Thank you for the music!
Born in Mthatha in The Eastern Cape, Ludwe Runeyi never imaged her love of music would set her on a path which would see her taking to the stage with the best of the best.
Her sights were set on a pedestrian career in Marketing- her passion, she imagined, would simply remain a hobby.
Fate however had other plans for her…
Sixolile Mboza chats with Ludwe, aka DJ Ludz, about her journey and how she found a freedom in music which changed her life.
Growing up with her older sisters and brother, it was expected of her to follow the good old South African tradition…Study, find a job, make a career of it.
When she moved to Cape Town in 2004 to study Marketing at the Cape Town Peninsula University, her sights were set on a career in the echelons of the Corporate Marketing.
A chance meeting with one of the SA’s leading DJ’s, DJ Knox, was set to change that – the stage was set for the birth of DJ Ludz.
It was this friendship that set Ludwe on the road to living her dream.
When Ludwe started to tag along to gigs, and was encouraged by DJ Knox to play alongside her, she realised she had found her passion.
Ludwe became DJ Ludz – a new persona was born!
When she moved to Pretoria in 2009, taking a job as a PR Marketing Manager at Multi Racial Records, a whole new world opened up to her!
She found herself playing more Gigs. Opportunities to hone her skills!
She found herself on Radio..on TV- the Channel O Lockdown House party; and playing along side titans of the industry – DJ China, Lady Buhle, Lulo Café, and the legendary Black Coffee.
Ludwe puts her love of music and passion for the art down to her father.
“He used to tell me Music is a healer – As I grew up, I began to understand what he meant. That’s one of the reasons I choose to be a DJ…Music is universal…It has a message behind it…All you have to do is listen”
Admittedly it hasn’t an easy journey – When Ludwe started out, there weren’t many female DJ’s on the circuit.
Experimenting and exploring different genres , ultimately settling on Deep House, Deep Tech, Old School house and old school Kwaito, which she fuses with a mid tempo, old school R&B and hip hop, and some neo soul, she found her niche.
She attributes her success to belief in her craft, self-belief, networking, and good old fashioned hard work!
“Success comes from hard work – It isn’t easy. But if you love and are passionate about what you do, the sacrifices are worth it”
DJ Ludz may be a persona, but she is driven by the very real passion and spirit of Ludwe Runeyi, who believes that women should be celebrated and acknowledged every day, and not simply one day or month a year.
She loves that more women are taking an interest in the art of DJ-ing, but is quick to add – “male or female – We are all driven by our passion for what we do, and our love of it.
Gender is something which shouldn’t matter”
When asked what advice she had for anyone aspiring to be a DJ, she responded saying:
“Do it for the love and passion of music! This is not a 9 to 5 job. You need to live and breathe your craft.
Collect music…Take the time to listen to music, that will help with mixing.
And do research on DJ schools, (yes they are a real thing), and find the one closest to you.
Find someone in the industry you admire, and stay motivated!
All good things come with time!”
DJ Ludz isn’t one to rest on her laurels…
She registered a company last year, and although she isn’t ready to reveal her future plans as yet, watch this space!
At 36, Ludwe has just started out, and has the world at her feet!
The lady is going places!