Chit Chat With . . .
Humble, a word underrated now-a-days, but this gentleman oozes humbleness from his core. He knows his music and never fails to get the crowd going. One who plays a diverse genre of music from Afrobeats, to 80s, 90s, 00s music, to bollywood to electro and techno. His dedication, professionalism and punctuality set a high bar for others in his profession. This month our Chit Chat is with Deejay SKILLZ, who talk about the profession, morning routine, winding down, and living the dream.
Tell us a bit about yourself, who is DJ Skillz?
My name is John Kitenge, a corporate DJ and professional entertainer, currently working with s five 8 bar & restaurant in Mombasa, I also have a guest DJ contract in Nairobi called stake out b, basically I’m a freelance DJ
How did you come about choosing your DJ name “Skillz”?
it originated from the old school song called “I wish” by Skee-lo, it was my favourite tune and as I played basketball, I had that wish to be a little bit taller.
How long have you been a DJ for?
I have been Deejaying for the last sixteen years having gone through Homeboyz DJ academy school for two years
Who/what inspired you to be a DJ?
I was inspired by DJ Pinye and DJ Sally B
What style of music do you play?
I’m an all-rounder DJ however, I have an expertise in old school, R&B and soul
Who is your all-time favourite musician and what is your all-time favourite song?
Usher Raymond leads the list
Describe your feelings when you are performing at a gig.
I’m usually on cloud nine, fully in tune with the music and the crowd
What advice would you give to an upcoming DJ?
Be yourself and understand their music
How do you handle multiple requests?
To avoid client disappointments, I do my best to balance the requests
How do you get the crowd pumped?
By observing the crowd and understanding my playlist for the night/theme
Do you have a morning routine to set you for the day?
Yes I do… first I pray, drink some warm lemon water, then hit the road to the field for a 5km run followed by a workout, the whole exercise takes 1 hour from 6am to 7am.
What’s your go-to way of winding down after a long day?
I play basketball
What do you like the most about being a DJ?
I love Deejaying and the music
What do you dislike the most about being a DJ?
The cliché that people have that Deejays are not professionals/it’s not a profession
What is the one word that you want people to associate you with?
How has the pandemic affected you?
There was complete lack of work due to the lock down and Covid restrictions
How do you contribute to the community?
I do CSR – we visit different children’s home and the elderly 3 times a year
If you were not a DJ, what would you be doing?
I would be in the army
How can people contact you?
My email is email@example.com
Photos by Harman Singh Heer
"All the events we held hold a special place in our hearts for each one had its own unique purpose. Please don't make us to choose! Haha!"
"The first book that really changed my life was “Wishes Fulfilled” by Dr. Wayne Dyer, it was simple to read and a catalyst that changed my perspective on working on myself, releasing the dead weight of drama and letting go."
"There are many words that I can think of. If I had to pick just one, it would be Nurturing I think."
"Don’t be afraid to do what you love and what you are passionate about just because certain people or society puts you down for it. Ultimately you want to be happy so do what makes you happy."
"If we define spirituality as a way of life, an alignment with virtues and our true nature, then pranic healing is greatly beneficial. "
"I do not see my Christianity as a religion but my relationship with God who is the creator."
"It sounds like a cliché but touching and changing lives. I recently received an email from a young suicidal man, who told me how much my piece had helped him that day."
"My mother, just like most African parents would ask me what I wanted to be and I would shout a singer. However, in an African household, you have only the choice of becoming a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer."
"Tottenham Hotspur, I am a season ticket holder. I miss going to the matches. I was one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to the Arsenal match when they only allowed 2000 fans in the stadium during the pandemic."