“Women should be taken seriously.”

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On the Decks: DJ Tamara

“Women should be taken seriously.”DJ and Model Tamara Chetty

Where and when did your love for modeling and DJ-ing start?
I did modeling first, my career just took off when I moved to Cape Town 5 years ago and thanks to some amazing friends and photographers, I was scouted by Grace Models Cape Town….then i started DJ-ing when I was about 23, I bought my first Traktor S2 and just worked around with it, without any proper formal training or much guidance. I started taking it seriously, last year around June and started posting up some of my mixes on Soundcloud and Mixcloud until I was discovered by Ricardo Da Costa of Soul Candi and then started my course with them, ever so grateful to the team, I’ve grown and learnt so much. I still model, which I enjoy very much. The music does take up most of my time though.

What kind of modeling do you do, ramp, magazines etc and where do you perform as a DJ

Well, just photographic,I don’t exactly meet the ramp model requirement, which I’m fine with. I’m a pro at tripping over my own legs. With DJ-ing, within a space of a year, I’ve performed at Retro Room now known as Marley music in Johannesburg, So many props to him, been given a great opportunity to play off the best sound I’ve ever heard. I’ve also played at some outdoor parties in Cape Town, which was quite an amazing experience. La Vue Mega Yacht in Durban, done the Summer Breeze Sunday gig twice. Have a Women’s day party coming up Harrington’s, which I’m super amped for… yeah, so just taking it as it comes and experience is key, so I’ve learnt. Enjoying it and just embracing the struggle and accomplishments as they come.

What do you love most about your job? Also career highlights?
I love the music, it’s what has been my escape and has allowed me to learn so much and just broaden my perspective on life and the different genres and just every details of house music has got me glued. I love sharing what captures me, with every track that i play, I have a certain emotion or feeling about it, nothing is played randomly, I’ve taken the time to gain as much knowledge as I can about what I play and how music makes me feel. Just want to share that with as many people i can. Hopefully change someone’s life on a dance floor one day. Playing at Retro Room on that Function one sound system was a definite highlight, the clarity and consistency of those speakers really blew my hair back. In fact every gig I’ve played has been a highlight for me. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to everyone who has believed in me. With modelling, I was the cover model for the MUDL Mixology magazine in like 2012/2013. That was pretty amazing, thanks so much to Yolandi Malherbe for that, also the LiquiMoly calendar for 2016, that was fun. Then some other projects that i can’t mention right now.

Model Tamara Chetty

How do you do to relax, when you are not working?

Describe a typical day in the life of Tamara Chetty?
Just say it is not anything that people think it is. Castings for modelling jobs which i am always shuffling when preparing or them, always a great time and new experience. As soon as i start my day, speakers on, music on and just looking for new tracks, listening to my older ones. I don’t go out that much, clearly my time is taken behind my laptop. I also have two of the most beautiful cats for the past four years, so I love spending time with them. My cousin Carmen, she’s always included in my day. I tend to drive a lot…not that much of a crazy lifestyle or anything. It can get pretty random as well, never know what’s in store for me next.

What would still like to achieve in your career?
Mastering the art of music, production, DJ-ing. I don’t think people really understand the sacrifice and struggle that comes with choosing this career path, i would love to be on the same level if not close to the DJ’s and producers that I admire.

I can’t say it’s yoga or any meditation, Music is truly my main way of relaxing, pump the speakers in the lounge and just have a good mixing session, try to teach myself new overtime i am behind the decks. I also enjoy watching documentaries on the music industry, always so inspiring and informative. That is a big part of my relaxation methods, especially when I’m not that motivated or in tune with myself.

Your advice to anyone who would like to pursue a career in modeling?
Be prepared to work, be shot down, have character, preferably your own, It’s a beautiful career which open so many opportunities to an aspiring model. Stay grounded, i can’t say I’ve reached my optimum strength with modelling…but I’ve loved the journey it’s taken me on and hey…try anything once.

Model: Tamara Chetty

How do you see the role of women in South Africa and the world in 2017? What are some of the challenges and what should be celebrated?
Women are really vibing out onto the music scene, which is fantastic, good to see so many strong women show casing their skill. I would love for us all to just do what we love, no matter the circumstance or whatever someone tells us to believe.

Hmmmmm, I won’t lie it has been pretty difficult to be taken seriously on the music scene, especially with what I play. Trust me… looking good does not earn you any respect in the industry, everything is earned on merit, unless you have other intentions for why you would choose to pursue a career like this. There’s no such thing as overnight success, Lord knows, I’ve been shot down so many times for just been me and playing what I play. Just learnt to have a broader perspective on the industry and learnt to taken criticism, sometimes some harsh words, but never the less all said to me bettering myself. As female DJs…it can be harder, because not everyone wants you for the skill and talent you have, so be cautious. What’s not to celebrate, working hard always pays off… celebrate not selling out…c elebrate been true to the reason why you started this in the first place and be grateful…be grateful for everything you have and as much as we love been our own worst critics, take it easy on yourself, celebrate that Rome wasn’t built in a day.