The Sunday News
WHEN Mncedisi Bahle Moyo boarded a Johannesburg-bound bus in 2007, in search of greener pastures, little did he know that he would rise to become a talking point in the South African fashion and music industry.
Armed with just a bag of CDs and love for music, Young Hlezz — as he prefers to be called — followed the great trek down south with the hope of becoming a renowned DJ.
In a rather competitive and fiercely competitive industry, young Hlezz had nothing but his dream to drive him through the thorny bushes of the South African music industry to make it to the top.
Upon arrival in SA, Young Hlezz was soon to meet with his high school friend, Bhekinkosi Becks Ndlovu, whom he shared a loving for the underground house music; the two took their first steps in turning their dream into a reality, as they formed a Facebook group under the name Deep House Love Affair, which to date has over 35 000 members, made up of songwriters, DJs, producers and various record labels.
A décor consultant by profession, Young Hlezz is a consumer specialist and co-owner for Deep House Love Affair (DHLA) and Sun Dial Records (SDR).
Young Hlezz said they had since grown from being a mere Facebook page to also encompass an Internet site, blog, Twitter among various other social media platforms.
In an interview with Sunday Leisure, Young Hlezz said they were not looking back but would do all they could to push underground house music into recognition.
“When I got here, I realised there was a lot of house music, which most people either did not know or understand, I took an interest in this music, which is when I was first introduced to the genre in 2009. It is here that I grew a stronger passion for the underground movement,” said Young Hlezz.
He said while he and Becks initially aimed at being a record label, they had decided to go full-fledged underground, where they gave underground house musicians, producers and song writers a platform to air what they had without necessarily being members.
“This all started as just a Facebook page but has since grown to be fulltime online based platform, where people can post what they have and even act as mentors to up-and-coming musicians. We realised that a lot of musicians were being ill-treated by established labels hence our move to take the underground route.
“What began as just a small time hobby, has grown to becoming a global platform where global artistes are so willing to be a part of DHLA movement. It’s an entirely new and different ballgame; the level of acceptance of deep house has grown, as well as the different house music aspects,” he said.
Young Hlezz mentioned that they had hopes of hosting parties and gigs throughout the globe, where they would showcase some of the talent that was part of the underground house movement.
“To date we have worked with over 30 artistes and it is these artistes that we aim to introduce to the world. Yes people know the popular house musicians and producers but we now want to show them that the underground house musicians are surely a force to reckon with and I bet with my last cent that in some cases they are far much better than the established musicians but simple do not have the exposure,” he said.
Young Hlezz said they had managed to produce a number of popular up-and-coming names such as Nonjabulo Dlamini aka Nonjebsy who is based in KwaZulu-Natal and is now a reputable female DJ.
“We have also have taken into our shoulders MoIsh who is a talented DJ and producer, we also started working with DJ Walts who is as an upcoming DJ and Michelle a vocalist. Personally I do mix tapes all the time which are available online,” said Young Hlezz.
The seemingly versatile entrepreneur also took the movement to another level, after recently launching a clothing label, under DHLA, which he said was aimed at creating an identity for the group.
“It started as a joke really; Becks and I were looking at something to be different about as a group, so we posted a snap photo of a t-shirt written DHLA and suddenly members of the group wanted to know where to purchase the t-shirts.
‘After noting the demand, we then went back to the drawing board came up with a design with the help of a good friend Sindiso Nyoni a top designer from Bulawayo and DHLA fashion label was born,” said Young Hlezz.
Born on 7 October 1985, Young Hlezz did his primary education at Newmansford Primary School before enrolling at Northlea High School for his Ordinary Levels. He is the last born in a family of four, with a brother and two sisters.
Young Hlezz singled out his family as being his inspiration, revealing that they had remained supportive of his career choice even at times when things seemed difficult.