At Varcity, we don’t do things the normal way. Not only is Mel our Man Crush,he is also our Musician Male this Monday. Also known as Mel Stark Bartowski, multi-talented warm friendly guy.
Big names there..
I’m a half cast (Meru and Taita) but I would like to think of myself as a Taita…probably because two of my names are Taita. I’m 23 years old, and yes, I’m seeing someone (I hope I don’t have to expound on that though).
What exactly do you do?
I’m a 4th year student in Marist International University, but I currently work at Ogilvy & Mather as Client Service and Social Media Manager. As for my interests, I would say I have a passion for music and design. I also have this extra nerdy side that’s deeply into Sci-Fi, I believe that’s where i derive some of my creativity from.
What do you study at Marist International University?
I’m winding up with my Bachelors in Business Management, with a major in Marketing. I’m also doing a customer service course online under Alison.
Is it in line with your occupation?
Yes, actually. I’d like to think that it’s along the lines of what I’m doing/what I’d want to do in future. The courses have given me various traits and skills that will be needed in most of the things I’m involved in.
Music is your interest, music is wide.
I’m a huge fan of all genres, since I believe all music is great in its own way. I therefore derive my inspiration from both old and new school artists.
When it comes to old school, I fancy 2 Pacs poetry, MJ’s versatility and Andre 3000’s word play. I also grew up listening to local music gurus like E-sir and K-rupt, who always inspired me to try and be the best at what I do and also have fun while doing it.
As for new school music; Kendrick, J Cole and Wiz Khalifa pretty much sum up where I derive my inspiration…couple that with some cool local cats like Khaligraph and King Kaka, and you have my list of guys that inspire me.
Tell us about your music story, your journey
I begun my musical journey back when I was in primary school. I used to try and come up with my own remix to every hit song (mostly E-sir’s) and performed them during breaks to my classmates. I then decided to start writing my own content in high school, which I performed during functions. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to actually record them. So my audience kinda died out once I finished high school.
On joining university, I met up with a few funny characters and we decided to start our own music crew…Synergy. We then did our first recording, “In the Zone”, with a Malawian producer called Tana Pose Zuze.
After some time i met with another producer, Arap Moi, who opened me up to a new string of musical challenges.
What have you achieved?
Other than being able to kick-start my musical talent, I learnt how to deejay from my older brother…Dj Atomic. As I got better, some of my friends invited me to their birthdays to mixx.
It was then when I realized that I could use my design abilities to come up with an event organizing group, which my team and I decided to call KIUTS (Kitu Ingine Under The Stars). We held various events where, aside from simply hosting unique raves, we called upon upcoming artists to showcase their talents.
Our first gig attracted 140 people and over 10 upcoming artists. I was so pleased with what we did.
What limits your music career?
Music in Kenya has a long range of challenges, not just for me but for most artists. Having to convince guys to buy your material is quite difficult l, because you need to either catch them off guard or have a really unique marketing plan for your content.
The main challenges I face revolve around ‘how I’d get to expand my audience’ as well as ‘how i can do what i do without sounding cliché.
Have anything planned for the future?
I begun singing/rapping because it was something that I liked doing…to be honest, I’ve never really sold any of my music. I mainly dish it out and seek feedback (from a small panel of ruthless critics, and fans as well) as to how people think it is and where they feel I should change.
My main ambition, therefore, would be to be the best at what I do…to the point where I’d end up doing a song with one of the local/international artists that I look up to.
Your social media handles
- Fb: Mel Stark Bartowski
- Twitter: @DjMelcj_Melv
- Instagram: official.melv.djmelcj
My Facebook Page is:
- Mel V//Dj Melcj
Other pages I manage on Facebook include:
- KIUTS (Kitu Ingine Under The Stars) – for event organising
- Techworx – for graphic design, web design and logo generation
A typical day in Mel’s life?
That depends on what day it is. If it’s a weekday, then it will basically have work and/or school taking up most of my time, then probably sleep afterwards.
On a weekends however, I might find myself either at the studio, catching up with friends/colleagues or helping out with some farm work back at home.
PS: You may have noticed that I didn’t mention movies/series in any of the previous options…well that’s because I watch as much as I can, any free time i get. I’m a huge fan of films, especially sci-fi, action or comedies.
Trump or Hillary?
Tricky question. For pure comic relief I’d say Trump, just so that i can hear what crazy things he’d say in speeches.
But if I am to give a serious answer, I’d say Hillary. She is focused, has clear ideals and provides clear ways on how she plans to have them implemented. I believe she is best suited for the job.