South African DJ/producer DESIREE has solidified her status as a rising force by becoming the first African DJ to receive DJ Mag’s coveted Future Star Award. Selected by DJ Mag’s editorial team, the award is given to artists poised for remarkable careers, with previous honorees including dance music luminaries Sherelle, Qrion, and Layla Benitez. “Being from Ivory Park, this moment feels surreal. This award isn’t just an honor for me; it’s a statement that our music has a global presence”, she says.
In the last four years, DESIREE’s career has been characterised by a rapid global ascent, and in 2022, it reached a significant milestone with the launch of her debut EP ‘Femme Tech’ under the Bae Electronica label, helmed by house music vocalist Jackie Queens. Defying convention as a rare Afro house offering produced by a woman and released on a woman-led label, the EP quickly led to a stellar remix for respected artists Keinemusik and a lush reimagining of LP Giobbi’s “All I Need” on Counter Records, showcasing DESIREE’s exceptional production skills.
On stage, she has graced renowned festivals and venues such as fabric London, New York’s Brooklyn Mirage and Ibiza’s iconic Circoloco, as well as shared the spotlight with Black Coffee, Rampa, and TSHA among others. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed, “The opportunity to perform worldwide is a privilege, and I consistently endorse the music of African artists. Seeing people from various parts of the world connecting with and dancing to our music brings me immense pride.” With sets embracing deep house, Afro-tech, techno, and the occasional Afrobeats twist, her performances resonate with a love for rhythm and percussion, embodying African electronic music. A sentiment exemplified through her special set recorded in Mexico for the DJ Mag awards, supporting UNICEF.
In the near future, DESIREE is gearing up for her latest project, the MMINO record label and party series, a bold celebration that pays tribute to the diversity of South African house music culture and fosters an open-minded atmosphere within the scene. With this accomplishment and various plans unfolding, she sees herself becoming a lasting figure in the electronic music landscape, with a heartfelt desire to inspire more girls from Ivory Park, just like her.