Aberrant Maia

Interview with TMSKD DJ

TMSKD DJ is a multi-award-winning, trailblazing DJ whose focus on Electronic and Dance music made her stand out in the Ghanaian scene, especially at a time where these genres were not popular. She’s also the Founder of Femme Vibes, a platform that helps increase women’s accessibility into the entertainment industry, and has played at several shows including Gidi Fest in Lagos, residences in Abidjan, plus opened for a Major Lazer event hosted in Ghana. There’s still much more to discover about TMSKD DJ so let’s get right to it!

TMSKD DJ in a turquoise mask

Photo of TMSKD DJ

Ayeyi: Hi TMSKD DJ! What’s up? 

TMSKD DJ: I am good, excited even! Having an amazing year. I am elated and grateful but most importantly I feel blessed. 

Ayeyi: That’s awesome! Well then, let’s channel this great energy into a quick chit-chat. Let me start off by talking about your stage name – “TMSKD DJ,” pronounced “The masked DJ.” In alignment, you also wear a mask when DJing. Does “TMSKD DJ” serve as an alter ego of a sort?  

TMSKD DJ: TMSKD DJ is an alter ego, yes, but also a standing out experience from the conventional Accra DJ. 

Ayeyi: Definitely makes you stand out as it was one of the things that caught my eye about you! Now going way back, before you were certain that you wanted to be a DJ, was there anything that motivated you on this path?  

TMSKD DJ: I have always loved music. Did I think it was the DJ path? Yes! Did I think I will do it professionally? HELL NO! 

Ayeyi: (laughs) What’s even more interesting about your craft is your focus on dance and electronic music. What about these genres attracts you the most?  

TMSKD DJ: It’s the high and lows for me, it’s the bass lines for me, it’s the DROPS for me. I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel electronic music in my soul. 

Ayeyi: I feel you. However, this has not always been a popular genre in Ghana. How was the reception among Ghanaians when you first started out?  

TMSKD DJ: The reception was bad, really bad. People kept coming up to say “DJ, play some afrobeats,” but I believe no one knows your goal or journey as much as yourself. I just kept pushing it with the select few who enjoyed it and gradually I became the go to DJ for anything house music. 

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TMSKD DJ in a Blue and White Mask

Photo of TMSKD DJ

Ayeyi: It’s amazing how you have carved out your place in this industry. When you mentioned people coming up to you, it reminded me of an interesting conversation on Twitter about “ticks” DJs have. Do you have any? Like anything you prefer does not happen when you are DJing?  

TMSKD DJ: I hate requests!!!!!! Also please don’t hover behind me and most importantly don’t ask me to allow you to wear my mask. 

Ayeyi: (laughs) Ei! People really ask to wear your mask? That’s crazy (laughs). I’m curious though, if you were to have a gig tonight, how would you prepare for it? 

TMSKD DJ: Prayer and me time, drink lots of water, watch what I eat so not to have an upset stomach, pack my bags and rest my body as much as I can. 

Ayeyi: Interesting. TMSKD DJ, do you view DJing as a form of artistic expression or release for you?   

TMSKD DJ: Yes, it is! Art should translate to the audience, and I don’t know any art that translates a lot of emotions like music; So, to be the one to play the music? Yes! 

TMSKD DJ Amapiano sessions at Sandbox, Ghana

Ayeyi: Still about DJing, this industry has been quite male dominated for a while. Do you believe the Ghanaian scene is becoming more receptive to women DJs and what advice would you give any woman who wants to venture in this field?  

TMSKD DJ: Yes, it’s more receptive now even though the new female acts I have seen lately are from the diaspora. I need more homegrown DJs killing shit. 

Ayeyi: And talking of women, some years back, you curated an awesome and empowering event for women – Femme Vibes – where women creatives were able to share and highlight their creative works. What was the motivation behind that and are there any plans for more Femme Vibes in the future?         

TMSKD DJ: The motivation behind Femme Vibes was to create a platform that made breaking into the entertainment industry easier, something I didn’t get easily, as well as celebrate International Women Day. I plan on coming back stronger and with a dedicated team as well as good financial backing to make it more effective and influential than it was before. I am thinking workshops, seminars, projects etc. 

Ayeyi: Ouu I would definitely love to see it! Another thing you have branched into is music production where you had your first production on Tomi Owo’s “Beautiful (Remix EP)”. Is production a field we can eagerly expect more of you in?  

TMSKD DJ: Yassss! I am eagerly working on my debut single which features an amazing Ghanaian vocalist.  

Ayeyi: We can’t waittt!! 

Recap of the TMSKD DJ opening for Major Lazer at their show

Ayeyi: We are rapidly approaching the end of this conversation but I want to talk about the times we’re in now. For over a year now, we have been affected globally by the COVID-19 pandemic and this has made people take different approaches to their work. Did the pandemic have any effect on you as a DJ? 

TMSKD DJ: Yes. Personally, 2020 was my year for international bookings but at the same time, all had to be canceled. But at the same time, it helped me relax, take a break, and evaluate all I had achieved and how to even elevate the brand some more. 

Ayeyi: And my final ‘official’ question: what about the future are you most looking forward to? 

TMSKD DJ: Playing Tomorrowland and ULTRA. 

Ayeyi: (smiles) Good response. What social media handle should anyone use if they want to connect with you?  

TMSKD DJ: @tmskdj on Instagram 

Ayeyi: Thank you TMSKD DJ for talking with me. By following your passion, you have inspired me and I am sure many other people as well. Wish you all the best!  

TMSKD DJ: Thank you! 

TMSKD DJ in a yellow Mask

Photo of TMSKD DJ

Photo Credits: Six and CallMeJags

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