#FreshInterview: DJ Kalypso
Although most artists these days tend to dabble their feet both in a 8 to 5 job and music, they still make a point of clearly separating the two disciplines. Montesio Rukuro musically known as DJ Kalypso has become a household name on the DJ scene. We all know there is no party without good house music and DJ Kalypso has mastered the art of delivering just that.
He has played at almost all the happening entertainment spots in Windhoek as well as at big annual events like the Ongwediva Trade Fair and he has gotten invitations to DJ from as far afield as Botswana.
A civil engineer by profession, DJ Kalypso was first moved by house music and DJing six years ago, while studying in South Africa.
Little did he know this hobby would become one of the biggest sources of entertainment for fans.
Fresh: So tell us a briefly about who you are?
Kalypso: I grew up in Swakopmund, completed my schooling there and then I went to further my studies in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now I am based in Windhoek.
Fresh: How did you get into DJ’ing?
Kalypso: After completing my tertiary education in South Africa, I worked in Johannesburg and Pretoria for 3 years. This is when I fell in love with house music. I used to watch the DJ’s doing their thing and thought to myself I could do that as well.
Only after I returned to Namibia is when I enrolled at a DJschool ran by Dj Funky (Herbert Wantenaar) where I studied for 3 months and the rest is history.
Fresh: How do you think people who do know you would describe you?
Fresh: Being a DJ isn’t an easy thing to do. How was your first experience as a DJ?
Kalypso: My first experience was at a place called Mansion in Wanaheda. I was excited and nervous at the same time. But once I got behind the decks, the music took over and the nerves calmed down.
Fresh: How did you get around the technical language of DJ’ing, like, two turntables, mixer, crossfader?
Kalypso: The Disc Jockey school I attended was quite comprehensive in teaching you about all the technicalities to do with DJ’ing which included amongst others how to set up and connect the DJ equipment and sound equipment.
Fresh: What was the music around you as a kid growing up?
Kalypso: I listened to a lot of old school, R&B as well as Hip Hop.
Fresh: The industry is bottoming out; now there’s CDJs [CD players that emulate vinyl control of music] and people are not bringing vinyl around to DJ anymore; the gate is starting to open with all these different types of talent coming through; music is changing. Which part of this you transitioned into as a DJ?
Kalypso: You have to embrace technology, DJ’ing has become a whole lot easier with the technological advances today. Gone are the days you had to carry suitcases full of vinyl’s or cd’s. With the current digital age, I carry all my music on memory sticks which easily fits in my pocket.
Fresh: Every DJ needs his equipment. What kind of tools do you use to spin and mix on?
Kalypso: I use pioneer CDJ’s and the pioneer mixer. They are the leaders in that field when it comes to DJ equipment.
Fresh: Let’s talk about personal style for a moment. We know you’re someone who loves bold prints and wavy designs, but where would you say it comes from and do you think you’d ever dabble in clothing design?
Kalypso: I basically just dress for the occasion. My fulltime job as an engineer requires me to dress semi-formal. As a DJ, I just dress in whatever I am comfortable in and something that will enhance my image as a DJ. Something that makes me stand out but not over the top.
Fresh: Would you say there are any items in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
Kalypso: I can’t live without my sneakers. I’ve lost count on how many I have, but I still wear all of them.
Fresh: What makes you different than other DJs?
Kalypso: I’ve got my own style of DJ’ing, I play mostly deep house music which is a very laidback, soulful and relaxing sound. My love for this type of house music has landed me a few gigs in South Africa, most notably House 22 in Pretoria which is in certain circles described as the Mecca of Deep House Music where renowned DJ’s from all over the world have come and plied their trade.
Fresh: What is the biggest party that you’ve ever done?
Kalypso: The Windhoek Summer House Music Festival last year.
Fresh: Do you have any DJs that you aspire to be like?
Kalypso: There is a lot. From a local front, Black Coffee and Vinny da Vinci. Internationally, Ralf Gum and At Jazz
Fresh: How do you know if the audience likes your music selection?
Kalypso: Trust me; the audience will let you know in no uncertain terms when they don’t like your music. The Namibian audience is a very demanding audience so you have to cater for everyone.
Fresh: What happens when something goes wrong, like a power surge?
Kalypso: There is pretty much nothing you can do other than to hope the power comes back fast. A major part of preventing issues such as a power surge or short circuit is also by connecting your equipment properly.
Fresh: What are your secret skills and passions? What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Kalypso: I can cook a mean meal.
Fresh: If you had a free hour today what would you do?
Kalypso: Browsing the internet to find new music.
Fresh: Top 3 places to visit in Nambia:
Kalypso: Ais-Ais, Erindi and most definitely Swakopmund (Not just because it’s my home town)
Fresh: What is the most underrated item in menswear?
Fresh: In the year 2016 you will be:
Kalypso: On the hustle
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