Brian Kiyingi Sserunkuuma alias DJ Bryan, has spent years spinning discs. Besides his current job at NTV, he is also an information technology professional who spends time repairing laptops, speakers and CCTV cameras. Isaac Ssejjombwe sits him down to talk about how Covid-19 affected him as a deejay.
Take us back in time. Where did you learn deejaying from?
I learnt this skill when I was at King’s College Buddo. I was the school band technician and I used to set up the music system for all school functions. Also one of my teachers owned a mobile disco and I always tagged along whenever he had events. I have always loved music.
I learnt how to drum when I was five in our church. I have played several instruments such as the guitar, drums and a piano. It is a fun job where I get to entertain people and see them happy and dancing. It gives me satisfaction.
When was your first stage performance?
When I completed A-Level, I continued to work as a deejay on some functions in my neighbourhood. My first big stage event was at the Buzz Leavers rock in 2009. I started out at Lido Beach in 2010, where I met Selector Jay, who taught me video-mixing and other tips. In 2011, I joined Angenior, the current day Guvnor as a store manager, where I used to requisition and issue stock to bars. When I was not in the store, I was always given a chance at deejaying. I eventually got more experience. In 2013, I joined NTV for The Beat, Xpozed alongside Douglas Lwanga and MC Kats respectively. In 2016, I started the NTV Mix Show and I have got gigs at weddings and in destinations such as Seychelles and Zanzibar.
What makes you different from other deejays?
I am a technician too. If people are having fun and we have an emergency in the ceiling, do not be surprised to find me in an overall fixing wires. I repair computers, laptops, speakers, CCTV cameras, among others.
You are among the deejays who worked throughout the lockdown. Would you say you felt the Covid-19 pinch like other deejays?
Of course, I did because I was not going for gigs at wedding ceremonies and bars considering that we were restricted from going to crowded places during lockdown. Business slowed down flow and this has had a bearing on my streams of income. But I am thankful to God that I did not lack basic needs.
What does it take to be a deejay?
You have to make music your business, practice the songs, learn the lyrics and pick interest in the latest songs and different genres of music. You also have to learn the techniques. Perhaps the hardest bit is crowd reading, which cannot be taught in class. It comes with experience.
What changes would you like to see in the entertainment industry?
The business is on the right course, many deejays are branding their services, establishing theme nights, procuring the right equipment and getting better at what they do. All we need is unity. At the moment, there are about three associations for deejays. We need to all unite, become one strong family and work together.
Word out there is that deejays are casanovas. How true is this?
Our job involves meeting people from all walks of life. You can never know who will give you your next gig. So you have to be friendly to women too. The allegation on deejays being cassanovas depends on one’s personality. Some of us are driven by passion and the desire to make money. We have no business falling in love with countless women.
Who is your ideal woman?
Prayerful, hardworking and loyal.
What is the most precious gift you have ever given a woman?
Love. I do not believe in material things.
Tell me your best five tracks at the moment?
I would go with ‘Buligita’ by Fik Fameica, ‘Ginger’ by Wizkid & Burna Boy, ‘One Minute’ by ZuliTums, ‘23‘ by Burna Boy and ‘Go Crazy‘ by Chris Brown.
Who are your role models?
Mr Atuhura (a teacher at Kings College Buddo), Paul Ssentongo, Charlie Lubega, Steve Jean, Haroun Muwonge and Selector Jay. Without these people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
If it wasn’t for the decks, what would you be doing?
An exceptional information technology professional and a cyber-security expert.