Geoffrey Charles Rajula, professionally known as DJ Rahj, is a Mombasa-based deejay with a knack for creating and hosting great parties in the city-by-the-ocean. The 31-year-old deejay spoke to Doreen Wamugunda about his career, the Mombasa party scene and his secrets for epic parties.
How long have you been deejaying?
I have been in the industry for the last 10 years, after studying Music Technology Advancement at the Home Boyz Academy.
Have you always wanted to be a deejay?
I wanted to be many things. Apart from being a deejay, I am also a trained paramedic. I was also once a teacher at some college. But now I concentrate more on deejaying and events management.
Have you worked outside Mombasa?
Yes I have. I hosted Decks Legend at Ngong Racecourse. It had DJ Joe Mfalme, Creme de la Creme, DJ Crossfade among others.
How different is the Mombasa club-scene from other cities?
The difference, nowadays, is slight if not minimal. That is why it is easier today for deejays from Mombasa to get gigs across the country. Kitambo, if you were not from Nairobi, no club would have listened to you.
So which city parties harder, Mombasa or Nairobi?
People will say Nairobi but Mombasa-people party a lot. You should visit most of the major clubs, kama huna connections hata kiti huwezi pata (if you don’t have connections, you will not even find a seat).
You are the brains behind some of the most popular club events in Mombasa, how do you go about creating the concept for an event?
I actually have a note book where I write down all my ideas mostly at night; it is the best time to think. So, when a club owner contacts me, I choose the best concept that suits the club. It also depends on the day of the week when the event is happening.
What is the most memorable event you have ever hosted or worked in?
Hmm, ‘Celebrity Thursdays’ were the best; just seeing artistes come and launch their best art, both the newbies and established ones. Plus, the whole mingling and gathering with the who’s who in the entertainment industry and exchanging ideas.
You host many diverse events (from corporate to family to club events). Is it difficult to switch between them?
At first it was, but now I know what should go where. For example, a Sunday family show has to be smooth but on Twerk night you have to be wild… like raging wild.
Speaking of… tell me more about the Twerk Night competition?
(Laughs). I had a meeting with MC Chapatizo and we marked out the clubs that would buy the idea. Since it was something new to them, we had to bring out our best. Some people have negative ideas about these ladies, but they are not twilight girls they are just dancers like the rest. They just use different body parts, to the rest, when dancing.
You work a lot with MC Chapatizo, how did that come about?
Chapatizo is a well-recognised artiste in Mombasa: musician, comedian, emcee, and a TV host. So, working with him is easy. He has his connections and I have mine. At times we also brainstorm together.
What has been your best and worst experience as a DJ?
The best experience is when my idea comes to birth and keeps growing long after I have left the club; they continue using the idea as theirs. The worst weeehh! That is when I don’t get paid after an event and it is late at night, I am tired and I just want to go home.
Which deejays/ industry players inspire you the most?
Trybe Deejays. If it isn’t the biggest deejay unit in Mombasa, then it has to be the best unit.
In your opinion, which is better, working in radio or hosting club gigs?
Each has its own uniqueness. For radio the best part has to be the interactions you have with the listeners. From text to calls. For the club gigs, it is the vibe you get. The people that smile back at you and, OMG! The screams.
If you had the chance to go back in time, what would you do differently in your career?
Doing what I am doing now, I would have put it into practice earlier. But better late than never, right? No regrets.
What next for DJ Rahj?
My future plans are always a mystery; just be on the look out.