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ISSUE 64 | JULY / AUGUST 2023

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The Rise of the Greatest DJ in Zambia: VJeezy

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In 2013 DJ VJeezy, whose real name is Vernon Daka, was out of employment and needed something to do. In his quest to find fulfilment he began a series of popular street parties that took Zambia by storm. Along with his partner at the time, the late DJ Nano, Vjeezy’s main aim was to bring any place to life and make it popular. 

VJeezy enrolled at the University of Zambia in 2003 in the school of natural sciences, under the physics stream to study engineering, emulating his father, who is his role model and an accomplished engineer. However, he withdrew from his studies in the second year. “I got tired of reading and being smart, it was not challenging me anymore,” he explains. Thereafter he enrolled at Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS). After finishing his accounting course, he worked with several different employers and it was at this point in his life that he realised that he wanted to become his own boss, for freedom and peace of mind.

What makes me different is the element of surprise. I never announce when the artist I am opening for is about to come on stage.

In 2010, News Cafe, a contemporary bar chain opened in Lusaka. VJeezy was not DJing at the time but was managing the establishment. In December 2014 a rare opportunity presented itself on a Friday evening. The DJs that were hired to play did not show up, with immense pressure building for a DJ that night and a club full of expectant guests looking to have a good time. VJeezy jumped on the decks to rock the night away, playing old school music, something that he is well known for. The crowd loved him and that night marked the beginning of his DJing career.

When asked who has played a significant role in his career Vjeezy says, “DJ Nano changed my life. He was DJing and doing things on a different level. The way he branded himself secured him all the cool gigs.” He continues, “DJ Hussein was very instrumental in moulding me into the great DJ that I am. He taught me technical aspects of DJing such as creating clean mixes. I idolised him.”

In 2016 Vjeezy started trekking around different parts of Zambia, playing at various gigs to grow his brand and create a solid fan base. With three major events taking place in three months, the summer of 2017 is a special one the DJ. The events that summer took his career to new heights. These events were Oktoberfest, organised by the PR Girls, Levels Party by OK Live Promotions where Maleek Berry performed and the Penthouse Party also by the PR Girls. These events created a major buzz in Zambia and earned Vjeezy the attention he deserved.

The following year 2018 was even more magical as he was awarded an opportunity by Zambia Breweries to lead the Castle Lite Unlocks events which involved roadshows and performances all over Zambia. He performed exceptionally well beating the targets he was given. This led to him being rewarded with an all-expenses trip to Tanzania to watch Diamond Platnumz, one of Tanzania’s most popular musicians and American rapper Future. VJeezy used this opportunity to network and create links for himself.

VJeezy has opened the stage for several prominent local and international artists such as Nasty C, Patoranking, SWV, Kranium, Tekno and Davido, Joe and Brian McKnight. “What makes me different is the element of surprise. I never announce when the artist I am opening for is about to come on stage. What I do is play a song of theirs and have them come unannounced.”

In 2018, Vjeezy dropped his first single, ‘Special Feeling,’ with Ice Prince and Slap Dee.  This song happens to be my ultimate favourite song of all his hits. In 2019, he was named an influencer for Airtel Zambia and Chivas Scotch whisky. Vjeezy dropped the critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Fuego in 2020. That same year he was signed to Kalandanya Music Promotions.

In November 2021, Vjeezy released his second album More Fire, Fuego Volume 2, which is actually a trilogy of albums featuring artists such as Chef 187, Macky 2, Mic Burner and everyone who is happening in Zambian music. As usual, Vjeezy is bringing the heat.

VJeezy revealed, “2022 will be my last year in the industry when I drop Fuego 3, as I am set to retire. I came, I saw, I conquered.” While I honestly hope he goes back on his word about retirement, the fact is Vjeezy has made an indelible mark on the Zambian music and events scenes. He has, without a doubt, conquered.

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