TURN TABLES KING: DJs today have become a major component in the music industry with most of them holding their own. The senior DJs are getting better while the younger ones want to prove a point. One of the new breeds is Ramathan Shafik, known to many as DJ Fikie.
Who is DJ Fikie?
I was born on April 4, 1991 to Hindu Zubaida and Abudallah Bogere. I went to Kibuli Modern Primary School, Kampala Modern SSS, Bombo SS and Kasana Town Academy. I did not join university because I had a job and could not handle both.
What inspired you to start deejaying?
I grew up watching DJ shiru and by then there was no way one could talk of DJs minus mentioning his name. He inspired me a lot in that I wanted to be like him but surprisingly, my inspiration came true when I started working with him.
And now that you are working with him, how does it feel?
It is a dream come true working with DJ Shiru. As you know it is very hard to work with someone who inspired you to join the field but it is a golden chance if you asked me.
You had misunderstandings with DJ Shiru sometime back…
As humans, we fight and make up. We had work related issues but we sorted everything out as grownups and we came back to work.
At what point did you start doing this as a profession?
It was in February 2015 when comedian Arthur Da’Vaccine noticed my talent at Sharing Youth Centre in Nsambya. During those days, I was the official DJ of Da Bwaz, a Teenz event. He told me how he had been following me as a DJ and he asked if we can work together. I then started getting gigs through his connections.
What challenges have you faced as a DJ?
Ugandans are full of disappointments. You agree with someone on the amount of money to work for but at the end of it all, you will be paid less accompanied with many excuses.
Talk about the deejaying industry in Uganda?
It was bad to an extent that no one recognised the presence of a DJ, but now because of competition and the good music produced, the industry is getting more lucrative.
Why do you think DJs play more Nigerian and international music than local?
Most DJs play international and Nigerian music simply because the music is on point and it’s what the crowd wants. I am a Ugandan I have to build my own Ugandan thing and I promote Ugandan young talent that’s why unlike other DJs, I play more Ugandan music at every event I play at.
What has been your best moment?
My best moment was the very first day I got a call to see a producer and the manager at WBS TV; it was like a dream come true in my life since I always wanted to be a TV DJ.
And worst moment?
The day when someone I will not disclose stole my laptop. I remember I was from Gayaza heading back home to prepare myself for the next day’s event at St. Joseph Nsambya only to realise that my laptop was missing that night.
Are you in a relationship?
Of course I’m in a relationship and it is a serious one. Her name is Nafsha Namuleme and I have been with her for some time and I will always be.
Where do you see yourself as a DJ?
In the next three years to come, I do not want to be seen as just a DJ but a famous one and the best ever DJ Uganda has produced. I am sure this dream will come true because I am a person who seeks Allah in each and every thing I do.
Do you still see yourself as a struggling DJ?
I do not see myself as a struggling DJ anymore because I have worked hard to gain more theme nights in different clubs which means more money coming in. I am also identifying young talented DJs to work with and see them head for greater heights.
Is there any DJ you have identified so far?
There is a young and vibrant DJ and a good friend of mine called DJ Atah. I started working with him sometime last year and trust me, he is going to be a very good DJ. I play with him everywhere I go.
What has changed about you since you started out?
I have gained and established connections with artistes and we have helped each other. For example, I have an upcoming show at Game Club in Wandegeya on Independence Day and most of the artistes have promised to perform for me free of charge. These same artistes have always been with me in different clubs where I play and they have performed a song or two.
Who are some of those artistes we are talking about here?
One of the artistes I saw coming up and I actually helped his career grow is Latinum with whom I have a song titled ‘Tonado’ and it did good for the both of us.
Do you think you are now ready for a show?
Of course I am. Three years is enough for me to have a show. I have contacts, I have fans and people who believe in me. My concert dubbed ‘The Journey Begins’ is a concert that is officially introducing me to the music industry. It will have performances from different DJs and artistes.
Besides deejaying, what else do you do?
I have a boutique around Mutasa Kafeero Plaza and I am always there on Thursdays.
Which places have you played in?
I have theme nights at bars like Laftaz Lounge, Benrich Bar in Kisaasi, Game Club in Wandegeya, Club Ambience in Mengo and on TVs like Record TV and Magic Radio.