The soca vibes ring loudly from the speaker. The familiar accent bellows over the beats. A friendly face provides positivity during trying times.
DJ Kabiyesi, born in London and long-time Oakland resident, keeps the party going on Instagram live with a blend of hip-hop, dancehall and afrobeats as many citizens across the globe have begun to self-quarantine.
Kabiyesi has spent the last three years learning to spin from fellow Bay Area native DJ LP, as the duo began teaming up in the last year. While his afrobeat selections have become one of his signatures, another identifier is the English Premier League kit that he wears proudly.
“You Never Walk Alone,” he answers with a grin when asked about his allegiances.
Liverpool, the class of the Premier League this season, was on pace to obliterate the single-season records for points and wins previously set by Manchester City just a few years ago. City, currently second in the table, had little hope of catching them.
“36-1-1,” Kabiyesi says confidently when asked how Liverpool would finish the season. “109 points.”
Even the opposition has to agree with the Liverpool faithful.
Joleon Lescott, an ex-Manchester City legend, agrees and leans towards the Reds, “Liverpool have to be the more likely.”
As it stands, the Reds will have to await word from the Premier League as they scrabble to determine if and when they can actually finish the season.
For DJ Kabiyesi, it gives a glimmer of hope to those that wished for negative results for Liverpool.
“Now they laugh,” says DJ Kabiyesi with a laugh. “Because a pandemic would the ultimate Liverpool thing to happen to the club.”
Those jokes about a suspended season also come with renewed conversations with friends and family, about the opportunity that was and the friendly banter that comes along with it.
“It’s brought my friends and family together from Europe, Africa and here in the states,” Kabiyesi continues. “All of my immediate family are Liverpool fans so we’ve been excited all season. My extended family are Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea fans, but some of them have been happy for me as well. Others, well…now they have more jokes.”
As the suspended season lingers on, the DJ will keep busy by keeping the party rocking while rocking his Liverpool with artists like Popcaan and Vybz Kartel bumping in the background… r6and he might be looking at YouTube videos on how good his team performed this season.
“Our midfield was completely underrated this season, they deserve way more respect.”
Finding the way to connect with people, be it soccer or soca, is what makes Kabiyesi fun to be around. Always positive, always energized and always supportive, it’s hard to not bounce with him during his set. Similarly, it’s hard to root against him when he’s rocking his personalized kit.
That is, unless Liverpool’s kicking your team’s butt up and down the pitch.
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