HE IS NOT JUST A DJ, HE IS A MUSIC MOGUL!
Dj Jimmy aka popularly called Cool Jimmy jatt because he is kool like that, is an International Dj and a very big influence in the Nigeria Music industry and beyond. He is known for his popular Collabo and being the first ever Dj to do that made artiste bow to him as he is also behind and has brought out a lot of Artistes that are killing the game right now. But there is more to this Talented Dj than you already know with over 25 years experience in Industry, He knows it all!
So we had to opportunity to invite him down to our studio for an Exclusive interview where he shared with us his music journey as a well known Dj and also one of the pioneers of Nigerian music Industry as a whole.
ADM: We all know you as Jimmy jatt and you are an International Dj, But for those who might not be Aware how much of an Influence you are in the Music Industry, Can you just Introduce yourself?
J.J: My name is Jimmy Jatt, Cool DJ like people call me. I am a DJ based in Nigeria but i have been everywhere. I have been doing this professionally for 25 years and i am one of the longest serving DJ’s in Nigeria and also an Entertainer
ADM: We know you just celebrated 25 years in the Industry, Congratulations on that. speaking of that what does it take to stay in the industry for that long and still doing what you do and be Relevant?
J.J: For me, it is the fact that i keep re- inventing myself and constantly thinking what is the next level and what can i do differently. One of the secret for me is, “YOU DONT SEE YOURSELF UNTOP OF ANYTHING”. Even when people tell you how good you are and you are there, always see it as a climbing process because there is always greater heights to reach. If you see yourself On top, there is no room for growth! so always make sure you dont put yourself there and that has kept me going and Aim for more.
ADM: How did you get into DJ in and What inspire You?
J.J: I got into Djin from just being a Kid that loves Music and i started out toying with the whole idea of putting out Record and recording Demo tapes. i just love music but for some reason i found myself behind the Deck and i got more comfortable with it and i started Djin. At that time, it was meant to be in the mean time until i get into some other things but 25years later, We are still here.. lol.
ADM: When you listen to a Song, what is the First thing you look out for that makes you think that is a HIT!?
J.J: A whole of Stuff. it could be the instrumentation, the catchy hook or just the playfulness of the lyrics. It is a whole lot of things put together but you will know it when you Hear it.
ADM: Lets go Back to your collaboration days, You were the first Ever Nigerian DJ to collaborate with different Artistes on a Track, But in recent years you have not put out much Collabo. Is there Anything on that side?
J.J: I put out the first DJ Album In Nigeria called “THE DEFINITION”. It had well over 50 artistes on the Album and the Lead single tittled “STYLEE” with 2face and Modenine. We had about 24 songs on that but that was in 2007 and between 2010 and now i have had about 7 singles with different Artistes. But we just released an Album now Tiitled “THE INDUSTRY”. It is 26 track and 66 Artistes featured on it. I am still the KING of Collabo.. We have artiste like Dbanj, 2face, Don jazzy, Phyno, Olamide and all other artiste you know.
ADM: When it comes to Music as a whole, Do you only play known Artistes songs or do you give a fair chance to upcoming Artiste too?
J.J: I take more pride from Breaking Records/ breaking Artistes. Looking back, a lot of Known Artiste now will tell you that was the Guy that played my song when i was not known!. i derive more pleasure from being able to look back and see how artiste that were not known then are now Big because i gave them a fair chance and played their Record even when no one else did. Like the JUMP OFF, some of the big artiste now where on it and at the time, they were unknown then.
ADM: Do you have plans for Nigerian Music? or should we say Africa as a whole.
J.J: Woow Yes i have plans but at the Moment i have done alot for Nigerian Music. I hate to blow my own Horn but i have done a whole lot and i have plans to do MORE…Watch this space…
ADM: We have seen alot of Artiste come and go, but who do you think is doing it right now and in the next year to come who will blow?
J.J: I try to stay away from Mentioning names because i am family to everyone but there are alot of people doing great in the Nigerian Music industry right now. its a collective effort and a whole lot of people. The Music industry is very Vibrant right now and there is healthy competition and they all compliment each other.
ADM: Being a Nigerian International DJ, What are the challenges you face bringing African Music to the World compare to other International DJ’s?
J.J: We have come to that realisation that what heard us back for so long, the barriers are being broken right now and it is how you get the music to the rest of the World. Right now it is more flexible in times of social media and collabo and it will get across the world via internet. But in time it will get to the right platform and people are begining to buy into African music because it is new to them compare to what they know before. I hear alot of Western music with African Vibe in them.
ADM: Going back to Collabo, We have alot of Nigerian Artistes featuring American Artistes. Do you think that is helping African Music Market or it is just helping their own Music?
J.J: To me that is not helping Nigerian music into their market. It is more unless like paying American Artiste to take advantage of your own platform because most time you feature an American artiste, it is you selling that artiste to your own african market and they are not selling you to their market. Because if they are going to sell you to their own market, it will be them Featuring the African artiste on their track to sell to their people/market. I hear alot of Nigerian artistes paying thousands/millions to feature foreign artiste on a track and that still dont open the door to them and their music dont get played in the mainstream market. I think is is being done for the CV. These guys might not even remember and you have to remind them you done a track with them… laughs…
ADM: Lets talk about Afrobeats in the UK. We have alot of young artistes right now in the UK doing it. what do you think of UK Afrobeats Music?
J.J: It is the same vibe here that we have over there. the music sound alike and sometimes the quality of production here is even better than Nigeria. but if you make something for a particular type of people, then you have to go to the place where they are more gathered. so if you have it from here, then you have to have your team where your target is to market them. so the artiste here they are doing great but the only thing is they dont get it across to the biggest market they have, which is in Nigeria. UK is not the Nigerian Market, it is just an Extension of it. like PR, Management, it goes a long way to promote your music and market it.
ADM: Is there any Artiste in Particular in the UK that you have listened to and love them?
J.J: Yes there are alot of them. i like what i have been hearing so far but i love MOELOGO. There is no barrier, it is just to have the right arrangement whereby once the music is made here and it is good, then people to get behind it in terms of radio, media, PR and management. People have to be on ground to do that and be in the face of people.
ADM: We are aware you have a Record Label, do you have any Artiste sign to it?
J.J: Yes i have a record label but i dont have any artiste sign to it at the moment because i am a mobile DJ always on the Run and when i want to do something, i want to put my all into it so i am just waiting for that right time when i can fully get behind it and concentrate without having people do the work for me.
ADM: If you could choose Anywhere in the World to live apart from Nigeria, where will it be?
J.J: Wooow.. i can stay anywhere in the world to live but i will still choose to live in NIGERIA even with all the issues… Laughs… Mainly because of what i do, thats the Biggest Market for me. If i am to be a Nigerian DJ in the UK, i will probably be chasing the market but in Nigeria, i am being chased.. and that population is less than 2 big states in Nigeria and thats small for me. So i will rather stay in Nigeria and from there i can go everywhere like coming here now to have this interview with you. laughs…
ADM: So is there Anything else coming soon that we need to be Aware of?
J.J: There is a lot of stuff but right now the focus is on the Album we just dropped few weeks ago “THE INDUSTRY” so what we are doing is pushing that and getting behind it. and i just put out a book aswell and other stuff lined up..I am going into some type of CSI program to support young and Aspiring Artiste and DJ but we talking it one day at a time.
ADM: When you started out, the technology then was different. So how do you compare that to Now?
J.J: For me because i have never been on break i evolve with the technology. Every year i re- invent and learn whats out there and whats new before they even come out to the public. I am one DJ and there is the rest of them. The only major thing i think has really changed is in terms of mobility as a DJ because now all you really need is your laptop/ hard drive/ MP3 compare to back then where we carry crates of Records. But then the technology has made everyone become a DJ even without learning the craft.
ADM: Would you say you are in the Old skool style havent been around for a while or you are in the NEW?
J.J: I am like the proprietor of the School. i am not old skool or new skool. i am the IT/NOW Skool.. i am the bridge between the old and new. i have alot of technology that even the new and young DJ come to ask me how does this work and whats new. i like to toy around with everything. i have my garage packed full of equipment from the old skool to now. the only thing is i wake up just looking around and wondering what to work with today because i have lots of options. I am like the Headboy in every skool. remember that…laughs
ADM: What Advice would you give to young Upcoming DJ, because we do have quite alot of them waking up wanting to be a DJ:
J.J: First of all, i always say it is not about buying and selling like i have invested this amount and i must make it back. It is more passion driven. You need to be able to find that within yourself if you are really passionate about it because you have to stand hours behind the deck to entertain people and keep it flowing and not for popularity contest. and if you have that then give it your best shot. SKY IS NOT THE LIMIT. and make sure you learn your Craft. Invest and Educate yourself on it. And there is enough space for everyone because people always needs a DJ.
We got a Little personal and Interactive…
ADM: So you have been in the industry 25years, Relationship wise, we have not seen or heard anything on that side, Is there someone?
J.J: Laughs…thats because i like to keep quiet on that side..
ADM: We are asking for your female fans…..laughs…
J.J: Ok, i am a polygamist… i have 3 wives already…..
J.J: I am married to 1 and i have 2 from that one….i have 2 daughters from that one!….You understand?
ADM: OHHH WOWW YOU HAD US THERE… EVERYONE BUST OUT LAUGHING…
J.J: Yeah, i got you there.. But i have been married for 18 years so thats a lifetime in Nollywood
ADM: Why are we not aware of it and we are sure alot of people dont know aswell!
J.J: Yes i like to seperate my business life from personal life and thats not part of Jimmy jatt you know When i get to my house, i am not Jimmy Jatt. I am JIMMY AMU married to Mrs AMU. I like that because it is bad enough that your whole life is out there so you should be able to keep some things private like your personal life.
ADM: Woow Again we are still shocked… but congrats on that and we are going to end it there. But is there Anything else you will like to say or Add before we go?
J.J: Yes… That you are a very beautiful person Gold, you are very pleasant and i like your Voice….laughs
ME:…..Blushing and smiling all in One..Thank you…
Thank you so much for having this interview with us and its been fun and interesting getting to know you a lot more and best of luck for the future and we cant wait to see what else you come out with…
But in the Meantime check out the new ALBUM…. “THE INDUSTRY”.. Go get a Copy, Download, Share and enjoy…
We also had special Guest in the studio with Us
Mr sam and Wise Tola Onigbanjo
Shola sho sho Radio Presenter
A. D. E Comedian
Interviewed by: Gold Ola
Photo Credit: Idris (Ismiles Photos)