As one of the pioneers of electronic music in Ghana, DJ Steloo says he has always been inspired by sound and his surroundings. For his Design Indaba 2018 set, for example, he looked to the sound of aeroplanes and birds to inspire his experimental set performed before the Cape Town audience.
For his latest project, the ocean served as inspiration.
In collaboration with a fellow Ghanaian creative, photographer Ofoe Amegavie, DJ Steloo has launched a project called Stitches From The Ocean. Consisting of black and white images of DJ Steloo dressed in white while walking through a seaside town, the blurring of the images give the sense of someone moving at speed.
He explains that the project was inspired by one of the fishing communities in Accra that he likes to visit in his downtime. "It’s inspired by my observations of sea waves at the shore, which I have made recordings of...also recordings of coastal neighbourhoods in Accra," he says.
"As a sound storyteller I have a responsibility to tell stories around me through sound. I choose to explore, experiment and create a set inspired by the sea shore and the community," he says.
But unlike previous projects where he took his inspiration from nature and then used it to inform his sonic output for a performance, the Stitches From The Ocean project will only be transformed into a physical music performance in the future.
The project in a way serves as an extension of his musical performances, mapping out a road towards a future music performance that will be based on these observations.
DJ Steloo says that audiences are normally privy to the result of his inspiration when they see him performing a live set, but with this project he wanted to see what it would be like to take the audience into the experience of gathering inspiration for his music.
"In this project I’m looking at the ocean as a technological framework provided to us to recreate from, as creators, aside from it as a source of food to humans," he says.
But just as much as sound and nature play an important role in his work as a musician, so does fashion. Often described as much for his electronic music sets as his unique sense of fashion, DJ Steloo says even the pieces of clothing in the project were inspired by the work of people who live in the communities that he observed, while adding a touch of his personal style.
For DJ Steloo, the process of choosing clothing involves looking through markets in Accra for pieces that he will either re-work himself or work with a local tailor to bring his ideas to life.
"I love experimental fashion, it syncs with my creations. My fashion, looks and music complement each other," he says.