THE hip hop music scene has always been male dominated and rising DJ, Kananelo N.elo Malea is breaking barriers becoming one of the country’s first female hip hop disc jockeys.
Ironically, the 20-year-old hails from Motimposo, a place that is notorious for various types gangs. The place is also known for resenting anything perceived elitist. And hip hop easily fits into that category. But not even that could stop her.
Currently studying public relations at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, N.elo describes herself as a vibrant and eccentric young woman.
She recently told the Weekender that she was inspired to become a DJ by an online video that she watched last August.
“It initially came as a passing thought then late in November 2019 I watched another video of United States’ DJ Rozz and decided from the United States. I told that if other girls can do it then I can do it too,” N.elo said.
She went on got her first gig to play at DJ Mura’s birthday bash last month.
“DJ Mura, who is also my mentor, invited me to his birthday bash and I can pretty much say that seeing him play on the decks gave me an urge to do more in the industry,” she said.
She has also been inspired by South African female DJs among them Ms Cosmo and Ayanda MVP among them.
Growing up in a family that loves and understands the hip-hop culture made it even easier for her to settle for the genre.
“My Brother is a rapper and he would always make me listen to trending hip-hop tracks and helped me to relate to the tracks. That made it easy for me to choose the genre.”
Now that she is in the trade, she wants to open doors for fellow females who want to venture into the trade.
“I want to mark an era of the rise of more female DJs in Lesotho. I want to let people know that not only men can become hip-hop. As young people we are visionaries. The future is ours, so we must embrace it.”
N.elo said DJing should be respected as an art form while the practitioners must ensure that they put their country on the map.