Nelson Ssemakula a.k.a DJ Nelly Sting, is one of the music spin masters in the country. He has made his name by making sure his choice of clothes makes a swaggerific statement every time he is in public, hence being the reason most of his youthful fans call him DJ Swagg
Nelson Ssemakula a.k.a DJ Nelly Sting, is one of the music spin masters in the country. He has made his name by making sure his choice of clothes makes a swaggerific statement every time he is in public, hence being the reason most of his youthful fans call him DJ Swagg. Dan Muhenda had a chat with him...
Dude, tell us about yourself?
I am a down-to-earth man who loves music and fashion.
When did you start playing music?
Way back in S.5 at a pub called Jacaranda. That time, I was a student at Lubiri SSS.
Oh boy, that was some hard work! How would you balance books and music?
I was not a full time DJ, I was kind of helping out the official DJ, Steve. The truth is it wasn’t really interfering with my books because I was doing it for fun. I believe when you have the passion for something, you make time for it. In my S.6 vac, Jacaranda hired me as a full time DJ. It was my first official job.
Were your parents okay with your job?
The truth is my parents had no idea that I had landed a job. However, they got to know later when I had started earning big. They were like: “Why are you not asking us for dime like other kids?”
What clubs and schools have you played for so far?
I have been in Ange, T1, and mostly at Effendys, where I meet most of my young fans. That’s why most high school kids are my buddies. I have also played for SMACK, Seeta High, Green Hill, St. Lawrence and mob others.
What benefits have you got out of it all?
Most importantly, I have made friends. In all social circles, I have someone who knows me. I have also become famous and met important people who have impacted positively on my life. Well, I have also made dime, lots of it.
How much do you earn per gig?
I am usually paid between 400-500k; that is minus the music system.
Tell us about one crazy moment you have experienced with your fans
There was a time I was playing music at a famous school. The students really loved what I was doing but when it was finally time to end the dance, they refused to get out of the hall. They threatened to strike when the teachers tried to disperse them with canes. The teachers asked me to sweet talk the students. I played them a few more tracks and convinced them to go back to their dormitories. I was amazed when they agreed and walked out of the dance hall peacefully.
What criteria do you use to choose your clothes?
I watch music videos a lot, so I choose my clothes depending on what has caught my eye in the latest music video. I mostly consider the latest RnB and hip-hop videos of international stars.
How much do you spend on clothes?
It’s the jeans which are usually expensive but roughly I spend around 400k each month. There is a price to everything if you want to look hot.
How do you keep yourself updated in the music world?
I watch trace, MTV base, download a lot from Youtube. I also follow most of the top stars on social networks like twitter.
Most parents complain that the youth dress terribly. What’s your take?
It could be true. But the problem comes from parents who let their children watch too much TV. I think it’s time parents started guiding and not just blaming the youth.
Did you have a Valentine at school?
Oh yes, I did, but it wasn’t anything beyond chatting and reading books. I liked her so much and that was it.
What did you do for her on Valentine’s day?
Actually, that’s another crazy moment I will never forget. I remember serving her my share of food. I told her not to stand in the line because I was lining up for her.
Do you know where she is now?
She’s at Makerere studying law. We rarely meet.
What advice do you give young people who are busy hunting for lovers?
They should take one step at a time. A lover is good but books are better. They shouldn’t be like me who missed lunch because I wanted to please my Valentine. Love can wait, but education is life. You don’t play around with it. They should get focused because life has no second chances.
I made kids chill out on a strike with music