Dj Phineas is a young music enthusiast, he chose to speak and reach out through the art of djing. Dennis Phineas (his real name) better known as Dj Phineas is 22yrs old and a BA communication and media student at Laikipia university. He is currently signed under Lud Entertainment, a company involved in event management and other aspects of entertainment. He has several mixtapes out, both video and audio, which have been received pretty well. Featured in several top radio shows and TV programs. A dreamer, a believer in oneself and a go-getter. He spoke to Caleb Koyo about his journey so far and the huge debate about airplay. Take a look.
KOYO: What or who were your early passions or influences?
DJ PHINEAS: Growing up I listened to a lot of Kenyan music which then introduced me to DJs who were doing great at the time, the likes of Kalonji. When I got to high school I was intrigued by the art of deejaying. We had a set of DJs in school for entertainment so I picked it from there. My biggest influences got to be DJ bash, DJ Kaffi, G money, and Joe Mfalme. They gave me a reason to fight for a seat at the table. I still look up to DJ bash until date.
KOYO: Incisive moments in your artistic career?
DJ PHINEAS: Getting signed, having a team behind me is everything. I just have to focus on the skill and the rest is sorted by the team.
KOYO: What is it about djing compared to say, producing your own music that makes it interesting for you?
DJ PHINEAS: Djing is more of a conversation or interaction between the DJ and the crowd. You get to vibe with the crowd and get the feedback at the real-time unlike the production of music where you release your music to the people without that touch. But with time am planning on getting into production.
KOYO: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
DJ PHINEAS: You need to get connected to the music, so I just get to vibe with different kinds of music. I listen to music (new and old) each and every day. I carry my earphones everywhere so basically am always in touch with my music. Before getting to that set I just get to play and vibe with my music and am good to go.
KOYO: Building a real relationship with the music you’re playing for your own approach is key to some people, is it the same to Dj Phineas.
DJ PHINEAS: I get to interact with music before getting it to the masses. The first time I get to listen to music extensively. I analyze the harmonies, the melody, the message or even the instrumental. I get a personal touch with the music first. This helps me to identify the music and where they are viable.
KOYO: How hard is it to build a relationship with one music when they are like one million out here?
DJ PHINEAS: A good song is always a good song. Besides there were several records there is always that one, that stands out. Personally, I always have a few songs from time to time despite the fact that I play a lot of music.
KOYO: What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets?
DJ PHINEAS: It has to do with the environment (the setting and the people) you can’t play a sorrowful song on a birthday. Secondly, it could be due to demand, you can’t miss dropping a couple of hits always. Another factor is the quality of the record (production wise and content)
KOYO: Your take in linking local content to international content
DJ PHINEAS: Good production is key. Well done audios and videos. Then let’s push the music to every channel possible. Consistency, good content, unity. We will get there. The Nigerian’s, Tanzanian’s and South Africans worked on their industry till we noticed them let’s do the same. Let’s create our own identity. We can’t get out there while we doing the same music as them.
KOYO: Your take on the current war of words between presenters and artists regarding airplay.
DJ PHINEAS: We’re losing it as an industry, we shouldn’t be having an argument over who is not doing what. We should be discussing the way forward. Honestly its unfair for the artists to attack all presenters and DJs. Most of them are out here playing their music. There might be a few bad elements out here but don’t generalize issues. But the media personalities can do better. To the artists, don’t be too mean to appreciate the efforts of the players in the industry. Let’s ensure consistency, good content and create our own vibe too. Something that will help us stand out. Naskia kuna Kenyan artist wanafanya “bongo” music 😂😂😂 let’s unite, everyone should play their part and we will be good. Any DJ or media personality who doesn’t play good music is a sellout. Any artist who doesn’t do good music should try farming too. Let’s buy Kenya, build Kenya.
KOYO: Top three highlights of your career
DJ PHINEAS: Getting signed to Lud Entertainment, my first radio show, and TV show and the first corporate gig.
KOYO: What’s big and different this year?
DJ PHINEAS: I want to do it differently but I won’t disclose that at the time yet. I got so many plans and projects underway. I will unveil them as time goes.
KOYO: Well, thank you for your time and all the best this year.
DJ PHINEAS: Thank you Koyo and all the good people of Magazine Reel, I have followed you guys for years now. It’s a blessing!
Caleb Koyo is an award-winning radio personality and writer, a broadcast journalist, an MC from Kenya. Get in touch with him on Instagram @anchorKoyo and @MagazineReel