Mogaji Saheed Abiodun popularly known as DJ Genius is from Epe, Lekki side of Lagos. He is a professional Disc Jockey and he has been into the game for over a decade. In this interview with PublicFaces Magazine, he laid it bare on how technology has been helping Nigeria Entertainment Industry, how hard it was to get latest songs back in the days when all they had was Vinyl, his upcoming track with D’banj and other sundry issues..
For the sake of our readers who don’t know much about you, tell us who DJ Genius is?
My real name is Mogaji Saheed Abiodun, I am from Epe, Lekki side of Lagos State. Gentle by nature but a wizard on the wheels of steel. I have being a professional disc jockey for over a decade. I’m jovial, friendly and generous above all I’m God fearing.
Kindly share with us your foray into Disc Jockey and why Disc Jockey?
Music has been my thing from childhood, I would leave our house at night only to stay by our neighbor’s window to listen to music (dad flogged me a lot for that). Although I started with recording my own songs but when I got to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and needed to survive and promote my songs, I expanded and made use of my musical talent into disc jockeying and that was how the journey started.
What were the challenges you were facing then when you started and also now that technology has evolve?
Yeah, there were some challenges back in the days, like Limited access to new songs, I could remember then, there was no internet in Nigeria to download songs, only few of us who had friends in the radio house like RayPower and co had the opportunity to little new songs and some of us paid urban music for music delivery. Another challenge was non availability of soft library we had to carry loads of vinyl and cds to gig and it’s so awkward when party organizer request for a song you have and you cannot find it on time in your rack of vinyl or cds compare to now that you just type and search on your laptop.
The challenges now, to mention few are:
Too many greenhorns are littering the profession right now thereby people don’t really respect the profession like they should, simply because it’s now filled with dick, tom and harry except when you have been able to carve a niche for yourself. Another challenge is that media houses in this part of the world doesn’t employ enough djs to their organization thereby they overwork the only one or two been employed.
Your fame in the Gateway State has not been like before can you tell us why?
I believe I am too much of a sun for Gateway State alone so I checked out to the heartbeat of entertainment in Nigeria (Lagos) for bigger, better and international fame.
You suddenly went off radar immediately you left Rockcity FM; can you tell us why you left the prestigious radio station?
In life one has to take a bold step at a point if you must reach your goal and succeed in it, like the saying ‘the revolution won’t be televised’ I had to go and see for myself the greener part of the other side because my ambition and dream can only be met in the city, so I had to leave to join a record label in Lagos as the label Official DJ (Trodan Records) and we have been doing a lot of shows and movement in Lagos State.
As a known figure in the industry, do you also have a role model?
Yes, I grew up listening to DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Philadelphia USA) Dj cool ‘let me clear my throat crooner'(USA) in the late 80’s, DJ Jimmy Jatt (Nigeria) and of course DJ Tlm from USA in the 90s
Your profession requires that you listen to music, what can you say about the music industry in Nigeria?
Well, the only thing that is constant in life is change and so it has affected the music scene in the country somehow, these days we have better sound (production) with the help of technology advancement compare to some 70s and 80s productions but most of our recording artistes nowadays lacks content and word merging so I’ll say what we have now is just the instrumental and rythm, we don’t have content and its fast killing the industry and the artistes future because their songs died few months after been released. The vulgarity in music now could damage the generations coming. unlike the music of the 80s that we met, Onyeka Owenu, Felix Duke, Ebinezer Obey, Sunny Ade to mention few, their songs inspires us to love, do the right thing, respect one and other, believe in hard work, stay focused etc. I wonder the kind of inspiration music of now will give to those growing up.
Beat or content which one do you cherish most in music?
The content of course because it is the soul and message of the music
Do you have a favorite artiste that you listen to, who?
Tupac Amaru Shakur (he lives on)
Sometimes ago, you released a single entitled ‘yoobaminati’ how well are you pushing your musical talent?
Yeah, I’m working hard on that as well especially now that it’s a trend that DJs are collaborating with artistes but am recording some tracks without features and some other stunts I’ll like to keep secret for now.
Last month, PublicFaces Magazine had a chit chat with the trendiest female DJ in the Gateway State, DJ Mjay. How do you feel about having a female in the DJ world?
It’s a pretty thing having the female folks on board, it’s actually started with Annie Nightingale of BBC radio1 being the first female DJ ever and now female DJs are springing up all around the world, it’s really a pretty cool thing.
Following the recent trend among the Nigerian DJs in the past couple of years, they have been working close to artiste, making songs and musical videos. Should we be expecting something like that from you as well and if yes, which artiste are you working with currently?
Like I said earlier, I’m presently working in the studio with some singles which I have the likes of Ycee, Minjin, Henry knight on some tracks and my manager is working on having D’banj on one of the tracks
Are you signed to any record label?
As a deejay ‘yes’ (Trodan Records)
What other things do you do aside from being a DJ?
I double up as a hiphop show presenter on radio and now I’m embarking on a Jockey school (first of its kind in Nigeria) we call it GEENIE SCHOOL OF JOCKEY where we train applicant to be a professional disc jockey. Big ups to the Geenie team; Jimmie Julius Oyelude, Lanre Odukoya, Victor Adeshina and Kemisola Abiodun. We set to launch the school by July 2016 by HIS grace.
Do you have any plan of giving back to the public? If yes, how?
Generosity has been a virtue that I cherished the most, I started giving back to the public when I started my hiphop show on radio called Downtown Battle and I still have in plan to own a charity home.
Finally, a word for other up and coming DJs out there?
Always think out of the box, be creative, work harder, have a mentor and believe in yourself but above all pray to God always.