The DJ Series: 5 Minutes With Courtnaé Paul


Let us begin with how do you manage to maintain your different roles as a dancer, choreographer, DJ, lover and still be the Courtnaé people know and love?

I manage quite easily because I’m extremely passionate about all of them, and I’m an absolute lover of life. None of my roles feel like I have to change myself to wear a specific cap, they all play a role in each other and are an extension of me. That’s what life is about for me, unapologetically chasing what I love on good and bad days.

When did you realize that that you want to DJ?

About 7 years ago. I have a deep love for music and my taste is super eclectic. I grew up in a home listening to endless classics, then went head first into a life of Hip Hop and Dance, and music is the foundation for all of it. As a choreographer, part of the job is often mixing and cutting music for performances, so I realised I had an ear for remixing songs. The ear and basic understanding, coupled with the lack of female DJ’s in the Hip Hop space pushed me to take the leap.

And lately, the DJing side of Courtnaé seems to be coming to the front. How does music influence the way you progress today?

It plays a key role! Dance has always kept me extremely busy so I never pushed the DJ’ing as much, until about 3 years ago. It was a combination of opportunities arising and finding a niche space within Dance that caused the shift. I try to be as balanced in each discipline as I can, but one will always overpower the other depending on the season. My brand as well as my dance style is uncommon, misunderstood and not quickly given the light of day, and I find the music breaks those barriers a little quicker, because it’s heard before it’s seen. Music gives me a bigger canvas to create with than the boxes I’ve been placed in.

What was the inspiration behind your Got Next EP that you dropped last year, and what sort of impact were you aiming to have with it?

The inspiration was doing something bold and unexpected. I had never released music prior to the EP so I had no musical track record. Pushing a single is risky enough, but pushing 3 tracks? In lockdown when you can’t push the music on the road? Crazy. But I believed in the music and so did the people on the project. I think it is also the first full body of work from a Female Hip Hop DJ in S.A. I wanted to make a statement and say I’m done playing small and I’ve Got Next, because it’s just the start for me. I also released a new single titled #NoOtherWay ft. Rowlene and Manu WorldStar on the 26th of Feb, a mix of RNB and AfroPop, fingers crossed to another two releases in 2021.

The COVID-19 situation has somewhat ‘discouraged’ a lot of entertainers in the industry around the world and we assume that you also might have been hit by it in your own way, too… But it also feels like there is still hope that we can all continue to flourish, creatively. So, how have you managed to stay positive and creative during this difficult time?

I’m no stranger to difficulty, hard times and instability don’t scare me, I feel very at home there But regardless of my ability to adapt, I’ve tried to cover my bases, be consistent and understand my offerings. I’m a creative. The sudden global lockdown forced me to go back to my roots, create from the ground up, and go for what I want instead of waiting for it to knock on my door.

Describe your Sportscene Radio live mix in three words?

And finally, what did you enjoy most about your Sportscene Radio experience?

I loved it, it was the perfect culmination of todays times. A live gig with a small in store audience (which I haven’t had since the Sun Met about a year ago), but also mixed with a stream of 300 stores of listeners. Super dope