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I learnt from the best – DJ Shiru

DJ Shiru and his fan Alex Kiberu. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWESpin doctor: The multiple awarding winning DJ Shiru Kiberu meets his fan and namesake, Alex Kiberu, a Makerere University student.

Hi Shiru. Where did you get the inspiration to be a DJ?
Well I would say my big brother DJ Rota inspired me. He taught me everything I know about this business and I consider him the best DJ ever.

When did you start deejaying?
I started in 2005.

What style of music are you comfortable with when playing music?
Being a versatile DJ, I’m okay with all styles.

You call yourself multiple award winning DJ, how many awards do you have?
I have lots of awards that I even lost count, but just know I have over five Pam Awards and over six Buzz Awards. I have Golden Awards, Hipipo Awards and Eyecon Awards among others.

Who is your best Ugandan artiste?
I love all Ugandan artistes especially the upcoming ones. I believe there is a lot of talent in Uganda, that is why I give chance to everyone.

What is the biggest stage you’ve ever played at?
That would be at the R. Kelly Concert at the Cricket Oval a few years ago. But I have also been part of the Akon, P-Square and other shows.

I have seen a number of all-star tracks with you making the intro. Have you joined the music business as an artiste?
I realised I needed to do more than just being a DJ, so I decided to come up with this concept of bringing together different artistes from different genres of music on one track. I have a number of tracks like Mr DJ, Ladies Night, Better Than Dem, Tell Me and the latest one Tetunatuka.

How are you able to pull it off?
Well, it’s basically about making a concept. I make the beat, contact the artistes who I think fit in the song, organise them on the track, organise for the video shoot and then promote the song.

Among the artistes you’ve worked with. Who is the most talented?
All artistes are good, otherwise I wouldn’t have worked with them, but everyone is talented in their own way.

What is Shiru working on lately?
After releasing Tetunatuka, which is a song about Uganda that has artistes like Bebe Cool, Rema, Cindy, Peter Miles, Young Mulo, Saxes and Shilling, I’m also working on another track that features A-Pass and Don Mc, but besides that, my DJ school is soon starting because I have acquired the necessary equipment and next step is setting it up. I will be letting you know of the progress.

What are the qualities of a good deejay?
Self-esteem, talent, respect to others and research.

What is good about being a DJ?
Being a DJ is fun and a business. I pity people who don’t take us serious. I earn a living out of this and I have travelled all over the world, got various awards and earned respect through this business.

What advice would you give us who want to be like you?
Never give up, patience pays because good things take time and have focus.

What do you think of the Ugandan music industry lately?
We have a lot of talent and competition is on the rise. We just need to produce quality music and videos but we are heading in the right direction. But we should create identity for our music instead of jumping onto every style that is trending.

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