Female DJ turns tables in electronic music scene

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 00:00 |
DJ Vidza has been in the electronic music field as both a DJ and producer for over six years. LEFT: With her cousin Olivia Ambani. Photo/PD/JASMINE ATIENO

Music production and deejaying is a male dominated field. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see women diving in and thriving while at it, not only setting pace, but also breaking the barriers for young girls, letting them know that they have the freedom to the passions the universe has placed in their hearts. 

Alividza Ingasian, popularly known by her stage name DJ Vidza, is not only one of the best females in the field, but also one of the best electronic music deejays in the country.

Kenya has in the recent years hosted some of the top House Musicians from South Africa, of which DJ Vidza has played alongside including DJ/producers such as Da Capo, Black Motion, Prince Kaybee and Dwson.

She has also played alongside Sun El Musician twice and had other big concerts out of the country. 

As her cousin, singer, songwriter and marketing consultant, Olivia Ambani shares, DJ Vidza has always been a musical being since childhood.

Being the only child of a musical mother who also plays the piano, violin and clarinet opened her to the musical world at a tender age and she grew into it deeper. 

Artiste in the making

“Growing up for us was full of creative moments. Our family believed in nurturing our talents and keeping us busy.

We used to do a lot of crafts with our aunties and spent most of our childhood holidays on our khuku (grandmother’s) farm.

Olivia Ambani. Photo/PD/JASMINE ATIENO

All my seven cousins including Vidza and I are and have been close. We were raised collectively with our mothers, aunties and khuku all playing a role in our upbringing.

Our family has always encouraged us to pursue what we were passionate about. 

Vidza loved exploring things­—she loved the outdoors and was active in music and sports both at home and in school.

It’s her mother who discovered Vidza’s passion for music. I am not too sure at what age, but I would say when she was about five years old,” shares the award-winning songwriter. 

The whole family always knew that she would end up a musician. It was her favourite subject and it came so naturally to her.

She was always keen to do her music homework and even when she started taking piano classes, she was always excited about the lessons and would practice for hours at home.

She attended Brookhouse and Hillcrest International Schools in Nairobi for her primary and high school and was also part of the school orchestra playing the violin.

Going to events such as Earthdance also peaked her interest more and more in becoming a DJ/Producer.

She later went on to study music performance in Southampton University, England.

 She has been in the electronic music field as both a DJ and producer for over six years and being a female in this field has come with its equal share of challenges as her cousin-sister shares.

“Being recognised as a DJ at some gigs has definitely been one of the challenges.

There has been a number of times Vidza has gone to gigs and she is denied entry to the stage because the security or staff at the event doesn’t believe that she is the DJ of the day.

They tend to think that a woman cannot deejay at a big stage. But once she gets on stage she always proves that she deserves to be where she is.

Not because she is a female DJ, but because she is a phenomenal DJ,” says Olivia. 

Go-getter attitude

One trait that has kept her on her feet is her determination to win and focus.

When she sets her mind to doing something, she pursues it with all she has. 

“She will find a way to make it happen. I feel this has helped her rise in the industry because she is not afraid of being different and she doesn’t try to fit in. She focuses on what she wants and goes for it.

So, it doesn’t matter what may be thrown her way, she always finds a way. This is so key in the entertainment industry where you need to be determined and really committed to your craft.

She is always looking for opportunities and asking for what she wants and this has led her to play at prestigious gigs and with other big acts,” she says.  

From Kenya to the world

Vidza’s achievements have equally inspired her cousin in so many ways. Firstly, to see someone in her family go after their dreams and succeed has been greatly motivational.

It has helped her see that she too can make her dreams come true. Secondly,  as someone who is in the same industry (entertainment) it’s pushed her  to also dream big and go after what she wants  without  setting  any limits.

At the same time, she feels lucky to be able to work with someone as talented as DJ Vidza.

 “As a singer-songwriter, I have had the honour of working with DJ Vidza on her debut extended play (EP).

I featured on her single Kingdom. Working with Vidza opened me up to a whole new world of music; she introduced me into the house music scene.

So now, I do both house music and pop/soul music. I also love that she gets complimentary tickets to shows she is playing at and I have been able to enjoy some of those tickets and attended many amazing shows,” she intimates.  

Working with her cousin has allowed her to be a part of some of her greatest moments in the industry, including the release of her EP – Kingdom - last year in October 2020 on Ewaso records.

The Title track off the EP-Kingdom charted at Noumber 2 on Beatport New Afro House Music global chart the week it was released.

Her song East African Calling was play listed on Black Coffee’s Spotify playlist for several weeks.

She also played a set for the prestigious DJ Mag on behalf of Muze club that was the only African club to be selected and charted on the Top 100 clubs in the world. 

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