THE GLOBE, Britain (UK)
DJ Selecta Maestro’s legacy ranks him as a pioneer on the cusp of a flourishing UK Afrobeats scene. His rise to the forefront of Afrobeats has been more than just gigs, mixtapes, and remixes; his contribution to the scene via his radio show ‘Afrobeats Takeover’ is an example of his unending commitment to put Africa first through music.
Born in London to Ghanaian parents, Maestro (as he prefers to be called) has had
a lifelong obsession with music stemming back to his childhood where he would
listen to his parent's vinyl music collection, playing legendary artists, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti. Maestro later developed a love for other genres such as Reggae/Ragga, Hip-Hop, R&B/New Jack Swing, and as he would put it, “anything else with a drum beat”. Through his mother’s encouragement Maestro began taking keyboard lessons from age 8 furthering his musical interests.
Maestro discovered the art of DJing in 1999 whilst watching his late cousin DJ ESP (founder of the well known sound Spreadlove Entertainment) live at a basement party in the West End. That night left a lasting impression on Maestro who then decided that this was the path he wanted to follow.
During late 2000 Maestro, who during this period was known as ‘MC Furious’ got
together with his childhood friends and founded the ‘O.T.P’ or 'On The Premises' Crew. Together they began playing at various house parties and clubs followed by their explosive mixtapes, which then led to the group being given a slot on the now defunct ‘Cream FM', a pirate station based in South West London. After doing various guest shows on other stations such as Supreme FM, O.T.P soon found themselves on the newly found grime station ‘ONTOP FM’ which at the time was home to many Garage/Grime artists & DJ’s. During this period O.T.P recorded a track titled ‘The realness’, hardcore record fused with hip-hop, grime, & garage, which was popular locally.
After sometime the group sought to carve out a niche for themselves with their own clubnight and took the initiative to collaborate with another promotion team who went by the name 'Black-Gold Entertainment' and together they launched 'Addictive', a successful clubnight which ran from 2002 until 2006 when the brand dissolved. At this point Maestro decided to take time out from the music & entertainment scene.
During the summer of 2009, after some time away Maestro began travelling to gigs with his older cousin DJ 106 and occasionally would host over his sets at various clubs and parties, the most prominent location being Club Karma along Ealing Broadway. During this period Maestro, as he called at the time, once again found his way back on radio alongside DJ 106 with a Monday night slot on ‘Bounce FM. It was during this time that Maestro had begun to establish himself as a pioneer of African Music also known as 'Afrobeats.
In November 2011 Maestro was given a Saturday afternoon slot on Ontop FM with the aim of showcasing Afrobeats to its listeners. This both launched the radio show 'Afrobeats Takeover' and allowed Maestro's name to spread to wider audiences. Since this time Afrobeats Takeover has gained notoriety beyond London and the UK with online podcasting taking the show to listeners across the globe. In May 2013 the Afrobeats Takeover show was moved to Friday nights taking it from strength to strength.
The start of 2014 saw Maestro venture into music production with the release of his debut single titled ‘Higher’ which featured Siza, an artist of South African origin and was co-produced by Team Salut, who are one of the UK’s hottest production outfits. 'Higher' is the first single from Maestro’s upcoming EP titled ‘The Initiation’ which is ‘musically diverse’ as Maestro would put it. Production of this project will be handled collaboratively by Maestro & Team Salut.
In recent years Maestro had made a name for himself on the London club circuit as well as gaining fame nationally due to his high energy style of Djing. Maestro has also managed to gain fame overseas having played in Poland, Holland, Switzerland, and Scotland. Maestro is also the co-founder/director of 'Arts of Africa' an events/media company who's goal is to showcase Africa through music, fashion, and comedy.