It has always been said that music is the language of feeling and of passion, as words are the language of reason. Well, it was a music beat day when we met JKUAT finest DJ who has managed to bag two awards consecutively at the JKUSA awards that were held in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Dj. Bra a.k.a Brian Mawira is a student pursuing a Bachelor degree in Mass Communication gave the following responses to the questions that we paused at him;
QN: Kindly describe yourself…
Dj. Bra is a young passionate Dj and a JKUAT final year student pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communication.
QN: When did you start deejaying?
I started deejaying two years ago.
QN: How did you discover you could be a Disc Jockey?
I do love music and my passion to be a Dj developed basically when I was high school especially when I attended High School funkiez.
QN: Where did you train to be a Disc Jockey?
Am a self-made DJ. When I joined campus, I did download YouTube tutorials and practised and I was able to improve my deejaying skills.
QN: Which events have you showcased your deejaying skills?
I have done most events on JKUAT main campus and also at Kenyatta University where I did deejay at their Culture Week event. I come from Meru where I have also showcased my skills there.
QN: Currently, where are you deejaying?
I do my deejaying at Marbles Club at Highpoint that is located along the Thika Super High Way.
QN: Are you paid for these events you deejay?
Yes. When I started I did out of passion but currently, being paid.
QN: Which genre of music do you fuse?
Being a club deejay I do all genre of music i.e. both gospel and secular music but I would love to major in African Music.
QN: Many local artists complain that the DJ’s do not play their music and majority play music from the western world. What’s your take on that?
I would say it’s not true. The content of the music that our local artists are producing makes their music not to sail through. I would advise them to record music that has good soundtrack and ensure they have content.
QN: Who is your role model currently in the industry and why?
DJ Joe Mfalme and DJ Kalonje. DJ Kalonje inspires me for he has managed to capture a large audience with his music and he entertains many people.
DJ. Joe Mfalme encourages me because he is more into the business and he does his deejaying full time. He has changed the traditional view of DJ’s where people had a negative view and attitudes towards DJ’s.
QN: Have you encountered any challenges in your journey of deejaying?
The beginning is always a challenge to everybody but for me at least my sister supported me in purchasing the deejaying equipment.
Also getting gigs especially when you are trying to promote yourself to different clients some people tend to question the cost you’ve requested and they don’t see the worth of your cost which you have requested to pay for instance someone can ask you, “ Such a cost for just playing music?
Sometimes when am walking people tend to gaze at me awkwardly as if I have done something wrong. People expect you to eat at specific places and even when you live your normal life they expect you to be living kind of differently.
QN: What differentiates you from other DJ’s?
The main thing that makes me stand out is that I play music to entertain the people. Some DJ’s entertain themselves only through the music that they play and leave the crowd not engaged.
QN: How will you know the crowd is overwhelmed by the music you are playing?
As I play a track I always gaze and read the mood of the audience and the environment.
QN: You mentioned about winning JKUSA Awards two years consecutively in 2016 and 2017. Did you strain in campaigning to be voted in as the best DJ of the year 2016 and 2017?
(Sighs) No, I did not strain. After being nominated I shared the info online and actually many people voted for me as a result of experiencing my work and performances within the JKUAT family.
QN: Do the awards come along with money?
(Bursts into laughter) Yes, but not that much just an appreciation.
QN: Have you ever found yourself at a crossroad in your life where you either have to choose to pursue your career or focus on deejaying?
Yes. Actually, when I was doing my attachment at a radio station, I wanted to concentrate on Mass Communication and drop the deejaying career but through the advice, I decided I will do them both. I would love to specialize in Deejaying when I move out of JKUAT.
QN: What advice would you give a person who would love to pursue deejaying?
Deejaying isn’t easy but if you have passion you’ll be successful.
QN: What advice would you give those who are crossroads between schooling and deejaying?
I would advise them to pursue both career and any other talents they have at the same time since you can’t be a deejay forever, you still need your papers at some time.
QN: What’s your view on the Kenyan music?
The content is not that appealing because most music is not longer living. Their content doesn’t stay in the music scene for long.
QN: Currently in the Music industry, whose content is more appealing?
Otile Brown, the coastal sensational musician has good music. Nyashinski music is good and even in ten years most of his songs will be still relevant.
QN: The songs that you say lack content are always a hit in our music industry and they are played often in our TV’s. What’s your view on that?
The reason behind this is because a majority of the Kenyan population is made up of the youth. The youth love to listen to those songs that lack content and as a result, they are played often.
QN: There are musicians who have done music as a career while we have also those who have been successful despite not going to school. What’s your take on that?
I’ll advise them to get education those who haven’t since one can’t sing forever and also for you to be successful you need to learn new ways of venturing into new ideas that require education.
QN: How much does a set of deejaying equipment cost?
One needs a laptop and a controller that could cost them at least Ksh. 50,000.
QN: What’s the procedure that a beginner needs to follow when he or she wants to train himself/herself through online deejaying tutorials’?
They need to purchase virtual DJ software online and install on their laptops and train themselves.
QN: What’s your interaction with other deejays?
I have interacted with other deejays and I have listened to most of their music and that has made me try to do a different thing in the industry.
QN: Deejaying is viewed as piracy. What’s your view on that?
I agree but currently, we are paying for licenses to play music and the money is paid to the Music Copyrights of Kenya and the money goes to the musicians that we use their music.
The positive side with piracy is that it promotes the musicians to the people.
QN: What advice would you give deejays that do not have gigs?
One needs to be hardworking. I would encourage them to go out and promote himself/herself and you never know opportunities will open up.
QN: Which deejaying schools would you recommend a person?
Deejaying schools are good but I wouldn’t recommend people. I would recommend them to download tutorials from YouTube and purchase equipment. They can do training on their own which isn’t complicated. Deejaying schools do not give the trainee a platform.
QN: What have been up to?
I have been distributing my music mixes on the streets of Juja, Thika and my next mission is to distribute in Ngong. I am distributing them in matatus, music shops etc.
QN: Are you grooming anyone in deejaying?
Yes, I have been doing that and will continue to do so. When I gained the platform, I trained a friend who currently is playing in Uganda after he graduated.
QN: Are you in a relationship?
(Sighs) Yes. Am dating.
QN: As a club DJ, alcohol is sold in clubs. Do you consume alcohol?
No. I do not drink.
QN: How can people reach you in case they want to invite you to their events?
They can access me through social media- @DJBra or through email- firstname.lastname@example.org
QN: Parting Shot, please…
I would like to take this opportunity to thank JKUAT family for their love and acceptance.
Being a DJ with two awards isn’t easy but I promise to make JKUAT proud out there.