Dj Danny Diaz Mwesige is the CEO & Founder of Optimal Entertaiment a service provision company with a focus on quality Event management and entertainment
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Who is Dj Danny Diaz?
Real name Daniel Mwesige Diaz, was born 9th –July- 1983 in Jinja Hospital and relocated to Kampala during the war. He went to primary schools like Namilyango Junior and St.Mary’s Nabingo Primary School… He later joined Namilyango College and Gombe S.S for his O’level and Makerere College School for his A’ Level. During his senior six vacation, He opted for a short course in networks CCNA (CISCO) at Makerere which he completed and joined Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi for a degree in Ethics and Development Studies. He is currently a business man, deejay, Visionary and Entrepreneur.
Why Dj Danny Diaz?
I chose Danny Diaz because I represent me, am proud of me and when I die I want to come back as me.
Were you a Music, Dance and Drama student in school?
Affirmative… I was involved in anything entertaining.
How would you describe your school Life?
I was like a commando in school; I always blended in like a sniper. I was comical, always in trouble for my realism, I was a big time dreamer, had a lot of friends, read a lot books/material not related to the system, listened to music 60% of my time, Life wasn’t always easy even when I tried making it so but I endured and adapted which helped me to improvise. I relied on time and patience. I also did some easy business in school (traded in food stuff, clothes, electronics, music Cds and DVDs for a small profit) since I easily got permission to go out of school from friends in the school administrations.
When did you fall in Love with Deejaying?
1996 is the time I fell in love with Djing but did not actually think it would be this serious. I loved collecting and listening to music by artists like Busta Rhymes, Tupac, Biggie, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, then the Deejaying scenes in the movie Juice sparked the inner Dj in me. I watched rookie Djs in Uganda as well as the good ones by then. I tried it out at school functions in 1999, 2003 and 2004. In 2005, I joined University and acquired my first laptop and loaded all this mixing software I could get my hands on. Love and practice made it all happened as everything was in sync. I used to play at small parties, for friends and family, bars and for self purposes. In 2006 I attended all the Dj shows in Uganda since I had good observation skills, a photographic memory and could not afford Dj school then. I started researching and saving while I did my degree too and this took me 4years to accomplish and I bought my first deejay gear (Pioneer cdj400, Djm400 Mixer and Serato Rane sl3 box) in 2010.
Did you ever think you would make it this big?
Yes, I knew I would make it big since I believed and still believe. I kept the simplicity, persistence, humility, focus and patience topping it up with the love which was not easy to combine since no one believed in me because they despised it. This was my hobby and love and I didn’t expect them to understand. I saw and still see what they do not and that’s the WILL.
Given the culture in Uganda choosing to be a Dj is a tough decision, how have you made it?
I have kept on with my objectives, minding my own business and being positive about each and every thing that is presented not forgetting the alpha of them all-GOD, he will listen when you ask .
I always look out for the greater good, weigh my options or cut my losses when a deal is bad. Basically, my own principles and attitude have helped me make it. I have never loved laziness, sloppiness or loose ends. Am an action man and hate under looking situations or compounding challenges. I love to achieve and that has helped me.
Do you have a particular style or music that you play?
Music is music as long as it is food for the soul as water is to the body. I play or listen to anything though I love Harmonics, country, jazz and Orchestra during my relaxing time. For my audience, I usually blend what works for them (new and Old hits work) since they’ve come to have fun but that depends on what their body language tells me.
What is scratching and how does this skill differ from Dj to Dj?
Scratching is many things. It is the sound you hear when a Dj plays a record back and forth using Cds or Vinyl and coming up with different rhythmic sounds. We have different types of scratches like the Baby, Twiddle, Transformer, Chirp, Flare and Crab among them and they all sound like their names. A Dj will choose which scratch appropriate to the music he’s playing. Some Djs scratch when they have the skills and tools to do so while others do not. Scratching is usually emotion and many things combined. Djs use it to spice up a set and blend or exit tracks. Scratching requires a lot of time and practice but you have to be patient because it takes 8 months-10 years to be really good since it evolves and becomes more complex and so does the gear and technology.
What is Optimal Entertainment Ltd?
Optimal simply means most favored or desirable. Optimal Entertainment is a firm that tailors solutions meant to feed your needs. We are in the entertainment business and handle all kinds of parties/Functions from Weddings, Bachelorette, Stag, birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations and you mention-we get it done. At Optimal, You do not have to lose an arm or leg to do business with us as we simply satisfy you the customer.
Is this a dream come true?
It’s reality in motion but it was a dream. My aim is to push it to greater heights and help others achieve theirs especially persons with disabilities.
Do you have any other thing apart from Deejaying?
I am a Business man and I have other interests like transportation, technology, Food, Energy, Aviation and Real Estate among them. I also focus on building and keeping my customer base.
Where do you see the Djing industry in the next 5 years?
Judging by the tide, Djing is growing big. In the next 5, I cannot really tell but we will have Dj schools in Uganda, Djing will earn its place and respect, high tech equipment and skills, talent export which is already happening and more educated Djs and its transforming into a career and profession.
How has the music industry in Uganda helped out the Djs?
The industry has not done much, just 2.5%. The Djs have and still do it by themselves using their personal resources to promote themselves and their gigs. At shows, a Dj does almost all the work including playing the Artist’s songs (who perform for 5-10mins) and playing the whole night or time and no one recognizes them unlike on the Kenyan or International side but the artist will pocket 1m plus and the deejay will take home 50k-200k depending on how he/she negotiated. The Industry is all about exploiting young or new talent and fear…They fear and hate what they do not understand especially new ideas- lol. Status quo, Greed, jealousy and intrigue are the other factors why I think the Industry is in a glitch or not helping.
Should it do more or what should it do?
It should focus on Value, talent and sustainability of the Djing part especially the art and person combined because you cannot party without a Dj-period and that way all the negative idiosyncrasy or unusual mindsets will vaporize with time. Optimism is another factor the industry has to put extra weight to.
What is a Remix or a Mix?
A Remix in my own terminology is a song redone in a different genre (Reggae, R n B, Dance, Hip-hop or whatever the artiste or producer may think of) with special effects and beats. A mix is a continuous piece of sound comprised of different songs with the same BPM (Beats per Minute) and tempo. A mix may have different styles of music or genres depending on how the Dj wishes to transition it.
If I get a Chaka Demus instrumental and blend it in any song, am I a Dj?
A remixer, refixer or respoiler depending on how you do it (lol), you could be anything from a producer or a regular music fan. A Dj (Disc Jockey) cuts, plays or blends recorded music to his audience through Mix Tapes, Radio shows, Club, T.V, and Concerts.
Djs vary. We have Mobile, Rave, Club, Bed Room (these make Mix Tapes for their audience and usually have personal equipment in their homes especially bedrooms or studios) and Radio Djs. The choice is usually yours to make as long as you can adapt.
Do you have Djs you look up to both on the local and International scene?
Locally: yes, I look up to all my Dj friends since all of us are different and play differently. They all inspire me since we share a lot from advice and equip to helping out pro bono at gigs or nights.
International: Dj Angelo (UK), James Zabiela (UK), Sean Gallagher (Canada), Tiesto, Jazzy Jeff, Phil, Dj Styles (Kenya), Dj Pinye, Fully Focus , Dj Waxy (South Africa)… the list is endless. I learn a lot from them especially Angelo (UK).
What is your favorite gadget?
That’s a hard one. Anything that makes my work easy, Laptop (Mac Book Pro), Mixer (Rane TTM57sl)… at the moment it’s my galaxy tab, deejay gear and head phones (Beats by Dre). My favorite for a car would be the Mercedes Benz G wagon and a private G6/7 jet in the near future.
What is your favorite dish?
Irish, chicken, and pork for the Salty stuff but am sweet tooth with Creamy cakes and dates taking number one. Fruits too, is this a dish? Ha-ha and for the drinks: Tea, coffee, Orange juice and soft drinks do. No alcohol.
Favorite T.V show (s)
Discovery Channel, Nat Geo wild, Top Gear, anything on the Food and History Channel, Bloomberg, MTV, BBC, BET and CCN.
Are you married?
Are you dating?
YES, I am warm blooded.
How would you like to be remembered?
Philanthropist, Superb Dad, husband and Friend nothing more
Is this a men’s business?
No. all it takes is you having a brain, mind, hands, love, enthusiasm and you can do anything from Djing to medicine regardless of being male or female, young and old.
Do you have female Djs in Optimal Entertainment Ltd?
Not yet. We are working on that part as we get more gear and find those with potential.
Do you have any advice to upcoming Djs?
You can make it as long as you Love what you do. All you need is enthusiasm, hard work, integrity, honesty with self, minding your business and avoiding comparisons. Djing takes lots of patience and practice and you are not going to make it in two days. You need to get a manager or agent if you do not trust your marketing skills, or you have to rely on the Mix Tape distribution using friends and the Web (social networks) to get a following of at least 100 people which is ok. Remember everything takes time and am talking about 1 year-15years to make it big… so, no need to rush.
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