Tell me about yourself
I’m called Adero Marianne Maryjo. I am the first born in a family of three. I’m a very humble girl and a good DJ – East Africa’s finest DJ. Basically, that’s me.
You have an interesting nickname! Who is the author of it and why did you choose to use it?
Maryjo is an English name. It’s actually my name; it’s even on my passport. Many people think it’s just a nickname but it’s my name.
When and how did you get into deejaying?
Roughly 7 years ago. It was through a group of guys known as Ras Clans. I happened to get in touch with them some ago when I was in high school. We had a leavers’ party and being the entertainment prefect, I had to get in touch with them. The things they did, the art of design, I fell in love. I felt like I really had to be a DJ. So I talked to them and they told me that after school I could join them.
Describe your feelings when you play music?
It’s indescribable, it’s almost unexplainable. It’s a sweet feeling. When I’m playing music and my crowd is happy, it’s a sweet feeling. It’s immense. It comes from deep within.
What style of music do you play? What style of music do you listen to at home?
I play main stream. I play a lot of what people love, what people listen to. When am at home, it depends on my moods. I could wake up in the morning feeling so spiritual. So I play gospel. I could later play reggae jams, dance-hall … it depends on my mood.
How is it like being a female Dj?
It feels awesome. It feels unique. You could be one female DJ in a group of ten men. So it can get very challenging. Most clients don’t think a female can be a DJ. Most people are like, “really you can play- a female. Do you even know how to play a song, just one?”
What do you do in such situations?
I prove them wrong. I sample them and just blow them off. Or I tell them to ask around.
How do you deal with male dominance especially in this field?
Initially I used to freak out a lot but now I tell myself I got this! The experience, the times I have worked with guys has helped me a lot. Lately I even feel like am part of the guys, I feel like am used. But of course it doesn’t come easily.
What is the coolest event you’ve ever covered?
It was in Nairobi Kenya. It was 2012. They were premiering the James Bond movie- Sky fall. Heineken was the main sponsor. It was mega, something I had never thought I would be a part of. I was the official DJ but I played with another DJ from Kenya called Adrian. It was amazing.
Is there any female Dj you admire or want to play with?
Uganda, no not even East Africa. I’m the best. But there’s a lady called lady style; she is from France. I’ve watched a few clips of hers. The things she does, they keep me awake sometimes. I wonder how she does those things. She is so cool. She’s got this skill that’s so masculine. I admire her and would love to play with her one day (GOD willing).
What do you love and hate most about Uganda?
Well I love Uganda. It’s my country, my home. I love it. East or west home is best really.
What I hate- the congestion in town. I dread going to town, the congestion down there is crazy.
In your opinion, what defines a typical Ugandan?
A typical Ugandan is very welcoming. If I compare with the other countries I have travelled to, Ugandans are very welcoming. They are good people.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I want to be here. Create and own a design unit for female DJs. Inspire ladies. Innovate, entertainment. I really want to have a female DJ unit.
Who is the biggest influence in your life and why?
My mum; she is one of a kind. Hard working, she keeps pushing by the day even when its tough.
What’s your favorite story from your work life?
A couple of times I have done gigs and it’s interesting how people are too mesmerized to see a female Dj and the guys just stare. They just stop dancing and stare. The first time it happened to me I freaked out. I didn’t know what to do, what to play. Then my client called me and told me to relax. He told me to just do my thing. That the people would get used and start dancing again. Even up to date, people just stare at me. They are mesmerized but it’s a good feeling at the end of the day.
The other story is about my mum. When I started, she didn’t want to know. Now the reverse is true. Initially, we were at cross roads. It took her time to adjust. But now she is a fan.
How did you convince her?
I’m a bit big headed. If I want something, so long as I know it’s not bad, not immoral, I go for it. I don’t let anything stand in the way. So with time she learnt to accept that it’s my passion. Right now I can walk to her and tell her ‘oh mummy I have a big gig’ and she goes, ‘that nice’, which wasn’t the case before.
What advice do you have for those who look up to you?
Have passion, have self driven passion. I don’t think without passion you can really push forward to a professional level as a female DJ. Patience. You have to be strong; physically, mentally and emotionally. It takes a lot of hard work. People think deejaying is all about being in a club, late nights, people cheering and buying you drinks. They think it’s about being famous, but there’s more to being a DJ. But you have to study your music, look out for new trending music. You have to practice to become a better skilled DJ.
Who determines the music to play, for example in club?
One, there are usually theme nights. We play music according to the theme night. If there’s no theme then the type of crowd determines the music. You have to study the crowd. If you walk into a place and you find teenagers, you have to play their kind of music. I move with back up music on my laptop and hard drive; music from different genres.
What’s your favorite place to eat?
Honestly my mum’s place. When my mum cooks, her food is awesome. I appreciate her cooking.
Are you a good cook as well?
Yes, I am. God blessed me with hands that can deejay and cook.
Tell us something people don’t know about you
There’s a lot that people don’t know about me. But they are personal things. I am a strong, true believer. I go to church. I go for lunch hour fellowships, I pray, I fast and also go for overnights. And on my playlists, I never miss playing a gospel song. Even in club. Do you know people can dance to gospel music without realizing sometimes?
The other thing people don’t know about me, I’m a ka sweet girl, but I’m a very reserved person. I’m not very outgoing so it takes me time to open up to someone.
Do you drink?
Yes, I do.