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Filed under : Entertainment, Music

Otis Fraser is arguably THE hottest radio/TV DJ and personality to ever come out of Zimbabwe.

Teurai with Otis Fraser at the Melbourne venue

I have been an avid supporter of his talents since I was 13 years old and believe me when I say that was quite a while ago! *smile*

So, when he landed in Melbourne, Australia, two days ago for his first time ever to play in Australia, FaraiToday had to have an exclusive interview with Otis ‘Da Flow’ Fraser!

You are one of the best entertainers/DJ’s to ever come out of the Zimbabwean music scene. I remember dancing like crazy in front of the TV when you were a VJ on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation [ZBC]’s teen show, Teen Scene!! What have you been doing since you left Zimbabwe in the 90’s?

Well…I have always had a passion for the Arts industry so that has continued to flow into all the work that I have done over the years. I have been involved in Visual Advertising and Music Production. In terms of Music Production, I have been fortunate to have worked with Lebo Mathosa from Boom Shaka.

The radio presenting has been a continuum and I am now based in Botswana as a Radio Presenter for GABS FM. With people who are used to listening to my music from Zimbabwe, there is a noticeable change however because I primarily play very laid-back, jazz-style music for the station. 

I also still enjoy club DJ’ing and besides the old skool RnB and Hip Hop, I love to fuse House and Electro music with a lot of tracks coming out of Nigeria too.

What has been your most memorable project and why?

My most memorable project has been working with Lebo Mathosa from Boom Shaka. Boom Shaka is a pioneering Kwaito music group from South Africa and besides Lebo being a fantastic being, I learnt so much from her including being introduced to studio life and how to successfully collaborate on various tracks with an artist.

You played in Melbourne and Brisbane in the past two days. What was the aim for the many ‘die-hard’ fans that attended your shows?

I really aimed to take people back – to hear the songs that they used to listen to and enjoy – to allow them to reminisce. Not many people remember music from, let’s say, 2000  – but so many remember music from the 90’s era.

Do you intend to visit any particular sights in Australia whilst you are here?

Sadly, I only have limited time in Australia and will be on my way back home by next week, but I would have loved to meet some of the Indigenous Australians to learn more about them and their culture first-hand. I would also love to visit the venue for the Australian Open in Melbourne. However, I am not sure that I will get the time but to me, coming this far alone in itself, is such a blessing.

The music scene worldwide is extremely competitive, particularly with the advance of technology. The art of DJ’ing is now very different from how it was back in the day. What advice do you have for young, aspiring African DJ’s worldwide that will help them stand out from the crowd?

Hmm…that’s true. You know back in the day, a DJ could not source new music from the internet. Sourcing new music was harder so finding it and playing the latest track from overseas for your beloved listeners was particularly satisfying – you would play it with a passion for the people. I used to love how we would get vinyls to play – there was something extra special about playing a vinyl record.

I compare the way it’s so easy to get new music now with, for example, the sourcing of diamonds. Diamonds are rare and precious, but if you start finding them everywhere, they lose their initial appeal.

My advice to young African DJ’s would be that the listeners can always distinguish between those who play and those who love to play. So aim to be different, even though the same equipment is available for us now worldwide. Write down your goals, visions and work hard towards them.

Do you have any future special projects that you would like to tell us about?

Yes! I am excited to be working on a compilation album featuring various artists and DJ’s from southern Africa. I believe that music must have a purpose behind it – and that is to transmit a message to its listeners and to have a meaning. So I am working on this project with the determination that this goal is met.

I would also like to set up a charitable foundation in the near future. I am still finalising what the foundation will help with as it is something that has to come from within, but it will most likely be related to the Arts Industry.

I am also Faraitoday’s Health & Lifestyle Blogger, I must ask you the question – what do you do to keep in shape?

Haha…well to be honest with you, I am actually trying to get into shape more! I think that one of the important factors that contributes to health is having good sleeping patterns and due to my work, I have mixed sleeping patterns, often going to bed in the early hours of the morning. Ashamedly, I am quite a fast food man. I did try to be a vegetarian once and lasted a day haha.

However, I firmly believe that health is one of the riches of humanity so I am actively trying to get myself into shape again.

Do you have any favourite healthy foods that help you stay on top of your game?

Haha..I am a Burger lover so those are what keep me going, particularly chicken burgers.

So you always make people dance, smile and generally happy through your music. What do you do to relax when you are not listening to music…and eating chicken burgers?

I love to draw. I have so many sketches and I will definitely be using my love and skill for drawing in appropriate future projects.  I am a reader and enjoy reading books that give me knowledge and are positively empowering.

Otis…it has been an absolute pleasure, thank you so much for allowing Faraitoday the honour to meet and talk to you.

Now you will have to wait for Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Otis where he gives us his TOP TEN ALL TIME PLAYLIST & all you Old School 90’s music lovers, this playlist will have you doing the butterfly in your seats!! 






Writer, Model, Founder of Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust

Teurai Chanakira – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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