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SNAPPY 7 – DJ Rickie Mfalme: Bring back the old deejaying competition

Erick Maina, better known as DJ Rickie, was the last winner of the biggest deejaying competition in Kenya before the East African Breweries Limited-sponsored event was discontinued. He spoke to Nairobi News about what he has been up to since then.

1. Growing up – I was born in Nakuru but we moved a lot because my father was a policeman. So I’ve lived in several towns in Kenya. I studied at Chania High School before joining Nairobi Institute of Business Studies where I studied Mass Communication.

2. Why Deejaying – I always wanted to entertain people but I never had the talent to sing. While in high school, I used to admire the DJs who played in jam sessions. I once attended a concert where DJ John of Homeboyz was playing and seeing how he thrilled the crowd was what encouraged me to pursue a career as a DJ. My mum wasn’t so happy when I told her I wanted to be a DJ. She told me to finish school first, but she has been supportive of my career choice so far.

3. What has changed since you won Pilsner Mfalme – I actually participated in the first edition of Pilsner Mfalme but lost in the final which was won by DJ Krowbar. After that I was hesitant to enter the following year but my friends persuaded me to participate so I decided to give it a shot again in 2011. Winning the competition opened doors for me because now I have gigs all over town and I also work for a radio station as the music director.

4. Are you married – Not yet but I have a three year old son called Arrick.

5. Style – I love to wear shirts but I’m not a big fun of t-shirts. I also love African wear especially those with prints on them. I can wear anything that looks good.

6. What’s your genre and your take on Kenyan music – I love African music. I can play anything but there is something about the African beats that just keeps you moving. I believe we can still do better but it needs more creativity. Sauti Sol is pushing the envelope and I believe other musicians can emulate them.

7. Advice to upcoming DJs – You need to know who your target is because you cannot play everything. Skills, attitude and how you package yourself are also important. A good DJ must be able to read the crowd and keep them happy.