By Khumo Makgothi and Lula Hlatshwayo
Durban’s Finest DJs, Tira and Sox, are precisely that: the finest DJs that Durban and the rest of the country have ever seen. After promoters deemed each one as “Durban’s finest” when they were first discovered while competing against one another, it was almost inevitable that they would join to become the formidable force that they are now.
Tira is a humble and business-minded individual who has accomplished quite a lot in his 29 years. Sox, 28, is an ambitious man who, along with his co-member, has big plans for the hit-making duo. Greeting everyone in sight, Sox is a sociable person who only comes to perform for one reason: entertaining the crowd and that is exactly what he did at the Grahamstown City Hall on Saturday, October 7. With drinks raised high and a crowd of heads bouncing at the same time, there is no denying that they are crowd pleasers.
With six companies (two event, two production, and two academy schools for aspiring DJs) under their wings, both members have shown that hard work truly does pay off. When they started in 1996 in Durban, it was merely a hobby and even though they “were big way back” they still “needed DJ Fresh” to take them “way forward”. Hence the success of the diverse companies, the affiliation that they now have with the government, the past success at the Metro FM awards and the present relations that they have with local Durban radio station Gagasi 99.5.
Tira describes Sox as a “go-getter” and Sox characterizing Tira as “focused”. It is no surprise that they have done well for themselves, and are now trying to “give back to the community,” says Sox. They are presently running a music academy and DJ school where they are “grooming other guys”, as Tira says, to be able to contend within the money-making sphere.
Durban’s Finest have visited London three times first time being in March this year, the second time Sox went alone to Bramford, and the third time they went collectively as a group to Leeds. “A lot of artists are willing to relocate, but not us”, says Sox. The patriotic Durbanite says that their style of music is different to the mainstream and the fact that they are not from Johannesburg makes them even that much more unique.
Besides being business moguls and adorned deck players, they have recently ventured into production. Durban’s Finest Vol. 2, their second compilation has tracks that reflect their attempts at being producers. In addition they they produced three songs on Tweety’s album and are currently working on Chinaman’s album.
Sox was enrolled at the Durban Institution of Technology (D.I.T), Tira on the other hand is a university graduate. Ironically at a stage in his life Tira’s favourite song was a hip hop tune, when the two house DJs were asked about what they thought about the rise in hip hop in the music industry and what they think it could possibly mean for house music, they said that house music is definitely one of South Africa’s loved genres. This is true, because the youth are willing to go to any measures to have a good time. House music does precisely that, it sets the party mood.
Although Durban’s Finest have been active with a lot of projects and people, it does not mean that they have been neglecting their first love, compiling the music. One can only sit with bated breath for the next compilation that holds the promise of a matured production sound. “We’ll be releasing our third compilation early next year, by Easter”, says Sox.