City Guide: Daev Martian presents Johannesburg


All good music transports you somewhere else, and we were nothing less than catapulted to another world on our first listen of South African resident Daev Martian. A heady blend of jazz, soul and R&B rooted firmly in beats and hip-hop, the Johannesburg producer is a driving force of fresh music coming out of the city. With releases on Stay True Sounds and Gentle Records, his discography is a wild canvas of organic beats, mellow synth paradise and lavish use of panning – falling somewhere between the concentrated-jazz of Flying Lotus’ early days and J Dilla’s golden grooves.

His recent Red Bull Studios EP, In April In Cape Townpushes the boat out even further, evoking images of Jo’Burg late-night cruising deeper and deeper into luminescent darkness, with a neck-snappin’ backbone driving things along. So, in the spirit of music being a transporter, we caught up with the burgeoning producer to find out how his city has influenced him, from favourite record shops to best view of his city. Alongside the interactive city guide map Daev Martian has recorded a mix of 100% local music to get a real feel for the city.

Check out Daev Martian‘s favourite spots in Jo’Burg in this interactive map.

Favourite place to buy records?

WeHeartBeat. 27Boxes

Favourite live music venue?

The Orbit Jazz Bistro in Braamfontein

Best soundsystem / favourite club?

So far I must say And Club in Newtown. Kitchener’s Carvery Bar is also a great place to jam.

Best party in the city?

Anything that Stay True Sounds hosts is on point!! I also have a lot of fun at BeatNN events.

Best view of the city?

Out of all the viewing sites I’ve been to, I’d say The Munro Drive. But there are more I’m yet to see.


Is there somewhere you like going to escape the hustle and bustle and take some time away for yourself?

I really enjoy taking walks in my neighbourhood, it’s a relaxing environment and has a lot of natural scenarios. Especially the parks.

Best place to experience something unique to Johannesburg?

The best place to experience something unique to Jo’burg is just the actual CBD … Walking through town is an experience.

First thing you miss after leaving Johannesburg?

The first thing I’d miss is the vibrant atmosphere and just the constant activity.

Best place to see another medium of art other than music?

Arts on Main is quite a vibe. They have a variety of art forms presented in one location. Nice one I must say.

Is there a person (dead or alive) who encapsulates Johannesburg for you?

I think whoever becomes a part of the city emulates another side of the city. The fact that it’s quite diverse also strengthens the fact that there can’t really be one person who would emulate Jo’burg

Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with? 

Most likely Braamfontein I met some really cool and interesting people there.


What’s the best and worst thing about living in Johannesburg?

The worst thing about living in Jo’burg is you always gotta be woke or looking over your shoulder because anything can happen.

The best thing is the atmosphere some how motivates you to push your hustle and work hard.

Who’s doing good things for Johannesburg music right now, who you’d like to shout out? [DJs/clubs/promoters/record shops/labels…anyone!]

Stay True Sounds are definitely worthy of a shout out. Subterranean Wavelength record label. BeatNN collective. WeHeartBeat & Cotton On are pushing good vibes to the sphere.

What are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Johannesburg right now?

EMAMKAY. Skinniez. Fi$h. ASAP Shembe. These are all artists, producers & DJs I really think are great at their crafts.


Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? Where and how did you record it, what was the idea behind it and are there? 

I recorded this mix in the comfort of my room. Using my xdj mixer. The idea behind it was to get suggestions from trusted friends about Jo’burg artists they liked, as well as my personal favourites, so that I could include them nicely into my mix with as much of my music (known & unknown) aswell.

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in terms of live dates or releases we should look out for?

I’m working on a collection of music I can’t say much about. I will be playing at my first official festival – Oppikoppi 22 festival – in August.

There – Froyo Ma (Daev Martian Remix) *unreleased
What I Do feat. Nia Andrews – Kid Fonque (Eric Lau Remix)
BIGGER than HIP HOP – Dead Prez (Daev Martian RMX)
Peace Within – Bruce Loko
Don’t Forget Me – Charles Webster, Kid Fonque & Khensy
Angel In Love – Beebar (Kid Fonque Refix)
Hiya Kaya – Kentphonik [Rocco Mix] Hiya Kaya – Kentphonik (Daev Martian RMX)
Usangikhumbula – Kid Fonque, Cuebur, Jonny Miller, Andy Boi & Okmalumkoolkat (Daev Martian RMX) *unreleased
Akobi: First Born S(u)n (QB’s Hotmix maxd) – QB & Somie
Love As Fire – Jumping Back Slash
Allblackblackcat – Okmalumkoolkat
Saturdae Vibes – Daev Martian
Low feat. Niki Minaj, Young Thug & Lil Bibby – Juicy J (Daev Martian RMX) *unreleased
Turnt Waves – Daev Martian
Sweet Leap (A Sweets Vol. 2) – Daev Martian
Live Love – Daev Martian
SIFLAMC – Daev Martian
Graphite to Paper (Laputa II) – Daev Martian
Eco §cript – Daev Martian
STAY (Plunged) – Daev Martian
(Untitled Instrumental) – Daev Martian *unreleased
February – EMAMKAY
Places feat. Leonard Dstroy – Daev Martian *unreleased

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