Q+A: 5 minutes with Dino Moran

A pioneer in the House and Techno space in Africa, homegrown DJ Dino Moran prepares to perform where it all began. In 2023, Dino will take to the decks to give the audience a musical experience that he perfected through 25 years of delivering set after set of dance-ready house tunes at renowned venues around the globe. That is, the culture-defining DJ will be performing at THE PLAYGROUND’s debut music festival, TIMELESS, in South Africa.

Purchase tickets for the Timeless Festival here or find out more about the event here

To call Dino well-travelled is an understatement. He has performed in 48 countries, opened New York Fashion Week with Vogue cover model and singer Grace Jones, received an invitation to perform with Alicia Keys at The Back Ball in London, and toured 18 countries for his House of the Holy Afro Tribal Techno Theater Show. The world is Dino’s oyster. Equally as comfortable on home soil, Dino gave us insight into his origins and what is yet to come:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I have no choice… I am a hyper-excitable “down-the-rabbit-hole” creative visionary who follows his heart, and it’s always towards ART and the future.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

The Idea.

What’s on your current playlist?

Impossible question…Which playlist? What time of the day? Where are we? What’s the weather like?

I hunt and catalogue music obsessively, downloading around 600 tracks a month in many genres and subgenres. 

I love everything from World Music & Dub through all styles of House, Techno, and Electronica all the way to Drum n Bass. Mostly my taste is Futuristic, Black, Tribal, and Ethnic.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

It’s a beautiful dance! I make sure we have many carefully curated folders of new, incredible music that can take us anywhere, and the audience’s response decides our destination and journey.

How are you prepping for your set at TIMELESS fest?

As I play sets every week, I am always prepared, but no doubt in the 2 sleepless weeks before, I will be searching obsessively for every possible new release, making edits and bootlegs specifically for my set at Timeless.

Which of your songs should festival-goers put on their ‘TIMELESS’ playlist?

Khaya – Cheza. I released it on Defected in 2001. It was one of the earliest progressive African House tracks and is still ahead of the trend today.

With so many exciting acts performing at TIMELESS Festival, who are you most excited to see?

Very difficult question… Honestly, I am equally as excited to see Royksopp, Booka Shade, Sebastien Leger, Parra For Cuva, and Deep Forest…

Imagine you’re a festival goer. Do you rough it in a tent or glamp in luxury?

With a lineup like this.. who is sleeping? Sometimes I just sleep in my SUV or under a tree.

What one thing MUST you absolutely have with you on stage?

My Flash Drives.

Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

I have been developing a new style of Minimal Progressive Tribalism. It’s a conceptual sound that incorporates primal drums, uplifting African and World Music with bouncy electronic pulsating bass lines, and a wide-open futuristic edgy audio landscape.

Famous last words?

I am just gonna chill.

Listen to his Tales From The Motherland 2022 mix below:


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Image credit: MIGAL VANAS Photography