George Njuguna, 28, aka DJ CrËme de la CrËme, cleared the air over the Avril kissing moment and shared his ambitions in music. He had a chat with MATILDA NZIOKI
Deejaying never ever crossed my mind as something I wanted to do when I was growing up. Actually, I have a past life. I was a geek; an A student. I was this guy who was into books. I was even index one in high school.
I was never interested in deejaying, it was nothing to me. I wanted to do my degree and get into formal employment. I studied computer science and I knew I would just get a job and ‘live happily ever after’. I’m still interested in computer science. I love computers and other gadgets. I also still read a lot.
This was until I went to some party where Scratchaholics back in the day DJs Stylez and Pinye were playing. These guys were getting attention from chicks; I loved that. That was when Homeboyz had an event at Dimples club; it really looked cool. The whole psychology about mixing music, scratching, commanding the crowd, also jazzed me. I decided to try it. I went online, downloaded a programme, and taught myself how to DJ. No one taught me, I just watched what guys did.
I became obsessed with deejaying around my fourth year in campus, especially after I landed a contract at Dimples club through a friend Double J. I was the warm-up DJ before the main guy came in. After I graduated from Kabarak University, I came to Nairobi and worked for a certain firm as a system administrator for a year.
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During weekends I would go to Nakuru for my weekend job at Dimples club. It got to a point I decided to settle with deejaying as I found more fulfilment in it. I apply my degree studies in deejaying though. Computers play an important part in the art and since I have a website thisiscreme.com, I’m able to handle the daily maintenance and redesigning.
In Nairobi, I started with PACK deejays but I felt like I wanted to plunge deep into the industry. So, on a random day, after I quit my day job, I just SMSed DJ Stylez. I got his number from the CodeRED website and, he hallad at me. We set up a meeting, and the rest is history.
I remember when I showed him my video mixing skills; he just showed me a workstation and asked me to report to work the next day!
I owe Stylez and CodeRED for teaching me professionalism in deejaying. That’s where I grew the brand CrËme de la CrËme, and learnt other entertainers’ skills. It was the platform I needed to be known out there.
I was actually a hard worker, my style of playing is different; my command of the crowd and the selection of music. That made me rise the ranks in CodeRED. Stylez entrusted me with a lot, like doing videos for the unit.
It got to a point I was doing the big gigs alongside Stylez, and I got a chance to play at Capital FM on Tuesdays, during the Red Alert segment. That’s how I broke into the Nairobi market, and guys at that point knew there’s a cat called CrËme.
It so happens that you can’t stay at one place for long and I wanted to progress. When I left CodeRED, I’d already established a network so I had people calling me to do gigs and I went all out.
I used to deejay Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday, all over, like I was on people’s faces. What helped me the most though was meeting Mister Prime, the guy who owns the TV show Xtreem Live, as that’s where I launched my TV career.
There’s a big difference between being a DJ and being an entertainer. Everyone can deejay, it’s just mixing songs. What separates me from everyone else is that I’m an entertainer. It is about giving people that experience, using the mic to hype the crowd, introducing new jams to the crowd, doing dances with the crowd and lots of other gimmicks. For me gigs are memorable.
People go to the club for the entertainment. I also always stay humble. How you relate to fans can make or break your career in entertainment.
Sometime back there was that infamous Avril kiss which I believe was overrated. We just got carried away by the dancing.
It was the spur of the moment and that was as far as it went. It put me into some crazy mess. I was actually dumped by my long-time boo Denise. We have sorted it out since. She found out via the media and I always regret that, it’s nothing I’d want to take her through again.
I’ve come a long way with Denise, she knew me from way back when I was the broke guy. I respect her, it’s not easy to be a DJ’s girlfriend, but she’s come to accept showbiz. We’ve dated on and off for a bout five years, she’s the freshest, she’s actually my best friend.
When STL is in Africa or Kenya, I’m her official deejay. We first worked together during the Alaine concert and the chemistry was on another level. Like, I’m on the mic; I’m doing scratches and all, as she is performing, so it brings out a unique art.
Her producers in Norway liked our combo and there is a lot on the pipeline. We did a big gig at Club Rouge in Uganda last December. I also have a good relationship with Camp Mullah.
I’m not deejaying anymore on Xtreem Live, I want to learn how to host live. It’s hard but it’s something I’m motivated to grow in. As I said, I love challenges. DJ Crossfade is playing as I host.
My hand sign signature has been generating illuminati talk. I know the sign (a hand-gesture done by connecting the thumb and forefinger in to a circle and holding the other fingers straight or relaxed in the air) on the eye of Horus is widely known as an occult symbol as it actually spells 666, but I just find it cool.
For me it’s an identity. I know it’s controversial but I’m sorry I like doing it.
I want to be a producer after all this, I’m learning through mentors who are in the business like Ulopa and Musyoka. I want to morph myself into a David Guetta of sorts.
I love beats, I have an ear for good music and I spot a hit from afar. I’m not comfortable just being a deejay, a guy who works on Friday and Saturday. It’s also a way to generate money even after my deejaying days are over.
I don’t want to be a deejay for 50 years. It’s a new found passion where I want to be a game-changer. Kenya should stop having the mentality for doing music that’s only relevant within the borders.
— Additional reporting by Nelson Mkala.