Jason Tha Dj decided to set up turntables in own houses
The clubs and bars may be closed, but some of Kenya’s coolest disc jockeys such as Jason Tha Dj have decided to set up turntables in their houses and play on Instagram and Facebook spreading joy to their fans, right in the comfort of living rooms
Kindly introduce yourself
I am Jason Kimola, going by the stage name Jason Tha Dj. I went to Kenyatta High School in Mwatate, Voi, between 2011 and 2014.
After completing, I joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, main campus, in September 2015, and graduated with a degree in Business Information Technology in June 2019.
How did you get into deejaying?
As I was waiting to graduate, I decided to follow my passion and enrolled at Vibe sounds Deejaying Academy, which is owned and managed by Dj Blessing. It was a three-month course.
I went there not knowing anything about deejaying to fully understanding what was required in the course work.
They taught me the fundamentals of what it takes to be a good Dj and how to play different genres of music. The other skills are self-taught from YouTube.
How do you interact with your fans?
I release weekly mixes on my mixcloud account: https://www.mixcloud.com/jason-kimola/
How has the experience been so far?
I got the advantage of being mentored by my DJ cousin. Today, I can play in a club, talk to clients, build my confidence as well as the business of deejaying.
Slowly I started getting a slot to play, as I would open and also close the set for him in clubs.
Did the mentorship work for you?
Mentorship really helped me to understand how to play for different audiences; from small intimate parties to a large crowd of people. You get to learn how to judge different crowds and satisfying them.
Whom do you look upto in the DJ world and why?
I will have to say Dj Bash Kenya. I really like his skill on the decks, music selection, passion for music, work ethic and how he interacts with his fans both physically and online.
What are the current trends in the DJ industry?
Online streaming. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many DJs to do live streams to entertain and interact with fans giving people the community vibe.
DJs have been accused of promoting dirty content in their mixes. Your take?
I will talk for myself. I use the clean edited songs for my audio and video mixes. In case I don’t have the clean edits I censor the dirty parts while playing.
Being a DJ also comes with positive as well as negative vybes. How do you handle the latter?
Gathering feedback from the people I value- It could be the promoter who you know will give you an honest evaluation of your performance, or maybe a close friend who knows your style of deejaying well.
The key is to get an honest, objective piece of information that you can use to get better. You can’t please all the people all the time.
How has the Covid-19 affected your work?
I am using Facebook and Instagram to entertain and gain new fans and also perfecting my skills as deejaying is all about practising.