Emerging from one part of Nairobi’s bustling streets, Paul Mwangi, an unusual Disc Jockey who goes by the stage name DJ Boboss has taken the internet by storm. A video of him popped up on my For You Page some months ago. I was immediately intrigued by this street performer who had crafted his own DJ deck from a collection of improvised electrical appliances.
Boboss’ deck may not produce the high-quality sound of traditional DJ setups, but that has not stopped him from captivating the attention of hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. Despite the janky nature of his instrument, Boboss has managed to capture the hearts and ears of people worldwide.
From humble beginnings on the streets of Kenya, Boboss has captured the hearts and minds of people around the world. His music may not be perfect, but it is filled with raw emotion and the sheer joy of creation. Through his determination and ingenuity, he has shown that anything is possible, even in the face of adversity.
I sent a message to Boboss on Instagram, expressing my interest in learning more about his homemade DJ deck. To my surprise, he responded almost immediately and suggested we do a virtual interview through voice notes.
Excited, I began recording my questions and sent them to him. Boboss responded in kind, his voice filled with enthusiasm, as he shared his story with me. His energy was palpable, a reflection of his determination to succeed against all odds.
I asked him how he’d come up with such an idea, and Boboss began to recount his journey. He shared how he’d grown up in a poor family in Meru County and how his passion for music had developed in high school. One day, while at a nightclub in Mangieri, he saw a DJ perform and was inspired to make his own deck.
Without any formal training, he began building his own deck using the limited materials he had access to. He used his skills repairing old radios to create something new and exciting. The first version wasn’t perfect, but he kept working on it, improving it every chance he got.
As I listened, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by Boboss’s determination and ingenuity. He’d taken a passion for music and turned it into something truly remarkable, despite the odds against him.
I was curious to know more about how he’d built his audience, and he explained that he’d simply taken his deck wherever he went. People were fascinated by the unusual creation and eager to hear what he could do with it. As he played, he drew crowds, and his reputation began to grow.
He told me that he hoped to continue improving his deck, making it even better so that he could reach a wider audience. His dream was to create a radio station where people worldwide could tune in to his music.
“You know, I want to make a studio for recording music,” he said, his voice filled with passion. “I’m a musician. And I see many artists here locally, have the challenge of accessing recording studios.” Boboss’s vision for the future was crystal clear. He wanted to create a space where artists like himself could come and record their music, a place where they could hone their craft and take their talent to the world stage. But it wasn’t just about the music. Boboss had a bigger plan in mind.
“The other expectation is, you know, I want to start DJ Boboss sound system whereby I’ll be renting my system to the people planning occasions and events,” he said, his voice sparkling with excitement. “I want to share my talent with the world and help others do the same.” Boboss was grateful for the support he’d received from his community and yearned to give back as much as he could.
But there were challenges. Boboss was painfully aware of the obstacles standing in his way. “The first challenge is money, you know, right now I don’t have money,” he said, his tone turning serious. “And the other challenge is, I don’t have a permanent place where I can stay. You know, I used to sleep in the streets. You can watch my videos on YouTube now and think I am a big man. But my real story is here in Kenya, I’ve been from the streets.”
Despite these challenges, Boboss is ready to accomplish a lot. His current set-up was a testament to his ingenuity and resourcefulness.
I asked him about the setup of his current deck. “I had used a modulator, a transmitter,” he explained. “I fixed it with an amplifier. And you need a power source. You know, I have improved the transmission frequency of my current deck from 100 meters to 200 meters, but right now, I would like to build a big one using big transmitters, and modulators, and I think it can use electricity instead of this current one using battery powered by a solar panel.”
As we wrapped up our interview, I couldn’t help but be struck by his optimism and drive. His journey from the streets to the studio was a testament to the power of talent, hard work, and determination. And as he continues to chase his dreams, I have no doubt that Boboss will make his mark on the world stage. ∎