The transition from a Dj to a music producer is a tested and proven formula world over and it’s finally settling in the 254. We have seen the likes of Dj Premier, Dre, Khaled, Drama, Snake Mustard take the huge leap and turn out to be a success story.
The ripple effect is in Africa over from Johannesburg to Lagos but today let us keep it in the 254. Towards the end of last year, Dj Crème and Zj Heno had some singles getting massive spins on local radio and in the clubs. I sought to know if it’s a new direction 254 is headed. Keep in mind, our DJs have ultimate respect world over when it comes to skills and the art of Djing.
Dj Crème De La Crème
A maestro who has been on the scene from 2006, he has forged a name for himself rocking parties home and abroad. Been on radio and TV and constantly on the spotlight, he felt he had one more hat to wear. He got into music production as a way to get off his comfort zone and challenge himself. When he ventured into the music production sphere, his first track was with Wahu and Sudi Boy.
As he learned the ropes of the business, the reception surprised him. “My work with Wahu and Sudi got over 200k YouTube views and it elevated my motivation as it was something I did not expect to blow over”. Asked him if this idea can work in the 254, “Kenyans take the sweet time to embrace change, but I think my duty as a Dj is to lead the way. Believe we are headed somewhere and I’m proud to be on the lead”. He has a new single out now featuring Redsan and Victoria Kimani and it is a bonafide hit. With 4 tracks under his belt, he feels that 254 music scene is ready to take off.
Heno’s name is synonymous with reggae music and the dude has anchored himself as the go-to man when anything Caribbean is mentioned. Cutting his teeth as a Dj in 2010, he has been on radio and grown exponentially. He began his music production route in 2013 when he put out “Passionate Riddim” which features Jamaican stars like Chronixx, Di Genius, Daville, and much more. His other project, Compatible riddim featured more stars as Cecile, D-Major, Natural black saying the least, international acts. You have to applaud him for getting such names to voice and do the actual music business with.
Kenya is a solid market for reggae music and Heno discovered that early enough and began his legwork. With over 6 international projects, he is now settled and ready to work with 254 acts. He recently worked with Kayvo Kayforce, Khaligraph, and Lon-Jon on the ‘Iz you Down”. He’s also worked with Shamir, Shukid, Wyre, HopeKid, Heart The band and I think he holds the number one spot for the biggest catalog among Dj productions. When I asked him about working with 254 acts,” some acts are hard to work with because they do not understand your vision and it is still new to them, I mean, how can a Dj feature me on a record.”
A seasoned Dj and who has had a long and active successful career has crossed over to production for a hot minute. He had a banging single “Doing it right” featuring Nessa, Petra, Jay A and Calvo Mistari and a full album titled “The Future is Here”. The hip hop album features beats from various producers and an array of Kenyan artists. Enruff envisioned the project as a bold step into having making music a revenue stream so he was passionate about selling it across international platforms like iTunes.
Other DJs like Protégé, Joe, Andie, Finalkut who have featured on projects seem to be interested in the line of producing music. Keep in mind that DJs are diligent marketers and the overall goal for music is to reach a wider audience so an artist is better off aligning his efforts to one Dj.
I view this as a step in the right direction for the 254 music scene, both talent and business side. Hope 2017 we shall have more names on this trend.