Interview mijk van dijk
German DJ and producer mijk van dijk spend one week in Kigali and held a workshop on producing and DJing and got to know the music scene in Kigali.
Mijk, you come from the field of electronic music. How was the encounter with people from the music scene in Kigali?
First of all as always: people are people – everywhere! I am lucky to be travelling through the world as a DJ since 1994 and meet people on every continent, who don’t seem like strangers at all, because we share one passion: music, techno, party! And everything else attached to it: respect, equality, peaceful cooperation, and focus on the future. I was happy to find all this also in Kigali.
Where did you learn about new aspects of music production – where did you see similarities?
I am always interested in how music is produced in other parts of the world. In Kigali there were no surprises in that sense. Laptops are providing enormous possibilities for DJs and producers in form of software, for a fraction of the cost of the respective hardware, also because the means for potential instruments are not at hand. But artists don’t get discouraged by empty purses, but rather look for creative expressions with the means that are available. I am excited how the musicians in Rwanda will combine electronical sounds with the musical roots of the country in the future.
You have been part of the (Berlin) Technoscape for more than 20 years and you gave workshop on electronical music all over the world. What struck you especially in Kigali? What impressed you particularly – in terms of the music?
It struck me that most of the participants already had a solid basic knowledge, but mostly on affordable PCs and free or very cheap software. Musically, in Kigali you find Hip Hop, RnB and Dancehall, enriched with African Music especially from Nigeria. I paid tribute to that especially in the first part of my set (at Mamba Club), by playing a lot of African grooves. What really surprised me though, was that I played uncompromising Techno from the middle of my set, which was celebrated enthusiastically by the dancing audience. That showed me once more that Techno is actually understood everywhere around the world and I hope, that this basis democratic ‘worldmusic’ finds its way into the musical language of Rwanda.
What do you take along?A lot of souvenirs from Nyamirambo Womens Center ;) Unforgettable experiences in the Akagera National Park. And the genuine kindness, with which I was welcomed everywhere in Rwanda. I hope to come back soon.
What is your next project?
I just finalised a remix for my friends from 2raumwohnung and am preparing for the release of my label ‘microglobe’. Parts from the first EP ‘Peace 4 All’ I also played in Kigali and I was very happy that they were so well received by the audience. More information on that in short on my Website: www.microglobe.de or on my facebook artist page: https://www.facebook.com/mijkvandijk/