Misterrcha recaps the highs of DJing in 2018
Words by Brinsley Chidavaenzi
In short, 2018 was the year I managed to solidify and forge the blueprint of a MisterrCha set. From playing all over London, playing club nights to play the foundation of the evening to support other acts to residency DJ sets; packed rooms to a few souls whose energy filled a room – I loved every moment.
My initial aim when I started DJ was to have an outlet to play my bedroom/studio creations in a live real-time environment. Where people could choose to head bop, dance, groove in any way to my sounds. That was about as visceral as it was. This still remains, however, the goalpost shifted tremendously. Now I want to play what you don’t hear in these spaces as well as the classics, underground, mainstream and everything between. Throughout the months I played across a huge array of genres from pop to house, soul, R&B, funk, hip-hop, dancehall, reggaeton, Latin Pop, grime, bhangra and experimental club music across London – and a music range that spanned across the past half-century. Different hearts for different starts.
Upon pulling from the past in my sets; this made me understand how important time and connection are to songs when playing to crowds can be; it’s what’s familiar that pulls us in and the re-contextualisation (via. remixes/flips/bootlegs) can add that ‘WOW’ factor that alleviates from good to great. Perspective.
In particular, the afrobeats/dancehall/reggaeton segments in my sets drew frenzies of people that were revelled by my selections because they didn’t hear these sounds getting played out much and defied the old modes of just sticking to one genre or four on the floor dance music. I just played what was reflective of the world I wanted to see and was seeing. I also managed to be more confident push more Zimbabwean music and represent more of my heritage into my sets by weaving the past (Thomas Mapfumo, Simon Chimbetu, Bhundu Boys, Stella Chiweshe) and the present: (Killer T, Winky D, Jah Prayzah).
This made me double down in my convictions and in my choices and playing this field of push and pull between off-kilter jams that change the mood and direction of a night and ‘play the hits!’ in some form of a human algorithm which satisfies but can be done with a Spotify Playlist. A ‘Premier Gaou’ for every house tune if so to speak. Some nights were scenius (a portmanteau of scene + genius coined by Brian Eno) efforts having open requests with my audiences and friends – in that way having a dialogue with the music as opposed to just receiving and engaging with the sounds passively. Requests allow me to further weave ideas I would never arrive at, sounds that I haven’t heard before.
The scene has been absolutely lovely to me and made me eternally grateful and thankful for the support I’ve been receiving weekly since I started, people from travelling really far to make a night, people telling me they only planned to stay for a drink but ended up a whole night, meeting lovely people on the journey.
Being a DJ – you don’t usually say much but your voice is speaking to hundreds, thousands and more alone in the space you’re in just by your record selections and style. That’s the only thing I can ask for in 2019; to continue spreading the joy across more dance floors and spaces across, expect the unexpected from a MisterrCha set and bring a party hat, chilling or bopping, singing or humming.
I like it like that.