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Front Row with KADDY Monaune

Front Row with KADDY Monaune

Our next interviewee for FRM is a multifaceted creative with a plethora of diverse interests; including deejaying, creative direction, and more. Katleho Monaune, better known as KADDY, is Free State-born & Johannesburg-raised – with a unique blend of creative outputs which embody our rich South African flavour of culture & heritage.

And at the ripe age of only 22, I strongly feel as if Kaddy has merely just begun his trajectory towards the top.

Personally, when I think of Kaddy, the first words which come to mind are "sonic mastermind". I think this is also where it all begins for him too, as he was raised in an upbringing which avidly encouraged a close relationship to music; within all capacities possible. From his early musical roots exposing him to niche African sounds such as Soulection Radio, and music consumed within Kasi 'Skhothane' culture – he has managed to craft his own special journey within his short tenure within the local creative diaspora.

Whether you see Kaddy's face on flyers promoting the latest Jozi nightlife events, creative directing their brand 'Studio Bananaaa', or even teaching our very own LVMH-winning designer Thebe Magugu how to deejay – you can trust that he is always creating something original, unique and catered well to his growing skillset. Collaboration also seems to be a key consistent theme within his work, continually working with friends and trusted acquaintances in order to generate a variety of different creative outputs, such as his thriving community radio show called 'KADDYLACRADIO'.

I had the absolute pleasure of virtually engaging Kaddy in order to hear more about find out more about his creative journey thus far, Studio Bananaaa, the future of KADDYLACRADIO, and more. So enjoy this following interview as we take a detour & delve into Kaddy's universe, unpacking the life and times of one of South Africa's most exciting emerging creatives on the rise.


Would you mind introducing yourself and including a short description of what you do?

KM: Wola Wola. My name is Katleho Monaune; I'm a 22-year old born in a small town in the Free State. From age three, I was raised in Johannesburg, Hillbrow, for two years and then from age five, I was raised in Troyeville, which is where I currently reside. Katleho Monaune, professionally known as KADDY, is a DJ/creative who houses & forms part of a community radio called 'KADDYLACRADIO' – where he is able to express most of his music ideas and bring them to life. This ranges from making prayer mixes, soundscapes to remixes/edits, and more. In essence, KADDY is a creative who draws a lot of inspiration to create anything – from music to any & everything else he wants puts his mind to. (SIDENOTE: I am also an occasional carpenter aka GENERALIST).

What inspired you to start venturing into DJing?

KM: Initially, I started my journey quite early in 2012, at 11 years old. This was a time in South Africa where a lot of cultural stuff was happening – and closest to me was the Skhothane culture. Within this culture, music was very instrumental and never compromised; number 1 and number 2, which was very important, was the DJing. A DJ named 'Stakev' stood out the most when it came to his technique and ultimixing. At that time, Virtual DJ was also a great tool to utilise if you did not have equipment and my uncles were already on this software – so seeing them just easily do what Stakev could do, on a computer, then inspired me to join them. So I took the inspiration I got from Stakev and my uncle and combined it to start Deejaying – but that was put on pause shortly thereafter because, at that young age, I did not have a personal laptop.

Fast forward to 2018, with the help of my friend Luciano who had been deejaying and never conforming to commercial sounds, he put me on and taught me how to use a software called 'Cross DJ' – and that then sparked the idea & love for deejaying again. Then another close friend of mine, Reabetswe, who had been putting me onto Soulection Radio which was a great inspiration because of the length of the mixes and just the spectrum of genres in one show, then put me on to my life changer and ultimately my biggest inspiration when it comes to DJing. He came back with a Boiler Room set by UNCLEPARTYTIME and the rest is history.

I really enjoy your personal music taste first. I think that's what adds to your DJ because your sets are extremely genre fluid & super organic. So according to you; is it important for all professional deejays to have diverse personal music tastes or not?

KM: Thank you very much, I really do take pride in my personal music taste. In most cases everything does really start with you, so it goes without being said that every single DJ should have their own personal music taste – it helps you to expand, challenge yourself and just be able to get out of your comfort zone. I don’t necessarily think I should narrow it down to DJs only though; in general I think because we as humans are quite similar and music is shared, there will be people with similar taste in music, but I still feel that every person should have their very own personal taste in music. I think people should see it as a superpower maybe.

What are just some of the proudest DJing moments you've experienced within your growing career thus far?

KM: My proudest moments coming from where I started, were this year when I bought my first pair of monitor speakers – which for me is a great sign that I am headed in the right direction. Can I have three proudest moments lol? But yeah my second would be playing at my first festival, BIG shoutout to the Until Until guys for the Bacardi Holiday Festival. And thirdly, having the honour of teaching Thebetsile Magugu how to DJ.

Thebe Magugu x Wanda Lephoto collaboration

Now... there is this super interesting creative project you've been working on, 'Studio Bananaaa', which I've been itching to chat to you about. So – could you tell us a bit more about Studio Bananaaa and how it came about?

KM: All I can say for now is that Studio Bananaaa is a place to express ideas and tell uniquely beautiful stories. (Under construction)

What are you looking forward to most in 2023? For Kaddy the DJ & Studio Bananaaa?

KM: This year I am looking forward to growing my radio show further than just an online radio show. I want to showcase all the creative sides to me through KADDYLACRADIO and I'm so excited to hear what my peers have been making. A lot of projects from local independent artists are coming through this year! Through Studio Bananaaa, I'm most excited to work on a lot more ideas, stay tuned!

Lastly, is there any advice you've picked up within your DJ career which you could impart to any young emerging DJs (like yourself) attempting to make a name for themselves within the local/global industry?

KM: I’ve come across so much advice and I think it's important to not let a lot of advice influence your creation and journey, but the one piece of important advice I’ve picked up on is that; with every job or gig – be yourself and listen to yourself the most. So basically, create work that you are going to proud of always – and even if you aren’t proud of it, always take time to learn from those moments.


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