DJ Viktoria, also known as Victoria Botha, has been making waves as a female DJ in the dance music scene locally as well as internationally since 2012. We had the opportunity to pick DJ Viktoria’s brain about her involvement in the music industry. Here’s what we got:
What is it like being a woman in a male dominated industry?
It has its ups and downs. Getting into the industry is easier in a sense because the female market is less saturated. But on the other side of that coin most line-ups don’t feature many women, it is almost like you are the novelty card. So they very rarely book more than one female artist on a typical club line-up… unless it’s Women’s Day.
What do you think you bring to the table that makes you stand out from the rest?
I play for my audiences. I love my fans so much and I think you can tell by the way that we interact, there is real chemistry. I try to feel what they are feeling and “walk in their shoes” figuratively speaking. That is the best way for me to take them on a journey, because at the end of the day we are sharing that experience. It’s not one sided.
There are many aspiring DJs in South Africa, how did you break onto the scene?
I was always interested in nightlife. I fell in love with the idea of dressing up and losing ourselves to the music the way my girlfriends and I did when we started clubbing. I quickly learned the names and life stories of all the bouncers and club managers and it was quite a natural step for me once I overcame my initial stage shyness. The first step was entering Sisters of Spin DJ competition and it just came organically after that.
Did you ever imagine that you would grace stages in Asia and Europe?
Not at all. It was a big surprise when Shanghai contacted me, especially because at that stage I was still very much a beginner. I was really lucky that I impressed the right people. I haven’t announced this yet but I will officially be relocating to Europe next year to pursue my career further. It is really a dream come true for me!
Who taught you how to DJ?
A lot of DJs have been very kind and helpful towards me. I would say that I learnt most of my technical skills from DJ Chris Taylor.
How do you manage to keep an active, healthy lifestyle whilst being a vegan in a pressurised industry?
I try to set goals for myself – usually races – and that incentivises me to train. My boyfriend, Rudi Witkowsky, deserves most of the credit here, he drags me out of bed on the days that I don’t want to train (everyday!). He is a trainer and fitness model.
What originally made you decide to become a vegan?
I came across veganism by mistake really. I was unfortunately and unintentionally witness to a pig being cruelly slaughtered. I’ve never been able to get that image out of my memory. I don’t think I had a choice but to try to do something to help those animals after that. Veganism is my small contribution.
What inspires you as a musician?
What most inspires me is the potential that is inherent in every person. I want to inspire others with my music and say “Hey, it’s okay to dream big!”. That is really what my song, Midnight Feels, was all about. On the surface it sounds like a romantic sort of girl-meets-boy-at-a-party song yet the lyrics actually describe that feeling of coming into yourself through living your dream. There is a definite theme of combustion throughout the song, sort of like a phoenix. Leaving behind the old you: the you who wasn’t sure if you could do it, and stepping out of the experience with confidence. While I wrote the song about my own personal experience, it was also a pre empt to what my two co-writers and I felt when releasing the song.
When did you first dye your hair blue? Do you think the bold choice is reflective of your personality?
I dyed my hair blue for the first time after coming back from Asia in 2014. Before I left Asia Mandarin Oriental wanted to extend my contract with them but I left because my (ex)boyfriend wanted me to come home. We broke up 3 days after I arrived in SA. So I dyed my hair blue to remind myself that my career should come first; my hair is like my wedding ring to my music. The colour had a lot to do with my Dad. It is one of the things we shared before he passed away, our favourite colour was always “sea green”. He never got to see me grow up but I try to make him proud with all that I do.
You have been described as the mistress of deep house spin by other publications. How do you feel about that?
I think it is a massive compliment. I will do my best to keep living up to that with my AQUA THERAPY podcast.
Thank you so much for having me! P.S My sister and I were obsessed with your magazine when we were younger!
By: Kriszti Bottyan