DJ Princess Flor, real name Hilde Flora Nyilimbabazi, is building an incredible CV as a professional DJ in Europe, having established herself as one of the best performing DJs in Belgium.
Born in Nyamirambo, Kigali, the female DJ, who is now rocking top clubs in Brussels, has never thought of looking behind ever since she put her hands on the decks and now spins discs at big concerts alongside high profile musicians from around the world.
Nyilimbabazi spoke to Sunday Magazine’s Eddie Nsabimana about her meteoric rise to become one of the top DJs in Belgium.
How did you end up becoming a DJ?
I was working at a club [in Brussels] during summer holidays and would sometimes try DJs’ decks whenever I had an occasion. They then started to teach me deejaying skills after they realized that I was interested.
Which big events have you performed at so far as a DJ?
They are many. I have been a DJ at a number of concerts headlined by French-speaking artistes like Naza, Dadju, Booba, Gradur and Anglophone artistes like Diamond Platnumz, Davido, Ali Kiba, Tecno, Flavor and most of Rwandan artistes who come to perform in Belgium.
I have also been behind the decks at different festivals hosted in Belgium like Bomboclat and Afro-Latina Festival while I also got invitations from abroad like Canal Bessengue Douala in Cameroon, Nyama Choma Festival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Coconut Festival in Maputo, Mozambique, among many more.
Which countries have you performed in other than Belgium?
I have so far performed in different European countries like France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Hungary.
But it is not just Europe because I have also performed in a number of African countries like Burundi, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Mozambique, Tanzania, Cameroon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Rwanda, my home country.
How is it like being a female DJ?
For me, it is a work like any other job. I don’t feel either inferior or superior to anybody just because I am a female.
In the beginning, some members of the Rwandan community [in Belgium] could not understand what I was doing because it was their first time seeing a female DJ, but later, they liked it.
They have now got used to it and are always excited to see me doing such an amazing job.
What challenges do you face in this profession?
Because I am African, a number of promoters only wanted to see me playing Afro style music only, but I always try to convince them that I don’t belong to only one music style while deejaying. I mix hip hop, Dancehall and Afro.
Another challenge is that some male DJs don’t take you serious until you show them what you are capable of. They would question my skills and potential behind the discs during my early career days just because I am a female but now I have made them believe in what I do.
What has been your biggest achievement in your career as a professional DJ?
The fact that I am the first African female to become a professional DJ here in Belgium. I might have been an inspiration to girls aspiring to become professional DJs. I have also won seven awards as a DJ and it has become my source of living.
What kind of audiences do you entertain?
It depends on the nature of the event, but a big number of our club audience are Africans.
Can you play Rwandan music in clubs?
Yes. Rwandan music has power play especially in clubs to which Rwandan communities go. However, its power play has not reached that of West African music yet.