Nicholas Mugo, popularly known as DJ Moh, is a 32-year-old reggae deejay.
He spent years honing his skill at Dohty Family, an entertainment firm that specialises in reggae music. He became the head DJ at the popular reggae outfit and in 2016, fuelled by a desire to beat his own career path, he left and started his own company and named it Mohspice Entertainment. It was a leap of faith that seems to have borne tasty fruits.
When, how and why did you decide to pursue deejaying as a career? Why reggae?
I have always had a deep love for music, and I knew very early in life that I wanted to pursue a career in that line. I was trained on the basics of deejaying by DJ Krowbar in 2005.
And just one year later, my brother (DJ Kym) and I formed an outfit called NickDee Entertainment. It was an acronym of my name, Nicholas and my brother whose official name is David.
I loved reggae music, so we decided that Kym would come up with Hip hop mixes, while I would concentrate on the genre I loved. That is how my journey into reggae music deejaying started.
Did your parents support your decision to become a DJ?
Yes. In fact, my mother bought Kym and I the first computer that we used to make our mixtapes. Without it our entry into the game would have been delayed.
We did not have any sophisticated equipment at that time, so the computer really gave us a head start.
If you weren't a reggae DJ, what career would you have pursued?
I’d probably be a portrait artist because I used to draw a lot back in the day (chuckles). Or maybe I would have been a full-time dairy farmer.
What challenges have you face so far in your career?
We face so many challenges in this industry. As they say, nothing good comes easy. However, I always choose focus on the positive side of things. I push through by viewing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
Apart from deejaying, what other money-making ventures are you into?
I am a part-time dairy farmer, and I also have a company that does general supplies in Nairobi.
Does one have to go to university to succeed in life? What does it take to succeed in such unconventional careers?
Times have changed, and there are opportunities opening up in certain fields, and others drying up.
It is up to us to adapt accordingly, and I believe we need all fields, traditional and conventional, to be vibrant. This way, we will create more job opportunities for young people.
Your advice to youth wishing to pursue deejaying as a career?
It’s definitely not as easy as it looks or sounds. You have to work really hard, be patient, consistent and most importantly, you must have an open mind, and be willing to learn every day.
It is now two years since you formed MohSpice Entertainment. How has the journey been so far?
Well, we have had incredible highs and terrible lows, but we are grateful for the opportunities because we know that it can only get better. And God has really been on our side, so we remain thankful every day.
Your company recently brought artistes Daville and Duane Stephenson to Kenya. What did you learn from the experience? Are you planning to bring in more artistes?
We learnt a lot. Our aim was to give reggae lovers a worthy experience, and the bands, artistes and all our partners brought their A-game to the fore. Hopefully you will see more of that soon.
Where do you see your company in the next five years?
Hopefully, it will be a big entertainment company that hosts, mentors and inspires the next generation of reggae deejays and MCees.
We also have a rugby team called Mohspice Rugby Club, and they could join the national league soon. That’s the next frontier for me.
What's your next big project?
There are several of them. I don’t want to mention them now because I might jinx the plans, but soon you will see impressive engagements from our team.
Our third anniversary is coming up in December, and we plan to have an event that all reggae lovers will want to attend.
How has the reggae scene in Kenya changed since you started your journey?
It has grown tremendously. Reggae music is now a lot more acceptable to the society than it was when I started out.
We are grateful for the growing opportunities, and it has been as a result of concerted efforts put in by those who came before us.
They set the pace and ensured that the reggae culture and the narrative around the music changed.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Tough question this. The decision to venture out and start Mohspice Entertainment ranks very high up there.
I know we are still young and have a long way to go, but I am always grateful and excited about the small milestones we’ve achieved as a team. I’ve got no regrets at all.
Your advice to young Kenyans?
Start by believing that it is possible, no matter where you’re from or what your current situation is. Believe, then work every day towards your goal. Be patient, grateful and humble, and always respect your predecessors.
Your chemistry with the late Daddie Konia was regarded as one of the best. Was he your most favourite MC?
He was truly phenomenal. Too gifted, and I was truly humbled to have worked with him. He was a trendsetter, and he still inspires many.
We also have many other talented MCees in the industry like Jahwatchman, Jush Man, Willy and MC Bounty.
Which upcoming reggae DJ should we start paying attention to?
They are many, and all of them are in Mohspice (laughs). Keep an eye on DJ Marto, Telly Ranks and DJ Josh Googler.