National | DJ

DJ K Swizz wins the big one back to back

A 20-year-old is on top of the world after winning the annual DMC World Championships in America for a second time. Kalib Strickland, better known as DJ K-Swizz, has been competing as a DJ since he was nine and it’s a talent that runs in the family.

Strickland says despite this being his second DMC World Championship, his work behind the scenes and reflecting on where he was to now is what drives him.

“It feels amazing, I’ve put in so much hard work, and I’ve been working hard on my routine for 10 years. It feels good how it’s all coming along,” he says.

Strickland has been training and perfecting his skills on the turntables since he was a kid. It’s a talent he picked up from his dad, who has a global reputation as DJ Reminise. But the spotlight for Dad now is on his son.

Jacob Strickland (DJ Reminis)e says proud is an understatement for how thrilled he is with his son’s performance on behalf of the country.

“He’s been battling since he was nine years old, and has won 10 world titles all around the world. He’s won titles in Poland, in London, San Francisco. We’ve been all around the world, travelled together and represented our small country of New Zealand,” Strickland says.

DJ K-Swizz is the two-time winner of the DMC World Championships, a competition that’s been around for nearly 40 years and is held in high regard by competitors and enthusiasts alike.

“I practise for hours, so I’m excited to show everyone. I can’t wait to just perform, but I get more nervous when I’m waiting for the results, I’m in the back like ‘ohhh nooo’. But I love performing,”

In the competition, Strickland had a clear lead to win first place, equipment and $4,000 prize money. Now he’s turning his attention to the future of DJs in Aotearoa.

“I wanna push the turntableism scene. It’s not really big here in New Zealand, so it will be good to bring it out again. Let everyone know that, DJ’s here and we’re all scratching, and hopefully bring it out more,” he says.