As any good Jewish mother knows, a great simcha involves organising every detail from the flowers, decor, invitations, food, and even the seating plan – but what really gets the party started is the music.
Enter Kwamé Knight – also known as DJ Knight – the one stop for simcha planning and entertainment, who has been in the events industry for more than 20 years.
The DJ and events planner, from East London, says nothing is more important than music when it comes to organising a celebration.
“Music is the backbone of every single simcha,” he says. “It’s the glue that binds an event together.”
The party scene regular has always wanted to go into events planning and DJing, citing his love of music as his inspiration.
“I love music: music has no colour, it brings everybody together,” he says. “I DJ all around the world, and no matter whether you are Jewish, Asian or African, the power of music is phenomenal.”
However, Knight is not just the one spinning the decks at weddings, barmitzvahs, fashion shows, celebrity gigs and corporate events: he’s also experienced at taking control of the whole event from start to finish.
“Yes, I can organise music and play at your barmitzvah, Jewish wedding or other function, but my clients also love the fact I can organise everything from the production and finding the venue to assisting them with catering, florists, lighting and decor.
“In effect, you get the whole package when you make the call to me, which my clients like because it’s stress-free.
“If you individually hire a DJ, lighting company, production company, sound engineers and so on, it’s very stressful and you could end up dealing with 15 suppliers yourself.
“But when you’re having a simcha, you don’t want to be dealing with that: if anything were to happen or go wrong, if there were any unforeseen circumstances, my company would do everything we can to ensure your event still runs effortlessly and seamlessly.
“It’s my job to help and hold your hand each and every step of the way. After all, it gives you more time to enjoy your event.”
Knight is a well-known name in the Jewish events circle: after all, as he puts it, he’s “been around for a long time”.
“I love creating and producing Jewish events,” he says. “I understand the formalities of a Jewish event and I love to give people advice based on my years of experience.
“The best part of my job is seeing everyone so excited at an event: sometimes I’ve spent two years planning a simcha, and to see my clients’ positive reactions and the guests having a good time is a great feeling.”
Part of Knight’s skill lies in being able to allow both the young barmitzvah kids and older parents and grandparents to enjoy the music, but he insists it’s all in the preparation.
“I don’t find it difficult to play the right tracks for both young and old,” he says. “I know how to strike the balance between keeping kids and adults entertained.
“It comes with years of experience and listening to what your clients like. Before I play one track, I’ll have had numerous meetings with clients to find out what they like.
“When I come to an event, I know what tracks I’m going to play.”
And although tracks such as Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic are the current flavour of the month at Knight’s events, he also uses a more traditional genre to liven up the dance floor.
“I love playing Jewish songs,” he says. “To me, that’s what gets a party started; songs such as Moshiach, Hashem Melech and Hava Nagila are the tracks that really get a party started and the crowd going.”
So how much does the expertise of this events planner, coordinator, producer, consultant and DJ extraordinaire cost? Knight says it all depends on what kind of party you’re throwing.
“Our prices are all bespoke and down to the clients’ budget,” he says. “Everyone’s affordability is different, and we can work to small, medium and large budgets.”
What’s next for the DJ? After being flown to China, Rome, Switzerland, America, Africa, and Scandinavia for events in recent years, over the next few months Knight is packing
his case for Jewish celebrations in the south of France and even Barbados.
It’s a hard life spinning those decks…
T: 020 3130 40 40/07956 104 086