As far as South African drummers are concerned, there are few who can compete with Jason Oosthuizen’s incredible skill and expansive CV. Jason started drumming at the age of four and is a deeply passionate and committed musician, but also understands what it takes to make a successful living as an artist in South Africa. 

Jason has served as a drummer for some of South Africa’s most successful bands, including One Day Remains, who wrote the theme song for the rugby tri-nations entitled ‘Never say die’. He has recorded two albums with the Van Coke Kartel and has worked with some of the biggest names in South African music including Jack Parow, Fokofpolisiekar, The Black Cat Bones, The Narrow and Die Heuwels Fantasties, among others.

In 2018, Jason stepped out from behind his drum-kit and took the frontman position for his own band, Oooth. He has successfully launched a range of enterprises around the brand, including a clothing line, boutique coffee, fine wine and, most importantly, music. In addition to Oooth, Jason has established seven tribute bands, including Guns ‘n Roses & Friends Tribute, Led Zeppelin Tribute, AC/DC vs Deep Purple Tribute and Bob Marley & Lenny Kravitz Tribute, among others. In addition, Jason has established a signature snare drum range, entitled J.O Drums, which are the first to be made on-site from start to finish in Africa, using African materials.

“We have been hugely successful with the tribute bands that we have established, and are now averaging about 200 shows a year,” Jason explains. The expansive growth of the enterprise motivated Jason to take a critical look at the technical side of the business. “In 2018, I spent an enormous sum to hire the audio and lighting equipment needed for the shows that we had booked. As there were no signs of demand slowing down, I decided that the time was right to invest in my own gear,” he explains.

Jason’s priority was to acquire the PA that he needed for the various shows that he was working on. “I started down the rabbit hole that is pro-audio in 2019 and managed to secure my first PA. While having my own sound system was a definite step in the right direction, it quickly became apparent that one system would not meet our needs and I decided to purchase a second PA shortly afterwards,” he explains.

Once Jason was satisfied that he has secured the PA inventory that he needed, he turned his attention to his lighting requirements. “As a professional band, you need to sound great to be successful, which I believe we do. However, if you don’t look good during live performances, people are not going to take you seriously,” he reflects.

“I am currently working with Neil Breytenbach of Prime Circle on a new project called Cantrel, and he mentioned that the team at DWR Distribution had been of great assistance when they decided to invest in lighting a few years ago,” Jason explains. “I decided to give DWR a call, and I couldn’t have made a better decision.”

Jason consulted with Duncan Riley from DWR about what he wanted to achieve with his lighting rig, and together with Schalk Botha and Jaco Beukes,  they came up with a procurement plan that would allow Jason to make an initial investment in a basic rig comprising Longman LED Parcans and LED bars with the view to gradually increasing his inventory to accommodate for multiple deployments when Jason has booked multiple gigs on a given night.

“One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about DWR is that because our brands are used and associated by some of the highest-profile brands in the world, we only deal with the biggest players in the market. This could not be further from the truth,” says Duncan. He goes on to say: “We pride ourselves on building relationships with our customers so that we get to know them and understand, exactly, what they need and what they can afford.”

“The moment that I walked into the DWR Offices, I realised that I was dealing with a world-class, pro organisation,” says Jason. “Based on my interaction with Duncan and the team, I feel that DWR will become a partner in my journey, rather than a simple supplier. We have had a great chat, and developed a plan where I can get what I need right now, with the view to growing my lighting inventory over the long run to be the best that it can be for what I want to spend,” he says.  

“I think that sometimes guys are too scared to approach us because they think that we are ‘too pro’, but that is not the case!” Duncan points out. “We are here for anybody in the industry who is passionate about what they do, and Jason is deeply passionate and extremely talented, and I am confident that he’s going to go a long way.

“We want our clients to get a good return on their investment and to be able to turn to us for advice, support and guidance as they grow. When it comes to customer support, we make no distinction between the company director who spends a few million or the solo artist who spends a few thousand. I see it as a privilege to be able to walk the road with our clients and share in their journeys, no matter the scale of their enterprises. I look forward to seeing Jason and his company achieve the success that they deserve,” Duncan concludes.