Calling Eff The DJ one of the busiest DJs in the city will not be far from the truth. And the last quarter of December 2018 proved to be a pivotal moment for the DJ, playing at two of the biggest musical events in the city. But, these accomplishments has been a result of hard work and a proven track record which he has cultivated over years: ‘’I felt like I had earned these moments a while back’’.
In this interview, Eff The DJ, who is part of the DJ duo IFKR opens up on a lot of things such as his professional growth as a DJ, his coming of age moment, the lesson learnt from playing at two important events last year and his overall take on Game of Thrones and why Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys are two of his favourite characters. (Thumbnail Photo by Charles Lawson)
Our last conversation was last year. We spoke about your career and how you got started. One year on, where do you stand, career wise?
Wow, it’s been a year already? I didn’t really know where- I wasn’t really sure of where I was heading as at when we did the previous interview. But looking at where I was then, I think I’m doing better than I expected. [I] managed to tick some goals off my list and even on my overall DJ bucket list. I feel like I’m in a position to get more done this year.
How much progress have you made with regards to your craft?
My transitions have gotten better. I’ve expanded my pool of genres, and I got better at doing more diverse audiences.
What are some of the major lessons you learnt during the course of your trade from last year.
First, you get what you ask for – All the way from how you get treated at venues to negotiation. You get what you ask for. [I] must admit I sold myself short a couple of times because I didn’t make the right demands.
Second, be Intentional – People get lucky but there’s only so far you can go without being intentional about your direction.
I doubt it would be a reach to describe you as one the busiest DJs in the city last year. Aside your weekly gig at Serallio, you were on several bills last December. How did you feel playing at such events?
Yeah, it was pretty exciting how things came together for me at the end of the year. [I] wasn’t really clear on what my December schedule would have looked like till about November. It was a dream come true to share the stage with some of the biggest names in GH-Naija music and the African Giant (Burna Boy) himself.
I thoroughly enjoyed my set, and right when I was done, I came to the realization that I just might be more than a DJ. I’m a performer.
Will you describe those invitations as your ‘coming of age” moments?
[Laughs] Yes and No? Yes, it was a trip being the first time mounting some of these stages. And no, because I felt like I had earned these moments a while back. I think personally, my ‘coming of age’ moment was ‘’JulyFest’’. I was glad to share the stage with all these other artistes that I’m a big fan of. I thoroughly enjoyed my set, and right when I was done, I came to the realization that I just might be more than a DJ. I’m a performer.
You played at both ‘’Manifestivities’’ and DJ Juls’ event. First, how did you feel when the invitation came for you to be part of it?
Yes, I did! My favorite two events from December 18, and in my opinion, the best events from the period. Definitely self-pinching moments when those invites came through.
I learned that people took me more seriously than I do myself, and therefore a reason to push harder, experiment more and craft a deeper identity to stand out more.
What did those two moments mean to you? How did you prepare for these events?
‘’Manifestivities’’ was definitely a ‘gimme pinch’ moment. Mentally, I wasn’t going to conclude I was billed with some of Africa’s major acts till the event started and ended successfully. I was up there with the greats!
Throwback New Year (THBNY) – Backstory is I was a big fan of DUSK – an all hip-hop party that was thrown in December consecutively for about 3 years. I attended 2 of them, I think. It might have been my fav moments of those Decembers because I didn’t think there were audiences to do full hip-hop nights and not be bothered. He, [Juls] reaching out to me to do this event was a humbling moment. You can get anything you work hard/smart for.
Both events came as a significant boost to me mentally. I learned that people took me more seriously than I do myself, and therefore a reason to push harder, experiment more and craft a deeper identity to stand out more.
Between playing at a setting like Serallio or any other open concerts and playing at a private event, which one is the most difficult to do?
There are top DJs who would struggle with either of these, but I think the private events are harder to do. There’s a smaller audience and you have to either make a good first impression, repair an already damaged reputation, maintain an already existing reputation, or raise this reputation to god-level. This really depends on where your strength lies and how well you know your audience. I need more work with open concerts to be honest.
One of the moments for you and DJ K3V last year was the release of your debut album, UHNI in 2018. How pivotal was the release of the project and the video for you two?
Oh man! A dream of 2-3 years finally materializing. K3V will tell you I constantly used to say ‘wow, it’s really happening’ every time we made a major step towards release. It was great moment because I came to the realization that there’s much more levels to the industry than it appears, and yes, the wise man who once said ‘making the music be the easy part’ is right.
Should the folks at Boiler Room ask you to put together a tag team of Five (5) DJs from GH, who are you recruiting?
Myself, B-Brave, Keyzuz, #IFKR, ENDWD DJ
We’ve realized you have built quite a fan base. How does that make you feel and what’s your plan for them?
Yeah, I’ve come to realize that surprisingly. Reminds me that I’m doing well at what I’m doing and I’ll need to keep it up. Also wish I’d be able to get closer to them so I’m looking to start a BC/mailing list for them or something. Hit me up if you’re interested! I’m looking to do more collaborations this year so hit me up if your mind dey.
What should we expect in 2019 from you and IFKR? Any personal projects, targets on the board?
A lot of things chale. Music, events, videos, etc. Don’t want to go into details till they’re about to go down. You’ll be the first to hear, I promise.
Who is your favourite character from Game of Thrones and what informed that choice?
Fav – Tyrion – A very simple man. He establishes his relationships upon first interactions. [He] let you know what he wants, and asks what you want. If you can reach a level ground, then we move. And yeah obviously a smart guy. A lot of what Jon Snow became is off what he learnt from him the first couple of times they interacted in S01. Lastly identify with him because he’s the shortest player in the game.
Best – Varys – We don’t know what his end-game is. He’s said he doesn’t want anything but to see the realm prosper. When he was with Oberyn in the throne room, he looked at the throne when he was asked what he’s pursuing with his powers of having no desire. He’s also the one who organized the safety of the Targaryens, was in contact with their caretaker, so was aware of her marriage, organized spies on her to know her moves, and finally went over to advise her when things started getting out of hand.
Which character’s death was the most painful to watch?
Everyone. I felt pain watching die initially, proved to deserve it anytime I re-watch. Talisa & Barristan seem to be the only ones who died in a way they didn’t really deserve. It was not really Talisa’s business if her husband messed up and Barristan was an OG knight.
If you are to persuade someone to watch GoT, what will be some of the reasons you’d put forth?
This big 2019, now you dey come start dierr, yawa. But if you want proper dialogue and multi-dimensional character motivations where no one is really a hero or villain, this is the show for you.
Enjoy this exclusive mix by EFF The DJ for Culartblog
|Prestea to Accra||Kofi Mole|
|Body Deep||Wavy the Creator|
|Classics||Kiddblack & Moor Sound|
|Honey||Ayat ft. Magnom & Camidoh – Honey (Prod. by KaySo)|
|Awolowo||Boj ft Kwesi Arthur , Darkovibes & Joey B|
|Jeje||Shaurel X Willywithdjuice X Joel Prodigee|
|Gang||Sneakbo ft Darkovibes & Kwesi Arthur|
|Yenkodi||$pacely ft. Buman x Odartei|
|Kill My Spirit||Kwesi Arthur ft. Sarkodie, Santi|
|Comfortable||Nonso Amadi ft. Kwesi Arthur|
|Undastand||Yung Pabi ft Worlasi|
|AsoƒÓden||Ko-Jo Cue ft Shaker|
|ON THEM||JEFF OTTIS|
|Kin Sa Ke||Ayat (Prod SELVSSE)|
|Dont Be Late||Kofi Mole (Prod. By Kobby Jay)|
|Ei||Magnom ft. Kofi Mole (Prod. by Yung D3mz)|