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Daily Inspiration: Meet Seun “DJ KO” Dare

Today we’d like to introduce you to Seun “DJ KO” Dare.

Hi Seun “DJ KO”, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My journey through life has always been accompanied by music. As a child, my father, who just moved from Nigeria to Uptown Bronx, raised me on the sounds of reggae and dancehall. His introduction to Caribbean culture in America took him by storm and was inescapable. Between being raised in a Nigerian household & living in the Bronx I’ve been able to appreciate various genres of music like dancehall, afrobeat, hip hop, and RnB. All of this eventually fueled my journey as a DJ, with a lot of inspiration from my younger brother MikeWest and my cousin DJ Ola who embarked on DJ careers in the fall of 2016 in their respective schools. Ola went to SUNY Old Westbury but, My brother and I actually happened to go to school in the same city, Buffalo. It wasn’t too long before I got curious and fell in love with DJing. By the spring of 2017, I got my first gig from my friend Bobby for a house party and I’ve done countless fashion shows, pageants, birthday parties, clubs and I’ve even DJd alongside the likes of Pop Smoke, Kranium, Koffee, Plies, Nonso Amadi, & more.

The pandemic as a result of COVID-19 was a huge setback for my DJ career. I thought it was over for my journey in music but that turned out not to be true. I was able to grow in a whole new way, musically, and I unlocked 3081 Main with the help of MikeWest and Bobby. 3081 Main is a pop band that Bobby pitched to me and when he did, I told him “I’m just a DJ” and he said “so? it’s just vibes” and it’s been quite a ride since. The quarantine allowed me to lock in as a musician and I’ve been able to fully explore songwriting, audio engineering, beat-making, rapping, and even singing. I’m excited to keep exploring music and sharing that journey with people.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. I struggled a lot with being comfortable doing what I loved. I grew up in an African household with parents who came to America for better opportunities and their idea of that conflicted with what mine was. My parents didn’t wanna hear anything about a profession that was not in line with your standard white-collar jobs; doctor, lawyer, engineer, I’m sure ya’ll know how it goes. They didn’t even want me to play sports. It made me really sit down and vet myself to see if I wanted to commit to this lifestyle as a creative. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents or waste their efforts. It’s not stable or secure and those moments made my parents’ sentiments more real and strong and would cause me to doubt myself and if this is what I want to do. I ultimately had to decide that this is what I love to do and I can’t imagine living in a world where I cant indulge in what I want to do. I’m on a mission to pursue that at all cost and I can’t be apologetic about it because this is who I am. It shouldn’t be a crime to be me.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have a hard time speaking about what I do because my love for music carries me all over the place, but the first place I can start is DJing. That’s my baby and it’s the real core of my journey as a musician. NYC has such a diverse palette for music and deep DJ culture that allows me to appreciate most genres of music if not all to be honest. I’ve traveled to quite a few places and it’s incomparable to the scene in NYC. The only guys that party harder are Jamaicans and Nigerians. Afrobeats and Dancehall are definitely my most immediate preferences but as an open format DJ as long as it can play in Serato, I can mix it. PVO Sounds, a DJ group I started with my brother MikeWest and DJ Ola helped explore the extent of our DJ abilities in NY. “PVO” stands for Positive Vibes Only which embodies the energy we like to give as DJs. We even get to throw our own events and curate our own vibe for people. Henny vs Dusse Is one of our more well-known parties that we try to hold annually but had to skip 2020. Hopefully, we’re able to get back on track as things get better.

I feel like fashion and music somehow have this unexplainable connection that you can’t escape. Fashion has never failed to intrigue me and I love indulging in it. I even went as far as creating a brand of my own with my partner JIMI. Faceless NYC is a brand that I’ve worked on passively in the past but Jimi saw something greater and eventually partnered up to continue with full force.

BUT, 3081 Main is my biggest pride and joy as a creative. It came to us at such a seemingly hopeless time and we didn’t know it was gonna be the ride it’s been. Everything feels like it’s falling into place and I’m enjoying the journey. Best of all I’m having so much fun. 2020 was our first year out and the love and reception have been overwhelming. We work very hard and put nothing less than our all into our work. “Jump” was the most unexpected outcome. We were able to land spots on multiple Editorial playlists such as “Alte Cruise” by Apple Music and Spotify. I’ve learned so much about myself and I’ve been able to grow as an artist, creative director, even as a producer, with an extremely talented pool of guys. We’ve been blessed enough to be part of the collective by the name of OTGz with multiple other talented artists that should be dropping soon and can’t wait for yall to hear what we’ve been working on.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

@Bytunde Williams Peters @dispos0lble Solidad Nwakibu @yangshitt Chris Yang @issanigerian

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