While mere relevance is old news and dominance is the flavour of the day, Patrick Visser keeps on climbing the ranks of Cape Town’s influencer elite. From the nostalgia-fueled Strictly 2000’s and the unmatched energy of Night Show to bringing your favourite international acts to an expertly curated event, the passion and authenticity of brand Patrick has made him the Cape town cultural innovator he is today.
Words: Tshiamo Seape
Hey Patrick. So, tell us how your journey started – what kind of parties were you going to when you were a teenager?
When I was a teenager I frequented a lot of house parties organised by friends as well as music festivals and concerts. I liked intimate gigs – Durbanville Kunskafee, especially, has a special place in my heart.
Is there something specific about that time that made you want to become a DJ?
I don’t think I’ve ever really had an urge to be a DJ and I don’t really consider myself a DJ per se. I do enjoy playing music and seeing people have a fun time to the music I’m playing.
In the parties you throw now, are you trying to recreate a feeling from your early years?
Strictly 2000’s (a party dedicated to all things 2000’s) specifically has an element of that, although I’ve never intentionally tried to recreate any specific feeling or time. Nostalgia will always be there whether intentional or not.
Patrick Visser has had a huge influence on me; I think he is a genius and has made something incredible. He dominates the local partying scene, which is a very big deal. People in the creative space don’t really pay enough attention to party culture as a thing. But, for me, if you have a party culture by the balls I don’t think you understand how influential that is. Probably some of the most important conversations I’ve ever had were at his parties.”
Photographer, Dune Tilley
For years, YOH! – your first venture, was a fixture in the Cape Town party scene – why did you decide to change the brand given its success?
I had done YOH! for about 5 years and for the last year of it, I was very much thinking of starting something fresh that represents where I’m at now in life as opposed to 5 years ago. YOH! had its time and it felt like it was time to start the next venture.
Assembly was kind of a mecca for Cape Town youth culture. What made that space so special and what do you think the legacy of that place is today?
I think The Assembly very much started out and was the premier live venue in Cape Town for groundbreaking, underground music. There was nothing else like it for a long time and I think a lot of people gravitated towards that. People wanted to feel part of something bigger where they could fit in.
Any other venues you have fond memories off, even those that are still around? What makes them so special?
I like DIY spaces that may not necessarily be a traditional event space but that gets converted into it. I find that way more interesting and special than your stock standard event spaces although those obviously also have a very important place. Spaces that for various reasons come to mind include Pammi’s house in Gardens where we hosted Olugbenga at the end of last year as well as the Biblo.TV launch party.
Durbanville Kunskafee (this place was tiny but it’s to this day one of the best live experiences I’ve had with some of my favourite bands during my youth), Aandklas (I used to go here on my own just to watch bands), The Pit, The Assembly (obviously), EVOL back in the day and then every single impromptu house party/garage party/backyard party I’ve attended.
How would you define the unique elements of Cape Town’s nightlife?
A melting pot of creativity, cultures, ideas, interests, sounds and ultimately people.
Your new venture (along with business partner Joni Blud) is OH OK. For those who aren’t familiar: what is it and how does the ethos of this new iteration differ from what came before?
OH OK specializes in clothing and events. We also hope to branch out into other avenues in future. We had our brand launch at the Castle of Good Hope a few months ago and it featured some of our favourite local musicians as well as LA beat maker, Samiyam. We launched the clothing label (and current primary focus) at Joe Soap Laundromat in town about two months ago where we had a pop-up shop and a screening at the Labia afterwards. Everything we do we create from concept to execution in-house and we pride ourselves on sincerity and quality.
The brand has a very distinct colour palette and aesthetic. Take us through the conceptualization of the project?
We knew for our initial collection that we wanted to create simple basic, signature pieces with a distinct colour palette tying it all together. Black and white made sense and we chose orange as the primary colour to tie the collection together as orange was a colour that we were very much into at the time. This will change as we move forward.
As an influencer yourself, what does having influence mean to you?
I’ve never considered myself an ‘influencer’ per se and I feel like it can be a bit of a buzzword in a time where social media carries a lot of importance whether good or bad. In the context as to what this means for me personally, I feel like the sharing of information and helping others is important and it’s something I try to achieve as much as possible in my personal capacity.
Growing up in Cape Town, how has the party scene changed in the years since you started?
I started doing events about 5 years ago and since then I think a lot has changed, primarily in the last year, mainly due to the fact that there has been a social and political awakening amongst the youth as well as the fact that primary live music venues have shut down. This has allowed for a lot of fresh, rejuvenated thinking which I see as quite positive. Prior to this, Cape Town seemed to be going through a bit of a stale patch.
Patrick is wildly determined to create something in Cape Town that’s new and unique…his work ethic is second to none and he knows that good things come to those who work and work their hardest
DJ and business partner, Joni Blud
What would you like to see changed about the Cape Town scene, if anything?
More collaboration although I think this is starting to happen slowly but surely. And sharing of information.
Take us through your ideal weekend. From Friday to Sunday, what are your favourite spots you like to hit up?
My ideal weekend would consist of one with no plans. I’ve been busy with things almost every weekend this year. I’ve really enjoyed watching football with mates at pubs lately, haha. Here’s looking at you, Surely Footy.
What are your plans for expanding OH OK beyond Cape Town?
We have been fortunate to have quite a few online sales overseas via our online store. A lot of this is due to our recent feature in Highsnobiety, shoutout to them. We’d like to expand by growing the name of our brand globally and I’m having a few meetings in London soon, so we’ll see where that goes.
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