By Timayo Ogunro
I don’t know where DJ Jimmy Jatt falls in the pantheon of phenomenal artistes in the African music scene, but with over two decades of pioneering in an otherwise intricate, immense industry, it is safe to say that Mr. Adewale Amu is the ‘original OG’.
A native of Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, like most brave, brash, Nigerian boys with nothing but a love for music and a big dream, Jimmy gradually rose through the ranks of the 90’s underground Lagos music scene.
After an unsuccessful run as a rapper, under the pseudonym, Master P, Jimmy Jatt swiftly jumped ship and sailed to then calmer shores of disc jockeying. Adopting the iconic moniker of DJ Jimmy Jatt, he released a mixtape in 2007 with a collaboration of hit songs featuring the likes of Sound Sultan, 2Baba, MI- to name a few.
Probably one of his most accomplished feats throughout his illustrious career, is the birth of Jimmy’s Jump Off- a series where artists would be invited to deliver their best lines before the great man himself.
With an accumulation of awards and chart-topping albums under his belt, DJ Jimmy Jatt is revered far and wide as one of the major contributors to the hip-hop game in Nigeria.
Despite resting upon a golden platter of fame and fortune, Jimmy Jatt was a true exemplification of the term, humility. Without a posse or pride laden ego, the great man walked into the Accelerate studio for his interview session- swagger dripping and bared it all.
You don’t want to miss it!
Press Play below:
Being one of Nigeria’s top DJs, what is your formula for success?
“Really, there is no formula, it is just the hunger for more and the urge to always deliver on a better level for all those people that admire me and have always supported what I do”.
What are the challenges you faced earlier on, coming up in the music scene?
“The issues in the beginning were those people that did not take what I do seriously, thinking it was just a hobby. A lot of the time, people don’t think you have a job, so they won’t take you seriously. Mothers especially, think that you are wayward for wanting to pursue music”.
How has being a DJ at your time evolved to what it is now?
“The only difference would be in terms of technology. When I first started, it was all about vinyl- you buy every song, carrying crates upon crates of records around town. Now I can move around with just a flash drive and perform anywhere. Technology has its advantages and disadvantages, because now any Tom, Dick and Harry, thinks they can make it in the industry”.
Why do you think hip-hop does not thrive so well in Nigeria?
“I won’t say it’s not thriving, but it’s not where it should be. I believe that the country is not fair to hip-hop made by
Nigerians. It is not respected as a music form. Record labels are not signing enough hip-hop artists because they think it is not commercial”.
Besides your signature cap, what other fashion accessory can you not do without?
Favourite era to DJ and why?
“I’m more a fan of the ’90s. The ’90s really defined the hip-hop and R’n’b music scene for me”.
Any advice to up-and-coming DJs in Nigeria?
“For young DJs trying to move into the next level of their careers- give it your best shot. DJs today have a much bigger platform than I had. When I first started, for me to break through from Lagos to Ibadan, I had to go there and perform gigs. But now, with social media, you can spread yourself out there and people will find you. Acquire the right skills, push your name out there, practice every day, be the best you- you can be, and don’t let anybody stop you”.
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