Tendai Luo

Date • 16.05.2011

Words Bongeka Tsekiso



This entertainer is well worthy of the first-face title. I got to know him first as ‘that loony guy at the LXG event’ to ‘that midnight marauder in search of musical inspiration – always with a drink in at hand and a pair of dope pair of SkullCandy headphones who lived next door’ in my first year at Rhodes University.


Yet now, I know him as Tendai Luwo, the super passionate and soulful entertainer with a mighty good head on his shoulders. Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and now a Jo’burg-er, his brand is well on its way to becoming a stellar one. Watch the come up!

If you brand yourself right, nothing can stop you.

dj Luo

Your alias, ‘dj luo’, is derived from your surname, Luwo. Why did you choose ‘dj luo’ AND How do you separate Tendai Luwo from dj Luo?

I’ve had at least 4 aliases/ stage names over the years including “dj hoe” when I was 13, but Dj Luo came and stuck because I felt I needed something somewhat mature and a name that wouldnt put me in a box career wise. I can still remove the “Dj” part and the Luo name will still be a suitable brand name no matter when or where I use it.

What attitude do you characterize your music as being composed of? and what attitude/mood is it meant to evoke in your listeners?

Soul, soul and more soul. When I work on a song I want the listener to feel what I’m feeling or felt at the time of making it, but be able to relate in such a manner that they can associate the message of the song with a personal experience.

If you had to choose between being a radio dj and producer, which would you move more towards?

Wow… Thats not fair!! I think for now I’ll say radio. I’ve come a long way as a producer but I’m still trying to establish myself and grow as a radio dj.

What’s your formula for a dope house beat?

I actually don’t have a formula. Sometimes i wake up at 3am and make a song and finish it in 2hours, other times it takes 4months, like my first single Her Eyes Go Soo Deep. The instrumental took about 2 years, and the vocals another 2 or 3 months. but the Afro-pella remix took me 30minutes.. The concept came to me in the middle of a shower. The sound of the my feet shuffling in the bath gave me an idea for the percussion and I just ran with it.

What’s that one album you can never go on a long drive without?

Hmmm, I’d have to say DJ QT – Quantized Mix Vol. 2, LOVE IT!!!



Besides music, what else interests you?

I write a lot of poetry and I read books as much as I can. I recently learnt how to cook, so I’m always in the kitchen.



What gigs have you been involved in the past three years – and which has been the most memorable?

3 years?! Too many to mention. But New Years 2009 I was the headline act at Kudu Bar in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Then just recently I performed at the Monash Beerfest which was crazy. But I’ll never forget my first set ever: I played to a crowd of 4 people, 7 if we include the club staff. But we all enjoyed every minute!

In a perfect world…

There would be no poverty. We would all have just enough to get us by.

Where do you see your brand/music going within the next 7 years?

I really want to get my brand out there. I want the “Luo” brand to be instantly recognizable, but in 7 years I’d like to step back from the fore front and do more corporate work within the media and entertainment industry.

Do you have any last minute advice to aspiring radio DJs/hosts and music producers?

Don’t Give Up. Keep Pushing. But always push a 100% product. Know how to work the game. Don’t beg to be put on by big DJs/ producers, but emulate their path to success. If you brand yourself right, nothing can stop you.



DJ Luo has been very busy this year, pushing various soulful missions in the form of his weekly The CrackHouse mixes which are released and available for free download on both Twitter and Soundcloud. Visit his website here  for more details on other movements, and follow him on Twitter for real-time updates! Alternatively, check out his Soundcloud page where you can access all his latest music. Ciao ’til next time!