Raeez Kuhn, AKA Eezo’s passion for music has given him an outlet to express himself, and greatly improved his quality of life. Kuhn was born on the 13th March 1996. He says this day was supposed to be the beginning of a happy life for him and his family who were residing in Sophiatown, which was the epicentre of politics, jazz and blues during the 1950s.

At the tender age of two a double tragedy struck. Raeez’ father died in a tragic accident and Raeez lost his sight. An operation was recommended, but unfor­tunately, his family didn’t have the money to pay for the procedure. Leaving him completely blind.

The body is an amazing thing, when you lose one sense, your other senses kick in, as it was the case with Eezo. His sense of hearing became a bit more fine-tuned, allowing him to listen to more R&B and commercial house.

He spent time as a boarder in the school for the blind in Durban. That’s where he learned to use computers and to read and write using a touch system called Braille system. These skills opened up the world for him. They allowed him to pursue his passion for music which developed when an uncle played music in his car radio.

From the age of ten he began to dream of a career as a DJ. He decided to call himself Eezo the blind DJ. Some people thought he was crazy – how could a blind person manage the decks, choose the tracks and mix the sounds? Impossible, they all said. But Eezo was determined to chal­lenge himself and realise his dream. He taught himself how to mix and went on to practice how to mix. Once he mastered mixing, he began using a software called Virtual DJ. Just a few years later he was already playing four decks live on CDJ’s (a digital music player that facilitates manipulations and sound effects) and he began getting gigs. In spite of his amazing talent some people made fun of him, ridiculed him and even taunted him. At one event where he played, they put a blind fold around his head and tried to distract him by putting things on the decks he was using. They were skeptical that Eezo was blind. But that was the pet­rol he needed to keep his passion burning. It motivated him to create a successful future for himself as a professional DJ in competition with sighted artists.

Granted, DJing can be pretty challeng­ing, even for sighted DJs. Firstly, there’s navigating your way around loud spaces which is tricky when objects and people are permanently moving in and out of your line of vision. “I had to learn to speak up for myself at a very young age,” he says. He reveals, “it’s been a very tough journey at times. I wouldn’t go on a gig on my own. I always go with someone who can assist me.”

DJ Eezo says the genres he currently plays are commercial house and Amapiano. “In 2013 I released my first mix tape. And 2014 was when I started playing on CD-J and it took me only 20 minutes to master it,” he reveals.

“I do try to promote myself on a daily basis on social media but it’s not easy. And other DJs are reluctant to give me a plat­form because they are afraid that people may turn their attention to me instead of them,” he says.

Eezo has thousands of followers on Facebook and can access social media using an application called TalkBack which converts what is on the screen of his android phone into the spoken word. This enthusiastic, charismatic, young DJ, who has a ready smile and an excellent way with words, is rearing to go, but unfortunately, he is stuck in a catch 22 situation. Promoters are willing to give him gigs but he doesn’t have any equipment, and if he doesn’t have any equipment, he can’t earn a much-needed income he needs to survive. DJ Eezo is currently trying to raise funds to buy a DJying equipment that will allow him to get his own gigs. “ DJ equipment is expensive. Something of quality standard like Pioneer will allow me to fine tune my craft,” he says.

He is certain that this is just another obstacle that he will overcome, one way or another. Because if there is one lesson that Eezo wants others to know is this; no matter what life throws at you, you can succeed if you have the right attitude and are determined and prepared to make the effort. “It’s about where you put your focus. I believe anything is possible,” he concludes.

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