A few days after International Women’s Day, DJ Zinhle said she was on the hunt for an all-female band. And this is not a celeb marketing ploy; DJ Zinhle has been about girl power for years. Fifteen years to be exact.
In addition to co-founding the FUSE Academy – a DJ school specifically for women – DJ Zinhle held the Pink Revolution Conference, which was a music conference aimed at empowering women. Oh, and there was that time she was the centre of a TV show called It Takes A Village, which was about helping young women through social ills.
“My passion for women empowerment started with my own journey of being of the few female DJs in the music industry,” she said. “Just understanding how much tougher it can be for females because the opportunities are always geared towards helping males.
“With FUSE Academy, I wanted other girls to have the same opportunities that I had. I was passionate about that. So I feel like it was some kind of calling. In the music industry, lasting or not lasting is not a gender specific thing, but there are more responsibilities on us than having a career.
“These are some of the things that pull women out of the industry. I had a baby, and I didn’t know what was going to happen to my career after I had a baby. It’s not easy to have a career and want to have a family, so we need to create systems for women to be able to survive.”
In short: it’s no surprise that DJ Zinhle is looking to form an all-female band.
“Whenever there are opportunities around my brand, I try to share them with other women,” she said. “I am proof that women do get along. My business is mostly run by women. It makes sense and is more fun that way. With regards to the band, it’s a nicer concept to sell visually, and it’s something that can be big overseas too.
“I always wanted to be in a band and envied people like Black Motion. But I can’t sing, so I couldn’t be in a band, but things have changed so much, and my dream can come true. And 15 years in the game is the right time to expand into that direction. The bassist and drummer are only the beginning.”
In order to qualify for an in-person audition in April, musicians must submit a one-minute video of them playing one of DJ Zinhle’s hits – either Colours or Uzobuya. The videos must be sent to email@example.com by March 24.
A live band means DJ Zinhle will be able to play more of her own songs as opposed to a DJ set.
Does this mean an album is coming this year?
“Yeah, definitely,” DJ Zinhle said. “I have been on the phone with Oskido so many times, and we’re just working on getting this music out. If there is any time to celebrate with music, it would be this year, because we’re celebrating my milestone of 15 years. I’m excited and look forward to the album.”