How Shimza Manages to Satisfy the Crowd's Demands
Sep 23, 2022
2 min read
Tembisa-born Ashley Raphala, better known as Shimza, has spent a lifetime honing his skills on the decks and in the studio. He is well known for his ingenious and infectious DJing style, earning the nicknames "effect master" and "vinyl assassin." Dance floors are left dumbfounded by how skilfully he punctuates his sets with intricate queuing and looping as he crafts his distinctive "Afro-tech" sound. The symbiosis between DJ and audience is crucial, and it seems that Shimza has mastered this fragile relationship.
"It's always a matter of knowing your crowd and what you're giving to them. When we play for totally different crowds, they're more receptive to know and to, to receive but if you're playing in a place like South Africa where there's a bigger culture of a certain sound like Amapiano. You are allowed to educate but always bring them back. I don't know how to explain it, but as an artist, it's an art that I feel when I do play and that's how I think I've managed to stand out. I think it's very important to know who you're playing for, what they like and how you can introduce something new to that audience."
Unsurprisingly, his international music career has expanded on the back of touring and performing. Shimza has also enchanted international audiences in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Manchester, and Sicily, Delivering explosive performances at Boiler Room Johannesburg and RESISTANCE Cape Town.
Having caught the attention of RUMORS label boss Guy Gerber, he made his Ibiza debut at Destino's Closing Party alongside Luciano in 2016. Leaving a lasting impression on both Gerber and the White Isle, he was invited back to Destino's decks four more times and was named a new rising star by Ibiza music and party authority, Essential Ibiza.
As the 2022 Ibiza season closes, it's clear that his domination of the White isle only grew stronger. Shimza had a monthly slot at Blue Marlin with Showtime Sundays, and he also joined CamelPhat for their residency at Ushuaïa.
Trust Shimza to always come through with a hybrid of native influences and international styles to create something authentically fresh and inspired.