DJ Do Ghetto

by DJ N.K.

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Born in 1988, Pedro Cardoso p/k/a DJ N.K. (pronounced E​n­Kappa)​is one of the main proponents of Lisbon’s Kuduro sound. A bastion of one of the most exciting and talked­about nationalised scenes, DJ N.K. is no rookie. He has been pioneering the modern face of Lisbon urban music, often generalised by his peers as Batida music, which translates simply to “Beat” music, pushing both of Lisbon’s street sounds; Kuduro and Tarraxinha into bold new territories, for over a decade.

Kuduro translated, literally means H​ard Ass (​Ku­Duro). Kuduro is the Angolan sound, originating in the 1980s. Angola was a Portuguese colony for 400 years, until 1975. Kuduro has become the sound of the streets of Lisbon along with the influx of Angolan migrants moving to Portugal. In the last ten years or so, this African­influenced dance music has been blooming at an exponential rate in housing projects across Lisbon, proliferating itself into one of the most exciting regional urban music scenes in Western Europe. As a whole, the sound has developed a vast musical language, employing an array various virtual­synth instruments and exploring many worldwide musical influences far and wide from both traditional African musics and modern club musics.

Half Portuguese and half Angolan, DJ N.K. has always been surrounded by African rhythms. DJ N.K. still lives in the same area where he grew up, Bairro do Pombal, a suburban neighborhood in Oeiras, in the western part of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. His Portuguese father, an avid record collector, constantly played music in the family house while DJ N.K. was growing up. DJ N.K. speaks of his fathering being “fond of music that could not be easily categorized or boxed into a distinctive­genre”. This has helped DJ N.K. to employ a liberal approach in his productions, free to dissect and explore various African rhythms and mix them with his wildly diverse sound palette. He sites the Angolan artists that his father would play such as Bonga Kwenda, Maya Cool, Angelo Boss, Rey Webba, Banda Maravilha and most significantly DJ Amorim as major influences that attracted him to the beauty of African rhythms. DJ N.K. connects this love for beat driven music to his own roots. His mothers’ grandparents descended from the nomadic tribes of Angola’s Namibe desert. Of his experiences making music, he comments “every time I make music, I try to transport myself to the desert through my music so I can feel my tribal roots through my veins. When I’m making music, I want to smell the desert”.

DJ N.K. started to produce in 2003 on Dance Ejay 4, a rudimentary digital audio workstation. Soon after mastering the software he upgraded to Fruity Loops, then known as FL Studio. In 2006 he was recruited into the preeminent Portuguese Kuduro production crew, D​Js Do Guetto.​The crew was founded in 2005 and consisted of the main figureheads of the scene at the time. Alongside DJ N.K. DJs Do Guetto’s members included; DJ Marfox, DJ Nervoso, DJ Pausas, DJ Fofuxo & DJ Jesse. The crew all grew up in Lisbon’s ghettos and identified with one another musically. DJ N.K., DJ Marfox and DJ Nervoso were the main proponents to the Portuguese Kuduro sound while their counterparts; DJ Pausas, DJ Fofuxo and DJ Jesse produced their own mutated style of infectious Kizomba. The crew banded together to release their “DJ Do Guetto Vol. 1” compilation in September 2006, on the first day of the high­school year, where it soon became the most popular mixtape on the streets of Lisbon. Young people were seen dancing all over the city the the sounds of the crew. This record became the starting point for the whole next generation of young urban music producers in Portugal that has been blooming since. While Luanda had the legendary Sebem and Tony Amado as the figureheads for the Kuduro style, Lisbon’s Kuduro sound was lead by the likes of DJ N.K., DJ Marfox and DJ Nervoso.

Despite making huge regional hits such as “MSN Kuduro”, “Buzinansso”, “Alarma Kuduro”, “Esta Batida não agents não”, “O Matumbo”, “Agua de Côco” & “Coco”, twelve years after he started making music, DJ N.K.’s debut album is here at last. The record, aptly titled “DJ Do Ghetto” to pay tribute to his crews’ roots, is a collection of a dozen hand­picked recent productions from DJ N.K., carefully curated by J­Cush. The record features additional production on two tracks from former DJ’s Do Ghetto crew mates & Lisbon legends, DJ Marfox and DJ Nervoso


released July 15, 2016

All tracks composed by DJ N.K. except track 3 composed by DJ N.K. & DJ Marfox and track 9 composed by DJ N.K. & DJ Nervoso
Mixed by DJ N.K.
Mastered by Rusty Santos
Artwork by Erik Spanne



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