If you have listened to 94.8 Xfm’s Sweet 16 mix and/or The Xplosion, then you know who we ‘bout to unleash here. The self-styled “Danceﬂoor General”, Deejay Ali Breezy! Mandem knows just how to make the ziki go high-key wild on the dance ﬂ oor. Boys and girls, today we untame, unshackle, unchain, untether (whichever word you too can throw in) Deejay Ali Breezy. INTERVIEW BY RANELL DICKSON NSEREKO
For starters, what and who are you anyway? My real name is Ali Ssejjemba. A self-taught disc jockey who grew up in the hoods of Kawempe. I went to Kawempe Muslim and Bilali Islamic for my high school. I am a 24 year old who loves spinning and scratching those disks to make a dope blend of music peeps can groove to.
Tell us about your Deejaying hustle. When and how did you start? I started in 2014 in my form six vac. But before then, I used to do it lowkey for fun and just to entertain my gangos. I used to watch and listen to DJ Mozelo. But even before then, I wanted to be a music producer and even made beats. The hustle changed later. The Deejay situation kicked in real hard and the rest was history.
What’s so inspiring about Deejaying as a career to you? First of all, there’s good dime big time at least for a skilled Deejay like me. Too much love from the fans, I’m travelling around the country and most especially the fun I get when playing music. You also tend to get connections to different people both big and small in this industry who give you gigs elsewhere. Plus, I don’t really get bored when am at work like other professions. Imagine getting paid to parre!
Are there challenges in this profession? Looks like it’s a smooth road for deejays? Lots of them. First, equipment is very expensive and to look professional you must be updated with the latest gadgets. Servicing them is also another hustle. Not everyone in UG can service a Denon MCX8000 player. There are also some artistes with lugezigezi that undermine deejays. Some even ﬁ ght if you don’t play their music but me, I will kick someone one day.
Lets talk more about your school days. Your prom. Lol, we didn’t have any not even a ka leavers harre. We used to only have dankes ﬁlled with lots of curfew because it was a moslem school. But even if we were to have prom, I was too shy to propose to a date. Guess I would be the chairman of the bachelor’s association of the school.
What do you prefer between vocational schools and regular university? I prefer vocational schools because it’s basically hands on. Even if you fail UNEB, you can still develop your skill and earn dime ASAP. I see so many campus graduates idle yet vocational graduates get employed or self employed before even graduating. They always have skills to start up their own businesses unlike most graduates with lots of theories and lack practical skill.
You are now arguably the teens most favorite young deejay in Uganda. What does it take to be that kinda guy? Always take time off to practice and rehearse as well as studying your audience. You always have to be updated and your playlist must be so
unique and lit always. Make sure every time you play is like your last gig and every radio or TV show is your best. Peeps will shower you with unconditional love.
What genre really moves your crowd and why? I am the dance ﬂoor general. I love dancehall and afro beat. Whenever I switch to those, my crowd goes crazy especially in shules. Teens know how to turn up on good vibes.
Can you ever date a slay queen? If she has brains and well-paying job and can ﬁnance her life style then yes. But we all know that slay queens have narra brain.
Do you look up to any DEEJAY in Uganda? Not really. I think we are all on the same level in Uganda only that we are working from different platforms and media houses. I mostly look up on outside DEEJAYs like DEEJAY Tiesto and Calvin Harris.
Do you have a secret woman crush? Yes, Grace Nakimera in Uganda and Beyonce. These babes make me feel butterﬂ ies any day. Whats your favourite gadget? Nothing can kill my feelings for the Denon DEEJAY MCX8000. This gadget is too lit. Hoping to add it to my family.
What events or concerts are you proud to have worked on? I am so into events so I can say the Swangz All-star concerts, Buzz Leavers Rock, Miss Teen school tours and Roast and Ryme. The crowds at these events are to die for.
There was a time when Ugandan musicians blamed you DEEJAYs for playing more Nigerian music than theirs. What is the situation now? To be honest, by then they weren’t bringing out good music like of late. When a song is nice, trust me, I will always play it even if I have issues with the musician. The crowd will demand for it. We have Deejays that are now music artistes like Roja and Stuart.
Do you think they are a threat to musicians? No, they are not a threat. Roja and Stuart know the tastes that people want that’s why all their songs are hits. This industry is for hustlers and all about versatility. You must sketch for dimes from all corners. If there are artistes that can also deejay, they are welcome.
What’s your word out to teens that want to drop out of school just because they think they’d make great Deejays? Lol! Guys, stay in school and ﬁ rst ﬁ nish with serious grades. Never drink, smoke or use drugs if you want to fulﬁll this dream. I don’t even drink alcohol myself. You must keep sober to play good music. Be consistent and be a good researcher.
What future do you have on your table? I have plans of bringing dope equipment and start up a deejaying school under my label name. I need to leave some legacy behind as the dance ﬂ oor general I am