ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
DESPITE playing in some of the biggest events and venues locally and internationally such as the Vic Falls Carnival, R&G Oktoberfest, Barefeet Music Festival, Siavonga Music Festival and the Zanzibar B&W Festival, leading Zambian disc jockey and producer El Mukuka is still not content with where house music is locally.
EL Mukuka, who is the pioneer of house music in the country, says although the genre is trending world-wide, Zambians in general and disc jockeys in particular are yet to fully embrace it.
The 24-year-old musician recently became the first Zambian disc jockey to sign with the international record label Universal Music, arguably the biggest dance music label in Africa and a division of one of the three global record labels.
He also recently released a single titled “Something’s Coming [featuring Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Kayla Jacobs]” on Universal Music South Africa. The song is a follow up to their last collaboration titled “Bottle of Loneliness” which continues to top music charts in Europe.
But it is here in Zambia that El Mukuka, who is also partly Greek and also spends a good amount of time in Germany, wants house music to do well.
“Am appealing to radio DJ’s to take up the challenge and play local house music,” he says.
Still, his recent brand partnership with Heineken has accelerated the growth of the house music scene in Zambia. It has also helped to expose Zambian house music to the world. His recently launched music tour “Something’s Coming” kicked off with a performance in the Tanzanian tropical island of Zanzibar.
“You can imagine my songs ‘Something’s Coming’ and ‘Bottle of loneliness’ have continued to top music charts in Europe, don’t you think that’s enough to know that a Zambian artist has great potential?” he asks.
“It’s sad that Zambians don’t recognise all this.”
El Mukuka believes strongly in the talents of the likes of local musicians Roberto, Mic Burner, Marocco and Abel Chungu.
“These guys can sing for Zambia, when you go out in Africa and see how much they are praised, you would wonder if Zambians are doing the same,” he says.
El Mukuka, who has played alongside Goldfish, Goodluck, Joe Mfalme and Professor, will soon have new material on which he will work with Mic Burner and Marocco.