Originally from Pretoria, DJ Sumbody developed a love for music and DJing at a young age and began doing morning taxi rounds to raise funds to buy vinyls while in high school. In 2007, he decided to go against his parents’ wishes and dropped out of university to pursue his dream of becoming a professional DJ.
“Every interaction, every set played and every appearance was a chance to build my brand,” says DJ Sumbody. “When promoters wouldn’t book me, I created my own events and threw street bashes for free. My aim was to create a following in my own hood in West Park, Pretoria, before expanding into neighbouring areas.”
He later took on a volunteering job at a youth community radio station in Tshwane and with determination and hard work, he got his first break as a producer and presenter on his own show called Mashaedi on the Engage. In 2012, he debuted his first house compilation disc called Larger Than House: Volume 1.
“There are always two or three people in the audience who don’t know who I am, so I make sure that at every set I play, I win over more people. It hasn’t always been easy but perseverance has helped me to grow my fan base,” he explains.
Taking on entrepreneurship
With the aim of creating a new offering in the entertainment arena, DJ Sumbody cofounded Aypeyep Lifestyle Lounge, an authentic South African restaurant by day and a hip lounge-cum-club at night, with venues in Menlyn and Sunnyside, Pretoria.
“We incorporated different lifestyle elements to create the perfect hanging out spot,” he says. “When people come to Aypeyep Lifestyle Lounge, we aim to provide them with top-class music, fashion and food.”
DJ Sumbody is also at the forefront of the family transport business Jamoloto and Sons, which was established in 2005 and is steadily growing each year. The business is currently looking to expand into logistics.
He also dedicates his time to his third venture called Sumsound Productions, which started off as a sound hiring business and morphed into a production company.
“We are doing very well and are responsible for a lot of pop-up activations around the country. We did the production for the Ayepyep Marquee at the Durban July in 2017 and we host the annual Sunnyside Block Beach Party, which is in its fifth year. We are planning to expand into music production and open a record label division,” he says.
With plans to establish Ayepyep Lifestyle branches in all nine provinces, DJ Sumbody is also working on the launch of his third album and rolling out city tours across SA.
What advice does he have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Use the negative energy that people try to project towards you as fuel for your growth. Network and surround yourself with knowledgeable people and make sure you enjoy the ride!”