Untold Profiles with FELIX NYAMBE
HE IS, probably, the only local disc jockey with an opportunity to perform before a live television audience, which makes him even more credible. He is also one of the most prominent electronic music producer/engineer-cum-DJ of his generation.
Every Friday evenings, DJ 800 (Aaron Mkandawire) jams on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reality talk show Smooth Talk which is hosted by Innocent â€œSmooth IKâ€ Kalaluka.
DJ 800, born in the 80s, has come on board and strike the right rhythms and the right audience â€“ the youth.
Through the Triple â€œVâ€ (your voice, your victory and your vote) campaign, DJ 800 together with other artistes, went out to encourage fellow youths to turn-out and cast their votes in the August 11 elections.
â€œIt was a huge responsibility working with the Womenâ€™s Lobby Group in conjunction with the Electoral Commission of Zambia during the Triple â€˜Vâ€™ campaigns,â€ says DJ 800.
But DJ 800â€™s encounters and experiences with the corporate world and non-governmental organisations in recent times has made it easier for him to interact freely with the youths.
He has worked with the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA), Anti-Aids Teachers Association of Zambia (AATAZ), as well as the Artistes Vibes, an events team.
But despite working with these organisations, DJ 800â€™s initial antics were never near the disc spinning.
While growing up, he reckons, it was the game of football that took most of his time while attending basic school in Mumbwa.
â€œI was not so much into music because Mumbwa being a rural set-up, music jams were the last thing on most of our minds,â€ says DJ 800, who went on to attend Woodlands â€˜Aâ€™ school in Lusaka, as well as Ebenezer and finally at Nyenyezi Secondary Schools both in Lusaka.
While in Lusaka, DJ 800 said his end of school term days were always involved playing at variety shows which he claims were the envy of his peers.
After his high school, he obtained an advanced diploma in computer engineering and hardware maintenance as well as computer networking.
â€œIn 2004 when I was still doing my secondary level, I learnt deejaying from DJ Elv, who taught me how to use the DJ mixer and the DJ decks from Top 1 Night Club in Chilenje South,â€ says DJ 800, whose role model at the time was the former Radio Phoenix DJ Big Aul aka The â€œNotorious Phenomenonâ€ now based at Sun FM Radio in Kitwe.
After that experience, he had to put aside his music collection to concentrate on his education before resuming work in 2006 when he was done with his diploma in computer engineering.
In 2007, he joined Full Blast Entertainment under the management of the late John Wamunyima, where he acted as the head of disc jockeys. Later, he joined Narts Studios and Entertainment in Kabwata where he worked for two years.
â€œIn 2010, I stopped deejaying and joined Smart Mobile Solutions (SMS) where I acted as an IT (information technology) manager until 2012 before opening up my own company Called Dâ€™cue Entertainment,â€ he says.
The journey through Dâ€™cue Entertainment has been exciting as it has exposed him to different personalities and organisations.
And today, he now looks up to the likes of award-winning club performer DJ Bizzy Wizzy of the Club Vegas fame, DJ Roller Coaster, ZNBCâ€™s DJ Dazzle (Hubert Mutabi), Smooth IK and DJ Hot-stepper (Jack Mwale) for inspiration.
â€œIronically, Smooth IKâ€™s Bibojo Mawilizi on ZNBCâ€™s Radio 4 played a pivotal role in my early career as a music spinner,â€ revealed DJ 800 who has also performed at the famous annual beach party held in Mzunzu, Malawi.