grade 6 and 7. Soon after, I moved to the UK attended St Peters High school for my O levels then I attended Loreto Sixth Form College for my A levels. After that i went to Birmingham City University to study accounting and finance. However I wasn’t passionate enough about the course I was doing so I took some time to follow my passion for music and I’m going to go back into Uni but I will be studying music production and better my skills
RJ: What message do you have for your fans and how can they vote for you?
Dylan: I’m very grateful for everyone support people, I really wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the love I continuously receive from everyone. As the saying goes “if you’re not riding the wave you’re drowning”- They can follow the ZAA website and find me under the People’s Choice Award