Aduma is transcendent, reflecting in the finished product [INTERVIEW]Reading Time: 7 minutes
What is your Aduma story?
My Aduma story starts this February. My best friend Ler (House DJ/Producer L3GS) sent me a poster and asked if I wanted to go. Who am I to turn down a chance for a good time? Plus, at the time I was still looking for more House events to attend after going to Earthdance last year which was a total vibe.
Aduma has been one of the most unique and exciting experiences I have had to date. The music and the ambience switches up from time to time. Every month there is something to look forward to. I spoke to the organizers and main DJs of Aduma to learn their stories. The energy is genuine and their passion for Aduma is transcendent, reflecting in the finished product that has become one of the best House music spots in the city.
How did you guys meet?
Kori K: We met at Funk Arena. One of the organizers asked us to perform which was around September 2013.
OneDown: Actually it was 2018…
Kori K: Oh yeah sorry it was in 2018. I remember I did the opening set and OneDown did the last set and that’s how we met.
How did Aduma come to be?
Kori K: It is very interesting. After the Funk Arena gig, we did last year I was called by the manager of Captain’s Terrace, Kelvin, he said he really admired what I could do and they were interested. It was also funny because I was given three minutes to decide.
They wanted something up and running immediately. The good thing is I wanted to invest in entertainment after graduating university. I had a name in mind, where to get decks and sound but everything was still a sketch. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own and I needed a partner. Keep in mind, two heads are better than one.
I called OneDown and asked if he was interested in being my partner and here we are. Our music direction is quite similar so it was easy for us to align. We hosted our first Aduma last year October 2018.
OneDown: We are almost one-year-old!
Passion. That’s how we choose the people we work with. If you’re coming for Aduma to just get paid then our platform isn’t the best for you. – OneDown
Starting a business is a difficult venture, how has it been so far in terms of handling, managing and maintaining Aduma?
OneDown: It can be hectic and we disagree at times. But Kori is a nice person and at the end of the day we have the same goal. One thing that keeps us going is that we don’t do it for the money. I remember when we first started we were literally digging into our own finances.
Would you say it’s a passion?
Both: For sure it’s definitely passion.
OneDown: Passion. That’s how we choose the people we work with. If you’re coming for Aduma to just get paid then our platform isn’t the best for you.
How is the organization process? Every Aduma feels like a product of organized thought process, it even comes out in your graphic art.
OneDown: We meet maybe once a month and the rest is done via phone. After every Aduma, we start talking about who to host at the next one. We talk to the management and book a date. That’s also around the time we give our design guy the concept to start working on.
Kori K: We have a sound guy who gives us our decks
OneDown:: …and the speakers. We have been very fortunate to work with very cooperative people. The designer is very creative and the sound guy always comes through.
Kori K: The sound guy is so punctual that by 2 p.m everything is in order. I have never had someone this dedicated. He even advises and communicates what he needs. Now our setup is much bigger so we are playing with our sound and lighting.
Essentially you guys are building a team…
Kori k: Yes. We are filling the missing pieces of the puzzle.
If someone wants to play at Aduma, can they approach you and how?
Kori K: Yes, they can. You can come through we discuss your musical direction. At times we go for alternative music with our opening sets. We had Shishi play and we really enjoyed her set.
We have a back and forth about who to book which keeps things healthy and lineups interesting. If you are pushing the same sound we are pushing you can definitely play at Aduma. That’s African, Afrohouse elements.
OneDown: Most of our guest DJs are Kenyans. We are pushing our local talent by providing a platform. It’s not really about the numbers you’ll bring but more of if we are pushing the same agenda. The whole point is inclusion.
We are pushing a vibe that anyone and everyone can enjoy. – Kori K
Do you guys have a mentor? Someone who gives you an unbiased view on what you are doing?
Kori K: Drazen has been of great help. We had a closed-door meeting where he gave us insights on how to navigate through this business. From artist bookings, artist hospitality etc. We didn’t know half of these things. I have admired him since the 6 A.M days and working with him now is a dream come true.
OneDown: Drazen is a personal friend and I work with him beyond Aduma. We also learn from other DJs in the industry and experience is the true teacher. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. Passion is the one that drives us. We are actually the first people to arrive before 12 p.m and the last to leave at around 3 a.m
Do you guys ever have moments where you feel like completely giving up?
OneDown: Most definitely but that’s a given with any business.
Kori K: Usually about external factors and the things we don’t really have control over. But we remain true to each other. He has never lied to me and I’ve never lied to him. Here we are kicking for one year.
OneDown: And the best part is that we just met last year December. Almost one year strong.
How has the House Music scene grown and where do you think Aduma stands in this?
Kori K: Right now I can confidently say that Aduma is very present in the scene because our market is local. We are pushing a vibe that anyone and everyone can enjoy.
What are your future prospects for Aduma?
Korik: Making it bigger probably do festivals under a different name.
One Down: Bring bigger acts. I won’t say when but we are doing is an all ladies edition.
Kori K: All I can say is that day we won’t be deejaying that night but more on the management of the night.
Any dates yet?
Kori K: 24th August 2019
One Down: We are also trying to do something big for our anniversary edition also to be announced.
African Moves with OneDown
Vincent Mwangi aka OneDown is an Afro & House DJ from Nairobi, Kenya. OneDown grew up listening to various genres of music. However it was House music which he deeply connected with. He fell for House music even before knowing what it was called.
To grow his knowledge and keep up with the fast growing underground house scene he started his podcast African Moves where he has hosted guests like Oscar P, Chris Deepak, Madorasindahouse, Saint Evo, and more. It airs on (Drums Radio UK) & LionAfriQ radio in Kenya.
Since July 2016 he has been playing on a house music show called Dance Republic on CAPITAL FM the show airs but has recently gone on a hiatus. Since his debut, he has played for major electronic music events in Nairobi like Earthdance, Unplug & Play – House Edition and his own monthly gig ADUMA which he runs with his partner DJ KORI-K.
It’s like he opened this new dimension and I started listening to music with a different ear. – OneDown
When did you start your African Moves Podcast?
OneDown: It’s actually a funny story. I wish DJ Fita was here. He is actually who coined the name for the podcast and he is the reason I started it in the first place. I had this one mix back in the day that had a lot of commercial House which I called Africa moves 2.
I remember Fita was doing his podcast then called Imperfect Circles which I was supposed to do a guest set for. He told me to do 30 minute set which I did. I’m not sure whether he didn’t like it or what happened but he told me he wouldn’t put it on the episode. So I uploaded the set and named it Africa Moves 2 Episode 3. I quit after a few months!
Interesting. When was this?
OneDown: This was around 2015, I quit till 2016 then ventured into progressive house and I stopped again. I started collecting Afro House music during this second sabbatical. After a while I decided to go back to making mixes and by the 10th episode I started getting traction – that’s actually the episode that I blew up. One day Fita was texting me and he said he liked what I was doing with African Moves. I don’t know if it was a typo but from then on the podcast changed to African Moves.
After several episodes I was approached by LionAfrique Radio who wanted to feature the podcast on their radio. We collaborated for a few months and then Drums Radio approached me about having two slots a month on their radio. 4 hours of mixing is a lot it was not possible at the time. They entrusted me to give another person the other slot. B-town broadcasts AfoHouse Sessions on Drums Radio every month.
What criteria do you use when choosing your guests on Africa Moves?
OneDown: If I’ve heard about you and I like your music I make a move. I ask those who approach me to send me their music and I decide from that.
Kori K: Funny thing he approached me to guest mix on African Moves after Funk Arena and it was such a privilege. He heard my set and approached me after.
OneDown: He’s set was really dope and unique. That’s what I am pushing for on the podcast. I am planning on incorporating interactive on-air elements. Yes, that’s going to happen very soon, let’s have a discussion.
Who was your most interesting guest?
OneDown: DJ Mkuzi after he did his guest mix. It’s like he opened this new dimension and I started listening to music with a different ear.
I’m also producing thanks again to Fita. I’m slowly setting up my studio and if a radio station lets me record from my end that’d be great since I live far.
Meet Kori K
Also known as Kevin Kori, Kori K is a fast-rising Kenyan DJ who is super enthusiastic about music and loves keeping his listeners dancing to energetic Afro and House cuts. He is the founder and Co-Owner of ADUMA, a platform that organizes and host events.
Kori K burst into the scene in 2014 with his unique deep house playing style before developing his love for the African House and Afro house genre. He has played at various events both at the coast and here in Nairobi under his label which has given him the much-needed recognition, making him as one of the most promising House music DJs in Kenya.
You can find him moonlighting as a resident at Hunters bar and De Ja Vu on Thursdays and Saturdays respectively where he plays sundowner selection of African House music. Kori has had the opportunity to play alongside well known DJs like SURAJ who he draws his inspiration from, Drazen, Jack Rooster, ONEDOWN, L.A Dave, Vidza to mention a few.
This interview has been edited and condensed for publishing purposes – Editor
About The Writer
Yvonne Masinde is a print journalist with a bias for music and arts hailing in Nairobi, Kenya. She dabbles in social media brand management at request.
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