MidL East is a seasoned DJ associated with rapper Trabolee, and is the co-founder of The Pit and Livin’ Proof, which are online concerts which showcase East Africa’s young and talented artists. He describes himself as “a crate digger and curator extraordinaire of dope sounds”.
1. .Have you achieved success with your online concerts?
Livin' Proof was started in 2018 by Trabolee, media production company Monsoons Studio and I. It was meant to provide a platform for budding talented artists from the dynamic Kenyan music scene to showcase and hone their live performance skills, and also to have authentic peer conversations regarding the industry. We have so far featured a number of gifted artists and writers such as High Renaissance, XPRSO, Kerby, Hozef, Monski, Aurie, Mazzi, Planet Asia, and African Kodo.
2. Who are your fave hip hop artistes in East Africa? Who is the most underrated?
I admire Kaa La Moto, Trabolee, Nikki Mbishi, Kitu Sewer and Romi Swahili. Underrated? All of them, but things would be different if more of us would buy their music and attend their concerts. Accessing Kenyan music online is quite hard for people like me who get their music from apps such as Bandcamp, so it is difficult to support the artists by buying their music and merchandise. I greatly appreciate Blinky Bill and Maia for making their music available on Vinyl.
3. How did you become the official DJ for Trabolee, and what does that entail?
Trabolee aka TRA was the first artiste we ever performed with at The Pit back in 2014. We became good friends in the process, and when we started Livin' Proof, he needed a DJ and there I was. Trabolee stands for “truth reigns above but only love exists eternally”. Apart from being one of my favourite MC’s, he is like my little brother. Apart from his sets at Livin’ Proof, I DJed for him at the relaunch of Nairobi Rapsody at Muze this year. We have a lovely relationship and everything flows naturally while we are on stage. Be on the lookout for an exciting project we have with a awesome producer named August Fanon, which will be released next year.
4. How does Kenyan hip hop contribute to our cultural fabric?
Hip Hop is a medium of social change and therefore, it can be used to address societal ills and injustices in Kenya. Just listen to some of the songs on Vioxii's Huru Kaa Minyororo album.
5. If you were not a DJ, what would you be?
A chef. I love cooking and I do it sometimes during Livin' Proof sessions.