DJ Kampire is taking East African underground music to the world

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Kampire is a DJ from Uganda who plays electronic underground music mixed with old East African music from the 1970s onwards. 

Playing sub-genres like St Lucia Soca music, Kudoro, East African Soukous and Benga music, she’s toured the world and has shared her love for the electronic sound the world.

‘DJing has taken me to a lot of unexpected places; Japan, China, Mexico, some really huge festivals in Europe like Sonar, and a lot of underground clubs that you wouldn’t necessarily expect a random girl from Uganda to be playing in.’

The co-founder of the Nyege Nyege Festival says her all-time favourite mix she produced for the dance floor was with a friend.

‘The track that I love to drop on the dance floor is an edit that I made with a friend of a song called Zangalewa which is a really old song from I think the 1980’s by a band called ‘Golden Sounds’. 

The original song ‘Zangalewa’ by Golden Sounds, used to mix DJ Kampire’s version

We just mixed it a little bit to make it dance floor-ready but it’s the kind of song that takes people back to their childhood that’s unexpected but it’s really incredible to dance to. So whenever I drop it on the dance floor, people really get into it.’

‘I listen to everything. I am specifically interested in music from the African diaspora and now that I am touring I feel I have the responsibility to represent East African music. It’s great that Afrobeats is taking over the world but it also opens the door for people who are doing something more left field. 

A song mixed by Kampire and her friends – Gatlauk mix

Underground East African artists, producers are getting recognised and also getting booked to play. I feel really lucky to be part of this scene. 

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