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DJS REVEALED: DJ KACE THE AFRICAN MZUNGU



So how did it all begin?
I’m not quite sure how to pinpoint the exact time it started. I was always into music and used to make little radio recorded mixtapes when I was younger, then in high school I kind of just found myself choosing tunes at parties but that was just because I wanted to hear some songs or felt I knew what guys wanted. I think in my senior year is when I picked up DJ software and kind of just messed around on my laptop, then in uni I bought a controller and did I as a hobby for like 3 years. From there it just evolved and I realized that I have what it takes to make this a profession and become really successful.

Where did the name come from?
The name Kace was originally derived from my Xbox Live gamer tag, which was TheKingAce. I wanted to combine King Ace and it kind of just stuck because I needed a name, but since then guys have morphed it and interpreted it as the “Kenyan Ace” or things like that.

What gave you that initial push?
I think I was always going to be in entertainment in music somehow because of my affiliations and love the art of it all, but the realization that I could become a DJ was thanks to my elder brother who introduced me to mixing and basically planted the seed in my mind that hey, this is something you can do.

Tell us about your current DJ / Production setup? What Hardware /  Software do you use?
Currently I have the XDJ-R1 and I run it with VDJ8.

Who’s do you think is the current no 1 dj in kenya?
That’s a tough one. I think in Kenya we have the best selection of DJs in Africa and I think most club DJs in Kenya could hold their own in almost any club around the world. In terms of the best in Kenya I would have to say Joe Mfalme because he’s everywhere in terms of relevance and he’s also very technically good at mixing.

Where have you performed in kenya?
Inside Nairobi I’ve basically been everywhere man, outside Nairobi I’ve performed in Macha, Mombasa, and Naivasha so far.



What was the first event you ever played at?
I think the first event I played in Kenya was Extravadance at Ichonic. Truth be told it wasn’t the best organized event and I was given a terrible set time, but when you’re on the come up man you’ll take what you can get to get that exposure and some playing time.

What’s the best event you’ve played at?
There’s been a few, can’t really single out one. I think Hakuna Matata in Migaa was one of them because of the massive response I got from both my sets that night, guys really loved it. For me a great gig is all in the energy that I get from the crowd. Sundance for new year’s is also on there because of that and because it was that gig I had spent the whole year working towards. Last but definitely not least was my set for the Las Vegas 7’s afterparty because people just lost it when they saw a mzungu DJ dropping heavy local, dancehall, and hiphop tunes.

What was your first record you bought?
The Marshall Mathers LP

Out of all the tracks in your crate, which one never fails?
Man that’s a tough one…it would have to be broken down to what genre or what audience am I playing for? Or even what mood I’m in…Just off the top of my head though, one of those tracks that never gets old and always has people moving is Bob Marley’s Iron Lion Zion. I always try drop that in my high energy sets.

What’s you favorite track / record / album / mix set of all time?
Again, it all depends on the mood I’m in and the genre of music we are talking about, because it’s always changing. I listen to so much different music it’s impossible to pick a favorite or number one.

When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
If I’m not playing at a gig or having all sorts of meetings – because trust me, there’s a hell of a lot more to a DJs work than showing up at a gig and playing – I Like to watch shows or play some Xbox. I’m a beast at Halo and Fifa so those two take up quite a bit of my down time.

So how is the kenyan djing scene in your eyes at the moment?
I know a lot of guys complain that the market is oversaturated with DJs, but honestly that’s the type of competition that makes Kenyan DJs some of the best. The caliber is much higher here because of it. I don’t really like to focus on what others do as well, I’m here trying to put my name out on every major event, I don’t have time to worry what others are doing you know?

What’s is your real name  and how old are you?
Kevin Amani van Dijck, 23

What do you think about digital DJ setups like Serato, Traktor, Ableton? Do you use them?
This is a debate that I feel a lot of guys need to get over. My opinion is whatever gets people moving and whatever works for you is the direction you should go in, be it turn tables, cdjs or a controller. I can respect turntablists for the art they have perfected without software because hey, that’s seriously tough to master. However, being a digitalized DJ gives you so many advantages like speed and precision that simply wasn’t possible before. I personally use VDJ8, which I know has a lot of negative stigma because everyone can download VDJ7 and it’s seen as unprofessional because there’s a sync button. See a lot of guys think you just hold it in and the element of pitch bending is totally removed, which from my experience just simply isn’t true. If I have a 1hr set to kill it, I want to play as much high energy music as possible and a lot of these tunes have varying bpm’s. A tune could be on for like 30 seconds, instead of wasting my time with the pitch slider and trying to match up a 98.4 track to a 102 track for example, I could click the sync button to match up the bpm’s before I even press play. That doesn’t mean I don’t know how to listen and match up tracks, it just saves me a few seconds and once I click play, I’m still pitch bending and matching up the tracks. As I said before, it’s about how you use it and for me a digital platform just facilitates faster mixing. The only software I have an issue with is these lazy DJs who use Ableton/Acid Pro to put up mixes. Make no mistake, there is zero mixing involved in making a mix on Ableton/Acid Pro, and yet DJs who use it when making mixes and that use Serato in clubs still give shit to VDJ users. It’s hypocritical, especially since in my opinion VDJ8 is on par if not better than Serato when it comes to mixing.

Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
I can’t remember a specific thing right now, though dealing with some drunk individuals is always entertaining.

Other DJs you rate?
Just off the top my head I can name Raj el Rey, Beng Beng, Jack Rooster, Crème, Kriss Darlin, Dj Moh, and Adrian.

What genre do you play?
Everything and anything, as long as it make people move.

What advice would you give to up and coming DJs?
Work on advancing your technical skills is something every upcoming DJ has already been told, but I feel what is just as important and something that is hardly stressed enough is the need to go out there and network. You can be the best DJ in Kenya in your bedroom but who’s going to know that if you don’t go out there and meet the right people? You need to make yourself know, DJing us just one aspect of our profession, you need to put in the hours of husting and chasing to make sure that you’ll be getting gigs.

If you could stage a rave anywhere, where would you choose?
I can’t go giving away my ideas haha, don’t worry you’ll get to see soon enough.

How do you see the scene 5 years from now?
I think we are going to see a lot more clubs coming up in various areas and I think our festival and big event scene is going to continue to grow. I think as Kenyans get more used to spending on big events, we might get to see a lot more big name artists coming into the country within the next few years, and I also think that the competition in the local industry in terms of DJs is only going to get more competitive. I also think that within the next 5 years we will hopefully as a nation produced our own unique sound that can stand its ground against the South Africans and the Nigerians.

whats with the alias "african mzungu"?
Most of the time when people see me DJ for the first time they expect to hear house music or some EDM. Guys are always shocked to see me play local tunes, Lingala, aforbeats, dancehall, hiphop etc. I always get those comments of “you don’t play like a mzungu” and “are you really white?” You see I was born and raised in Kenya, so culturally I feel I identify more with Kenyans and Africans more than anyone else and that comes out in my mixing style and the music I play. Hence the nickname The African Mzungu.

Biggest challenge you face as a dj in kenya?
I think the biggest challenge facing most DJs like myself is making sure we deal with serious people, because there are a lot of shady promoters and organizers out there that tell you one thing and do another. You have to remain professional at all costs, yet some guys just throw professionalism out the window.

Where do you source your music from?
All over the place, other DJs, I get sent a lot of music from all over, I also get a lot of stuff from all over the net.

Any shouts you would like to make?
Massive shout out to Sarakari Trust, Crescent 360, Club Life Kenya, Dohty Family, Kenya Nights, 6:AM, Epic Nation, Takeover DJs, Supremecy Sounds, Nairobi Hip Hop Rapsody, and all the fans out there who have helped me reach where I am today



Dj Kace of one of the fastest rising djs in Kenya. You can listen to his mixes HERE. Click HERE for more info.

Follow him on twitter @DeeJayKace
Bookings: 0787540599 or info@deejaykace.co.ke


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    I just love everything about him..my inspiration #AfricanMuzungu

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