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MY LIFE, MY DREAM AS A DISC JOCKEY — JIMI JATT

By Ogbonna Amadi

There is no doubt that DJ Jimi Jatt is the best thing to happen to disc jockeying in recent times. And for a guy who once aspired to become a rap artist, its been one long hard road to success. Showtime ran into him at the occasion of the official presentation of finalist of the MTN/MTV VJ search contest and he had this to say to his readers.
Excerpts.

Nice job you did there with your Stylee video. What would you call that, fulfillment?
Not quiet. We only moved to the next level. What you saw is just another of the few stages that may come in future.
Would you have wished to become a successful musician giving the fact that you started off as one?
I'm a DJ hosting artists on this album. It's not like I'm the artists, it's just that I'm an ordinary DJ hosting various artists and one who produced the album.

Are you saying that you are still going to fulfill your heart desire of becoming a musician?
No, that's not my life ambition anymore. It was the stage I was at that time. I was an aspiring artist and it didn't work out so I became a DJ. So I'm not going back there again.

So what inspired this album?
Well, first of all, there were two reasons; This is something that is being done elsewhere in the world, and I felt it could be done here too. Secondly I also figured that at this stage of my career, I needed to do something that will benefit the younger generation and allow others to come up after me.

So basically, if you go through the album, you will find out that a lot of up coming artists featured on it. And I'm sure that in two to three years, most of these new names will be big names in the industry.
That will be the biggest achievement for me, the day up coming artists through me will be able to get open doors to success.

How were you able to get all of these artists to feature on the album?
It was hectic. Initially, I wanted to do a double CD. And that would have meant having more than forty songs, and that would have been something else. Since you can't have everybody in the music industry or up coming artist on one album, it's an on going process. There will be volume two and as I speak to you, work on the follow- up album is already going on. The second album will accommodate all those that were not into this first one. And this time the album will feature more artists.

Would you say there have been any noticeable improvements in disc jockeying today?
Of course, the stage that we are now, is not the stage disc jockeying was few years ago. Today so many Djs have come into the business and it could only get better. And that's what I'm trying to do, just showing people the way to go.

In your time, there were so many DJs and the competition was hot, but now you seem to be the only one standing and the biggest …?
I may be rated number one right now, but the industry abounds with new talents and soon they will be rated too, In life there is always one person that is more popular in a profession. For now, maybe Jimi Jatt is the man but I'm not going to be there for ever.

Now lets go back to the period you are talking about, At that time in question, there were so many Djs but I think there are more DJs now.

In our time, because the clubs have always been there and because radio stations have always been there,there were many Djs. At Obalende where I operated from, virtually every street had a DJ. But the problem we had then was that the country at that time refused to recognise what we were doing.

So people were not looking in the direction of the Djs and it was very frustrating. It got to a point where I decided that I'm going to take it upon myself to at least let people realize that what we do is a profession. Maybe that in itself created the awareness and attraction to the DJ profession and people started looking at it that way. And that was when people began to respect us. And for most of them, they thought I was a new entrant to the profession, meanwhile I have been a DJ for like twenty years.

And why are there more Djs today?
There are more DJs now because the technology is easier for people to become DJ. In those days when we were buying and using records, it wasn't easy for people to come into disc jockeying. Right now you could burn a couple of CDs and become a DJ in a week and that is what is happening now. So there are more people coming into it even though most of them don't have business in disc jockeying. I think right now we have ten times more the number of Djs than we had fifteen years ago.