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International DJ of the Month – Barney Simon – February 2017


Barney aka “The Skin” Simon started his career as a Radio engineer to DJ Keith Lindsay on the Saturday Shadow Show which was broadcast on the South African national station Radio 5 now known as 5FM.

Barney soon worked himself into a position where he was co-hosting the show as one half of the “Terrible Twins”, ultimately rising above his other half and re-inventing the show as The Powerhaus.

His late night Radio show became essential listening for all SA rock, Indie and alternative music fans.

His love of all things alternative meant that South Africans were now being broadly exposed to the UK indie scene with bands like The Fall, Fields Of The Nephilim, Bauhaus, The Smiths, The Cure, Billy Idol and many more..

Barney Simon ( real name Barend Saayman ) also embraced the local rock scene in South Africa, championing such early local luminaries as Dog Detachment and No Friends Of Harry as well as a generation of SA bands and artists thereafter. As an ardent supporter of local talent and the single most influential SA rock DJ of the last two decades, Barney Simon could almost be considered South Africa’s version of the late great John Peel.

Additionally, Mr. Simon keeps himself busy with things like voice-overs for TV and radio, DJ/MCing at clubs, festivals and concerts, writing articles for music mags, training Radio DJs, and producing music inserts for Radio.

Barney Simon not only championed alternative rock and pop on SA’s 5fm Radio (then Radio Five) in his late night show, he also played songs that weren’t on the Top 40 playlists, and opposed the conservative prevailing culture in South Africa.

When 5fm went American and Urban and ended Barney Simon’s contract, he didn’t retire or start a pub band. Instead, he toured South Africa, taking on many more live gigs. He also started DJing on Tuks FM. We spoke to Barney about life since escaping the halls of the SABC, SA rock music, his heroes and his hopes for the future.

Barney Simon is still a big Radio personality in South Africa and hosts a show on Jacaranda FM in South Africa.

Read an interview with Barney Simon here

Check him out on Twitter