Top SA DJ who has a radio show on 5fm and has performed nationally and internationally in Ibiza and Miami.
He has produced and released numerous records and is an icon in SA and is one of South Africa’s most-sought after mix masters. He is credited with pioneering the house music scourge which is engulfing Southern Africa.
Thato Sikwane, aka DJ Fresh, started out in radio in Botswana in the early nineties and from the minute he was shown the mic he knew that broadcasting was the only career for him. Fresh subsequently dropped his law studies and pursued radio fulltime, joining YFM in 1997. Fresh was heading up the YFM breakfast team by 2003 and was quickly snapped up by 5FM in 2006 where the Fresh Drive has since become a 5FM institution as well as one of the station’s most popular shows.
Fresh is set to release his twenty fourth house album in 2010 – a Soul Candi production called Evolution part two. His first four house albums – the “Fresh House Flava” range are said to have altered the house landscape in South Africa for good, bringing the genre into the mainstream music scene.
Fresh has shared the DJ booth with a number of internationals during his career to date, including “Little Louie” Vega, Frankie Knuckles, Armand Van Helden, Chris Lake, Paul Van Dyke, Oskido, Fat Boy Slim, Hoxton Whores, Jazzy Jeff, Harley & Muscle, Ready D, Kenny Gope Gonzales, Viny Da Vinci, Deep, Gregory and Dominic Spreadlove. Cities like Johannesburg, Miami, London, Cape Town, Moscow, Brisbane, Ibiza, Leeds, Durban, Gaborone, Birmingham, Dubai, Montreal and Melbourne have all danced to Fresh’s beats.
An entrepreneur at heart, Fresh is gifted at spotting gaps in the market and he has many projects on the go at any one time. A few examples are Fresh’s cool T-shirt range and merchandise which started out as a fun side project and is now hugely in demand; his company Big Dawg Productions; his partnership with DJ Euphonik called “F.Eu” as well as his ongoing involvement in numerous charities and awareness campaigns.
DJ Fresh is part of “DJU”, a team of leading South African deejays, musicians, producers and media personalities. Inspired by international conferences such as The Miami Winter Music Conference, DJU established the Southern African Music Conference in 2005. The conference is more than a talk shop for deejays & producers; it is a critical platform for Southern African dance music industry practitioners to keep pace with, and eventually lead global developments.
Despite his enormous success, Fresh remains humble about his achievements and still has many goals to pursue: “I feel I still have a way to go – if I could use the analogy of a truck with ten gears I’d only be in sixth gear now. I’m still building the foundations of my career – so much can still be done. That’s why I accepted a job at 5FM over Metro – I knew it would be a challenge and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I like to push myself, the boundaries, and peoples perceptions of the boundaries. I also hate loose ends which mean I probably will finish my Law degree one day.”
Fresh describes the 5FM team as “The most dynamic team I have ever worked with – they are a bunch of highly motivated people and it rubs off. 5FM has extremely high standards and benchmarks which inspire me to be even more inspired, if you understand what I mean.”
In his spare time Fresh loves to relax with his wife and son at home. He is a movie buff and has a massive DVD collection – some of his favourite personal indulgences also include watches, fragrance and shades. Fresh has over one hundred and twenty fragrances in his personal collection, as well as forty watches and twenty pairs of sunglasses.
Nothing is stopping DJ Fresh as his career continues to grow at an exponential rate. Tune into the hottest daily drive show in South Africa on 5FM, as Fresh and his dynamic Fresh Drive team continue to entertain, break down boundaries and bring South Africans together.