FIF_LAAA: AN AFROPUNK DJ MIX
January 3, 2020
When FIF_LAAA (born: Refilwe Matabane) calls herself a “hopeless hip-hop romantic,” it betrays something incredibly genuine, something you can clearly hear in her DJ sets: an approach to music as hope, as medicine, as celebration. You could hear it this past week, when she played one of the stand-out sets at AFROPUNK Joburg — and you can hear in the great mix she made for us. FIF_LAAA’s relationship to the music is deep and personal. This ain’t no act.
Hip-hop is a cornerstone of the Joburg DJ’s sets — she calls it her “greatest influence” — but it’s not the only thing FIF_LAAA plays. In addition to the mix, Matabane revealed for us a few sign-posts about what inspired her musical journey (hint: it’s one of our favorite parties in Joburg), and where she’s going with it.
Can you identify some of the music on the mix? What does the music mean/represent for you?
I’ve included my usual favourite old-school hip-hop classics with a mix of alternative sounds from South Africa in order to represent my diverse taste in music.
How did you first get into DJing, and who are some of your DJing influences?
I started attending “Pussy Party” workshops last year and began DJing at Kitcheners (in Johannesburg) – that’s where things began to take off for me. Some of my DJing influences come from DJs I would watch at Kitcheners, such as Coppashot and JustThemba, as well as Soulection DJs. My SoundCloud is filled with their mixes and episodes. They play the stuff I like and that just inspired me to play what I play
What does the phrase “We See You” mean to you?
It is to be acknowledged. To be seen and heard. To be supported by those around you and close to you that understand your journey better than others do, therefore all you have is the chance to shine because that is what has been given to you and has always been within you.