#FACESOFALCHEMIST SERIES | IMRAN MWANGI
Meet 29 year old deejay and music producer Imran Mwangi. He plays at The Alchemist often, and his favorite restaurant is Mama Rocks, and he is in a @onehundredyears shirt!
“I moved to Nairobi from Nyeri in 2007 to attend university, and it’s around that time I started actively pursuing a career in the music industry, but the interest had always been there. At every point in my life even when I was as young as 2 I have some music attached to significant memories, like that’s how I remember them. It’s just how it is for me, and the reason I wanted to end up as a producer. Admittedly, it is not the easiest trade to get into locally unless you are very well known, so being a deejay to help chart the path towards that goal made sense. I’m just trying to be part of the music creation and delivery process.
So I’ve got two faces, I like both hip hop and electronic music that is tech house, deep house and funky house, and inspiration is drawn in equal measure from both. In hip hop I like what Pete Rock with his jazzy sound and 80s samples, J Dilla, 9th wonder and Mob Deep. Guys who were instrumental on the scene in New York. With house I like to incorporate techniques I would use in hip hop, so that the result is this really cool funky vibe. And I sample alot. Deep tech is what I am currently experimenting with, there’s not many vocals. It’s kinda minimal, and this helps because you can produce a track on your own. I like how Kenyan deejays and producers are getting very experimental with their sounds and it’s quite encouraging to hear what they come up with, and when we exist in a space like that together, you feel inspired to keep creating, which just adds onto the growing scene locally.
There is no venue comparable to the Alchemist. Everyone can just come and be a free spirit, and it’s always an amazing collection of people, that is the crowd, and the music you get to listen to. The afrobeats wave is all over the place now, and while I have nothing against it, I like to come to a place where there’s something different and unique.
I have always wanted to go to Ireland, mostly because of childhood fantasy caused by reading lots of English fairy tale books. So I have this image in my mind of a landscape with rolling green hills, crisp weather, castles and manors all over the place, hopefully one day I’ll get to visit!
If I was stuck on an island I’d have a saxophone because I like the instrument and I am in the process of learning how to play, a shaving kit so that I look fresh when the rescue comes, and a knife! #FacesofAlchemist