Touted as the “President’s deejay”, DJ Euphoric, real name Barare Ogeto, is one of the fastest-rising entertainers in Kenya.
DJ Euphoric has moved countless hearts on social media, not only with his mixing prowess, but also the fact that he is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Official Deejay.
The DJ has overcome a myriad of challenges to get his footing in the industry and almost gave up in life after he was confined to a wheelchair over a decade ago.
DJ Euphoric spoke to Buzz about his journey to the top.
How did you get into the wheel chair?
One day, when I was 15, in 2005, I just woke up with pain on my joints. At the hospital they couldn’t figure what was wrong with me. At first, they said It was a kind of fever, but couldn’t explain why I had wounds on my joints. I was in Kenyatta National Hospital for almost four months and they tried everything they knew.
After about a year of misdiagnosis, they eventually discovered that I had a degenerative joint disease that couldn’t be cured. At that point I began physiotherapy and adjusting to life on a wheel chair. It was very tough for me.
I actually just wanted to hide from the world but my family wouldn’t let me, they forced me to get out there and lead a normal life. They have been a big support, always encouraged me to push forward and never give up. A lot of families hide their children living with disabilities, but mine walked proudly with me in streets. This really helped me accept myself.
How did you get into deejaying?
My dream to become a deejay started when I was young, I must have been about six years old. I used to love listening to DJ Adrian on Capital FM and my vision was to get to his level.
My disability was obviously a setback, but I still had that urge to pursue my passion. After high school, in 2014, I did a few ICT courses then began approaching several deejay academies. They wouldn’t enroll me because I had a wheelchair.
At the time, there was a renowned deejay academy in town that I wanted to get into, but a friend who worked there advised me that that would be hard. The building they were in didn’t have a lift.
Instead, he suggested that I join DJ Wesley’s Spins Trade Academy (STA). I reached out to the tutor, Lee the DJ, on social media and he was very positive. He suggested I visit their Hurlinghum offices and I went there the next day.
I got there, called him, and to my surprise he came downstairs with a few guys and they carried me to the first floor. They did that for three months, and today I still work with one of them – DJ Kevro. He would actually pick me up from home, take me to the school and bring me back in the evening.
How did you break into the industry?
After completing my course at the academy, instead of sitting back, I immediately started reaching out to people in the industry. Many shrugged me off but I kept pushing on and knocking on doors.
That same year, I was called to perform at the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities at their Gigiri headquarters and Big Ted was the MC.
When he arrived at the venue, he asked why there was no music and I told him the organisers had not supplied the decks as promised. He inquired if I had my own, and when I told him I didn’t, he assured me that I would get mine.
In 2015, Daddy Owen invited me for his 10-years-in-the-industry anniversary event. It so happened that Big Ted was the MC and, right in the middle of the program, he started an impromptu fundraiser to buy me gear. In about 20 minutes they raised nearly Sh520,000 and that’s how I got my deejay equipment.
What are some of the biggest events you have deejayed?
Many people call me the President’s official deejay because I have performed at State House numerous times. I first went there when I was doing a project with his son Muhoho. I was also a part of a delegation of persons living with disabilities on official invite, and I was later on invited for a Luncheon during a public holiday.
Last December, I was invited to Dj for the president as he hosted kids from various orphanages. I have also done numerous corporate events and deejayed at various concerts. I am currently a part of the Safaricom activation crew: doing road shows, campus activations and playing at all Twaweza Live Concerts. It is such a dream come true.
In 2012, when DJ Kaytrix was headlining Niko na Safaricom Live, I was just a form four student hoping that one day I would play with all the big artistes. Today, my name is up there with all the big stars in Kenya, I really thank God for this far I have come.
What gives you the drive to keep going despite all the challenges you face?
I have always been a go-getter; I never give up regardless of what comes up against me. My aim is to impact and inspire people through my music and, in turn, they encourage me to keep going.
I look forward to the day persons living with disabilities will be treated like anyone else. We just need to realise that everyone has something to offer, so let’s give people with disabilities a chance.
What is your message to people living with disabilities?
Believe in yourself, and never let your disability stop you from achieving what you need. It was a shock at first when I got my wheelchair. However, once I accepted myself, I realised that I could attain anything I want to achieve.
You don’t have to beg on the streets just because you have a disability, there is something that you can do to positively contribute to society.