THE KNIGHT: Nelson Musoke Semakula aka DJ Nellysting has been spinning discs for more than 10 years. He describes himself as a down-to-earth person who is innovative and proud of what he does, writes Joseph Kato.
I love music. I am obsessed with it. I want every person to enjoy it as much as I do. The only way I could do this was to put myself in a position where I am able to choose the music I feel is good enough, so I became a DJ.
When did you start?
I started out in 2008 during my Senior Six vacation. At the time, although I was passionate about it, I did not see it as something I would be doing for a long time. It was just a vacation gig.
When did you choose to take it seriously?
After the vacation, I decided to leave deejaying to concentrate on school. I joined Makerere University Business School for Business Computing but I could not live without deejaying and I had also realised there were few aggressive deejays around. During my second year, I went back to Jacaranda. In 2010 after school, I got a job at Effendy’s in Centenary Park where I played during comedy night.
Where else have you worked?
After Effendy’s, I went to Gulu the same year and played at Buganda Pub for a while before coming back to Kampala to play for bars such as L’atmosphere in Nakulabye, Hi Table on Kampala Road, and Club Guvnor till 2012. I am currently based at Max Lounge in Kyaliwajjala.
Who are some of the DJs you look up to?
Internationally, I look up to deejays such as Khaled, Gramma, DJ Puffy from Trinidad and Tobago, DJ Angelo from the UK, Calvin Harris , Swedish Mafia , DJ Black Coffee from South Africa. Locally, I am inspired by Selectorjay, Slick Stuart and Roja, DJ Mercy and Aludah.
What are your achievements so far?
Deejaying is one of the most complex jobs around. In most cases you are not paid for your work but for your name. I spent my first years, building my reputation and making vital connections. So I would say my biggest achievement is fame. I have worked with artistes such as Don Mc, Sheeba, Kemishan, Lydia Jazmine, Big Trill, Ziza Bafana and Maro, among others.
Would you ever consider quitting deejaying for another career?
I cannot consider quitting deejaying. I do not think 10 years is a long time because there are people who are still deejaying even at 50. Instead of quitting I decided to do other side hustles that do not compromise my time.
Is the deejaying industry in Uganda lucrative?
It depends on how creative the individual is. When we had just started, deejays would only wait to play at events or in a club to get paid. Things have changed; deejays can now stage their own shows and also do music with artistes.
Deejays have a reputation of being womanisers, are you one?
By the way this is a very wrong perception. It is not necessarily true that deejays are womanisers. Every individual is different although the temptations tend to be the same. I know ladies love deejays and throw themselves at them whenever they get a chance.
If you are weak you end up in multiple relationships. If you are principled, you stick to the one you have chosen.
Have you hooked up with women because of playing nice music?
Many women have come to the deejay’s box because they love my music. They take selfies with me and then go away, although some have other intentions. If I wanted, I would follow up on these, but that is not who I am.
What do you consider before dating someone?
I want someone who will understand what I do and accept it. I need someone who is secure enough to not be bothered by the attention I get.
What makes him tick as a Dj
I love what I do and I am good at it. I also invest time to do research both locally and online. I am always updated on what is trending and what is likely to excite my crowds.