With almost a decade in the entertainment business under his belt, Rizwan Ibrahim has made quite the name for himself and his company Kenya Nights on the Nairobi electronic music scene, initially as a photographer and at a later moment as an event organiser and promoter.
Which of your many accomplishments are you particularly proud of?
We celebrated 8 years of Kenya Nights in December 2017 which was great, although hosting international superstar Diplo (Major Lazer), was without a doubt one of my crowning moments to date.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Usually the loud neighbours and/or the gate slamming, but it’s definitely the hustle that gets me up and going.
What is breakfast for you?
Breakfast depends on the mood I’m in. Usually I go straight in for a bowl of cereal, but when I’m feeling slightly more motivated, I’ll make two eggs (fried, scrambled or poach depending on my mood) on buttered toast. I usually have a cup of tea with this but once out of the house, I regularly stop at a cafe and get a hazelnut latte. Anyone who knows me well, knows my obsession with hazelnut lattes. I would settle for a vanilla latte at a push.
What music do you listen to when you need to focus?
So many options!! I often catch myself listening to a mix by Bonobo or Caribou – beautiful soulful live vibes when I need to get things done. I also tend to have 2 albums by a Swedish heavy metal band called Opeth on standby – Deliverance and Damnation. Yes I’m a huge heavy metal fan.
If you could throw a party anywhere in the world where would that be and why?
Probably at a place called the Gashouder in Amsterdam. The most amazing venue I’ve ever seen in my life and such an experience! Techno heaven is what it is. Industrial style, dark, perfect acoustics, and so much room to play around with. Another spot would be on the shores of Lake Turkana. Google the images of it, i’ll speak for itself.
Who would you invite to come and play at it?
Ah, the dream team! Firstly, I cannot express how talented our Kenyan DJs are. My first pick would be Suraj, followed by Dylan-S, L.A. Dave, Foozak, Zelalem, Franki B, Norah at the top of my head. Internationally my top three would be Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolas Jaar and Bonobo followed by, in no particular order, Craig Richards, Sven Vath, Maya Jane Coles, Seth Troxler, Magda… I got to stop the list is endless!
What is the secret to making people comfortable in front of the camera?
There’s no real secret I reckon. I usually see if people are comfortable with having me around them with a camera. If I sense some hesitation, I’ll respect it and move along. More often than not, I’ll get approached for a picture to be taken, makes everything a lot easier as people are already comfortable within themselves.