She might look small and petite but when it comes to deejaying Laone Moabi – aka DJ Cupid – has become a force to reckon with among the few professional female DJs in Botswana. Although not many females will choose deejaying as their career, Cupid chose it because she loves being on her feet and relishes a challenge. The 25-year-old said she decided to do Hip Hop against other genres. “I wanted something more challenging,” she said.
Why hip hop?
According to Cupid, Hip Hop played an incredible role in her life when she was growing up because her father followed the genre and hence she grew up exposed to music from artists like Ja Rule, DMX and R Kelly in RnB. That made her to enjoy that music and fall in love with it. “I have tried singing but I was not good at it. I realised I could do well in picking a beat in a song every single time and will later go into the lyrical content,” she said. Her love for the beat of a song made her pursue that. In her first year at the University of Botswana she used to go to Bull and Bush and watch all those DJs play. She went out to hunt for someone to teach her, and in 2010 she met Unanimous and Phouboy. “I told them I was willing to sacrifice my whole allowance to have them teach me the basics of deejaying. I paid them and started with my basics,” she said.
Even though it was difficult she pushed hard and eventually was put on a gig that made her enjoy the experience. She, however, got disappointed many times because things didn’t seem to go her way. She never gave up though. She had to convince people that she was not just a girl but was good at what she does. “The stereotype was there and I had to deal with it and I had to prove that as women we can do stuff the same way men can and even better,” she said. In 2012 her music entered Yarona FM after being encouraged to drop her demo at Yarona FM. Since then she has been on Yarona FM. Then she started facing challenges of dealing with fame, which could be overwhelming for a young person.
When she finished school she then started putting herself out there more; though gigs were given on the basis of connections. But overtime, people started accepting her. Cupid has never felt the pressure of being in a male-dominated field.
Cupid has a full-time job which she prioritises just like her deejaying career. “It is not easy. It is a tedious thing for me. If only deejaying was a hobby it would be easy. I want a proper big career out of deejaying. I always have to make a plan and I don’t turn down gigs. I work as hard as I can because the deejaying side of me is what keeps me alive,” she said. Since November 2016 she has been doing the Club 810 on Yarona FM – dubbed the pre-party on Fridays.
Difference between Cupid and Laone
Laone is very shy person when compared to Cupid because the latter has to get out of the comfort zone and even though it can be uncomfortable sometimes she knows that she has to do it for Cupid to succeed. At the moment, she is working on releasing music to follow the footsteps of renowned DJs around the world who do not sing but make music. To the girl child, Cupid insisted that education is important and vital for everyone even as they embark on a journey on their creative side. “Do what you need to do but follow your heart, and if your dream doesn’t scare you then you are not there yet,” she said. She said this is because she believed in herself from the beginning. Cupid watches TV and spends time with her loved ones in her spare time. Apart from the Yarona FM show she is also a resident DJ at Chez Nicolas every Saturday. To her 2017 is more about making music and making brand Cupid more visible.