By Tafadzwa Mlambo & Tamsin George
The man known to the masses as DJ Euphonik, born Themba Mbongeni Nkosi, has quickly become a household name in clubbing circles around South Africa. He hails from Benoni, in the East Rand of Gauteng, and it is here that his career started.
The name ‘Euphonik’ dates back to a Standard Eight English class, when a teacher asked him to look up the word ‘euphoric’ in the dictionary. Instead, he found ‘euphony’, meaning ‘a pleasing or sweet sound’. At the tender age of 14 he was already DJing at friends’ parties. Later, in his Matric year he decided to take a break from what he then considered a “hobby”. Luckily for us, in his first year of university he regained his passion for DJing at a popular Johannesburg club. “In the back of my mind I always wanted to be a DJ, but I didn’t feel that I could pursue this as a career,” he said. Euphonik started off studying accounting, moved on to management then eventually dropped out in search of greener pastures.
Euphonik grew up listening to a combination of jazz, gospel and soul music – groups such as the O Jays in particular. Listening to radio stations 5FM and YFM earlier on in his career helped him to crossover to the music he plays now. Today he feels his music is inspired by “a bit of everything”. Surprisingly enough, the maestro of house music actually started off playing hip-hop. He soon found that when house music become popular in Johannesburg in the late 1990s, it was more accessible than other genres of music. Among the DJs Euphonik admires, DJ Fresh makes the top of the list, simply because he considers him to be “well-balanced in every aspect, as a husband, father and as a DJ”.
Apart from DJing, Euphonik is involved in several projects including pursuing a radio career, working for Soul Candi Records and owning his own bar. Euphonik is surprisingly humble despite his success, saying he doesn’t consider himself a celebrity. He feels that the definition of celebrity status in South Africa is “slightly warped”. He prefers to consider himself “well known” rather than famous. The only aspect of his job he dislikes is the travelling, although he enjoys playing in different locations. He said that travelling takes a real toll on his personal life and he is unable to spend as much time as he would like to with his family and friends.
Euphonik had optimistic words about our beloved Grahamstown, saying we have a lot of local talent when it comes to DJs – particularly DJ RS, whom he feels embodies the sentiment that being a DJ goes beyond rocking the crowd but is a passion that consumes you entirely. DJ Euphonik had a word of advice, not just for aspiring DJs but for everyone: “If you can wake up in the morning and do it for free, then that’s what you should do – do what you love”