By Gary Van Dyk (news24)
If you were boogying on the dance floors of clubs in the 1980s and ’90s, chances are that Selwyn Bartlett was the DJ taking your feet to the dance floor.
Originally from Steenberg, Selwyn now lives in Lotus River and is still as popular as ever when he gets on the decks at clubs or parties, or the occasional guest spot on radio.
“I was playing old school hits when they were new,” he quips. There was always music around me growing up in Steenberg,” he says.
“The family loves dancing, so when I was five they made me play the records, guided by my grandfather Charles Abrahams.
“He was the eldest brother of Paul Abrahams, bassist with the legendary Pacific Express and Sabenza. He also played sax with a number of dance bands, so I guess some music was always in my blood.
“My love for music went further when I was at Crestway High School. In Standard 7 (Grade 9) we had to raise funds for the school and had a disco at a house in Allenby Drive. People loved what I did and that was the birth of Crest Mobile Disco in 1978 and the rest, as they say, is history.”
He went on to spin discs at various clubs around town and worked at some of the top music retailers.
When P4 Radio started he got his foot in the door with a graveyard shift and worked his way up to management while doing a regular slot.
He was programming manager of Heart 104.9FM from 2004 to 2007.
With his wealth of knowledge and passion for radio, Selwyn has gone on to establish his own company which trains and supports community radio stations.
“One of my main aims is to be a positive rolemodel for the younger generation out there,” he says. “It’s sad to see the wasted lives on our streets when I drive around in my old neighbourhood. I want to show them that if I could rise from my humble beginnings then they can also do it, but it takes hard work and dedication.”
Does he still love making the music at parties and clubs?
“Of course I do, it keeps me young,” he laughs. “I’m still invited to guest at clubs and events around town and love filling the dance floors, especially with those old school hits.
“It’s also special for me because I realise that the music that I shared for them those years is still special and I can still make them happy at a celebration.”