DJ Yordi looking to take NI music scene by storm after tough start in life

todayAugust 24, 2023 4

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Yordanos (26) was forced to leave his home in Ethiopia to find safety, travelling through nine countries before arriving in Northern Ireland and settling in Belfast 16 months ago.

Guided by Migrant Help, he’s become immersed in the local music scene, something which is furthering his dream of being “one of the top DJ names” around the world.

“I enjoy everything about the city,” says Yordanos, who adds that his passion for music is something that started when he was very young.

Born in Eritrea but brought up under his aunt’s care in Ethiopia after his parents’ death, it is from her that he found joy and inspiration in both Ethiopian and Eritrean music.

“I love the old-school sounds, house music, and I love the Northern Irish scene,” he says. “Music makes me happy.”

Yordanos, who is also known as DJ Yordi, left Ethiopia as a young boy to “live a settled and peaceful life”. He travelled through Turkey, Greece, Romania, Germany and France before arriving in Belfast.

His first venture into DJing was at a 2017 concert in Meskel Square, Ethiopia, with 60,000 people in attendance. Rihanna, Drake and Teddy Afro, one of Ethiopia’s most influential singers, were the headliners. While travelling through Greece, he also played at clubs.

“When I became a DJ, performing with big African and European artists was exciting,” he says. “Playing to a huge crowd, I would feel a mixture of excitement and nerves. I love thinking that I can give people pleasure and enjoyment by listening to my music.”

During his time in Belfast, Yordanos has found a mentor in Lindsay Dube, a music promoter who produced documentary Black, Northern Ireland and Proud, which was commissioned by the BBC in autumn 2022.

Lindsay said: “I have worked with a lot of local and international musicians and DJs over the years.

“When Migrant Help told me about DJ Yordi it was a no-brainer and we introduced him to DJ Michael Krest whom I have worked with to mentor and guide him while waiting for his status to be settled.

“We try to help develop his skills and morale and he has been a joy to help.”

For Yordanos, DJ Krest is working with him one-on-one at events and “teaching him the local ways”.

“The people here are so nice and it feels like a home to me,” he says of Belfast.

“I want to get training and study on a course to improve my DJing. I came from Eritrea where we have a different culture, but I am experiencing new things here in Northern Ireland, and starting to understand this culture.”

Since arriving here, Yordanos has performed at the Fountain Lane Bar, joining forces with DJ Krest, drawing in a crowd of people from his own country and locals who appreciate his talent.

Recently, Migrant Help provided him with a new laptop, donated by SocialBoz.Biz, which has further enhanced his DJing potential.

As Yordanos looks ahead, he is excited to enhance his DJing skills through training and professional development.

Yordanos fully embraces the chance to dive into Northern Ireland’s vibrant cultural scene, allowing it to inspire his artistic growth.

Migrant Help’s hands-on approach is helping Yordanos reach his career potential, looking for community-based events to build confidence.

“Witnessing his growth in confidence, integration into the wider community and how he has been received by people in Northern Ireland has been truly heartwarming,” says Orla Gardiner from Migrant Help.

“We are extremely grateful to Lindsay and DJ Krest for their support of this exceptional young man.”

Migrant Help protects people affected by displacement and exploitation, helping them thrive as individuals and recover from their trauma. They support those most in need and least likely to find support elsewhere, while aiming to bridge community gaps and bring services and support together. For more information, see

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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