From being a protege to Nigeria’s Renowned turntable king, Jimmy Jatt to retaining a place at the top in the entertainment industry, Nanayat Abedoh, Nigeria’s Popular female Disc Jockey popularly known as the DJ Nana has done well for herself and her career. In this interview with Ifeoma Ononye, she speaks on women celebrating women and female DJs lifting other female DJs, how her passion for playing music is paving the way into other businesses
You recently had a DJ spin event. It was all about women uplifting women, Tell us what it is like when more than one female DJs jam at a musical event like yours?
The women’s month inspired that edition of Spin with Nana. I wanted to celebrate women and encourage the men to celebrate the women in thier lives.
We say ‘Happy women’s day or Happy Mother’s Day’ but there are no actual events planned to celebrate women either by the people in their lives or simply themselves.
The event was made to bring that to life to encourage women to keep doing what they are doing. Hence the all female DJ line up, such that if you lose your confidence or allow anyone or anything make you feel less of yourself, then you’re not up for the game.
Uniqueness makes you stand out at such events, not trying to do what others have done but being yourself no matter what and being able to do your own thing.
As a female DJ, what challenges do you believe other female DJS have in the industry?
Challenges are normal and as long as we are alive it’s a norm. And the higher we grow the bigger it gets, so I don’t see it as challenges anymore rather a way of life. I don’t complain about what I can’t control rather, I find ways to deal with them. Challenges will always come, so I believe Grace is always there for whosoever wants it to work for him/her.
At the event, among the female DJ line up, there was a 7-yearold DJ. How did her interest in disc jockey at this early age make you feel? Do you think she is too young?
Aww she is adorable. Yes she is quite young but it is also good to get to know children’s talent early to know how to guide them. She may not become a professional Immediately but, the parents already have an idea of the career path.
You ditched studying law to become a DJ. Are you offering any course in Disc Jockey like DJ cuppy did?
I am not offering any course in Disc jockey and I ditched studying law because this was what I had passion for. So when I discovered I went for it and so far I’m doing great, no point looking back. I am very fulfilled and the best female DJ so far period!
Tell us a little about spin with Nana. Are you planning for it to be an annual event?
Spin with Nana is an idea born from me not getting to experience parties the way I desire. I think a lot and imagine the kind of things I want to do and experience but it doesn’t end there. I liked certain types of parties and those were not happening in Nigeria. We hardly get raves and I’ve always wanted to experience raves like I see in other countries.
So I decided to stage that kind of part, hence the idea Spin with Nana. It’s a DJ rave and we have had 5 editions so far since 2019 and more to come. The next one will hold May 14 which also happens to be my birthday and also Sallah day, I believe they will fall in the same day, imagine how much fun that will be.
You keep mentioning ‘rave’, For some who do not understand what it means, give us a little tip about what happens in the rave parties. What does it look like. What should people expect?
It’s a rave and I have clips on my social media page. W h a t – ever and w h e r – ever fun goes, we change the theme at every edition. Any event that dosent have artistes, just DJs, is called a rave and that’s mostly what the event is about. The hottest DJs, the hottest dancers , drinks, food, every element that makes parties dope.
You recently supported a friend who wrote a book. Do you love to read a lot?
Yes I love to read but generally very open minded books. I like to learn a lot. In fact I don’t even hang around people I can’t learn from. Asides that due to COVID- 19 and the fact that I diversified into events. I started hosting and organising events for people.
I believe I good at it. Due to the successes of events planned by me, I was approached by my friend after he published his book and that got me the deal to market and also lunch the book officially The title of the book is ‘Starting Afresh’ I believe that gave me a fresh start to a néw career path.
At the beginning of your Disc Jockey career, you always wore Ankara hood, but you seem to have dropped that style identity?
Everything has it’s time. I still wear my hoods once in a while but not as often as before. The hood was a signature look that I picked up because I got tired of introducing myself as a DJ to people. Before the hood, anywhere I went to, people kept asking me who I am.
So I started looking for something that would make me look unique. Just like DJ sose tattooed a part of his face, I decided to pick up the hood since I love hoods. Instead of the western style of hood, I chose to make mine African. I love Africa and that is why all my hoods come in different African fabric. The hood sold me as DJ Nana.
People still identify me as DJ Nana when I wear it but like I said, it served it’s purpose. It is said that you and the DJ career found each other, tell us a little about that part of your life. My journey to becoming a female disc jockey was a long one. I did not know I was going to become a DJ. I actually had my interest in music.
But it was difficult for me to define what I wanted to do to earn a living on. The journey started when I was 16. Then I used to attend events and parties where I met and interacted with people who were into showbiz. The first person I came in contact with was Sound Sultan who advised me to concentrate on education then.
But I didn’t listen to him as I kept pushing and talking to friends until I ran into Sunny Neji. He eventually invited me to his office for auditioning. I told him that I wanted a dancing job, and he asked me to dance right there without any music playing.
Fascinated by my dances steps, he introduced me to a popular Lagos dance group. But I could not live up to their expectations because of my age. Not discouraged, I kept calling to remind them that I was still interested in dancing.
While pursuing a Diploma programme in Law, at Lagos State University, LASU, one day I got involved in a street party somewhere around Ojo area of Lagos and a popular DJ then saw me and admired my unhoned craft. I was moved by his action as I wondered why I wouldn’t become a DJ in future. That’s how it all started.
From then on, I kept talking to everyone I knew, expressing my interest in becoming a professional DJ. This continued until I met DJ Jimmy Jatt who agreed to mentor me after a series of turn-downs