Where DJs can get new music to freshen their playlists

DJ Set (Image by Kofi Nuamah)
Image by Kofi Nuamah / Unsplash

The other day I saw this tweet in which someone asked #KOT for advice on where to find a spot in Nairobi playing chill R&B music. Reading through the comments, I got the feeling that a number of people aren’t that happy with the music played in most clubs. This is a sentiment that I too share.

Outside the Kenyan content vs Nigerian music debate, there’s another conversation that should be had: how predictable songs played in clubs are. Instead of labelling the ‘mixmasters’ lazy for playing literally the same songs on every set across the city, I think it’s way more objective to suggest places they could get new music.

Of course, majority of people don’t go out with the sole intention of seeking out new artists to listen to but, if some fresh tunes are squeezed into those playlists, they will surely appreciate.

Here are some places where DJs (and even fans) can find new songs to add to their playlists.

Curated Playlists

There are a number of curated playlists on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple, YouTube, e.t.c, with great music. While some are genre-specific, others are a mash-up of styles.

Here are some user-curated and editorial playlists:

Music Blogs

While music blogs are not as influential as they used to be, a few of those that remain are doing a great job sharing music by exciting artists. Here at Aipate, we keep two regularly updated lists of niche blogs: Top Kenyan music blogs & Best music blogs from Africa)

Here are some select blogs you should consider checking out:

Alternative Music Events and Joints

For those DJs who are a little adventurous, there are a number of uniquely curated events hosted in Nairobi, for example. These shows present an opportunity to discover new music and artists before they get mainstream attention. Alchemist Bar have a weekly live showcase while other music joints like Muze and K1 Klub House also have regular shows.

Besides these playlists, blogs and events, there are still other unique avenues where you can find that hot new tune. For instance, podcasts like Ado Veli Podcast can hook you up with songs by lesser known acts. Twitter is also a great place to find new songs.

Let’s keep discovering great music.


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