Tanzanian born, John Mahalu aka Reverb 7 is popularly known for his show stealing sets and distinctive approach to his work as a DJ and a Producer, which has earned him a throng of fans. In his interview the talented DJ shares his experience from the first gig he played and shares invaluable advice to upcoming DJ’s.
How did you get started in the music industry?
Reverb 7: It started off as a joke. I went to school with Simba Tags so during our form four break we decided to record for the fun of it. That’s how it all started.
Do you remember the first beat or mix you created?
Reverb 7: Yes I do the first beat wasn’t good, but I thought it was awesome at the time. And my first mix wasn’t good as well. Its true that practice makes perfect.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
Reverb 7: I always pray.
How important is it to build a real relationship with the music you play?
Reverb 7: It is very important and for me because I can only play music that I know and that I can relate to.
Do you believe in the possibility of reading an audience and how do you put it into practice?
Reverb 7: I believe that you can’t prepare a set because if you prepare a set and the crowd doesn’t like it, it becomes a disaster. You look at the age group, and what people are wearing, the type of language they are using, that way you can tell which music they listen and dance to.
We loved your second album Reverb7 and Friends Season 1. How has your music changed since then?
Reverb 7: I have grown more in terms of the technical side of music and now I understand more. Everything sounds better, the song writing, mixing, mastering and instrument selection has all improved with time.
What do you enjoy more? Producing music or DJing.
Reverb 7: I enjoy DJing more, it’s more interactive than production.
Besides the genre that you play what kind of music are you into?
Reverb 7: I listen to everything. I really like some Zimbabwean dancehall songs, my favourite Zimbabwean dancehall artist is Freeman. Nutty O is also dope!
What was your biggest crowd?
Reverb 7: I played for HIFA in December 2014 and it was a massive crowd. The Ice Prince show was very huge, it had 3000 people, I think.
If you could be eternal stuck in one musical era,which one would it be?
Reverb 7: The 90’s were really dope. Also, i think between 2005 and 2010. That’s when some of the greatest songs were made.
Which genre doesn’t receive much attention in Zimbabwe?
Reverb 7: House music.
What is it that you love about the house music?
Reverb 7: it sets the mood, it’s just nice and it can be played in the background when trying to sleep, in a restaurant and so forth. House music is a lifestyle plus it’s peaceful and fun.
Which festivals do you like playing the most?
Reverb 7: If unplugged is classified as festival, then it’s totally my favorite.
What is the biggest mental tool you can obtain to be successful in your industry.
Reverb 7: You need to be stubborn and confident in yourself. Be humble because you will need everyone because no matter how successful you think you are, everyone matters.
Have you ever thought of relocating?
Reverb 7: I have been called to South Africa a few times but I think I would be more valuable if South Africa was importing me rather than me having to be a local there. Think of any artist that comes to Zimbabwe, the way they are treated it’s not the same way with local artists. I will always stay here.
What did you have to sacrifice for your business to happen?
Reverb 7: There was a time when my relationship with my family wasn’t the best as they would say you have a law degree why don’t you get a job and do your music in the evening. That was really tough. But now they are very supportive and I would not be where I am without them. I have also sacrificed lots of potential money earning opportunities, for example I can’t play at weddings. So it’s been tough sacrificing all that in order to protect my brand.
Any shout outs?
Reverb 7: Show Time Records Africa, Anashe Media Group. That’s my family no matter what happens they will always be fam. And most importantly, shout out to everyone who has ever supported me, be it retweets, likes, follows, hugs, attending shows, listening to the music, I would not have made it this far without the support, I truly appreciate it.Views: 890