“There’s nothing you can’t do if you want something bad enough.” It really can happen, and is happening at such a rapid rate for Marc Paynter, who at the age of 23, is regarded as one of the most naturally gifted performers to emerge from his generation, specifically in his hometown of Johannesburg. Widely known as TradeMarc, this self-taught South African DJ has been mastering the art of DJ’ing for over 12 years. The foundation of this success was led by unrelenting work ethic, belief in his own skills and, of course, love for the music. As a lover of a variety of genres of music, he has incorporated his passion for all sounds into his live performances, making him one the most sought-after DJ’s in the industry today.
Every DJ is mindfully aware of being only as good as his/her last set. Yet, Marc never fails to prove his worth. “Anything can happen and change in this industry, and in my case I’ve been extremely lucky and fortunate for all the opportunities that have come my way since I decided to give this a go.” He keeps setting his own bar higher and higher each time he plays, creating new challenges and experiences for himself as he goes along. This all had to start somewhere though, and rather surprisingly his introduction to this world of DJ’ing came about in England in 2002 at a family gathering. “My cousin spun his favourite House and Garage tunes for an hour or two at his own parents’ 25th wedding anniversary party, and I eagerly watched as he flawlessly mixed each track in and out, to a crowd who just seemed to want more and more”, Marc recalls. “I didn’t know what I was listening too, but I liked it. I liked seeing people wanting more, the thrill of being the man in charge of what happens next excited me”. The sounds of the likes of Tim Deluxe & Meat Katie soon became apart of his own music collection, and his love for house music grew from there.
Fast forward 5 years, and Marc’s bedroom became the venue for his education on the art of mixing to begin. His father, Geoff, could see the potential and agreed to invest in his son. “If you can’t invest in your own kids, who can you invest in?”, Geoff used to say. Marc’s journey had begun. Equipped with CDJ-400’s and DJM-700 mixer, and through trail and error, Marc began to teach himself everything he needed to know. His bedroom limited him to the experience of what being a DJ was really all about, and he soon became a regular patron at clubs such as Truth, Ruby Blue and Tempo’s. DJ’s such as Alan M, Justin Vee, Ricardo Da Costa, Roger D’Lux and house duo Pimp Squad (Guy Herman & Jon S) received hero status from Marc, and on every possible occasion he would make the effort to go and watch his hero’s in action all over Johannesburg, The technicality shown by the DJ’s and sound associated with the so-called ‘Underground Clubbing Scene’ began to change the way Marc looked at the industry. It was something he desperately wanted to be a apart of, and it wasn’t long before he landed his first set, at a packed-out Groove Cafe in Edenvale.
Since that moment, Marc steadily began to rise up through the ranks, forging many new relationships with promoters, club owners and fellow DJ’s who had the belief that Marc could go far. In 2010 and 2011, he entered two DJ competitions, winning both the Dirty North Productions and Voodoo Lounge Battle of The DJ competitions, brushing away a number of well-known industry names in the process. This success spurred Marc on, and in late 2011 he entered the first ever 5FM Ultimix @ 6 DJ competition. Having to compete with some of the biggest names in the clubbing circuit, he was awarded with second place overall, and a month-long residency on the Fresh Drive’s daily 30 minute mix show, the Ultimix @ 6. He also opened for DJ Kent, DJ Fresh, Euphonik & DJ Milkshake on the Main Stage at the 5FM Ultimix Album Launch Tour in early 2012.
Many events and festivals have followed since then, including bookings at South Africa’s biggest dance music festival H2O, G&G 4URage Festival, Colour Festival Mozambique, Fun In The Sun Festival, Slippery & Wet, Ultra Festival (Voodoo Lounge), Fog Festival, Energy Festival, The Joburg Experience, Cultureclash plus many, many more! He also began to add a long list of local club’s to his name, including Truth, Nicci Beach, Avastar, Sugar, Ruby Blue, GrooveBar, Tokyo Sky, various FTV’s & countless others. He has also held residencies at ESP, Stones Centurion and the reinvented Ruby Blue. Further afield, he has also caused mayhem with his music all over South Africa at venues including The Origin (Durban), Shakes (P.E.), Koko’s (Margate), Sasha (Durban), Cape To Cairo (Durban), and neighbouring Mozambique. Marc has also held his own alongside a long list of some of the world’s best International DJ’s, sharing the bill with the likes of Deadmau5 (CAN), Avicii (SWE), Gareth Emery (UK), Dash Berlin (NED), Neelix (GER), Aly & Fila (Egypt), Marcel Woods (NED), Eats Everything (UK), Stupid Fresh (UK) plus more.
Being able to DJ in front of thousands of people on a weekly basis is one talent, but creating your own music is another. Starting his studies at the Academy of Sound Engineering enabled him to learn about the very core elements behind being able to write your own music, and more importantly from a sound engineer’s point of view – getting it to sound good. Taking small steps, he started by acquiring remix parts for a number of remix competitions that are constantly happening through various international record labels for their artists. Experimenting taught Marc a lot, and eventually he suddenly had the urge to submit one of his remixes for London based record label Bridge The Gap Records. His remix of MunniBrotherz “His Stature” was selected as one of the winning remixes to be featured on the label’s next EP. After that followed another couple of remix entries before Marc joined forces with Pretoria based house music producer and good friend L.A. Cruz, which saw their own rendition of legends Groove Armada and Brodanse’s “Sweat” being entered into the Danse Club Records remix competition. Together, their remix did enough to win them the runner up spot, with an official release on the record label in 2014. Production has started to become a massive part of this young man’s life, and Marc now has a number of future releases to his name coming up in 2014, with much interest from local and international artists for his smooth and funky style of music.
All of this success in the DJ and production world led to an opportunity for Marc to release his own mixed album. “Tricks Of The Trade” was created and released on F! Records in 2013. An album full of the best in Deep and Tech House from Soul Candi’s partner labels ended up charting fourth on the official South African iTunes album chart, and was well received by people from around the world.
Hard-working, down to earth and extremely easy-going, TradeMarc is a name that has become a regular feature within the South African clubbing and music industry. Today, Marc is a qualified Sound Engineer. He specialised in Audio Post Production and graduated in April 2014. He is currently adding more to his educational achievements, by studying a further two years at The Academy of Sound Engineering, and is an integral part of the first sound engineering group to be working towards the first BSc degree in the subject to be offered anywhere around the world. He is a passionate collector of all genres of music, including Hip-Hop and Rock, as well as live music DVD’s & concerts. He also plays a variety of musical instruments, including the drums & piano. He is also an avid online PC gamer and is a huge Newcastle United football fan. His life is surrounded by music, with his father already a well-known and respected Music Publisher in the South African Music Industry for over 35 years.
With such a sterling record in such a short period of time, Marc continues to turn heads with his unique sound and thriving personality. Keep an eye out and an ear open for this young sensation.