In the run up to the release of their debut album, ‘Nyumva’ (Listen to Me), which is set to tilt Two4Real further towards mainstream success, Collins Mwai caught up with DJ Pius – one half of the twosome that treated us to the rib-tickling ‘Kanda Amazi’ – to quiz him on his political aspirations and how he juggles disc-jockeying, music and books…
Tell us about your childhood…
I was born and bred in Mbarara, western Uganda. I grew up in a very good environment, believe me. I did most of my schooling in Uganda before I moved to Rwanda to join Lycee de Kigali for the final years of my high school. I am lucky to have attended good schools in Uganda. It reflects on who I am today. I was greatly influenced by one of my former teachers who was very good at drama and the arts in general. I grew up listening to radio – a lot – and this exposed me to various genres of music. As a kid I was inspired by Alex Ndawula of Capital FM in Kampala and a certain DJ called Andrew who used to work at Voice of Kigezi (in Kabale, western Uganda). I remember bribing my way into a nightclub when I was 13 years old just to have a glimpse of Ndawula. That’s the kind of influence he had on me. I also sang in Church for a long time.
You were a Church boy? Tell us about your journey from the house of God to the nightclub
When I completed high school I started playing at a nightclub near MTN Centre in Nyarutarama. At the time I was also a part-time IT student. After a short time, Big Club flung its doors open and offered me a job as a resident DJ. I worked there until it burnt down and then moved to Le Must. But when I joined university in 2009, I took a break from DJing though I still worked at major gigs like the annual Jungle Party. It was around that time when I took a stab at singing.
What are you studying at university?
I am studying International Law at Kigali Independent University. I fact, am now in my final year. I am not pursuing law because I want to practice it in future; I just have a special interest in politics and leadership. Besides, I come from a family of intellectuals so I wouldn’t want to be seen as the black sheep.
How do you juggle school, disc-jockeying and singing?
It is not easy but you have to plan and manage your time well. I have learnt to prioritise what’s important. I work at night and get home at around 4:00AM to catch a few hours of sleep before heading to school at 8:30AM. In the afternoon I have enough time to go to the studio and run other errands.
DJs are known to be uneducated people who lack foresight…
Yes, that is quite true of most deejays, but you can’t blame them. It is the kind of life they are exposed to that bears on them. They work whilst other people are having fun and at times that kind of life can be very tempting. It makes you live for the moment without worrying about the future. There are some deejays who think they can live like that for the rest of their lives, which is unfortunate. I always tell young people who want to be DJs in future that they have to get their priorities right. A DJ makes some decent money – sometimes even more than most civil servants and lawyers – but the problem is that we tend to spend just as much we earn.
Word has it that you are dating a famous girl…tell us about her
It is true I am seeing someone in the limelight – Angie Umurisa. She is a TV presenter. I think it’s good that she is also in the limelight because that means that she understands that sometimes as an entertainer you can get a lot of attention.
How is your music career going?
We (Two4Real) are planning to launch our debut album, Nyumva (Listen to Me), which will be loaded with 14 tracks. That should be at the end of this year or early next year. Our fans should watch out for a more musically mature Two4REAL. The album will have cameos from artistes from eastern Africa, western Africa and southern Africa.
Lastly what’s that one thing that few people know about you?
I buy lots of books because I am a fan of reading. Also, few people know that I am good at visual arts – very good at drawing, sketching, and painting.
DJ PIUS FACT FILE
>Born in Mbarara, Uganda, in February, 1987
>Attended Mbarara Junior School
>Moved to Rwanda in 2002 and joined Lycee de Kigali, from where he completed high school in 2005
>Began Deejaying in 2006
>As a DJ he has played for big international artistes like D Banj, Shaggy, and Ice Prince
>Moved to Big Club (Now K-Club) when it opened its doors to club goers in 2010
>Co-founded Two4REAL with Aidan TK in 2010
>Currently dating Angie Umurisa, a popular local TV presenter
>Alex Ndawula of Kampala’s Capital FM and DJ Stylez of Code Red are some of his role models
>He is an International Law finalist at Kigali Independent University
>Philosophy: You can never go wrong with hard work