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PAM Meets Turkana: Music is Power

PAM Meets South Sudanese DJ and producer Turkana for Le Guess Who? 2021. A member of Ugandan label Nyege Nyege and Anti-Mass collective founder, Anita Kevin aka Turkana uses her music to empower herself and the women in her life.

Born in 1997, Anita Kevin is a South Sudanese DJ who grew up in a refugee camp in Kakuma, in the Turkana region of Kenya. Her name is an homage to that region and a way to reinterpret her hardship and wield power to the name with her explosive DJ sets and hyper-creative music. “It’s a celebration of myself, and an extension of the women in my life,” she explains. Introduced to DJing via a workshop organized by Femme Electronic, through the initiative of the Ugandan DJ Rachael, Turkana quickly mastered the decks. In fact, Turkana purchased her first set-up from Kampala based DJ Catu Diosis, with whom she now forms the 4manysisters crew. 

Later Turkana would meet the Nyege Nyege crew from the Kampala parties before attending their infamous festival that hosts East Africa’s most exciting underground electronic talent. From there, she was encouraged to continue mixing, producing and refining her craft, quickly making her mark at CTM festival in Berlin, a “Streaming from isolation” set for Boiler Room and of course, the Nyege Nyege Festival. Turkana also joined the PAM Club team last June with a hard-hitting mix.

Here, PAM meets with the exciting young DJ and producer during her European tour, stopping off in Utrecht, Netherlands to showcase her talent at the eclectic Le Guess Who? Festival. Her and the Nyege team were given carte blanche at the BASIS club, a long dark corridor perfect for heavy bass and late nights. On the lineup was Authentically Plastic, Menzi, De Schuurman and DJ Marcelle with Turkana closing out the festivities with a packed dance floor covered in masks and shouting from the four corners of the club. 

Describing her intense sets, Turkana explains her motivation “to bring the power and to extend it to other people”. Whether this manifests through fashion, her other passion, or the visceral sounds of experimental techno and African cadences, each moment of the set is a whirlwind of energy. A no-limits set that collides perfectly with her mantra: “There’s no limitations to achieving. You can change your life if you want to.” 

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