This weeks MCM is London born, Ghanaian multi-genre DJ, Selecta Maestro! Now 35yr old and hailing from Mitcham, he began his musical journey at the tender age of 17. With love, life, family, God and music as his inspirations he chose to specialise in Afro-beats / Afro-house as a way of bringing Africa to the forefront through music and entertainment. DJ Selecta Maestro’s journey has certainly confirmed he is a pioneer of a flourishing UK Afro-beats scene. In-fact, his name really began to hold weight from 2011 when he was given an opportunity to reach audiences showcasing Afro-beats. It was then “Afrobeats Takeover” was born. [He has since gained notoriety beyond London and the UK with online podcasting taking the show to listeners across the globe. In May 2013, the Afro-beats Takeover show was moved to Friday nights taking it from strength to strength. In February of 2016 Afro-beats Takeover moved to The Beat FM London (formerly known as Bang Radio) and can now be heard each and every Friday night from 19.00 – 21.00]. As well as co-founding the radio show he is also a co-founder of “Afrobeat Weekender” [UK’s first ever Afro-beat Weekender, an event which launched in 2014 with the aim of celebrating African music and culture.]
Maestro is clearly a busy man and yet he juggles more as ¼ of Flexin Vibez Ent (a UK based sound system) and as a DJ & Manager to artist ‘K’Adu‘ (an emerging UK based Afro-beat / Afro Fusion artist) and Content Writer for ‘More Music Less Noise‘ which is a branch of the independent label ‘Less Is More Music‘.
In his earlier days he was known to friends and on the scene as “MC Furious” but later established himself as the man we know today. He went on to explain to me why he now prefers to hold the name “Selecta Maestro”: “The term ‘Selecta’ refers to an individual who selects and passes the records (vinyls) to the guy that is playing them on the sound system. During my early days I was the main Selecta within my crew, so in a way the name ‘Selecta’ is paying homage to that. ‘Maestro’ is an Italian term which refers to someone with much skill in an art, a great musician, composer or music teacher, and in my case a DJ.” During his childhood he expressed a [lifelong obsession with music stemming back to his childhood where he would listen to his parent’s vinyl music collection. Playing legendary artists, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and Fela Kuti, as well as the highlife sound from their homeland Ghana. Maestro later developed a love for other genres such as Reggae / Ragga, Hip-Hop, R&B / New Jack Swing and as he would put it, “anything else with a drum beat”. Through his mother’s encouragement Maestro began taking keyboard and guitar lessons from age 8 furthering his musical interests.]
In reference to his name, at this stage it is worth highlighting that he has clocked up mileage internationally, showcasing his skills, widening his audience and further cementing his name. Maestro won the “2017 African Pride Award” for ‘Disc Jockey of the Year’ and played at events such as: Miss African Queen Beauty Pageant (Switzerland, 2014), Co-Organiser of ’69 With Eazi’ (February, 2016) – (Mr Eazi’s first live headline show in the UK), Sweets Festival (Amsterdam, 2017) and Life Is Eazi Culture Fest (2018) and also in other countries: Poland, Holland, Ireland and Scotland. Maestro is also the OFFICIAL DJ for Ghana Escapes (an increasingly popular package holiday that takes place every Christmas, consisting of a range of events enabling guests to enjoy & learn about Ghana at its fullest during the festive period.) His future goal is to venture more towards the business side of the music industry and he is currently quietly working on a few things. Outside of music he is a down to earth man who thinks that without chicken and jollof life wouldn’t make sense! Haha a man with a good appetite! He also used to write poetry, although he hasn’t explored that avenue for some time now. He is also an educated man having completing his degree in 2009 (BSc Sociology) and attending at IMW Music College (Islington) in 2012 to study Music Production.
Ending on a positive note Maestro shares with me: “Certain people are born and exist and they don’t really identify with what they’ve been blessed with as a strength. They don’t apply it in even the smallest way possible and then all of a sudden they die, they exist and serve no purpose to anyone or anything.” In the past I have been guilty of sometimes second guessing myself. The above quote serves as a source of motivation for me as I feel that it is important to tap into your purpose whatever that may be. Lastly, life is very short so it is important to make the most of every opportunity which comes your way.”
And there we have it… our Bank Holiday MCM! Thanks Maestro, all the best!
Follow Selecta Maestro:
Insta / Twitter: @SelectaMaestro
Facebook: DJ Selecta Maestro
Mixcloud: DJ Selecta Maestro
TUNE INTO THE AFROBEATS TAKEOVER EACH AND EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE ON THE BEAT FM LONDON
19.00 – 21.00 (GMT)