DJ Sharly speaks out on the struggles of female deejays
Female deejays are little known in the male-dominated music industry in Nairobi where breaking through to the professional ranks has proved elusive to many.
Sharlyne Agini aka Dj Sharly, one of the city’s young female deejays, spoke to Nairobi News about her struggles in making it big on the decks and the price she has had to pay.
The 24-year-old is currently pursuing her degree in electrical engineering at the University of Nairobi.
She has been a professional deejay for only three years, balancing her studies with work, but she admits there are a lot of struggles female deejay’s go through.
“We get a lot of crazy requests, but the weirdest is guys offering to pay you up to Sh 100,000 just to give them company as opposed to you doing your job,” said DJ Sharly.
Being in a relationship with someone outside the industry poses another challenge to female deejays.
“I recently broke up with my boyfriend. Among the issues we had was him wanting to be in every gig and not understanding the nature of my work,” she said.
This often leads them to either date fellow deejays, music producers or even musicians who better understand their busy schedules during weekends.
Sharly developed interest in deejaying after high school aged 18 and pursued a two-months course at Homeboys Academy.
And of course there was the pressure from her parents who associated deejaying with moral decadence.
“At first my parents being African they did not approve of it, but after I took my mother to the academy she eased up and allowed me to pursue it,” she says.
Her interest was triggered by her love for the night life, a reason she says should never trigger any young person to pursue deejaying.
“That was a very wrong reason to start up deejaying but am glad I later got to appreciate music and now I do it for the love of it,” she adds.
Sharly hopes to enhance her career with the skills she has obtained in electrical engineering and work as a consultant.
As a young person she looks up to those who have been entertainers longer.
“Locally I look up to Dj Fridah who was based in coast and Dj Still whom I have gone to one of her gigs and she was awesome. Internationally the female deejays I look up to are Dj Coco Chanelle and Dj Shorte,” she says.