Interview with house-music DJ Jack Rooster
House music and specifically Afro-house music continues to see an increase in popularity in events and clubs in Nairobi and many African cities. KenyaChristian blog has been caught up in this wave and we were fortunate to catch up with one of the frontier Kenyan house Djs who are popularizing this music. His name is Jack Rooster and he has been dropping killer house,afrohouse and deep-house mixes consistently on his website. He has also been playing local and international gigs and recently started to co-host a show with Monique on Homeboyz Radio. Its obvious this is not a music genre to be ignored and 2012 looks to be a big year for House. So we linked up with Jack Rooster and he broke down for us just what is it with this house music thats taking the music scene by storm.
::KenyaChristian:: Hi Jack Rooster, how is the year going so far?
::Jack Rooster:: Very well so far.Loads of new projects under way.
::KC:: When did you start DJing?
::JR:: I started DJing professionally about a year ago.
::KC:: I know you were in a completely different field before you started the DJing thing. Please talk a bit about that and how you went from that to where you are now?
::JR:: In my other life,I am an IP Network Engineer.After a while I decided to work on pursuing my other interests in Artistic expression.This journey has begun as a DJ,let's see where it will take me next.
::KC:: Do you exclusively DJ house music or do you also delve into other genres?
::JR:: I only play House music - Deep,Afro and Soulful House - to be exact.
::KC:: House is not exactly what I would term a very popular genre in Kenya. Am I wrong in saying this and hence it must have been daring for you to decide to DJ such mostly house music at gigs.
::JR:: You are right,the particular breed of House Music I specialize in is not what one may call "popular." I believe House music is more than just "entertainment" music.I feel that it has the ability influence people in a far greater way than the "popular" music of today.I believe that this sound will be a strong driver for change.
::KC:: I am discovering house music a bit more myself. Especially with the Liquideep concert last year, and then I heard you playing house at a club which sparked more of my interest. South Africa seems to have a vibrant house music scene. Could you talk about Afro-house a bit and how it compares with the scene on other continents.
::JR:: True,the Liquideep concert did go a long way in exposing the sound to East Africans.I believe as more and more international acts come in,we shall see an exponential growth in following.
South Africa has been the hub of House music in Africa,and now in the World,for a while now.SA serves as the cradle of "re-birth" of this sound on the continent which has since spread to other parts of the World.
Current popularity zones span from South Africa to Namibia and Angola in the West through Botswana,Zambia,Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the East.To another hot spot,Kenya and the general East African Community(Tanzania,Uganda,Rwanda,Burundi).We also notice some uptake in Ghana,Nigeria and Cameroon.Egypt,Tunisia and Morocco have also shown some interest.
There has also been a huge following in the States,Canada and Europe.
::KC:: Have you played any gigs outside Kenya so far?
::JR:: Yes I have,done gigs in Rwanda,Malawi and this year will definitely be in South Africa.
::KC:: Do you think the Kenyan music scene could welcome some good house music groups, have you heard of any so far. I know Just A Band do a bit of house, though they are more eclectic with their sound.
::JR:: Kenya has a huge musical talent base,we have superb singers,song writers,perfomers,instrumentalists,I have seen some amazing local House music talent and I believe that this sound will enhance Kenya's visibility globally.
::KC:: Which are your favourite house-music groups?
::JR:: Some of the African House music acts that have influenced me are: Da Capo,Shimza,Black Motion,G'Sparks,Revolution,Black Coffee,Boddhi Satva and Culoe De Song.
::KC:: Please talk about jackrooster.com and you Deeper Sounds of Nairobi house-music show
::JR:: JackRooster.com is the webpage I use to distribute my regular mix releases and podcasts of a radio show I host two times a month - "Deeper Sounds Of Nairobi" is a showcase of African Talent from Africa in the House Genre.
::KC:: Thanks Jack Rooster for talking to KenyaChristian blog, we hope to see bigger and better things in 2012.
::JR:: Thanks for having me!
Check out his website here