OWN IT 2018

BOUNDLESS OPTIMISM

DJ Martin Beta  |  soundcloud.com/martinbeta

photo of Martin's hands in a position that resembles a DJ playing  

Martin Okot, a.k.a. Martin Beta, is so eager to tell me about his new single that the interview starts before we even sit down. It's called Sour Sour.

"It means 'good good.' And you know, in Arabic, it means 'the power of people getting together.'"

 

At 22 years old, Martin produces afrobeat and house music, but he dabbles in everything from Melbourne bounce to future house.

 

"If you listen to my music, it's good vibes only," he says.

 

Recalling a house party last year, Martin explains how his song "I Know You Like My Style" was released to the public by accident when his turntable was unattended.

 

"From outside I heard it play. People were just wildin', dancing. I walked in and everyone was just going off."

 

Martin earned his DJ chops at Kitchener's District Nightclub, curating sets of pop, R&B, hip-hop, house, and country. 

 

Martin also volunteers with the Ubuntu Kids Club, an after-school program run by the African Canadian Association of Waterloo Region and Area (ACAWRA).  

 

"I'm just going there to DJ and to show the talent. Because we're trying to make these kids feel free. Make them feel like they can really achieve what they dream."

 

Martin notes the power of music bringing people together during his own childhood.

 

"Most people [in Uganda] had run from war, they were refugees. Every year they would have a big party and so many people would come," he says. "I was so into it, always driven by that stuff. So when I came here, I always had that thing in me, like, 'I want to produce. I want to make music."

 

Martin's next step is to produce a choreographed performance of "Sour Sour," which he talks about with boundless optimism.

 

"I've got this new song coming up, it's going to shake up the city, man." 

 

Sam Nabi  |  samnabi.com

Photography: Dean Landry  |  dvision.ca

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photo of Martin Okot

 

 

Martin with his "beats" headphones on in Victoria Park