PULSE MCM: DJ LL On Life As A Kampala Deejay

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If you have been to Legends bar on a Saturday night, then this man Eric Okanya isn’t an odder to you for his soothing mixes on a weekend. Born and raised in Kibuli a suburb in Kampala, Eric Okanya alias DJ LL started his education journey from Kibuli Nursery school, to Kawuku Primary School then to Kyambogo college for his secondary level, he would later join Makerere University Business School (MUBS) for his Bachelors in Business Administration.

As a graduate with a Degree in Business Administration, why would one opt for a career as a Deejay? That’s the unreciprocated question that kept running in my mind and I had to find out “why?”

Sitting near his DJ booth at around 1700hrs on a calm Saturday evening, the interview started.

“Is being a Deejay something you do with passion as your formal job or it’s a side hustle?” I asked.

(Smiles) “It’s my profession because of the passion I have for music” He said. While growing up, I loved seeing a smile and a cheerful mood on people’s face and I found out that it’s through music I can do this. So being a deejay, it’s a job that i love, a job that takes away my stress, a job that i give all because deep down, I adore it and love my job.

When did the world welcome you as a Deejay?

I started in the year 2009 at a bar called Hooters later moved to virgin island in Bugolobi from where I joined club Amnesia and Galaxy FM, now I’m also working with Urban TV every Thursday on #Skizzy from 6-7pm and some of the best top bars and clubs around Kampala like Legends, Fame Lounge, wave lounge and many others.

Is DJ LL signed under any label?

No, I’m not signed to any label as of now, but i have a manager Afrah Aka Afie Af who has managed my talent over a year now and books my gigs, allocates deals and does my PRO, promotions, advises on career decisions as well as establishing a professional relationships with people .I’m glad she is on my team.

MTNPulse had earlier this year on 2nd May interviewed his Manager Afrah. Missed it?  Read story here (https://pulse.mtn.co.ug/wcw-meet-afrah-karama-talented-tv-host-talent-manager-and-administrator )

As a Deejay, what is your favorite genre of music?

To be honest, good music is good music no matter the genre. As a deejay who covers all sorts of music genres, if a song is good and well received by the audience then it’s my taste.

When playing at event, how do you relate with the audience?

Now that’s when the real talent kicks in because in order for me to relate with the crowd, first of all i must understand it and that’s where the aspect of “Crowd Reading” also kicks in so i look at the type of crowd I’m playing for at an event, then estimate their age range. After that, I automatically decide on the type of music that gets them grooving.

What Challenges has DJ LL found in this industry?

One of the main challenge is when I was just coming up as a deejay, Nobody wanted to give me a platform to express my talent, most of the bar owners, event organizers, radio and TV owners weren’t so sure about me.

Then another challenge is playing for a crowd that isn’t dancing or grooving to your mixes. Playing for a crowd that isn’t dancing demotivates you because at the end of the day, deejays are always paid to entertain the crowds.

How do you handle such a situation where people are not dancing?

I usually use the power of a microphone, to communicate to the crowd, engage and make sure they dance by changing the music and have a good time.

Any Kind words to your fans most especially Pulsers?

Yes sure, they should always pray to God. Always work hard to achieve their dreams because in this world there is nothing that is impossible as long as you pray about it and also work hard for it. Finally, everyone should learn to be patient in life.

 

Like any other luminary, DJ LL can be found on all Social Media channels as; @deejayLL and you can listen to his mix tapes online via mixcould