The male domination of ‘djing’ has been firmly shaken with female djs pushing their trade as out and out equals.
From across the globe there are major female names but I think you would be hard pressed to think of a female DJ from Nigeria. I could name two but now thankfully I can name three with the fantastic DJ Cuppy.
This young lady has pushed her name above the parapet to become a known figure certainly in Africa. With her sights set on bringing her name to the fore in the UK-she recently dropped a live radio session with DJ Abrantee and in New York (where she is currently residing), Cuppy brings her infectious smile to Flavour for a face to face at the elaborate surrounds of Shaka Zulu restaurant.
Don’t forget to check out her special EXCLUSIVE mix for Flavour!
So Cuppy I have been informed by your PR that you are sooooo busy flying about everywhere; so where have you been this year and where are you going to be later in the year?
Well I was in Malta and then I am going to Dubai tomorrow. For this quarter I have been to so many places; New Year in Lagos, then Ghana, South Africa, back to New York, London then Kenya. Later this quarter I have a big African project so that will take in a lot of countries. It is hectic but honestly I love my job and it fulfills me so much.
Give the UK readers some background on DJ Cuppy.
I was born in Lagos and I went to university in London. I spent 11 years in Nigeria and ten years in London- it is great to experience two different cultures.
I read that you have a masters?
Well I went to Kings College where I got my first degree in economics, now I am doing a Masters in Music Business and in the long-term I want to do a PHD as well. My academic discipline is very much accounting which gave me a jump start to having my own business.
And this love with dj’ing how did that eventually happen?
Well, I used to wonder why it was always men playing music in a club. So I asked my parents to get me some second hand and then taught myself how to dj by using YouTube.
And other information from your PR-you work for Roc Nation that’s a big look?
Yes I started in September as an intern and my boss is so amazing, I have learnt so much from him. Being in that environment is really inspiring and I have never heard anyone say an idea or a suggestion is not possible. If you see how Jay Z put out his last album it was all about innovation and so I have taken that on board and I am sure it will help me to build my own brand RVMG [Red Velvet Music Group] and make it even stronger.
So break down a typical Cuppy set.
A typical set of mine will have a lot of hip-hop in it particularly Jay Z who is my favourite rapper. I love to use samples from old and new music. I actually have a mix I do where I go from Frank Sinatra’s New York New York (1977) into Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind (2009) that is like my favourite mix.
Any aspirations to make music as well as play music?
I do make music as well. I recorded a track called I Love My Country which is an old song from the 70’s a but I put it on a house beat and it was great because a lot of older people who knew the song loved it but the younger people also loved it because it was on a contemporary beat. I am so excited to do that again so look out for more information.
Lastly what’s your long term ambition?
I want to put the fusion of Afro-Beat and Western sounds on the map-I want to ensure that even if people do not like it they are aware of the sound. Supporting African artists is so important to me so you will always find me in Nigeria just getting up to date with the artists who are making an impact. There is such a spotlight on Africa that the time is now for the globe to really appreciate and absorb African music/culture and I want to be a name who spearheads that movement.