Beauty

Uncle Waffles On What It Really Means To Be "The Princess of Amapiano"

Plus, her top five beauty picks.

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Amapiano, a South African-bred music genre likened to house music, has been on a steady takeover of global airwaves for the past few years. Among the musicians leading the charge is Uncle Waffles, an international DJ, artist and producer who shockingly just learned how to DJ four years ago.

In fact, Waffles tell us that she never wanted to be a DJ and only learned the skill to better understand the craft of the DJs that frequented the studio she worked at. An innate interest turned into a fruitful career backed by rappers like Drake, who shared a video of her dancing to Amapiano music, thrusting her into the mainstream spotlight.

Now, the artist is taking over international stages with a goal to break the language barrier that comes with Amapiano music while standing proudly as an African female DJ. The self-proclaimed “girls girl” wants to see everyone win, especially the next generation of women musicians, regardless of how the industry tries to pit them against each other.

Ahead, Uncle Waffles tells Hypebae her must-have beauty products before stepping on stage, what it means to be a female DJ, her feelings about being named “The Princess of Amapiano” and more.

For more beauty news, check out our coverage of the top five products Paloma Elsesser uses before a swimsuit campaign.

 

Uncle waffles, international dj, amapiano, music, female dj, producer, artist,

On what it means to be a international female DJ

For me, being an international female DJ means breaking the stereotype that DJs are just men. It’s also breaking into the space where people always say, “Female DJs don’t really play.” Coming into the space and being where I am right now, it feels like I’m breaking a stereotype.

On how she started her DJ career

During lockdown, I worked at a studio that had some DJs around. We’d interview creators who were doing great things in our small city. One time a DJ came and was like, “I heard you’re interested.” I said, “Yeah, but I just want to learn. I don’t want to play. I don’t want to be a DJ. I just want to understand.”

I practiced for eight hours every day for almost nine months. That’s how I fell in love with it and I didn’t even know I could fall in love with it.

Uncle waffles, international dj, amapiano, music, female dj, producer, artist,

On the legacy she hopes to leave behind

I want to show that female DJs can do exactly what male DJs do. Also, among the female DJs that exist, the highest-paid one is Paris Hilton. In the top ten, there are only white women. I’d like to leave the mark that Black women can do it. An African woman can do it and in a genre that people don’t necessarily speak. I’d be honored to leave that legacy behind.

On being given the name “Princess of Amapiano”

It comes with a lot of pressure. I also feel like it makes people unnecessarily competitive with me. When girls come into the space, they automatically want to go head-on with me. That’s not how it should be. I’m very supportive of all the girls that come out. Even if [new DJs] come out and [their] style is very similar to mine, it’s okay. Sometimes you need to find your feet and as you’re going along, you’re going to figure out your own sound.

I love the name, but I wish that people wouldn’t always call me “Princess of Amapiano.” I’m so thankful, but I want everyone to know that they’re welcome. There’s no hate. There’s no “number one” on top of the space.

Uncle waffles, international dj, amapiano, music, female dj, producer, artist,

On her go-to hairstyle

My go-to hairstyle is whatever I have time to put on. Sometimes I only have 10 minutes and I’ll slap down a little wig.

On her biggest music inspiration

I’m a big Beyoncé fan and I love how creative she’s always been.

On her interest outside of music

Sleep; that’s my favorite vibe. I love watching crime documentaries and reading.

Uncle waffles, international dj, amapiano, music, female dj, producer, artist,

On the origin of the “Uncle Waffles” moniker

I feel like I turn into Uncle Waffles when I’m on stage. I don’t know where she came from. I think I always had the ability to perform. I’d tell stories, I did school plays and I was head of my debate team. I’ve always been able to put it on. The person you see walking into the venue is probably not the same person you’re going to see on stage. 

On what’s next

I’m performing at the Brooklyn Mirage on August 18 and will be the first Black woman headliner to do so. I have a new single called “Wadibusa.” I wanted a song that’s easy for everybody to sing because that’s the biggest barrier to [Amapiano] music right now. I wanted the music video to showcase dance and that Amapiano artists are good performers because I feel like no one is considering us as headliners yet. No one is considering us as people who can put on a big stage. I really wanted to show that, so we’re given a chance.

Uncle waffles, international dj, amapiano, music, female dj, producer, artist,

On her top 5 beauty products

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Hydrating Spray

Fenty Beauty “Hella Thicc” Volumizing Mascara

Fenty Beauty “Body Sauce”

M.A.C “Chestnut” Lip liner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by M·A·C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics)

Maison Francis Kurkdjian “Grand Soir” fragrance

Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmic Collection Lip Gloss

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