Exclusive: How Campus Coursework Landed Student Dream Radio Job

  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. One young man has been steadily burning through the various states on his way to the top.

    Homeboyz Radio is renowned for its uptown funk vibe, as well as its ability to unearth gems when it comes to presenters that go on to become household names.

    Andy Young is the latest of such gems and his star has been on the rise ever since he made his debut on the critically acclaimed G-Money In The Morning (GMITM) show. 

    From left - Calvin, Neville, DJ Andy Young and G-Money pose for a photo on August 3, 2018.

    Speaking exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke, the energetic presenter opened up on his remarkable journey thus far, and how a seemingly routine campus test led him to his dream job.

    Interestingly, back when he was learning the various parts of a bunsen burner at St Charles Lwanga in Kitui, the budding presenter was drawn to journalism by veteran presenters; Jeff Koinange and Victoria Rubadiri.

    The University of Nairobi offered him a spot in the interior design class - a course he felt he could thrive in, as it would allow him to express his artistic side.

    In a twist of fate though, he never got around to submitting his letter of acceptance, and instead spent the next two years trying to figure out where he was meant to be.

    During this period of soul searching, he enrolled at Evolution Media – a deejaying school that was located along Ngong Road back in 2014. He spent three months honing his skills on the turntables before eventually graduating.

    The stint at Evolution Media reignited his love affair with good music, a passion that was fueled from a very tender age by his father who used to head the church choir. His old man was not only vocally gifted but a maestro at bending any guitar to his will. Unknowingly, weekly choir practices in their garage turned a young Andy to a music lover.

    Equipped with his new skills, he then decided to marry his two lifelong passions by enrolling for a broadcast journalism course at USIU – a move that went on to shape his entire career.

    From left - Ella, DJ Andy Young and Darya Kish at USIU

    It was at USIU that the Homeboyz Radio presenter first tried his hand in radio, landing a role as a deejay and later a presenter and producer at the university’s radio station -USIU Radio. By the time he graduated, Andie had already earned his stripes as a grafter who was willing to overcome his introverted nature in pursuit of his dreams.

    They say luck is just a way to define the instance when opportunity meets preparation, and his ‘lucky’ moment came as he was trying to piece together his final year project assignment – he decided to turn his final paper into a documentary about campus radio presenters who went on to conquer the national radio waves.

    This was what brought him face to face with a man he idolized and looked up to as a mentor, Conrad Gray alias G-Money. The respected presenter agreed to be interviewed for Andy’s documentary and this kickstarted their undeniable chemistry.

    His documentary proved to be a hit, so much so that G-Money asked him to drop a demo and the radio station took him on as a part of the videography and photography department.

    Despite landing a job that wasn’t exactly what he had hoped for, he gave his all and worked his way up.

    A year later, he got a call from G-Money that changed his life forever.

    His mentor asked him to seat in during their highly interactive morning show, marking the beginning of his career on air.

    From left - The USIU Radio Morning Madness Show crew Captain Wachira, Sarah Kimathi and DJ Andy Young

    However, it was not smooth sailing as he spent four hours a day, for nearly a month, just seating at a corner in the studio, watching the morning show presenters doing what they did best.

    “Be confident about your calling. The more you try running away from what you love, the more you delay your own success,” he explained when quizzed on what kept him going during his early days.

    His commitment to coming in each and every day, despite knowing that he wasn’t going to be on air, finally came full circle when G-Money handed him the turntables during one of his morning shows.

    “He knew that I always introduced myself as a deejay, so one morning as I was seated in my usual corner in the studio, he just called me out and asked me to show the world what I had," he narrated.

    The rest, as they say, is history, with the budding entertainer finally becoming a mainstay in the morning show at Homeboyz Radio alongside his mentor and Calvin. He also hosts a Hip Hop chart show every Saturday alongside Ashley Muthui, works in the videography and photography department, not to mention his numerous deejaying gigs at popular clubs in the Nairobi capital.

    Dj Andy Young has grown into his role, and the morning show's versatile trio has gone on to launch one of the most talked-about podcasts in the capital dubbed The Mics Are Open.

    He was quick to point out several people who played a crucial role in his journey such as Rae Kiragu (Homeboyz Radio), John Rabar (Homeboyz Radio), Neville (Capital FM), DJ No IDDJ Niche, Darya Kish (NRG Radio), and his tight-knit family -which he described as his biggest source of inspiration.

    “What I have learned in radio is to ‘never arrive’. One should never get comfortable and consider themselves the second coming of Christ, just because they’ve landed their dream job. That’s just the beginning, every new day is a chance to learn and better yourself,” he explained in his parting shot.

    DJ Andy Young in studio.