And chat to him about what the future of Cape Town's Dance scene holds,
Where Dance music is heading in general, and the fact that he's a Jean-Claude van Damme fan.
Q:Jason47 has been an integral yet underrated part of the South African Dance scene for well over a decade, rolling with the punches of an ever changing scene, yet sticking to what he loves, tell us a bit more about how dance music came across your path and who you were you before that?
Q:So there's Jason 47, Jason Rockwell and Psyfour 7... explain each name, and what they represent?
A:Its always been really difficult for me to stick to one style of music. A habit I picked up from an old friend, DJ Kenn. First came Jason47, then Rockwell and most recently Psyfour 7. Jason47 is pretty much my main alias known for my hard dance and uplifting trance sets. Rockwell came along when I was getting as many bookings for house clubs as I was for hard dance and trance clubs and because people associate the Jason47 name with harder music, Rockwell was born to appease the more trendy conscious clubbers who didn’t enjoy the more ravey clubs. Psyfour 7 came about a year ago because of my love for psytrance. Id actually almost completely stopped DJ’ing because I had started my own business, so I thought if I was going to do gigs, id want it to be psytrance as that’s the music I’ve been completely overcome by since about 2006.
Even as Jason47 now, my music is more focused on the day time psytrance sound and Psyfour 7 would be the dirty night time dark and melodic vibes. Im starting to think I have developed multiple personality syndrome!
Q:Over the years, Dance music has seen it's fair share of trending genres, with some staying, some going, and some evolving... anything out there you wouldn't mind seeing make a comeback?
A:To be honest I really loved hard dance music and that lumo influenced rave scene but its all part of the musical evolution process. You can never get it back. You have to keep moving forward otherwise you get left behind. Trance fortunately has its cycles and the euro trance scene keeps re-inventing itself. I miss that old ‘System F – Out of the blue’ sound though.
Q: Any style you hope never makes a comeback?
A:There are some people that will hate me for saying this but Happy Hardcore and Hardstyle are my two pet hates. There are loads of people out there who still love it though so you have to respect that. My theory is “if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it”
Q:The Dance scene in South Africa and the world for that matter is bigger than it's ever been, with promoters making a bigger effort than ever before to get on the bandwagon and get the world's biggest Dj's , Artists and acts over to our shores on a more constant basis, and while some do an excellent job at it. Others, be it by being unexperienced, total disregard or purely "bad luck" make a complete mockery of what a lot of South African's follow religiously. Do you think there are enough SA "ravers" to keep the industry booming to spite this?
A:I think the euro trance scene is always big and the psytrance scene at the moment is definitely at its biggest ever. Even electro and dubstep are massive so there are quite a few club genres that are sharing the spotlight right now which is great. You would think that with all these genres having so much support that there would be more clubs! As for big artists coming down, I think after the recent Paul van Dyk scenario promoters will be scared to bring down big internationals. The thought of having to refund every clubber who wasn’t happy is just too scarey. Ive been in this industry a long time and things go wrong which are often out of your control as a promoter so with the new consumer protection acts its more risky than ever. There are definitely enough clubbers and party goers to go around. The question is, are there enough promoters around now willing to risk bringing big names out again? On a positive note this is good for the local acts and DJ’s.
Q:A lot of dance music has made it's way into the charts with an overwhelming sense of pop and "cheese" and while I think this has opened a lot of people's minds towards dance music, and possibly made the scene grow... some harm might have been done to Dance's reputation, luckily it seems because of this the "underground" seems to be stepping up their game, with acts like Sibot, truely showcasing the fact that electronica isn't just a dude pressing play on a cd player. What are your views on the new up and coming underground scene in SA, and especially Cape Town?
A:Club music in general has again become very mainstream. Music like psytrance and dubstep which are very much underground sounds are now found on national radio stations like 5FM. I think its great because it creates more interest, more DJ’s, more producers, more competition. A lot of people always moan because they want the music to stay underground. I say share the love J A DJ or producers ultimate goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Music connects people and brings us all together. That’s the whole point. The ‘cheese’ is like the bridge that helps people to transition from radio music to club music. It’s a “necessary evil”.
I saw Sibot for the first time at the Gatecrasher event and I was very impressed. Its great to see artists like this come through and there are more just like him. He creates a great persona and stage presence and in my opinion, nothing beats a live act. As for other new DJ’s there are good and there are bad. I come from the old school vinyl generation so to me its depressing when I meet a DJ who plays off his lap top and has never beatmixed a track by ear because of the Sync feature on his software. The flipside of that coin is, the old school DJ’s need to accept the new technology as well. Its there, people are going to make use of it. The definition of the term DJ is not what it used to be. Times have changed. You need to move with the times or you will get left behind.
Q:What's playing on your IPOD/Mp3 player/Car radio at the moment?
A:My set at Gatecrasher before Paul van Dyk is currently in my car CD player. Which for those interested can download here… http://www.mediafire.com/?qkk6hyx178gpy61
Q: What don't we know about Jason47? any hiden talents or hobbies?
A:Umm.. lets see. When you come to my parties, I make the décor myself. I like to be able to do everything! I love watching anime and am obsessed with superhero movies! I am also a great fan of Jean-Claude van Damme. (don’t laugh)
Q:What are the chances of seeing Jason47 up north in Joburg any time soon?
A:I used to play in JHB quite often but since I started taking DJing more seriously again I’ve been so busy that the thought never even crossed my mind to get gigs up there. The sound im playing now would go down nicely there in my opinion. Im also a big fan of DJ Speedy from JHB. All round nice guy and awesome DJ to listen to. Maybe I should give him a call.
Q: What can we expect from you in the near and distant future?
A:Im very lazy when it comes to music production but realistically that’s the only way forward for me now. I would love to get something going in terms of a live performance but locking down one style of music to stick to is the difficult part. Hopefully lots more gigs in the trance scene as that’s my passion at the moment.