Art and Music, The People

VJ kaygee_karuga, The Meru Video Jokey creating a buzz in Mount Kenya.

It’s Friday and every Friday feels like party time. We caught up with John Mutuma aka VJ KAY-GEE Karuga the VJ who knows the real meaning of a Friday for a chat. Popularly known as VJ Karuga he’s a VJ/DJ and an event organizer.

How long have you been a DJ/VJ?

This year marks seven years since I joined this industry. Damn, seven years where does time go? Although I feel like I have been wading around for like four years without knowing exactly what Deejaying is all about.

Now that you say that, did you go to school to learn how to do this or did it just happen?

Yes, I did go to DJ school. You just don’t learn this on the corner of a street; you need a professional to show you the ropes. After school, I was interned at Dimples DJ school which was run by my uncle who also introduced me to the CEO of Leo sounds who introduced me to one of his DJ’s who kept teaching me.

Also, my love for music led me to a career in entertainment.  Growing up I was fascinated by how music in clubs and events sounded and that sparked all the interest. I also think since some of my family members are in the business it gave me confidence that being a DJ could be a career.

 I have noticed we have mixed up the terms DJ and VJ a few times is there a difference?

A Deejay (DJ) is a person who selects and plays pre-recorded music for an intended audience usually in a club setting or a neighbourhood party. Mostly plays audio music. A Video jokey (VJ) on the other hand plays video jams. He/she can host live shows and is basically a combination of a DJ and a VJ. Yaani I have more fun than a regular DJ.

Apart from music what else do you do?

I am a jack of many trades or in a more respectable language, I am a businessman based in Meru. I also run a charitable initiative.

Tell me about the charitable initiative?

The initiative is known as Helping Hand Ambassadors. It is driven by sharing with the less fortunate. We have visited a few community-based organizations in Meru like Theylan children’s home, Marimba children’s home, Wega na Mathithio children’s home, St Mary’s children’s home and a few individuals. We support them with personal effects, operational materials, food items and sometimes support construction projects where we can.

Also when we visit we just don’t drop items and leave, we spend time with the children, engage in games and share together when we can because sharing our time is as important as sharing our resources.

Why a charitable organization? You could give back in any other way but why this specific initiative?

I lost my dad when I was a little boy. To get to where I am now people have laid foundations for me, my hand has been held and someone has given me a pillow to lay my head on. It’s not by sheer luck; it’s through people that I can stand on my own today. Remember that cliche quote, no man is an Island? It’s an embodiment of my life. I am people, therefore, I make my life about people.

I want to change other people’s lives as much as mine has been changed. I have slept hungry for lack of food so I know what it feels like to sleep on an empty stomach. If I can share whatever little I make then I will gladly do so.

Do you think the creative scene in Meru has grown?

 Yes, although a lot needs to be done to be at per with what cities and other towns are doing. Meru is a big town and with just a little nudge from the right industry players, we will be competing at an international level.

With a chuckle, he mentions that he is the best DJ in Mt Kenya and the larger Eastern region. I think he is joking and laugh along but he mentions that he has a series of shows he plays around the country. With shows around the country, he aims to be the talk of the country. We laugh and I call him King as he rushes off to spin more music as time has caught up with him.

To reach VJ Karuga for your event email him on or get him on all the social media platforms @Vjkaygee_karuga


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