Jimmy Jatt: Spinning my life into fame and fortune
Jimmy Amu popularly known as Jimmy Jatt hails from Ogun State but grew up in Lagos. He was not born with a silver spoon but has made a mark in the entertainment industry as a renowned Disc Jockey. In this interview with Blockbuster, the master disc spinner opens up on why he went into music as a DJ. He also talks about his challenges, marriage and how he manages his time as a family man.
My love for the art attracted me to it and my family loves music as well so, they encouraged me. I started as an aspiring rapper and a break dancer as well as a DJ. So, after all the experiments, I moved on with the DJ side of music. I appreciate what I am doing which has been my source of living today and I appreciate God for all His love for me and my family because I was not born with a silver spoon. I have tasted every facet of life and greatly appreciate my status today as a family man and an entertainer.
I'm a professional DJ but I choose to do music because of my love for it and producing Stylee is like a DJ hosting several artistes on an album. When I thought of making an album, after writing the songs and the concept of the music, the next thing that came to my mind was the artistes to work with to make the album one of the best in the industry, and as well make a difference just as the concept entails. I have 21 tracks in the album Stylee, which included the tracks in the album entitled “Definition” with over 50 artistes. I also have tracks like Vex, Do What I Want, Busy Me, Thank U My DJ, 2 Much, No Duplicating and many more.
Why I did Stylee
Unity! It means a lot of artistes can work together on an album. It symbolizes unity. For instance, Stylee was done when most of the record labels in Nigeria were beefing each other. In fact, three major record labels like Kennis Music, Question Mark and Jack Records were a common ground for everybody. We were heading in one direction in the industry so, I thought of using my popularity and acceptance to help others especially the upcoming artistes to actualize their dreams by performing with big names like 2face, Mode 9 and Ruggedman.
At least, you will buy the album because of the faces of the stars on it and then while playing it you will listen to the upcoming artistes whom you've never heard about. I did this because I believed in their ability hoping that in the nearest future most of them will become stars to be reckoned with in the industry. I thank God that my effort has started coming to fulfillment. Some of the artistes like 9ice and Kade that I featured in the album are now making waves with their own albums. They were not known before that time. In fact, I appreciate them for making me proud.
Relationship with the artistes
I have worked with over 100 artistes and have cordial relationship with all of them. I must say that I'm close to virtually all the artistes because of my kind of job.
Right now, I'm trying to make sure all the things I started are on a solid ground. I have my television show that I'm trying to syndicate across the country and beyond. Now, we are running on four stations. My intention is to make the programme better and also spread it across the country. It is a live version of the TV show where we get artistes to perform on stage, video mixes to make it unique and outstanding. Apart from this, I have a new song on air with the likes of Bukky, Shasha, Chemistry and Blaze. I think the acceptance is encouraging. As a DJ, I hope to go on tour within the next few months.
I think one of the challenges I'm facing is that most people don't respect Dee Jays. Though, I'm well recognized, DJs generally are not being treated well. Secondly, sourcing for equipment for DJs is a problem and the young ones don't have such finance to do so. No single DJ shops in Nigeria where equipment are sold and then low pay for the DJ is not encouraging. I'm not talking about myself but I think the young ones should be encouraged. DJs should regard themselves as professionals; they shouldn't see themselves as if they are doing people some favour. If I'm providing service you should pay for it.
On the industry
The entertainment industry is growing fast. We have always known it to be a goldmine but people are sitting on it. It took a lot of time for people to recognize what they should do and when to venture into it. Though, the marketing and distribution aspect is challenging we will survive. Here in Nigeria, a bottle of drink is more expensive than an album. Imagine an album featuring 50 artistes and over 20 songs being sold for N100 and it is from that same money that the marketer, record label and the artiste will share, as well pay producers and do quality videos with millions of naira. It is not encouraging. Even a blank CD is more expensive than an album, it is very sad.
Piracy is indeed a general issue even in America but I think we can reduce even if we cannot eradicate it. All we need is to try as much as possible to reduce the level of piracy in the industry because people prefer buying pirated copies because of the low price. I think we should buy the internet idea of downloading (selling) music. We should find a way of tapping into it and sell our music on-line. I think with time we will all get there.
I have been married for 12 years to the most beautiful woman in the world. My wife is extremely beautiful and I have two daughters, Oyindeola and Oyinlola. My ideal woman? I like a woman of simplicity who has the fear of God in her and these are the qualities I so much appreciate in my wife. I love beautiful women and I'm happy to be married to an epitome of beauty.
How I manage time and relax
I'm a very busy person because the demand for my job is very high but any time I'm not working, I stay at home and watch movies with my family. I try as much as possible to spend quality time with them and as well make up for lost time.
I got my first award in 1998. I had the highest nomination at the last Nigeria Music Award, Soundcity Music Video Award, Channel O Music Video Award and Hip Hop World Award.