People never know what serendipity might alter the course of their lives. These “chance events” happen to all of us, but most people don’t take advantage of them. DJ Jaypee was one who did and hasn’t looked back. After attending the Kenya Institute of Management and graduating in Business Management, Jaypee pursued an alternative path. He eventually joined HOMEBOYZ MTA for a DJing course and subsequently was first in his class. Recently, African Warrior Magazine was able to learn more about DJ Jaypee’s successful company, Homeboyz, and why he is sometimes referred to as THE PINK HOUSE C.E.O.
Jaypee is the eldest of six children born to staunch Christian parents and raised in Kitale Town in Trans-Nzoia District-now-County. One of his siblings is deceased. He recalls living an average life where some days were hard and lean. However, he also remembers that his family would always thank the Lord for what they did have during those hard times. His parents are now deceased, but he will never forget their sacrifices and all that they did to make his life comfortable.
Growing up, Jaypee loved arts and football with football becoming his main passion. Considering that he could watch television only on the weekends, when the only show airing was football; he developed quite a fondness for the game. His father increased his admiration of the sport by buying him a football jersey. “I still remember that printed on the back of the jersey was Maradona number 10, and I was also given a pair of black football shorts,” he fondly recalls. Eventually, his father took him to watch a derby between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards in the Local Municipal Stadium. That was an exhilarating experience for young Jaypee. It influenced him to such an extent that when he would play football with his peers, he said he always felt like Maradona.
Over a holiday, a friend of Jaypee’s introduced him to another sport that would greatly impact his life. They attended an inter-state basketball tournament at one of the learning institutions. Jaypee says that the rest is history and it was “the end of me and my love for football.” He was so enamored with basketball, that consequently, he became one of the most lethal point guards in the country!
His desire to excel at basketball culminated in his home team, ‘KITALE RAPTUREZ”, Kitale Technical Training Institute, winning all of the Inter -Technical Tournaments three years in a row with Jaypee being voted the best point Guard in all three. He went on to receive numerous medals and trophies. Jaypee also played for the Don-Bosco Church basketball team in the Premier League and the Nairobi basketball league. He explained that his fondest memory was when he was playing against one of the toughest institutions, and his team was “up on points” with a “do or die” moment. There were only five seconds left on the clock, and he received a pass. He said, “I remember taking a three point shot from almost half the court away, and then miraculously I saw the ball swish through the rim into the net. We won the game by half a basket! One of my best moments!”
Presently, Jaypee plays basketball just to stay fit because DJing occupies most of his time. When asked about his favorite basketball players of all time he ranks them in this order: JORDAN, KOBE, GARNETT, STEPH CURRY and DIKEMBE MUTOMBO.
Transitioning from basketball to disc jockeying happened while he was attending an agricultural show in Kitale where the famous ‘OMEGA ONE’ had set up his equipment inside of an enormous tent. He recalls that this DJ was playing music while wearing headphones and leaning his head on his shoulder. He saw his turntable, mixer and the collection of records. Jaypee was fascinated with the DJ’s ability to influence people to dance while smoothly transitioning non-stop from one song to another. At that moment, he knew that he was going to be a DJ when his education was complete.
Jaypee eventually achieved his dream of becoming a DJ in 1995 and has since worked with Homeboyz- a household name in Kenya synonymous with entertainment and cultural expression. To date, Homeboyz has evolved in scale, capacity, and experience to become a unit driving the youth marketing, communications, and advertising industry. From 2011 to 2017, Jaypee was a lecturer at MTA where he became a mentor to many of his students. One in particular was DJ Silva Sly. When asked about who he considers to be his mentor he replied, “Every DJ is my mentor. They are all endowed with special and different abilities. I look up to Kenyan DJs because they are a special breed. They are always way ahead of time in this game.”
Regarding a question about competition from those for whom he mentors, his reaction was one of humility. “It has always been one of my dreams to see other djs make it out there. I wish I could have a bigger space to let them have as much time as they desire to practice and hone their craft. The better you are, the more mileage you have.” When asked about the “Pink Room”, Jaypee said that one of his female fans saw the PINK COLOUR in the room, and that was how the term was coined. He explained that after that day he was known as the Pink House CEO. He truly loves his fans and when asked who was his favorite he said, “Every Member of 254 Diaspora DJ Live on the Mix on Facebook. I just love them all. They are so special.”
Although he plays many genres of music, his favorite is the music that was produced on records. Because he was taught to spin those at the Deejay Academy, he explained that the music on those records resonates with him. When comparing Kenyan music to West African music, Jaypee believes that both are equally good and can be improved upon by playing them to the world “so they can own it too.”
Along with being a DJ, Jaypee enjoys giving back to society. His parents taught him that “the hand that gives is the hand that receives.” When someone needs help, he always finds a way to assist them. Lastly, when asked about what advice he would give to an upcoming DJ, he reiterates one of the most famous lines from a speech given by Winston Churchill – “Never Ever Give Up!” DJ Jaypee is living proof of that quote.