#MyJoburg: Imane Belgrini, House Music fan

more than a year ago
Imane Belgrini, house music lover and Director of Sales and Marketing at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Moroccan-born Imane Belgrini is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg and Four Seasons safari lodge Serengeti, Tanzania. Born in Agadir, she lived in Marrakech and left Morocco in 2000 for France, spent time in England and landed in Tanzania in 2012. Johannesburg is now home, when she is not travelling for work and play. Imane is also a major house music fan, and it's this love of the sound that has helped her navigate her way through a new city.

We interviewed Imane to gain some insights into the Johannesburg house music scene and the unusual ways it helped her transform an unfamiliar space into her new stomping ground. 

What brought you to Johannesburg?
Work! [But] I also always loved it. I visited SA for the first time over 10 years ago, [and] Joburg was my very favourite.

What makes this city unique?
It has an energy that I can barely describe. It has everything being a large city, yet it gives you a village vibe at times and is quite bohemian somehow. The trees in Jozi of course make me feel so grateful every day and so does the energy, the vibe and the people of the city!

How would you define the sound of Joburg?
Eclectic and deep.

How has being a house music fan shaped your path through Joburg?
It has definitely made me discover many spots in the city that I would not have known of if I did not like House Music... I have been hunting for good parties and good spots to listen to deep house which is my favourite. I also met like-minded people who took me places!

Tell us about the spaces you have visited in search of house music.
There are a few places in Newtown, Braamfontein, Melville and other spots throughout the city. I have to say my first introduction was with the live event series Deep in the City  – it was a wonderful way to discover DJs too.
Step into Joburg's underground house music scene at The Third Place

For others who love house music, who should they follow?
On my list: @leeu_live, @djchristossa, and @andrew._.kuipers. I love their DJ sets and follow them to look out for their next gigs. I enjoy following people who seem passionate despite not being active on social media.

What do you think more Joburgers should know about the house music scene?
It seems like a real bridge that connects people from different backgrounds, ages, places, etc.

What's the most standout experience you have had in following your music tastes across the city?
Well well, lots of it has also been in house parties but I spent a wonderful Sunday once at Smoking Kills where there was a group of older DJs such as @andrew._.kuipers and it made for the most beautiful day. I also did some nice record digging in Vilakazi Street on a Sunday at The Box Shop.

Songs on your playlist?
  • Mirage by Goldcap
  • It all depends by Roderic
  • Spin by Kulkid
  • Close to Paradise by Soulwax
  • L'incroyable vie des choses by Jacques

"[The house music scene] seems like a real bridge that connects people from different backgrounds, ages, places..."


Your favourite Joburg suburb, and why you choose it?
Parktown North, for its calm in the middle of the city and Melville for its bohemian feel.

Your favourite Joburg venues for house music lovers?
The Third Place/Carfax, Kitchener's Carvery Bar and Smoking Kills on Sunday nights, plus Living Room in Maboneng.

What should a house music lover not leave Joburg without experiencing?
A late night at The Third Place in Newtown.

What’s the one thing no one would expect to hear about Joburg?
It is nice to go out and discover places where all kinds of people meet around music.

The most underrated Joburg sight or experience?
Secondhand shops in Linden or Melville, Food experiences in the CBD, antique shopping, visiting some old heritage houses in Johannesburg — I recall a fantastic one in Troyeville that has such an amazing history. 

The most memorable meal you have eaten in Joburg?
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL the meals but hey, I also really love the late night Boerewors roll.

If you could buy any Joburg building which would it be?
Tough one — there as so many beautiful places, but the Rand Club! And all of them in Newtown.
Who wouldn't want to own the Rand Club after seeing its magnificent interior?

Three words that describe this city.
Fascinating, electric, edgy.

What makes someone a Joburger?
Their openness and kindness.

Your number one tip for a first-time visitor to Joburg?
Visit all it has to offer from architecture to music venues, to great food! Of course, one must dig for music if they are into Disco, bubblegum, House etc.

What do you least like about Joburg?
I'm not very fond of the big malls and the city could be more walkable. I also wish there was more street life and more terraces in the city.


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