Tsholo Rabotsho

TR Concepts

WIP

What does your company do?

TR Concepts (Pty) Ltd is a purpose-led creative consultancy that I founded in 2023. TR Concepts is responsible for femme-led sonic experiences like the event; Que Sera Sera, that launched in April 2023. Que Sera Sera happens every last Friday of the month in Johannesburg, boasting an all women DJ line-up curated by myself. This platforms are spaces women artists they can dominate, a space to freely experiment with their sounds to a growing audience (and get paid for it) and where they can meet other women who DJ. Being a part of this movement means being recognized as an artist that thrives regardless of the environment. When I began DJing in 2012, South African women who DJ were few and far in between. No one ever expected that one day, women who DJ will run the music industry. All this teaches us about life is, Que Sera Sera. Que Sera Sera translates to ‘what will be, will be’. I handpick women artists on the rise, I book them to come DJ at my company's events and I pay them out of my own pocket. It's been so beautiful to witness women being empowered with nothing else but belief in their skill and a booking.

What is your biggest success?

Firstly, getting through the first year. Secondly, through my work at TR Concepts with the femme-sonic experiences I curate, I was selected to be one of the ambassadors for the 2024 Africa Rising Music Conference happening in South Africa on the 27th-28th May. This incredible conference is designed to be a revolutionary platform focused on female leadership, artist & executive exchange, committed to building bridges between markets, to create unparalleled opportunities for growth and collaboration. Thirdly, I was successfully in pitching a panel discussion for the Africa Rising Music Conference titled Women Leading Music Culture, which will be happening on the 27th-28th May powered by Sea-Sof-Fro alongside Mamthug, Tumi Mthembu and Coco Brown. To be honest, if I hadn't began Que Sera Sera through TR Concepts, I wouldn't even have had the foresight to build the courage to put forward such an important conversation to have, about where brands can meet women who DJ, so we continue the journey to levelling the playing field and creating a culture of more women-led sonic experiences to empower women in music.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Definitely financial restraints. Being a woman is already hard, being a woman in events, trying to drive social change? Girl! Que Sera Sera had to pause after the last one earlier this year in February. The venue was making money. The DJs were getting paid. But I was bleeding from my pockets. The venue wasn't keeping to their end of the bargain. I would experience challenges like TR Concepts would invoice the venue per event, and the venue would pay whatever amount they felt they could afford with no communication whatsoever. This went on for quite some time until I couldn't shoulder the financial implications anymore. A good venue is definitely a need. Not only for the space, but with a business that understands the vision of where you're trying to go - you'd be surprised how very little businesses are willing to pay women who DJ - can you imagine now the organiser? Financial restraints - while there have been many brands I have pitched to, everyone always doesn't have money - only stock and well, we can't pay artists in stock.