Aspiring DJ Eric Mugisha, commonly known as DJ Kiss, was on Saturday announced the winner of the first edition of ‘Battle of the DJs’ at Kigali Serena Hotel.
Hosted by comedian Arthur Nkusi, the competition was organised by the European Union in Rwanda in partnership with Scratch Music Academy, a school that glooms young talents in music production and disk jockeying, to give aspiring DJs a platform to show their talents.
Mugisha, 22, emerged victorious, overcoming stiff competition from nine budding DJs, including three females, among whom six were students from Scratch Music Academy.
The contest, which kicked off few minutes past 7pm, saw each of the ten DJs take turns behind the decks to prove that they had what it takes by entertaining the youthful audience who attended the event with their favourite music selection before the jury of judges composed of DJ Toxxyk, DJ Ira and DJ Shine, all the way from France.
The first session saw five DJs drop out of the competition while the first five proceeded to the next stage. Those who qualified for the next stage were DJ Jullz, DJ Khalex, DJ Kim, DJ Iris and DJ Kiss.
The five DJs that qualified for the next stage were also given a couple of minutes behind the decks as sections of supporters started to sing the names of their favourite DJs who were still in the competition.
Though the competition was tough, DJ Kiss proved to be the best and was also more popular with the audience whenever he took to the decks.
Mugisha won the contest ahead of DJ Khalex and DJ Kim who emerged first and second runners-up respectively.
Mugisha attributed the win to his passion for disc Jockeying and the experience he has compared to other contestants.
“I am very humbled. The competition has been a good experience for us aspiring DJs in improving our skills. It was not easy to beat all these young DJs but I did my best to overcome the challenge posed by fellow contestants to win it.”
“This can be a platform which I believe will push me to build a big name in the industry, something I have been looking forward to since I started deejaying,” he added.
Mugisha has been behind the decks for over five years, playing at different places in Kigali, including former Ogopogo and Choma’d hangouts.
Following the win, Mugisha will be sponsored to study music production abroad as the biggest prize of the competition besides prizes he won.
“I want to see my career as DJ growing so that I become one of the most celebrated DJs in the country. It is a dream I have had for years and I believe this can be my motivation,” he said.
Nicola Bellomo, the EU Ambassador to Rwanda, said they will continue organise more DJ competitions.
DJ Kelvin, a teacher from Scratch Music Academy, said the competition comes at the right time and seeks to give young DJs a platform to showcase their talents to the public.
“It is a competition which we have been missing in the industry. There were very young DJs who only spent three months studying disc Jockeying and they showed amazing skills. We hope more competitions in the future so that new talents are discovered,” he said.
The competition was part of the European Autumn of Culture, which will also include a theatre performance “The Hypochondriac”, slated for 18 Nov 2018 at the Kigali Exhibition Village and the European Film Festival which will take place from 20-25 November 2018 at Century Cinema Kigali.