Gone are the days when only artistes attract big crowds at a concert. Of late, we have seen DJs pulling big crowds, at times bigger than those some artistes attract. A few months ago when Club Beer and Talent Africa announced that DJ Diplo was coming to Uganda, the name Diplo needed many explanations and references.
When many learnt that he was the DJ behind hit songs like “Bumaye” by Major Lazer and Busy Signal and “Lean On”, the hype for the show was raised and the D-day came to pass last week on Thursday at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala.
It was at 11:40pm that Diplo stepped on stage with techno music beats ushering him in to the front of the Ugandan crowd for the first time. He got the mood rising slowly by slowly and by the time he started playing dancehall and hip-hop music, the crowd was wild; the second floor of the hotel started shaking and it felt like it might give way onto the first floor but of course it didn’t – otherwise you would have been reading a rather different story.
Diplo also played Nigerian songs like “Mad Over You”, “Pana” and “IF” by Davido among other Nigerian songs that have been hits in Uganda. Meanwhile, the 38-year-old who had minutes into his show removed his shirt and then his vest, was now shirtless; that remained the case until he was given a red Uganda Cranes jersey with the word DIPLO printed at the back.
“Uganda, we have a special one for you from Diplo and Major Lazer, are you ready?” Diplo’s hypman said before playing the beat of Tekno’s “Pana” with Major Lazer trying to sing in Luganda. The song had notable words like matooke, bodaboda and the word Uganda mentioned lots of times. This excited the crowd making Diplo put it on replay about three times.
Other Ugandan songs that the Grammy Award winning DJ played included “Muna Kampala” by Ykee Benda, and “Amasanyalaze Negagenda” and “Jubilation” by Eddy Kenzo. The show sponsored by Club and Talent Africa went on for one and a half hours ending at 1:30am.