Many have asked me why I decided to become a DJ (and some have asked others instead haha), so I decided to create this page to be a resource for those who would like to know about my journey as a DJ.
My partner Monica Kay and I travel all over the world to teach, train, and share our passion for African dance, and we love it! Music, however, has always been my first love. I’ve been a musician for over 20 years now, starting out playing the trombone/euphonium in grade school, and later picking up the guitar (and a little piano) in college. I’ve always had an ear for music, which is how I got hooked on social dancing back in 2012, a passion that resulting in me becoming Co-Director of Kizomba Harmony along with Monica. I’ve always been curious about Kizomba umbrella music and hungry to learn more, so I started a modest collection of music. And so as part of our scenebuilding efforts, I would often find myself playing music on my laptop at our local socials and Kizomba rooms we would set up at Salsa socials. The community loved my selection of music, but as I did not know how to mix at the time, I didn’t call myself a DJ. But in my travels, I realized that there were a relative lack of DJs in the US that played a mix of everything I heard at Kizomba parties worldwide. I would find that often I’d either hear music sets that heavily skewed towards Kizomba/Semba/Zouk with relatively small amounts of Ghetto Zouk/Instrumentals/etc., or on the other hand music sets that, due to a lack of knowledge of Kizomba, or personal preference, heavily skewed towards English Remixes at the expense of most other Kizomba umbrella music.
As someone who loves to dance Kizomba/Semba, but also a “new style”/”French style” of Kizomba which is more suitable to Ghetto Zouk/Instrumentals/etc., I found myself wishing there were more DJs in the US who played a healthy mix of everything so that I could fully express myself on the social dance floor. I wanted to be in a position to better expose our community to a healthy mix of music, and I also wanted to add value to our local socials and festivals where my partner and I were booked to teach by learning how to truly DJ. So, I flew to London to train with one of the most respected DJs in the world, and then spent lots of time practicing before my first live mix at our first Weekly Wednesday Social last year. Thus, DJ Billy the Kiz was born.
I make it a point to play a mix of ALL types of music played at Kizomba parties, from Semba to Instrumentals. Kizomba Harmony is all about versality, strong foundation, and appreciation for “new styles” based on that strong foundation, so my sets are meant to accomodate a diverse dance crowd. Learning to DJ has been very challenging, but also rewarding. There’s nothing like playing good music for my community and feeling the transfer of energy between myself and the crowd. DJing is NOT something than can be mastered in a short time, but I am dedicated to mastering this wonderful craft, and I am definitely putting in the work to do so. Much respect to all the real DJs out there, what you do has value and is appreciated! You guys can catch me DJing at a festival, social, or other event near YOU, and save me a dance when I’m done with my set, and while you’re at it, save Monica a dance too! If you want to check out some of my mixes and confirmed DJ Bookings, see below!