30.01.17 by Aneeqah Samsodien
Lee Cloete, known by many in music as Wavey Don, speaks to us about his life outside of Dj’ing, his partnership with Chocolate Sauce and becoming something other than what his childhood tried to dictate.
How did your relationship with Chocolate Sauce come about?
Well, we met a few years ago while both of us were doing a short stint at an online store. We spoke over smoke breaks and clicked right away. I guess it could be our off kilter personalities. We started hanging out and had similar interests and aspirations like skateboarding, sneakers, being millionaires haha and eventually starting our own business.
Furthermore we then did a few projects under our previous brand and it just happened from there. We progressed independently but grew together in terms of our portfolios and business skills.
Lee is a web developer and offers consultations to smaller businesses and creatives that are looking for advice and growth. What he does is basically create and help turn people’s ideas into a ‘digital reality’. He apparently also deals with Taariq’s nagging.
We also know that you’re a DJ by night; when did this all start?
Yeah, I’ve been DJ’ing since 2012 under different aliases. Started off with Semel and now recently, Wavey Don. Semel was more underground and genre restricted, whereas Wavey Don is more about aesthetic and genre blending.
I started DJ’ing in my bedroom using software like many others do, then started recording and sending out mixes. After that, a few parties got in touch and it really happened from there.
What are the earliest memories you have about experimenting with music?
Well, while growing up, most of my friends were into music in some form during high school, mostly MC’s. I was skateboarding most of the time but around 15/16 years old, we (myself & brother) started messing around with Fruityloops. Putting the same skills we learnt making skate videos and edits into music, recording vocals for homies. burning those to discs, sharing them. Some days we ended up with almost 10 guys in a small room at my moms house, just listening to music, making beats, recording vocals with homies and puffing herb.
Where do you usually play your sets?
Everytime I play music for people it’s a set to me. Be it a dinner party or an afternoon with family. I always enjoy selecting and setting the mood. When it comes to evening gigs, I most recently just had a dope one at Waiting Room for the Uppercut crew which is always fun. Other than that, First Thursday’s I’m always with LIT crew and we’re down at the House of H in Loop street. There’s a new venue we’re doing something at in Bree Street above Redbull studios. But yeah around Cape Town, keep your ear to the digital streets.
What can we find you doing on your off day?
Either out with Semels Unite or Lit’s crew, hanging, jamming and planning. Trying to make music and get ideas down, reading, watching old war movies or just with my girl. Started gaming again and that’s quite productive haha. Also, buying and collecting vinyl now, so always hunting markets and stores for gems. But yeah, I like to do everything in moderation. So I take breaks or shift my focus every once in a while between to keep a balance between everything. With a schedule like work, business, music, gigs, home life, dog and family, it gets a bit hectic.
What is on your playlist at the moment?
Ahh. Always a mix of things, other than the weird and chill music I’ve been getting into again. Heres some:
- Yung Fume – Too Much Wave
- Dark0 – Heal
- Gantz – Witch Blues
- Banshee – High Let Me Fly
- J Cole – Neighbours
- Walton – Caught in a Trip
- Silk Road Assassins – D e a d c e l l
- Beardur & Garlic Brown – Untitled
- Tyler – Wave good bye
- The Sumo & friends EP.
- Dunn Kidda – 144 West
- Migos – T Shirt
Who is your inspiration?
All my peers and friends in my circle. We all push each other to do better, help each other achieve things and share knowledge. Blessed to know and work with everybody I do. Also everybody doing their thing independently. I’ve had to do everything on my own too so I get alot of inspiration from working with people like Taariq etc.
I come from a pretty rough neighborhood and never had model-c schools or the best universities, lost quite a few friends to either gangsterism or drugs. Moreover, I’ve realised that where I come from and what I’ve been exposed to has so much value so most of the time I’m attempting to draw from that and put my ideas out whether in music or other ways.
Where do you see yourself in the future? DJ or Developer?
I can’t tell the future, but I can tell you they work well together so I don’t have to choose. It’s just about management and balance. Music and tech will always be in my life. Whether it’s programming a drum loop using software, or writing code that allows me to upload and share that same drum loop with you. It works. When I’m old I’ll probably start fishing, move to the quiet countryside with a few dogs and my records tbh.
How does one go about listening to your mixes / music?