Since opening its doors to the public for the first time in 2007, Woei has left its mark on the international sneaker and streetwear community with several collaborations including Asics, Patta, and Stüssy along the way.

But the interests and passions of the Woei crew reach far beyond just shoes and apparel; Besides providing the streets with the latest from Nike, Adidas, and Co., music has always been at the heart of the store. Considering the highly curated playlists and mixes that can be heard in the store and hosting some of Rotterdam's most notorious parties, the belief that music unites is deeply ingrained in the Woei DNA. 

Based on this deep connection, we want to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite local musicians to talk about what sparked their passion for music and hear their take on common dilemmas in the music industry.  

 For episode #37 of WOEI FM, we met with NGUALA and talked about the experiences within his 5 years of DJing, his daily routines, and the urge to tell a story by spinning music.


Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Rony Nguala, better known as NGUALA. I'm 26 years old, a full-time creative and DJ from Rotterdam. 

How did you decide on your DJ name?

It's my last name. At the time I was busy with a whole rebranding and one of my good friends told me just to use my last name. It's somewhat hard to pronounce for some people, and it's short but powerful. It gives off energy. 

How long have you been spinning?

For about 5 years now, I started out for fun (and to save on costs at my events...). I've been taking it way more seriously once I found the sound I really enjoyed spinning. It has taken me about 4 years to figure out what I wanted my sound to be, and now I spend my time just searching for tunes and getting lost in that. 

What does a typical day in your life look like?

A typical weekday for me is going to the gym after waking up and working on my creative jobs afterward. I'll go to the gym again in the evening and then meet with my crew to work on our events. I'm always busy and always work on bettering myself. 

We were at the Boijmans van Beuningen Depot today, what does this spot mean to you?

I really enjoy coming here. It may sound cliché but each time I'm here, I get inspired by something new. 


"It has taken me about 4 years to figure out what I wanted my sound to be, and now I spend my time just searching for tunes and getting lost in that."


What does Rotterdam, as a city, mean to you?

Rotterdam is 'thuishaven'. I'm originally from Zwijndrecht, but Rotterdam is my home and where I feel the most creative. I can be myself here. 

Do you have any favourite spots in Rotterdam?

· Cannibale Royale


· Hinoki Noodle Soup

When did you realise that music would have such a big impact on your life?

It's in my Congolese roots. Music brings people together, and it's something you can easily get lost in. 

What was your first performance, and how did it go?

My first real gig was during Apollo at Poing. I felt lucky to have a lot of people around me who were experienced and showed me the ropes. I was aware of the GOs and NO-GOs, but at some point, you just have to figure it out on your own.

But it went well, I played a totally different genre from what I play now, mostly R&B, edits, etc... 




How did you prepare for your first set?

I went to parties to check out the opening DJs and study mistakes they made I wanted to avoid making myself. The advice other DJs gave me was to throw my own little sauce into my mixes and to make proper use of the time slot I'm given, which I took to heart. 

What do you spin exactly?

I describe it as Afro-Electronic. This includes Afro House, Batida, Amapiano, and Gcom to name a few.

Vinyl or Digital?



Has anything ever happened while you were playing that made you go: WTF?!

There was once a girl who was convinced that she knew me, who ran up to the DJ booth to greet me during my set. While running she falls, and drops a glass of wine all over one of the CDJs. I had to finish the set on just one CDJ because the club didn't have a backup. That was shitty! Especially since I hadn't been a DJ for long at that point. 

Where do you find inspiration, music-wise?

Predominantly other DJs, but I also take a lot of inspiration from films. Take Interstellar for example. The visuals show you the story, but the music is what really takes you along the journey. That's what I try to do during my sets. 

How do you select your music for upcoming gigs/mixes/events?

I do some research on the party itself if I'm unfamiliar with the concept. I'll look into the venue size and location to find out everything I need to know beforehand.  


"The visuals show you the story, but the music is what really takes you along the journey. That's what I try to do during my sets. "




Club nights or Festivals?


It feels better to be outside. The intimacy of clubs is nice, but I prefer festivals.

Is there a certain club/venue you’d still like to perform at?

Razzmatazz in Barcelona.

Are there any DJs you currently look up to?

Feloletee, Benji B, and Juls

Do you have a tune you’d like to share with the readers?


Top parties of all time?

TRIBES ADE in Paradiso, and Circo Loco in Ibiza.

Is there something on the agenda that you’re able to share with us?

I'll be playing The Bairro on May 24th!

What can we expect from your Operator set?

A whole journey.

Any last words for the readers?

Shoutout to Maximoes and Woei. <3


Can't get enough of WOEI FM? Check out WOEI FM #36 with BOUND45!