By Zolile Menzelwa
The exodus of Eastern Cape (EC) artists for greener pastures outside the province continues as yet another local talent has left for Gauteng.
Cindy Williams, popularly known as MsWilliams, was born and bred in East London. The now 27-year-old house music DJ took to music at a tender age of 11. At this age, she said, she would steal her elder brother’s jazz CDs to sleepovers to entertain her friends. And naturally, this always got her into trouble but her love for music couldn’t stop her.
But the love for music has obviously always not been alone but accompanied by talent. Within a short space of time MsWilliams has traveled outside the country for gigs. “Surprisingly, I started deejaying at the beginning of 2018. I was so excited about my first gig until hours before I had to take to the decks. I started freaking out, I was so nervous and going through emotions. I still get nervous before a set. The anxiety gets worse when I play in another province or country,” she said.
MsWilliams, who specialises in Afro house, has had a chance to spin her discs in Botswana and Mozambique. But what made the young DJ leave her province of birth? Well, for starters she believes she has worked with everyone she had wanted to work with. “I just wanted to expand the business to higher possibilities. I believe the reason why most EC artists leave the province is mainly to pursue the types of opportunities that the EC does not offer.”
MsWilliams said another challenge is that it is easy to relax and think you are making it when based in small towns and cities. She has learnt a lot about how people work since her move to Gauteng. “Everything is fast and I love it. I have had stages of growth, struggles, frustrations and all have taught me how to handle myself at a specific stage,” she said. While the industry might be cut-throat, getting support from her family has enabled her to jump every hurdle she has come across.
She mentions in particular her mother, who she refers to as “my Queen” and her elder brothers. And of course, she never forgets the love and support from her followers. “Being a woman in this male dominated industry is not easy at all and it was never meant to be easy. Always know what you want, plan before you execute, do research and try to be different. Do not settle for less, always respect your brand and stay true to who you are,” MsWilliams said.
She believes to retain talent in the province government should step in and fund an arts academy that will have recording equipment, access to the Internet and teach artists about how to handle the media. She also said a provincial agency would be important to source opportunities for artistes. MsWilliams is running a company that aims to do all these things but feels with funding, Lima Events and Promotions can reach a wider range of people.
Her Twitter handle is MsWilliams_dj, mswilliams_dj on Instagram and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.1 comment