Thousands of followers and screaming fans. Sold out concerts from Nairobi to Cape Town, Sydney to Las Vegas. A recipient of different prestigious accolades among them Kenya’s Best Media DJ.
A DJ at Capital FM’s Midweek Party and Takeover Thursdays. The list goes on.
This is your girlfriend’s favourite deejay; his Majesty DJ Joe Mfalme.
I meet DJ Joe Mfalme on a Thursday evening just before his segmented ‘Takeover Thursday’ show at Capital FM. He is excited about the session ahead; you’d think it’s his first.
“I love deejaying, I look forward to doing it every day,” says Mfalme who later confesses that he practises up to 6 hours daily to perfect his skill.
Mfalme, whose real name is Joseph Mwenda, has risen to become a household name in the country and region playing in sold out concerts locally and internationally with some gigs going really wild.
“One of the wildest shows I’ve ever done was Konshens’. The crowd that day was out of control. I remember girls throwing panties at us,” Mfalme, dressed in a blue sweatshirt that has his logo and black jeans say.
On the other hand, one of his favourite shows was in Australia. According to Mfalme, the crowd responded best to his mixes more than in any other international show he has ever been at.
But it was not always this way for the 28-year-old deejay.
“I really struggled before I got where I am today. I remember making mix-tapes that no one wanted to hear, made such little money that it was so hard to even get by,” he says.
He, however, could not give up seeing that deejaying was a big part of him since growing up.
“I recall falling for deejaying back in 1998. I would take cassettes and work around them till they sounded like the concrete work of a deejay,” he explains.
He proceeded to start deejaying in high school where he slowly started learning the craft. But it was discovering the work of Deejay Pinye that he knew he had to pursue it. .
“Deejay Pinye and Deejay Adrian are one of those deejays I looked up when I first got started and I still do. Deejay Adrian, for instance, is a legend, everyone loves his work,” he says with admiration.
His first big break, however, did not come up until 2010.
Pilsner Lager, as part of a marketing strategy, had launched a competition that saw deejays take a disc jockeying competition with the winner taking home a cash prize and the ‘Mfalme’ title.
“I won the title and everyone started calling me DJ Joe ‘Mfalme’, so I kept it the name Mfalme,” he says.
His in-depth interaction with the entertainment industry in Kenya has given him insights on what ails the industry.
According to the DJ, artists do not support one another; neither does the public support local music.
“My worst experience with this scenario was once when I deejayed at an event at Safari Park. I played Nigerian Music first and the crowd was very receptive. However, when I switched to Kenyan music, everyone sat down.”
He, therefore, pleads with artists and music lovers in the country to support Kenyan music as it Is the only way the industry can grow.
Today, DJ Joe Mfalme’s work has gunned international recognition and has been nominated for the Best DJ Africa at the Africa Music Magazine. He has also been nominated in the Brand of the year category at The Kenya Glamour Jumia Awards.
Going forward, DJ Joe Mfalme says that he is not done yet;”I want to get better. This is just the beginning.”
The fun ones:
If you were not a DJ, what would you have become?
I would have probably become a pilot because I love aviation. Catch me whenever possible chilling at home watching Air Crash Investigation.
What did you learn in High School that serves you no purpose?
Chemistry! As in, I haven’t done anything that makes me need it.
Describe your kind of girl
(Laughs really hard) A village girl. Someone very mshamba that does something like teaching in a primary school or a nurse.
What matters most to you in a relationship?
Trust…with what I do, I need someone I can trust
What is your advice to upcoming DJs?
Be smart. Let this be beyond just talent, make it your hustle, learn to make money from it. Remember to also treat your customers well, they are the reason you are doing this.
What do you do during your free time?
I sleep and just chill at home. I am always on the move so anytime I am free, I just relax.
It was great to meet you…will you read the story?
I can’t wait.
Will you retweet it?
Of course, I will.
Will you also follow us @youngerwomanKE?
(He laughs and proceeds to do his ‘Takeover Thursday’ show on Capital FM’s Hits not Homework with the lovely Amina and Solo.