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Switching from drums to turning tables

Disc spinner: Shafik Kasiita, aka DJ Shafic, is an entertainer and MC. He started his career as a disc jockey in 2009 at Club Ambiance, Masaka, where he presented, a music mix show before joining radio as a music producer and presenter. He spoke to Brian Mugenyi about his journey to spinning discs.
Who is DJ Shafic?
Shafik Kasiita is my real name. I was born at Kalungu Hospital in 1991 to Musa Kasozi and Sylvia Nakakawa of Misaana Village, Kalungu District. I am a radio presenter at Masaka-based radio station 91.0 Best FM and 98.8 Radio Buddu, all owned by Buddu Media Group.

Which schools did you attend?
I went to Nyendo Progressive Primary School and Masaka Exodus Vocational Secondary School where I completed my A-Level. Then I joined the deejaying field.

You look too young for that job.
True, but what I do differs from the way I look. My work is not all about age, it is what you do that matters.

How did you get into playing music?
I started playing music in 2008 while I was still studying in secondary school (S.3). Whenever we had parties at schools (leaver’s party and welcome parties), I requested organisers to give me a chance to play the music. It was after playing at several events that one of the DJs at a local disco connected me to operators of Club Ambiance in 2009. I was in my S.4 vacation.
What makes you different from other DJs?
I am a down to earth man, God-fearing, flexible and I respect my audience. I not only play music but I can also be an MC or entertainer. I have been doing this since my youthful days.

What is your dream?
I strive to become an international DJ.

How did it all start for you?
My passion for deejaying started at Masaka Exodus Vocational Secondary School. I used to frequent Club Ambiance and so I admired the way the DJs mixed the music. Then, I was also a drummer at Kitovu Parish Choir where I also doubled as an entertainer. So I have loved this job from my childhood.

What is your biggest inspiration?
In my S6 vacation, I went to Kampala where I got to know Selector J, commonly known as DJ Josh, now working in Club Guvnor. I love the way he does his thing.

Are you married?
No, I just have a girlfriend.

What has been your most memorable moment in this industry so far?
During my childhood, I used to drum saucepans using ladels, so I did not know that I was practicing to become a DJ.

What is that one track that got so popular but you cannot stand now?
Vumilia by Jose Chameleone.

Your popular tracks now?
Baala sang by Daxx Kartel and Sorry by Justin Bieber.

What international event would you like to feature at?
I always strive to be on the frontline, so I strive to play at events such as Big Brother Africa and Coke Studio and I believe that will happen some time.

What is your favourite non-dance music song?
Nkwagala by Mose Radio of Goodlyfe. The singer was eloquent enough.

Tell us a bit about your Tubinuke show on radio?
That programme is intended to educate and entertain the audience. It runs from Monday to Friday at 7-9pm every day. On the show I play the latest music as well as play people’s favourite songs.

And the Dance Party show on radio Buddu?
It is a weekly show, of course. It is on air every Saturday from 9pm till morning. Here I give attention to the local music and also give a chance to upcoming artistes to market themselves or play their music.

Which DJs in Uganda do you look upto?
DJ Muteesa Pro, DJ Slick Stuart and DJ Roja.

What advice would you give to young people who want to be DJs?
They should first respect the audience and know that money is not everything. I deejayed at Club Ambiance for more than three years, but they were not paying me until I gained the experience. Before I knew it, I was on a radio station.

What makes this career undesirable today?
Some DJs don’t do thorough research in the field of music. They just live a money-minded life, which is not good.

Any triumphs?
I won the Club Blend DJ awards for southern region in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Do you have other obligations besides radio and deejaying?
I am a farmer. I have a poultry farm in Kalungu and I also rear cattle on a small scale. I hope to widen that business so that I also invest in growing coffee, because you cannot rely on playing music every day.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I hope to start up a DJs academy on an international level and also start up a music school in future.

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