Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Who is Jack Rooster?
Thank you for having me. I am an African, born and raised in the beautiful city of Nairobi, Kenya. My interests range from Music and Technology to History and Politics, I am a strong believer in exploring one’s interests - however varied - to the fullest as I think this makes for a more enjoyable and impactful lifetime on earth.
Who were your biggest influences in the past and current?
One of my biggest influences growing up was my late elder brother. He got me started on the path of musical appreciation and his passing forced me to look at life with a different eye. Bruce Lee has always been an inspiration to me and the more I find out about him the more I admire him. Musical artists I look up to include the DJs I grew up listening to like Kenyan DJs: the late great Mr Thrill (Gerald Sabai), DJ Pinye, Ohms, Drazen, Kuzi ,DJ Adrian to name a few. As far as producers go, right now I’m really feeling sounds by BATUK,Mizz and Mthi Wa Afrika from South Africa,Skaiva from Bulawayo, Kenyans Pacho,Decimal Records,Just-A-Band & DJ Xpect, G’Sparks from Democratic Republic of Congo and Djeff Afrozilla from Angola.
You have a show Café Mocha, tell us more about it …
Caffé Mocha is a weekly radio show that airs on Nairobi’s no.1 Urban radio station HBR 103.5FM every Sunday Morning from 9:00AM(GMT+3).
One of the show’s main missions is catalyze the growth of the House Music scene in Kenya and the greater East/Central African region. We do this by featuring House/Dance music from various parts of the continent, airing interviews of various players in the scene and showcasing Kenyan talent via live guest DJ sets.
We have been on air for the past 5 years and feel that we are well on our way to achieving this mission.
How do you prepare for a set?
I usually begin my preparations during the course of the week before my performance. I allocate some time in the day to sitting at my computer researching on new music, stocking up on new content and generating a playlist of possible tracks bearing in mind my audience, set time and intended vibe.
This is not a cast in stone set just a selection of tracks I would like to play on the night. The order of play is usually dictated by how the night proceeds.
How do you keep innovating?
Over the years, I have found that being in nature helps me recharge the creative batteries so when I get to work, things stay fresh. I am also developing the habit of listening to more traditional music from Kenya and other parts of the continent, I find that it helps me reconnect with my heritage and develop a more authentic sound.
What do you think about the current Afro house scene?
I think its going through a beautiful growth phase both on the continent and in the diaspora. We are only beginning to realise how powerful this sound can be as a tool for the unification of our people. As Africans, we value music greatly because it has been part of our heritage and our souls resonate with it. Afro House has provided a vehicle to carry our ancient rhythms and tongues in a format that is easily understood by all. With this common understanding, comes unity, with unity comes strength. We have a Swahili saying that goes “Umoja ni Nguvu,Utengano ni Udhaifu”.Unity is strength, separateness breeds weakness.
What are you currently working on?
The main musical project right now is preparing for my first EP release. It is really close to my heart and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Any plans for live sets soon/ Plans to play in the UK?
Have a few live gigs slotted for late July and early August.
I am very keen on touring the UK soon. I look forward to it happening.
What places in Nairobi would you recommend we visit
Mama Rocks Burgers at the Alchemist (Westlands) – best gourmet burgers in town for true for true!
KICC rooftop – bring your favourite beverage and some snacks. Watch the sunset from the top of the city – best way to end the week.
Karura Forest Reserve– nice place to vibe with nature without having to leave the city.
For our readers who want to catch you live where can they find you?
You can catch me on my Caffé Mocha every Sunday Morning (6:00AM (GMT)) – I do the show Live - one can also live stream on http://tunein.com/radio/Homeboyz-Radio-1035-s78058/