DJ SMYLIE’S DUBAI CHRONICLES
. . . I GOT STRANDED AT AIRPORT
POPULAR emcee and wheel-spinner DJ Smylie don’t settle for less and when he wants something he goes for it.
After relocating to Dubai for greener pastures, the energetic performer appears to have settled well.
Born Ngoni Machingura, the revered performer gives credit to the Almighty after he settled in Dubai where there are more than 200 nationalities.
H-Metro Assistant News Editor (Entertainment) TRUST KHOSA spoke to the versatile entertainer who opened up on life in Dubai, achievements, love life and his ambassadorial role as a torch-bearer in showbiz marketing brand Zimbabwe. Read on…
Q: How is life in Dubai as a foreigner, entertainer and hustler?
A: Life is Dubai is very straight forward and simple.
It has given me the chance to actually focus on what I want to do which is music.
I think my hustling days are over, when you do what you love you do not have to hustle because it is your dream.
Q: For how long have you been staying there and how did you manage to settle down?
A: I have been in Dubai for over a year now and settling was not hard at all my.
My brother was already established here in the events and entertainment industry so it was a matter of just coming to Dubai, the foundation was laid.
Q: How best can you describe your early days in Dubai?
A: Hot! The weather here is very humid and hot so it took a lot of adjusting to.
The food, multi-racial community, their Arab way of life, and the dos and don’ts.
I had to learn a lot and I had to adapt fast, but I have learnt that if you stay true to who you are people will always love and respect you.
Q: Which target market are you serving in Dubai and how is the response?
A: Honestly, I have a very large audience, Arabic, African, European, Asian and that has taught me the importance of diversity and adapting to new environments and challenges.
The past year has changed me in more ways than one and I can say that coming back home you would experience a whole new Smylie.
Q: In which areas were you lagging behind when you were still a DJ in Zimbabwe?
A: Exposure to new thought processes and new ideas.
Meeting and working with so many big African artists like Davido, Wizkid, 2Face, Diamond Platinumz, Nyashinski, Stone Bwoy, Zodwa Wabantu, Dj Cndo, Eddy Kenzo, and many more I have learnt the importance of branding yourself and image.
It is truly the key to success, marketing yourself begins with discipline & accountability.
Q: How is the appreciation of emcees and DJs in Dubai as compared to Zimbabwe?
A: It is a bit harder for Dubai based Emcees & Djs due to the diversity in Dubai.
There are over 200 nationalities in Dubai, and they all like what they like, some do not even speak English. As a born entertainer that will never stop you because music has no borders.
Q: Which major shows have you performed at and how was the response?
A: I am currently the official resident Emcee for a Lounge called KIZA Dubai, the best African restaurant and lounge in the whole of Middle East.
This platform is one of the most amazing opportunities I can ever come across because of how big the brand is and what it represents especially in the UAE. I also Emceed at One Africa Music Festival last year and Africa Fest. Among that I have had a few local radio appearances.
Q: What strides have you made there in as far as creating synergies go?
A: The circle Dubai is one of the main platforms we use, me, my brother Farai, & KIZA, to promote the talent in Africa.
Having a big platform in Dubai is not easy at all due to the competition and the fact that Dubai is never starved with hip hop entertainers and rappers. So we find it key to create a platform form Africans in the Middle East.
Q: What do you miss most from home?
A: Stodart Hall and the passion you find in the young artistes making it happen with Zimdancehall.
I always make it a point to meet and link up with Zimbabwean artistes that come for shows or holidays in Dubai, like Enzo, Freeman, Levels, Roki. We always have the best times.
Q: Given a chance which emcees or DJs would you take under your wings abroad and why?
A: Merciless Zimbabwe has always been my yute from day one, and moving forward I would want us to continue what we started.
Q: How do you prepare yourself for a show?
A: Prayer and knowledge of what it is you need to do how I need to do it. The best ingredient for success is preparation.
Q: How do you handle ladies considering emcees/DJs are on demand abroad?
A: Hahahaha…Next question.
Q: What have you achieved abroad ever since you relocated there?
A: I have managed to create great contacts and partnerships with the help of KIZA, working more on my music now and will be releasing videos soon.
Performing at One Africa was the highlight of my career since I moved, connecting with 5000 people from all over the world is a blessing.
Q : What’s your vision as an entertainer?
A: To inspire the yutes that anything is possible, you do not have to be a lawyer or a doctor to make something of yourself. A degree is a paper it does not determine your worth as a person, we create our own realities and EVERYTHING you can imagine is real.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: My Father is my biggest inspiration. My biggest goal is not to be the best entertainer, no. My biggest goal is to leave a trail for those following my footsteps; to be daring and open-minded, create a legacy with ZimDancehall that will continue to live on in a story that my children and Zimbabwe will tell.
Q: Do you have any new stuff on the market like EPs, mixtapes etc (name them?)
A: We are currently working on a project with The Circle Dubai who are my talent management team, we have four projects dropping in July just in time for my Birthday Carnival and we will release them on the same day.
Q: Tell us about your love life (ie whom are you dating and how many kids do you have?)
A: For the past four years my love life has been on the low and I enjoy that fact so let me not spoil that hahaha.
Q: Your brief profile?
A: MC Smylie! Resident MC for KIZA Dubai, Entertainer based in the UAE and currently telling the world about Africa through Music.
Q: Who is your source of inspiration?
A: Still my father.
Q: Your happiest moment in Dubai?
A: My happiest moment is when I sit at the dinner table with my family and we eat. I will not lie, family is the rock you lean on when the world puts all its force on your life.
Q: Your embarrassing moment in Dubai.
A: I once stayed at the airport for four hours after I arrived because I was so nervous to start my new journey in this new place I knew nothing about.
But I have met some amazing people here Big Up my Dj Dj Mneddy outta Kenya, Poppy The dancer my yute, The KIZA Dubai team, CIRCLE!, and my Dubai Massive.
Q: Your message to fellow DJs/emcees, especially from Zimbabwe and southern Africa?
A: The journey is a long one but it starts with a step. No matter what, you will always have to take that first step.
Let’s continue to inspire and build for the present and the future. We Are Africa, inspiring the world.
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