Rocking the Mic and Running the Lake

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DAGHE Digital  (Carlos Coleman )

DAGHE Digital is just about as unique as they come.

He's a West Oakland kid, who's clear about his West African roots, as his family hails from Nigeria. He grew up a socialite who turf danced and threw "functions" for people who weren't old enough to go to legit clubs. He's grown to become a brand creator, clothing designer, music producer and more.

But his main job? Going stupid on the turntables and microphone at some of the biggest events.

Daghe has worked with folks like P-Lo, G-Eazy, YBN Cordae and more. When I first interviewed him last summer, DAGHE was rocking shows in Miami, Minnesota, New York and Toronto. He was spinning at the Oakland stop of the Everyday People Tour, the SoOakland X DAGHE Digital party at Hello Stranger, while also gearing up for a world tour.

Scrolling through his photos and videos on social media, you might think that all DAGHE does is rage on major stages while folks in the crowd scream their heads off in excitement. But there's more to him than that.

I caught up with him at Cafe Lakeside in Oakland last summer, and talked about the other side of DAGHE. You know, the cerebral side, the side that likes to have "business meetings" with himself while he runs the lake. Not necessarily the "turned down" side—and, in talking to him, I realized it might not be a "different side" at all—but more of a different spot on the spectrum of energy that he can show. And the quieter, contemplative, thoughtful end of that spectrum is rarely heard—until now.

A shorter version of this episode was first broadcast on Jun 28, 2019. Below is a lightly edited excerpt of my more recent conversation with DAGHE.

Pen: Alright, how you doin' man?

Daghe: I'm doing good. I mean, as good as I can in times like this, but I'm doing good. I'm blessed. I can't complain. First I was stressing. Now I'm just kind of chilling, like taking it easy.

Pen: Right. Kind of slowed down. But at the same time, you've been organizing stuff. I've seen the movement by the lake, jogging by the lake, right?

Daghe: Yeah. I did the Peace and Wellness Run to show solidarity and show my alliance with the movement in a way that's more normal for me. I think it really touched people, like, "Oh, yeah. I can run?" You know, something that's more positive. At this time, it was the height of everything going on, -- rightfully angry protests.  I mean, it's just this other option that's like, "yo, you want to run?" My whole agenda is do hella fun shit. I just feel like it's a weird time. I feel like is my place right now to like bring the community together. Like socially and for health and everything, because this shit weighs on you, before this stuff, it's just the Covid shit weighed on a lot of people, cause I know a weighed on me.

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.