“IllBliss opened the door for artistes from the east, including Phyno. We can’t afford to have him quit now”… DJ Felon
Q: The job of a DJ must be a tedious one, getting people into a happy
mood and making them dance no matter the situation. Can you describe
the behind-the-scenes of a DJ’s job?
A: It’s an interesting thing to do. First, you need to know a lot of
music, have a vast library of different genres of music. Then you need
to play the right songs, at the right time and in the right place.
You’ve got to give the audience what they want, so you must flow with
the trend. Again, you should be professional especially working with
the right equipment. A virtual DJ player DJ isn’t pro. A Pro DJ would
play on turntables or pioneer players etc so that he gets technical
with the sounds, he can control the music anyway he wants to. So with
all that done, you should be able to drive the music to the audience
and make them appreciate good sounds.
Q: So what equipment should a good DJ play with?
A: The pioneer DJ set is one of the most standard DJ sets at the
moment, there’s also Numark, Zenon etc. They all work with the Serato
software. That’s what most pro DJs use around the world.
Q: How can you differentiate a good DJ from a wack DJ?
A: A good DJ will keep you on your toes for a long time that you even
forget the songs are being mixed by a human being, he makes you think
it’s machine-made. But if a wack DJ is playing you will always notice
he puts people off because the mix will be messed up. A wack DJ would
mess up the transition from song to song, mess up the tempo and it’s
distorted when he’s changing songs.
Q: Can you mention some of your mixes so we can check them out?
A: My first online mix was the “American Urban Mix” it’s a classical
hiphop/RNB mix. My second mix was “9ja Party Mix”, then “International
Party Mix”, DJ Felon Urban Mix”, Full Blooded Ibo Mix”, and “Girls On
Flick” (which is waiting to be released). The rest can be downloaded
Q: You did not mention “Trap or Die Mixtape”?
A: Yes, actually one of the most difficult mixes I’ve put out because
on that project, I was the DJ and hypeman at the same time and I
hadn’t done or seen any other DJ do that stuff before me. So I had a
lot of thinking to do on how to make it work. But at the end of the
day, it was done and I’m super proud that the fans love it. I’m
getting a lot of thumps up from people who listened to it, I’m glad
they love it.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming single. When is it dropping, who did
you feature on it and who produced the song?
A: It’s dropping this weekend and it was produced by Jaga, I’m
featuring Surprise, Switch Carter and Ol’star. It’s a commercial rap
song. It’s a club song.
Q: I thought I heard Phyno and Olamide on the song?
A: Nope. Surprise is the name, he raps in Yoruba and the second one is
Switch Carter who’s an Ibo rapper.
Q: It will be hard to differentiate these two guys from Olamide/Phyno.
You have also worked with Phyno as far back as a couple of years ago
when Phyno was still upcoming. How would you describe his rise to fame
and the impart on eastern music?
A: Phyno came in the game like a thief in the night and he stole it.
Lol I’m one of a few people who saw that coming and I supported the
movement. When Phyno recorded “Multiply” and sent it to me I knew
right away this was it. So we took it from there, then he dropped
“Shut down and Anam Achikwanu featuring IllBliss which got the streets
in a frenzy. At that time, I had created the “Rhythm Campus Invasion”
in the east in 2012 and Phyno had only about 2 songs. We went from
university to university. The push and encouragement he got from the
gigs and exposures was what inspired him for the rest of the push he
got in the west. Oga boss, IllBliss took it from there and gave him
the visibility he needed in Lagos. It was at this time he recorded
“Ghost Mode” with Olamide and the rest is history. Today, loads of
young artistes are inspired by him, and that’s a great thing.
Q: How do you react to IllBliss quitting the rap game (music)?
A: I really can’t say man I saw that sh*t on his instagram and I’m
like WTF… Lol. I’m yet to speak to him about it but I sure will. But
if he’s for real about it, then there’s a problem and I don’t think
it’s cool like that. I know IllBliss as a big brother in this game,
he’s been one of the strongest backbones for artistes from the East.
He’s opened the doors for a lot of cats, he’s the reason there’s a
Phyno today. We can’t have him quit now, no way.
Q: Which other artistes from the East do you tip to hit the limelight?
A: The east is blessed with great talents but most of them ain’t even
known outside the region. There’s Zoro who’s not doing badly at the
moment. BosaLin, Hype MC, Slow Dog, K Large, Dada, Switch Carter,
Pucado, Tidinz, Oga Mickey etc… who are still underground. These
artistes need to be heard.
Q: So when you did the FBI mixtape, was this your objective?
A: Yes but in a broader perspective, I’d to mix both the big and small
artistes, so long as they’re dope. I then decided that since I called
it “Full Blooded Ibo FBI Mixtape” then I needed to carry every
Ibo-speaking rapper so I’d to include Naeto C, Ikechukwu, 2Shotz, Ruff
Coin and much more. Today that mix is a reference point whenever Ibo
hiphop is being discussed and I’m proud of it. Ibos in the diaspora
love it because I spinned loads of tracks majority of the people
didn’t even know exist, simply because I know the artistes, I have
their songs and I’ve always supported them from the get go.
Q: Let’s take a look at the DJs within the east. What’s your
assessment of their performance?
A: Appreciable. There are top DJs there but hardly any major platforms
for them. On radio, DJ Vegas is an incredible talent who’s like the
king of them all. DJ Grandfingaz and FX2 are also OGs who’ve been
there for days. But outside of the regular radio chores, there’s
hardly any major events or gigs happening over there. Road Block was
Enugu’s pride event for 4 years, but last year it didn’t hold, prolly
cos there’s a new administration. So majorly the DJs are either
playing on radio or they’re resident DJs in a club. I think that’s not
fair enough and it’s limiting the scope of those DJs. Maybe that
explains why I didn’t get too involved with anything outside of my
control. I’m either playing on radio or playing at a gig I put up by
myself, cos I was the head of the event department on Silverbird’s
Rhythm from 2012 and I also run “Lights Camera Action Entertainment”,
an entertainment outfit I founded in 2015.
Q: So what do you suggest as the way forward for entertainment in the east?
A: First of all, those guys at the government in Enugu should do
whatever they can to bring back Road Block. I attended it twice as a
Red Carpet host, and I realized that it brought an exciting atmosphere
among the talents from there. Everyone felt they needed to work hard
so they can be part of it every year. I worked with Mr Target of Blue
sky entertainment to develop some of the concepts for the road block
and I think they shouldn’t kill that positive vibe because Enugu is
the premium city of the east, and the other states should borrow a
leaf from them.
Q: Who’s your role model in the DJ world?
A: DJ Khaled and I want to be like him someday. In Nigeria, of course
there are hardworking DJs like Jimmy Jat, Xclusive etc, not to forget
coal city’s very own J Master, Xtacee, Dypson, etc.