By TROY MUKUPA
BEING a DJ or Radio Personality is never as easy as it looks or sounds. Many think good equipment makes better DJs but it’s not about what the equipment does but what one can do through the equipment. This is true for Hot FM’s DJ A1.
Born Paul Malunde Kasanda to Peter Kasanda and Mary Banda on 10th July 1991 in Chipata, Eastern Province, A1 did his primary education at Lunkhwakwa Primary School from 1996 to 1997 in Chipata.
He later moved to Lusaka and was enrolled at Chunga High School in 2007 for his secondary education and completed in 2009 at Kabulonga Boys secondary.
“My interest in radio started way back in 2004 as I was a huge follower of the commercial urban radio stations here in Lusaka.
I just started ‘vibing’ to how radio presenters would come out and then imitate it all. That time, the likes of 3illmatic, Golden Mukelabai, Peaches, Kaliwa Lubasi, Killa Beats and all were fully in charge,” he said.
“My first audition came in 2012 at Comet Radio but unfortunately didn’t go through.
With God still on my side, the then Comet radio Programs Manager, Joshua Lungu helped me get an audition at Q-fm in 2013 of which I managed to impress and ended up getting me my first paying radio Job.
I also once worked for Live FM and my shortest radio career was at Rock FM.”
He said being called a radio DJ is a little rusty but radio personality does it for him.
“Currently, I am working with Hot FM. I do a weekend show on Hot FM called The Hot Mansion every Friday and Saturday from 21 to midnight as well as the Zed Six to Six Part 3 on Sunday from 12 to 15 hours,” he explains.
And asked how the name A1 came about, he explained that he gave himself the name as he saw it to be simple and catchy to his followers.
“Back in the days for me getting an a.k.a (Also Known As) was so much work.
Imagine I even once called myself P-Blings in Primary School. But coming to the name A1, it was just within a split of a second.
The name A1 means everything first class, everything exclusive, everything appealing.
A1 is first grade. Otherwise it’s a brand name for me. It’s Simple and catchy that’s how it is, for me A1 is a goal- getter who’s always on his best to achieve in all walks of life,” he said.
“Radio has taught me a lot when it comes to targeting an audience; I cover up for all genres on radio. I’ve got some urban jams, throwbacks plus sounds from the motherland. Me going for radio, the likes of 3illmatic, Chi, Luchi, Cash & Flex, really did add color in terms of inspiration. While from the international front I look up to Tbo Touch, Siya Ngwekazi, Sizwe Dhlomo in South Africa, Tim Westhood and DJ Envy.”
A1 believes Zambian music has already been accepted both locally and across borders to which it’s extremely being appreciated.
He said it’s only about time the corporate world should extend the value of the art by partnering with local artistes through investments ventures.
“Otherwise five years from now this industry is on a major takeover. So to all the upcoming artists out there, keep working tirelessly and never be too expectant. Push your works and have a story to tell. The industry isn’t for the weak. Invest in your career and most importantly stay prayerful,” advises A1.
“My Big thanks go to my big man Roberto aka Mr. Amalura on my radio experience while at Q-FM, he was the one that uplifted me when I felt down and the only person that made radio jingles for me. Also, my big appreciation goes to the Programmes Manager at Hot fm, Mr Gary Masano who changed a lot in the way I execute radio now.”
By TROY MUKUPA