Lipstick and Turntables : DJ Karo
By Kye Makyeli
It is known, for a fact, that the music industry is one of the most lucrative in our society today and much of its success is attributed to the hard work put in by deejays. Over the decades, deejaying has been considered a male dominated turf, that has seen very few intrepid women actually taking it up as a hobby, or better even, a career.
One of those women is Uganda’s very own DJ Karo. More popularly known as the beautiful face behind the Samsung Twitter Party and Friday Playlist, which has garnered a huge following, DJ Karo is on her way to the top.
Under the management of leading talent management agency, Kinetic Management Group, in partnership with Samsung and music hosting website VMBG Musik , the ‘Samsung Friday Playlist’ was born.
What or who inspired you to get into deejaying?
“I have always been interested in music from an early age and my family and friends always came to me for latest songs. As a way to share my playlist, I started the now very popular Twitter Friday Playlist just for the fun of it, and it grew into a huge following with people hitting me up to post my playlist every Friday morning. Noticing that I had many people for a following who backed me up without me being a full deejay, I decided to take it seriously. I came out to launch my deejay career at the Annual Samsung Twitter Party pulling in large crowds. It was my first ever public and successful gig and it spurred me on to keep deejaying. I also happen to be friends with some of the biggest names in the industry, like DJ Bank Robber, DJ Beekay, DJ Aludah and many more who have also encouraged me and give me pointers here and there.”
What challenges and perks have you frequently encountered being a female in a male dominated field?
“Women who strive to be equal to men lack ambition. I’ve been around the social and entertainment / events industry for quite some time to know that if you are good enough , it doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man. I’ve been fortunate to earn the respect of my fellow deejays, musicians and other industry players . Otherwise it’s the same problems like everyone else; people call you for gigs but offer peanuts and the like, but thankfully, I am managed by Kinetic Management Group that links me to good corporate gigs, thus helping me build my brand further.”
What would you be doing if you weren’t a DJ?
“Fortunately, deejaying is not my main profession. I love marketing and run M-Idea Biz, a Social Media Marketing and Multimedia Design company. That is what I do daily, so I’m guessing I would still be doing this if I wasn’t a DJ.”
What do you desire to be your peak achievement as a DJ?
“Sky is the limit. I’ve played In Kigali and I’m scheduled to play in Malaysia for the Uganda Independence Celebrations there. My mix-tapes are listened to all over and I get people from different countries thanking me for the music. Of course, I would love to continue playing in Uganda and the world over but most importantly, I want to grow my annual Twitter Party further. We are starting preparations for the third edition of the Samsung Twitter Party and I can’t wait to host one of the biggest parties again. Some artists : male and female, have come up to me telling me that I inspire them so me helping someone come out of their shell to pursue his/her dream , be it fashion or music, would be great.”
With her great ambition, drive and passion for music, DJ Karo could very soon join the likes of internationally acclaimed Nigeria’s DJ Soupamodel, Ghana’s DJ Kess and South Africa’s First Lady of House, DJ CNDO, all of whom were nominated in the category of Best Female DJ in the Africa Global DJ Awards (AGDAs), scheduled to be held sometime this year.