Let’s get into it! I have been looking forward to this one for a long time. As soon as I decided to start doing the sessions we started having people request a Kora session so THANK YOU for coming on! How are you? What’s new in your life?
Wow hearing this makes me very happy, thank you so much for having me, the feeling is mutual! I’m actually doing well, life has been really good to me! Right now I’ve been learning some new gear and also some new software. Been performing at various venues, traveling and making time to focus on my self care.
I started going to your sets starting back in probably 2018/19, when did you really start DJ’ing?
I appreciate your support Ely! I believe I’ve always had a DJ spirit dating back to my early teenage years. Digging through my dads catalog, sitting next to his techniques and listening for the hottest records on the radio was my favorite pastime & hobby as a teen. I enjoyed making different mixtapes for myself and had pure excitement to pop them in my portable cd player on the bus rides to school! This turned into me curating mixtapes for my friends and fellow classmates.
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never been to one of your sets?
My true sound stems from my dad! He mainly listened to funk/disco, soul, Ghana highlife music and jazz on car rides. I loved going with him on his errand runs cus I just knew he was gonna play some heat! You can hear a lot of those different elements in my sets. It’s crazy because most of these genres have all infused creating some amazing sub genres! I truly love all kinds of music, but world sounds speak to me the most!
What’s inspiring you right now?
I’ve never seen artists and producers infuse different sounds and cultures the way they are now! This has really been inspiring me to create my own sound. I’m always inspired by the producers! Just hearing something in your mind, building on that, bringing it to life, & creating pure magic is something I’ve always been fascinated with!
Before the session you told me you wanted to play more West African inspired sounds than you normally would for a gig. What was the inspiration for that?
Afrobeats has been on the rise as of lately and it’s a sound I want to highlight more during my sets. The tones are warm with complex jazzy rhythms and melodies and drum patterns that make you want to move! Not only that but my roots are west African and Ghana highlife music was a big part of my childhood up until I left home. Once I left home a lot of things were left behind including the music and I feel it’s important for me to tap back in and share that part of myself. I’d like to try and sample this sound and create something new, fresh!
For anyone who makes a career out of art, there has to be continuous discovery. How are you always staying on top of what’s new and keeping the people wanting more?
I can’t say I stay on top of what's new or trending! Most of what’s trending doesn’t ever speak to me, I source a lot of records that most people wouldn’t know how to find and I think that’s what keeps them wanting more! Hearing fresh sounds that they’ve never heard before and hitting their Shazam or messaging me for the set I played that night!
We talk a lot about dancing and nightlife, or lack-there-of, in emerging cities. What do you think is missing from the scene in Oklahoma City?
Honestly I think there’s a few different things that are missing but the main piece would be a true identity. I do believe the creatives here are all doing their part to create that identity but more togetherness and collaboration would take it to another level! Risks need to be taken as well and going against the grain! This goes for the DJs, venue/club owners, designers, creative directors…I see people here including myself sometimes sticking to what’s expected & you get the same results when you do that. We cannot be afraid of change, we need to break this cycle and change will follow! I feel BY.E is a perfect representation of this and when it comes to nightlife, groups like LiteBrite and Friends and Fresh Squeeze are doing their part as well in pushing that culture forward!
What city that you’ve performed in and one that you’ve only visited had the best night-life?
I performed in LA at The Brig last year and have nothing but good things to say! Everyone was responsive to everything I played and danced the entire time. The energy was great & felt like one big house party! I also checked out a lot of different spots during that time and the night life was dope. Even the day scene had a lot to offer! I appreciate how the city pays attention to detail, they know how to curate an event which really enhances your experience. Music was 10/10, and I enjoyed every spot I walked into! It’s been awhile but New York is a place I’ve visited & haven’t played in yet that has one of the best scenes I’ve experienced. There’s so many beautiful cultures and people that make the city what it is, including the night life! I need to make some time to revisit so I can experience it for what it is now.
Let’s speak it into existence! What’s your dream city to do a set in?
There are many cities and countries I can’t wait to perform in but one for sure is London, UK! It just seems like the perfect energy exchange when it comes to music!
What’s the future look like for you? Are there any projects you are working on?More DJing, living, risk taking, learning, traveling, creating, networking and making sure to take care of myself during all of this, especially my mental health! Right now I’m helping curate other events in the city, a mix show is in the works and getting my hands back in music production so I can share all of these ideas with the world!