A down to earth young man who lives and breathes music
By Brenda Wambui
Have you ever asked yourself what public transport would be like without disc jockeys (DJs)? Could there have been the matatu culture that Nairobi and other towns are known for? With all the hype, decorations and graffiti, our matatus would be stale if they didn’t play audio and video mixes by DJs in Kenya.
These mixes allow drivers to keep the vehicles booming with music without having to change tracks again and again. Public service vehicles that play music are also popular among the youth who listen to different genres of songs. We have many DJs in Kenya right now, and while some are veterans in the industry, others are still up and coming.
Bernard Mugo Ng’ang’a, popularly -known as Dj MoshB, is a twenty three year old DJ based in Nairobi. Mosh is a nickname he was given back in high school. It turned out to be his stage name. “It is the short form of my name. I added a B at the end because I found out there were other people who went by the name Mosh professionally. I wanted to eliminate any element of confusion in the future and also to add some spice to the name,” he shares.
He began his career immediately after finishing his high school education. Music had always been his passion since he was a toddler. It wasn’t smooth sailing for him since he had lost both his parents at a very young age. With no financial help from relatives who viewed dejaying as a waste of time and wanted him to pursue a more prestigious course, he went back home to look for another source of income.
“I used to work as a gardener for some few months. In the year 2016 I joined vibes DJ academy to learn the ropes of the industry. I was lucky enough to have a good cousin who understood me and saw the potential that was in me. She took me to the academy and paid for the whole amount.” He says.
The young entrepreneur notes that the entertainment field in Kenya is giving a lifeline to many youths who cannot get the ever shrinking white collar jobs. He moves consistently with the fall and rise of the industry tides which determines his earnings. At one point he says, he was contemplating changing this line of business because of a lull that lasted many months. “After I was done with the course I didn’t know where to start from since I had no one to guide me,” he says adding that he interacted with other DJs in order to gain experience which was not easy because no one was willing to help at the initial stages.
He had no equipment to perform in an event or a club and no one was willing to help him with some. To insult to injury, he did not have money for hiring equipment. Again he had to go back to the village and start hustling. The hustling activities generated some money which finally helped him buy a laptop. Consequently, he started looking for job opportunities which turned to be so demanding and required DJ decks which were so expensive. He approached his aunt who helped him by buying him a ddj-sb3 controller.
After obtaining the decks, it opened many opportunities like events performances and clubs gigs for him. He could also put the machines on hire which generated a little money for sustenance. Keen on succeeding, he soldiered on and ultimately overcame the tough times. Bernard is very passionate about his work. He not only works to earn a living, but also to help the less privileged with the little money he earns. On Sundays, he goes to his local church and mixes gospel music at the youth service.
He notes: “I have always believed that hard work pays. I do all it takes to make sure that I’m familiar with all types of music. In every event I’m invited to perform, I make sure I incorporate all the genres so that all the audience is entertained.” Since he started his career, he has been featured in several television shows. Additionally, he has been nominated as the emerging DJ of the year in E-360 musical awards.
Most clubs don’t have night permits to play loud music which is a challenge for many DJs. As a result of playing loud music, they are often arrested and their licenses are revoked. His future growth plan for his business is to establish a studio for hire and a Dj academy. He concludes by saying: “Always do what you’re passionate about and aim higher, go by what your heart desires as long as it is beneficial.”
Fun facts about Mosh B
- Listening to music and dancing
- Visiting places new places
- Ugali kuku
1Dj Joe Mfalme