Spinning since ‘98

February 6, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, Leave your thoughts
Spinning since ‘98 » My Dreams Mag
DJ Bickey has become a brand name in the Nepalese party circuit. In his 15-year career span, he has travelled a long way, fulfilling his musical ambition, but he is yet to reach his final destination.

At 11 am, Bijay KC was sipping tea, and watching TV sitting on his couch at his house in Morden in South London. The 32-year-old was tuning to the UK Top 40 countdown, trying to keep abreast of the hits and misses in the music charts.

“It’s really important to be up-to-date with the music scene in this profession,” says the man better known as DJ Bickey.

In his computer, KC has a collection of about 10,000 songs that include English, Nepali, Hindi and even Korean songs. During his shows, depending on the events, the DJ carefully selects and mixes the songs. As a DJ, he says it’s utmost important to understand what people want.

“I always try to please the crowd,” KC says. “I play for the people.”

What started as a hobby during his teenage years in Nepal has now turned into a profession for KC. He is a frequent and also a favourite at many of the Nepalese parties and events in London. Since he landed in the British capital in 2001, KC has spin his mix for countless events—from his first event at a local Hanwell pub in West London to his latest gig, the DJ says it’s been a non-stop journey.

But the real journey started in 1998 from a discotheque in Kathmandu.

During a basketball practise session, the owner of Babylon Disco, one of the most popular venues of its time, asked KC if he could help fill in a vacant position. Then, only 18, KC had only played for his family and friends. But he couldn’t turn down the offer that would be a milestone in his DJing career.

“I was confident I could do it,” he says.

Recalling his first big day, he says he was “shocked to see too many knobs and equipment.”

Before jumping into the DJ booth, KC took some time to study the crowd and also his fellow DJ who was playing that night. And according to him, it was a memorable start to a lifelong career that would follow.

“It wasn’t that bad,” he laughs. “So they hired me.”

A self-taught DJ, as KC likes to call himself, did not go through any training except a workshop with an Australian DJ while he was visiting Kathmandu. Most of his formative years as a DJ involved learning by listening to music, watching television, and playing at house parties—there were no places for formal DJ training in Kathmandu then.

It was only after he came to London that KC took formal DJ lessons from DJ Mantas at the Become a DJ institute at Shepherd’s Bush. He had enrolled in the course while continuing his computer and later business courses for which he had initially come to the UK. The music enthusiast saw this as an opportunity to do what he always wanted: to become a professional DJ.

“The DJ school matured me as a DJ,” KC says of his six-month diploma in turnatable techniques, which involves beat mixing and matching, scratching and beat juggling.

He adds: “Mantas shaped me as a DJ. To be honest, I started my real DJ career from there.”

While Mantas taught him to be a pro, KC had already established himself professionally in Kathmandu’s clubbing scene in the late 90s and 2000. After a year’s stint at Babylon, he moved to one of Kathmandu’s once most well-known clubs, Club X Zone.

At that very club, he groomed himself as a DJ, learned more about the club scene and the music. KC says he also had an opportunity to play for Ricky Martin during his low profile personal visit to Nepal, and also late king Birendra when he spontaneously popped in to check the venue, which is proximity to the palace and his sister’s residence.

In London, he has played at reputable venues such as Ministry of Sound, Fabric nightclub and the O2 Arena, which KC says is the biggest crowd—4,000 people for the Chinese New Year’s party—he has played for. DJ Bickey has also played alongside international DJs like DJ DST, DJ Phat and DJ Johnny Garcia.

In his decade of DJing, KC points that the party scene has been evolving, especially the Nepalese party culture. Along with it, he says the music has also changed.

“People are now more interested in English songs, and also Korean pop songs,” KC says.

Previously, it used to be a moderate mix of Nepali, English and Hindi songs. Nepali folk and pop songs are now limited, according to the DJ.

And the scene is similar in Nepal too.

In April 2012, DJ Bickey played in Nepal after a 12-year hiatus. Though the music remains the same, he laments that the DJing culture seems to be different.

“I haven’t become famous [among the UK Nepalese] because I have amazing skills,” he says modestly. “It’s because I always try to please people. I play for the people.”

The crowd that he attracts at the Nepalese parties is a testament of his talent.

While DJying wasn’t a recognised profession during his hey days, KC sees it as a satisfying and a gratifying profession.

“There are so many career prospects,” he lists. “You can play at clubs, produce music, give workshops and also teach.”

And KC is just doing that: He not only plays at clubs but also recently started giving lessons to novice DJs at his self-setup home studio.

But there are other projects that are yet to be accomplished. Among them are a self-produced album and a larger than life show in Nepal.

“One of the things I like to do is to remix ‘Ukali Ma’ from the movie Kusume Rumal,” he says. “And I want to play for a packed partygoers at Dashrath Rangashala – you know, like one of the David Guetta shows.”

In the past 15 years, KC says he has seen his dream of becoming a DJ materialise. He credits dedication and determination to his success.

“If you really want to do something and do it the right way, you can accomplish it, he says. “I feel this is the place for me, and this is how it should be done.”


5 qualities of a good DJ

  • Technical knowhow of the job is a must.
  • You need to know how to satisfy a crowd.
  • Good song selection is the key to being a good DJ.
  • You should be sincere toward the job like any other profession.
  • Passion for music is a must.


DJ Bickey Trivia

  • His debuted as a DJ at Babylon Disco in Kathmandu.
  • At Club X Zone in Kathmandu, he played for Ricky Martin and late king Birendra.
  • As a teenager, DJ Bickey walked from Patan to New Road to buy his favourite cassettes.
  • He plays Dr Dre’s Next Episode in every one of his sessions.
  • DJ Bickey practises his skills for 1-2 hours on a daily basis.
  • His DJ icon is Fillipino-American Turntablist DJ Qbert.
  • In his career, DJ Bickey wants to play for a packed audience at Dashrath Rangashala in Kathmandu.
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