Riding the crest of success it girl, Sharmaine “DJ Liz” Waldman talks to us about becoming a brand and a house hold name in the Zimbabwean fashion and music industry.
“Building a fashion brand in Bulawayo is very hard and I think I am one of the few artists who worry about how they look when I step out of the house either to work, for drinks or just going out with the girls. ” she said. DJ liz is obsessed with fashion and style and was always fashionable even from a young ages, nobody had a say in how she dressed. “I think the way I dress has had an impact on how people see me and on the growth of my brand. Most people think I became famous because of the fact that I am a talented woman but truth is I always saw myself as a brand, how I looked was always as important as what was on my playlist” says Dj Liz. The main reason why I’m in love with clothes is because the clothes we wear define who we are and who we want to be. As they say, dress for what you want. My style motto has always been to be comfortable yet staying stylish and glamorous.
She says her favourite trends are currently the off shoulder tops paired with chockers, throw over kimonos paired with a nice crop top, but One trend she wants out would be the Rose (flower) trend that is on every item of flea market clothing these days. “I can’t deal can it just go.” she said.
Being a fashion lover and a fashionista, she told us she is yet to launch her own fashion label which was set to launch 2 years ago but due to some misunderstandings she pushed it to launch later this year. The clothing line will be a collection of her favourite pieces, stuff that you can find in her closest. Unlike most people, her collection will be more personal, “I would not design stuff that I wont wear, So expect my own personal touch on all the clothes” she said.
In Zimbabwe its very rare that you meet a person who is both a Fashionista and an artist, so meeting DJ Liz was a bonus as she says Fashion is something she loved from a tender age but music was a calling. She got into the industry way before she even started training as a dj. She loved music from a as early as she can remember and during family gatherings she was always the one who was tasked with creating a playlist for the whole family. Being asked to choose what comes first between music and fashion she failed to choose and told us that her love for music inspires what she wears and how she styles her outfits.
For Liz her career started on a crazy note, she would approach DJ’s at clubs and ask them how they do it, because they thought she was joking nobody really told her what she needed to hear. Her big break came when Hartsfield Tshisanyama opened its doors. She was given the afternoon slot and would play during the day when few or no one was listening till they felt she was good enough to play for the evening crowd. Her first set was amazing and she managed to keep the crowd on their feet the whole time. after that she knew that was where she belonged and that was the rise of DJ Liz. Her biggest inspiration was and still is DJ Zinhle, she is a business woman, a mother and a South Africa’s biggest DJ.
Having perfomed on many stages the highlights of her career where when she performed alongside her biggest inspiration DJ Zinhle, the Castle light Block party, alongside Black motion and at the Castle master braai day. The response from all these shows was amazing. She loved how most people loved her and that love encourages her every time she sets to perform somewhere else.
Most of my fans are from Social Media and they always send me messages asking for advise and motivation to start working towards their goals and being a role model I feels it is my responsibility to give advice to them, she said. The advice I learnt from my parents which I am also passing on is “study hard and attain a degree in something you are good at then you can follow your dreams and also be able to finance them till they can start paying. Most people want to be in the music and fashion industry but do not want to study for it because they feel its an easy and fun career they dont know that as a person you need to be able to manage your career and have basic knowledge in marketing and PR. To all the other girls trying to get into the music industry I would advise you to first understand if its really what you want and why you want to be a dj. Most people want to be dj’s because they just want to be famous. Have the love for music and the passion for it, also remember rome was not built in a day, you cant build an overnight success story unless you are really ready”.