INTERVIEW BY Simiyu Wakajuaness
He has been cueing the playlist for two years now. Many have seen him perform live at Shenanigans Sports Bar in Bungoma town. His choice of music has received electrifying uploads from his fans. But has the humble entertainer achieved what he wants? Edwin Mandela aka DJ Fixx, spoke to wakajuaness.blogspot.com
Q: Congrats for being a DJ. What inspired you to become one?
DJ FIXX: While growing up, all I wanted was to become a Catholic Priest. Infact, am an ex seminarian alumni of St Peters Seminary Mukumu. So choosing Deejaying for a career is Something i never had in mind. So my elder siblings loved listening to Capital FM which had some of the most celebrated Djs at that time: Dj Adrian, Dj Styles, Dj Crème de la Crème, Dj FinalKut and Dj Madraxx of the Now Kansoul. I developed an interest in dee-jaying.
I proceeded to enrol for a Dj course at the Music Technology Academy (MTA) school of Deejaying affiliated to Homeboyz Entertainment Limited from where I learned the topes.
Q: Did your family support you?
DJ FIXX: Yes. Infact it’s my sister who paid for my training. This being my second year in professional Deejaying, they’ve embraced my career.
Q: That’s amazing. Who is your favourite DJ in Kenya?
DJ FIXX: It’s Capital fm’s mix masters Legendary Dj Adrian and Dj Joe Mfalme while internationally, it’s the French Dj David Guetta.
Q: How do you compare the pioneer dee jays and the current ones?
DJ FIXX: I give pioneer Djs much props because they’ve moved with time and embraced technology and still managed to maintain their originality in terms of engaging with their audience: for them is all about entertaining playing the greatest hits of all time to the latest. My generation on the other hand is more of show off how good you’re on the decks concentrating more on playing the latest jams and excess scratching like it’s a Dj battle. As much as its showbiz audience should come first.
Q: Do you have a specific genre of music that you play?
DJ FIXX: No, I juggle all genres of music unless I get a gig and my client specifies on the genre to be played.
Q: A lot of hits by Kenyan artists fade away after just a month in the airwaves. What is your take?
DJ FIXX: Too much airplay given to certain songs makes them fade away quickly. Secondly, artists tend to use the same beats on every track, making their work sound the same.
Q: You’ve been accused of not playing music by local upcoming artists within Bungoma county. Is it true?
DJ FIXX: That ain’t true. For the artists that have personally brought me their songs, I’ve played them in my gigs even at Shenanigans. Most artistes expect you to have their songs yet they havent uploaded them on any platform where I can download them making it difficult for me to have their songs. That leaves me with only one alternative – getting their songs the manual way -they bring to me.
Q: You are a resident DJ for Shenanigans Sports Bar Bungoma. Why just at Shenanigans?
DJ FIXX: Age bracket is one of them. Most revellers here are in their mid twenties and above and they resonate perfectly with my style of Deejaying. Secondly, they give you room to introduce them to different sounds both new and old. Lastly it’s a networking joint too.
Q: Fans have accused you of not being active on social media. Are they justified to claim as such?
DJ FIXX: I think it’s just that they don’t know my handles on social media platforms.
Q: How do your fans at Shenanigans Sports Bar find your music?
DJ FIXX: One word for that would be AWESOME and because of that, I’ve had some of them invite me perform at their parties and events.
Q: How many deals do you get per week and how much do you charge?
DJ FIXX: So far I’ve two in a week; the first one starts at Shenanigans every Friday then on Sundays I’ve another one with World Vision Kenya under youth department in Kakamega County.
I’ve partnered with them to tour Schools within Kakamega County both Secondary and higher institutions of learning to educate them on Drug Abuse, Sex and elections being around the corner we address that too. My role there is to provide entertainment for as you know youth and music go hand in hand.
Soon I’ll be having three events in a week. I’m in talks with an entertainment company called Money Afrika. They’re planning to have a comedy night in Bungoma called KINGS AND QUEENS every month. I was approached to be the official Dj of the show.
DJ FIXX: We’ve quiet a number but major one being support from local promoters is minimal: they don’t invest much in local Djs around but rather bring in someone who will perform for 4 hours and part away with thousands when I can do what he does even much better.
Q: Your real name is Edwine Mandela. Why DJ FIXX?
DJ FIXX: I wanted a brand name that my fans would easily indentify me with – Dj Fixx.
Q: You used to perform at Nyota FM? How was the experience and what happened?
DJ FIXX: The experience was amazing. They wanted to reschedule their programming so in that process I was affected.
Q: Local artists within Bungoma are struggling to have their music played by national radio stations. What do you think is the reason for this?
DJ FIXX: For the time I was at Nyota Fm, I learned ‘Media Music’; for a song to go on air, certain aspects are placed on consideration – quality, content, presentation and market standard, which local artists lack.
Q: How do u prepare yourself for a performance?
DJ FIXX: Before any performance I practice, revise my playlist depending on the type of audience I’m performing before and make sure my system is in perfect shape: for special events, I inquire on the type of music they would want me to play.
Q: Do u have a personal blog and social media accounts where fans can interact with you?
DJ FIXX: Yes. Twitter @DjFixxKenya, Instagram @djfixx and Facebook page
Dj Fixx The Mix Guru.
Q: So many dee jays coming up nawardays due to dee jay softwares. Does that dilute the market?
DJ FIXX: No, Dj Lyta and Dj Kalonje entered the market through their mixtapes, thanks to these softwares and secondly, full set of Dj gears are costly so untill you can acquire them, these softwares keep you surviving.
Q: What else do u do in life a part from playing music?
DJ FIXX: Agribusiness is my side hustle.
Q: What do you tell those young ones who want to become djs?
DJ FIXX: For now they should concentrate on their studies first then enrol in their academies of choice. Nowadays, for you to be hired at some places, you must have a certificate in dee-jaying.
Q: A lot of political tension building up in the country. What do u wish to tell your fans?
DJ FIXX: We still have have four months to go to the August general elections. That’s enough time to help you decide wisely on whom you want to vote for and avoid tribal politics.
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
DJ FIXX: For me I don’t have a timeline. I take every year of my Deejaying career a step at a time.
Q: Thanks DJ Fixx for talking to Shenanigans Sports Bar. We wish you success.
DJ FIXX: A lot of thanks to all my fans too and I will always give you the best of music.