Cultural Scenes by Kesang Ball

Culoe De Song talks Visa Issues and New Sounds


Born in the northern parts of South Africa’s east coast, Culolethu Zulu, also known as Culoe De Song, hasn’t looked back after putting passion at the forefront of his life. He’s been living and breathing music ever since his talent, as a DJ & producer was acknowledged. We spoke to Culoe about travelling, the sounds of South Africa and Ibiza.

What does travel mean to you?

Meeting different people, different vibes… I’m the vibes guy and I always pay attention to that kind of thing. Being able to interact with different individuals around the world and coming together under one common ground be it music, art or whatever is great. It’s also a learning process to exchange ideas and thoughts with people you wouldn’t think you would come across.

What are your must sees and dos travelling around the world?

DJs only spend 5 minutes in a country so it’s difficult. You’re in and out so you have to focus a little bit more into appreciating and learning the culture(s) of the place. But I think you can do that the best by hanging out with the coolest people from that particular place. The locals always know best.

What’s your wildest experience?

I have some bad ones and some really good ones!

Tell us one from both!

It's nice to let people know that DJing and travelling isn’t always a pretty picture. It's not always glory and does give you weak moments. Visa issues can be a big problem. Sometimes you get to countries and they tell you that you have to be in an immigration cell for 24 hours. I had that experience travelling to Angola for the first time.

Then there are other those amazing moments. I can’t name them all, but places where everyone’s just happy are my favourite. Amsterdam is one of them. They offer you some of the best weed in the world, but it’s not just that. You consume it a different level of ease which makes it nicer and more comfortable. Each place does have it's own special thing about them though.

What are the different sounds in South Africa that you’re hearing?

It's one of the hardest things to describe. It's a problem that you deal with in music. Sound can’t be reduced purely to a sonic experience. You have to be there. You have to be present and listen to the music. It's Mandela's rainbow nation in terms of the arts and music. It’s very colourful and it’s got different influences from dance, rap, trap and more. People are coming through with complex terms, but I just call it the local South African sound that is booming right now. If you really want to find out about the sound there… buy a ticket, fly out and experience it… it’s the only way!

What’s it like performing on an international stage like Hï Ibiza?

It’s a great cultural and energy exchange. It’s quite mind blowing you much you share in common with people from all walks of life, how you differ, but how you go through similar struggles... like visa issues! It’s a great unifier and for me it’s beautiful to have that type of dynamic at a music festival. It’s great to have fun at the same time too and it's one of the great elements of .

How would you describe Ibiza?

I love Ibiza. It’s got its own culture and a very interesting history about liberation. It's one of the first islands to allow queer people to be able to move freely. Being able to express yourself as much as you can is also something that I think music is all about. Ibiza is also a space where you can be limitlessly creative - it’s one of the places that I enjoy, and I love taking it in.

photography: Sophie Jones


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