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'Really incredible what Zwolle has done for me'

Roy El Kei is a Zwolle resident

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"Zwolle is a very warm city of 'us knows us'. If we can do something for each other, we do it," says Leroy Konjanan, who himself experienced what this feeling of togetherness and connection can produce. His city collected 75,000 euros in no time, which the techno deejay used to undergo a stem cell transplant in Mexico. Roy El Kei about his illness, his city, his dreams for the future and to start with his love for PEC Zwolle.

PEC Zwolle

"My grandparents lived in the Roemer Visscherstraat, near the stadium. As a child, I went to PEC with grandpa. He was just as fanatical as I was and passed on his love for the club to me. Later I went with a group of friends. I was so skinny that I could get through the fences around the Ceintuurbaan. In those days I saw a lot of games for free, I can now confess.... I still go to the games with that same group of friends. That's another reason why I feel a fraternity in the stadium. Even during that last rotten season. PEC is in my heart. The stadium is one of my home venues in Zwolle. The other is Hedon.

Hedon

My first time Hedon was a dance party. I was about 16, 17. 'That's what I want,' I thought when I saw those deejays in action. I sold my scooter and used the proceeds to buy a couple of turntables. I practiced with them for days. In those days I played soccer in the second division of Be Quick '28. On the way to away games I would play my beats to teammates. Sounds good,' I would hear. Rob Teitsma, who also played soccer at Be Quick '28, later gave me a real chance: I was allowed to spin during the first Lipgloss in the Broerenkerk.

DJ Roy El Kei
DJ Roy El Kei

Deejay of the year

"From then on it went fast: I won the 'deejay of the year-contest' of Slam FM in 2006 and hopped from gig to gig in bigger and bigger venues at home and abroad. I played with Afrojack and Hardwell. In 2009 I was suddenly completely done with it. The feeling wasn't right anymore, the music no longer suited me. If I had kept going I would have come a lot further, but you have to do what suits you. I have found that out more than ever in recent years. At the same time we started the DEEP, the techno parties in Hedon that have been sold out for years. It's great that this event is so successful in my own city.

Teaching young people

Since 2017 I rent a building at De Marslanden. There, since the corona pandemic, I teach young people who have had it a little harder in their lives. We record raps, make beats together and we try to get their music to a higher level. That gives me a lot of satisfaction and those guys inspire me too. They take me down roads that I never explored before. This past year I invested a lot in my music anyway. It has become harder and more dark. I play a lot firmer. I want to release this new music soon. A techno festival in Zwolle is another ambition, preferably around a tunnel under the A28. Such a raw location fits our music very well, but a permit is difficult because we are close to a Natura 2000 area.

Moluccas

I would never leave Zwolle for another place in the Netherlands. This is the city where I know many people and where my family lives. My grandparents came from the Moluccas to live in Holtenbroek. I have a lot of contact with family in the Moluccas. Maybe I will go and live there one day. Those people look up to our wealth and therefore see less that they have the real wealth: fishing at sea, growing organic vegetables, the jungle that has so much to offer. We need to go back much more to the basics of humanity. That is more important than working for the mortgage and insurance. That realization has grown a lot in the corona era.

Illness

My illness also makes me look at life differently. In 2017 doctors diagnosed MS and then I underwent that stem cell transplant. I also completely changed my lifestyle. Now you can compare it to a top athlete and in many ways I go even further. I only eat between four and six in the afternoon and I keep to a strict diet. I developed that myself based on the insights of a holistic doctor from the United States. For making food, I use traditional waking jars. In that respect, too, I go back to basics. And that for someone who was addicted to junk food....

Heartwarming action

That stem cell transplant was possible because of an action in Zwolle. Typhoon, Rico and Sticks performed in Hedon and many other people supported me. That was bizarre and heartwarming at the same time. It's incredible what my city has done for me. Unfortunately I got very little of most actions. I was living in a kind of haze at the time and was in bed for a year and a half. Despite the fact that I still have steps to make, I feel good now. It was only recently that I was able to spin at Deep for the first time after my illness and after corona. That was fantastic."

The Top 3 of Roy el Kei

  • "I walk like to go to the Wijthmenerplas. If there is a little wind, I take out my big kite. The Wijthmenerplas is also a wonderful location for events and festivals."
  • "[The Wezenlandenpark](article://3888 ") is a nice place where you can relax. I also often run into acquaintances there. When the weather is nice, the park is also a good place to do some sports."
  • I have played in many clubs and venues, but Hedon remains a special place for me. I'm right at home there. Not only for the concerts. Because I have a lot of contacts there through DEEP, I also like to walk in for a cup of coffee."

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