Headphase, or known as Timothy Mitchell by friends and family, definitely does NOT live up to his name. Anything but a phase, this 20-year-old DJ hails from Johannesburg originally but is currently residing in Cape Town, studying a BCom at the University of Cape Town. Great musicians originally from Johannesburg are almost unheard of, but Headphase is an exception. Those who know him as plain ol’ Tim know that he is an extremely colourful person, quite literally. Always wearing a colourful Soda Pop cap (he owns 10), with matching jeans and watches, he is definitely not easy to miss.

Headphase was an early bloomer, with his musicality starting in school. “I’ve always been interested in music and in high school I was in a band at one stage where I played drums,” he says. “I’ve also done a lot of music theory and then in grade 11 and Matric, I had a few friends who were into DJing and I thought, “this is pretty cool, it seems like something I could do,” so I started messing around and got them to help me out and in Matric I started playing a few small gigs and that’s how it started.”

So Headphase went to an all boys’ school where he had “a few friends who were into DJing.” This is not surprising, since these days it’s not doctors or lawyers most boys aspire to be, but famous DJs. There are a few things that set Headphase apart though, including his very original DJ name. “I wish it had a cool story behind it, but it doesn’t really,” says Headphase. “The whole “Headphase” thing was kind of random. It’s basically an album name of this band that I’ve listened to for a long time called Boards of Canada and they have an album called the Campfire Headphase and I just thought it sounded really cool.”

Another thing that sounds “really cool” is Headphase’s music. He considers his music to be mainly of the “Garage” genre, which is an underground UK style. “Also, I play a lot of Electro and Drum and Bass every now and then,” he says. “I basically do live mixing at clubs, remixing and bootlegs and not my own production at this stage.”

Headphase has not reached the stage of collaborating with anyone yet, but it is something he’d definitely like to do one day. “I’d say Das Kapital would be a really cool person to collaborate with because he makes a lot of cool music and I really dig the sort of direction he’s going in,” Headphase says. “Niskerone or Riot Squad would also be cool.”

Assembly, the Fez (which has now closed down), Trinity and Dragon Room are some of Headphase’s regulars but he has also played at smaller gigs such as Dansville, Space Bar (on Long Street) and Cold Turkey. Out of the many gigs Headphase has played, his first gig ever at the Fez has been his favourite so far. “I was kind of lucky to get the booking because Tommy Gun cancelled like three days before the event so they needed someone to slot in,” Headphase says. “I played at like 2 or 3a.m. so it was really late and it was straight after Pascal and Pearce. I was really nervous but as a started playing, everything went right and I was really happy. Pascal and Pearce themselves were in the crowd, jamming, and that made me so stoked.”

So where will we be seeing this artist again in the near or distant future? “For the next year or so, I’ll keep at it, not going out of my way; just try to find the balance between academics and DJing,” he says. “I want to get into my own production obviously, make my own music and hopefully after university, once I’ve got a degree, maybe I’ll take a year or two to take it seriously and see if it develops into something big and if not, then I’ll still have a degree to go into.”

We can only hope that in a few years’ time we will be seeing Headphase headlining huge shows and not Timothy Mitchell behind a desk, handling our financials.