Cape Town Lately’s Gareth Duncan chats to DJ Lance Theron, who recently returned from a tour in Sweden.
Tell us about your background.
Born and raised in Cape Town, originally from Mitchell’s Plain. I’m one of three boys, so you can only imagine the competition in the house. Both my brothers are in the financial field, but being the adventurous one, my parents could tell my career path would be totally in another direction.
How did you become a DJ?
We all have that one friend who was a dj back then. It was so cool to carry his vinyl pack into the clubs, thinking you would instantly be that guy! But in all honesty, it was the vibe he created that made the atmosphere so crazy… then and there I decided that becoming a DJ was my calling. So a big thank you to Barry Tobin for the sleepless club nights and patience during the early afternoon practice sessions.
What motivated you to go into music?
My grandparents on my mom’s side were very musically talented. They played instruments and sang in our church choir, so music was always that happy escape when they visited us. I remember my brother Shawn buying me my first pair of turntables for Christmas – I still have them to this day! I just knew this was what I wanted to do – not as a hobby, but as a full-time career.
How would you describe your DJ style? What do you bring to the party?
I started playing deep house because of the scene I was in back then, but found out very quickly that being versatile made me a better performer and entertainer to perform for the masses. My performance style and the energy I give off while performing adds a certain edge to my set… it would look like I ran a marathon at the end of my performance! The music takes over and there’s no controlling that at all!
Looking back, what are your career highlights?
I’m blessed to have had a career full of highlights. These include:
2010 FIFA World Cup MTN Fanzone DJ at the Clock Towers (Cape Town)
Pro20 final players afterparty (Cape Yown)
Winner – Best DJ on MFM radio
Debut single and music video with Chad Saaiman “Back To You”
Performing at the Festival of Lights
Being on the same line up as Black coffee and AKA
Performing to a massive crowd at Mitchell’s Plain Festival
My debut performance at Kday
Last but not least, my second single featuring Candice Thornton hitting No 1 in Cape Town on GHFM
You recently toured Sweden. How did you this opportunity come your way?
I met a Swedish couple and they wanted me to run the music at one of their businesses in Cape Town. They later decided to take me abroad and add some African flavour to their events. It was my fourth tour to Sweden, but fifth trip to Scandinavia. I’ve been in cities like Gothenburg, Malmo, Varberg, Kungshamn, Stromstad, Halmstad and Copenhagen.
How do you rate the opportunity for SA DJs and musicians to tour Europe or other overseas markets? What do they need to do to make this happen?
Opportunities are great and endless overseas. There are many venues with a open door policy, willing to give a DJ a slot. Its’ not as “cliquey” as in Cape Town. The international scene is a very open-minded market, so experimenting is a must. As a foreign DJ, you have to work twice as hard and you need to evolve and grow consistently. You also need to do your research and be willing to adapt to a different culture. You need to be prepared, especially mentally prepared as you will be spending a long time away from home. The experience of playing overseas is definitely worth it!
You’ve released three singles with Chad Saaiman, Candice Thornton and more recently with G&T. How was this experience?
Firstly, I would like to thank Chad, Candice and G&T, as well as the Stereotype Music team for investing in me and seeing my potential. The experience has broaden my musical understanding to what needs to be created and to keep up with trends, but also keeping your sound unique as well.
Any more music coming out soon? Any other exciting projects?
I’m in the studio preparing some exciting things to keep South Africa dancing.I also plan on taking my brand to new heights and creating a network for upcoming DJs to make a name for themselves and explore the various music channels possible.
What keeps you busy in Cape Town?
We all need a balanced lifestyle, so when I’m not on the decks, you’ll find me playing sport or spending time with my family. I enjoy playing cricket and soccer. I also enjoy competing with my nephews Liam and Seth in FIFA!
Which Cape Town DJs or musicians are you really excited about currently?
There’s an ocean of talented artists and DJs in Cape Town. We all witnessed Craig Lucas from Elsies River take on The Voice and bring home the title. He is proof that nothing is impossible! I wish him all the best for his career.
What other interests are you involved in outside music?
I’m currently involved with a venue called Unik in Claremont. I have recently started a company called TheronCom – you guys can have a look on Instagram and Facebook. I do, however, want to be more involved in community projects.
What are your goals in the short and long term?
So many people dream of being rich and famous – that’s all fair and well, but it starts with goals to be put in place in order to succeed. The real aim in life is to be happy with the work you put in and not to accept average.
My short-term goals are to colab with more local artists and to perform on bigger stages. I also want my music playlisted abroad. My life goal is to be happy, healthy and successful with knowing that I did my part leaving behind a legacy.