‘We are not dating, and we have not dated’
– speaks on career, relationship with billionaire dad and forthcoming tour of eight countries
After the successful release of her latest compilation entitled, House of Cuppy II, billionaire’s daughter, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, aka DJ Cuppy is set to kick off an eight city tour across Africa. Entitled Cuppy Takes Africa, the ambitious tour which kicks off on Saturday, August 1, 2015, in Nigeria will run through eight countries including Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, with a final showdown in South Africa on August 29, 2015.
In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, DJ Cuppy spoke extensively on her forthcoming tour; career and relationship with billionaire father, Femi Otedola. She also cleared the air on the romance tale trailing her and her tour manager, Asa Asika, among other issues.
Tell us about your forthcoming tour; how prepared are you?
I think the Cuppy brand has come a long way in between having my first and second degrees and building a career in disc jockeying in a very conducive environment. And I know how well my brand has been accepted. I am very happy about that. I am not only going on the tour to inspire Nigerians but also to inspire all young African women around the world.
If I look at my career plan, there is a long goal ahead and I hope we are going to come back with a very good result. I work very hard and I take my job very serious and that is why I got support for this tour from amazing brands like GTBank and Dangote Foundation. I think they have seen something in the Cuppy brand and that is why they are supporting us.
What would you say inspired this African tour of eight countries?
This tour was inspired when I looked at my environment and potential. When I said I wanted to do eight countries in four weeks, a lot of people looked at me like I was crazy. People that I had in mind that I actually wanted to work with said they were not really going to do this tour in four weeks. But after much considerations and everything and also with a great team and support from my brand, we were able to put the tour together. We also have challenges ahead but we are going to move on.
What else would you have done beside disco jockeying?
If I were not into disco jockeying, I think I would possibly be an oil trader. Before I got into this entertainment business, I was working very seriously with my dad and we had a lot of plans. My father is still one of my biggest supporters and I think it is very important for someone not to put all his/her eggs in one basket. And that is why I am also into education.
Would you have been this successful without your father?
That is a very nice question. It is very good to know that people could have the same platform but some are big while others are small. I always say thanks to education, which seems to be an open door for everybody. But if you are not good and if you are not bad as an individual all you need to do is to keep on going and doing what you can. I would not say that I am an exemption but I have been doing this for a while now and I became bigger in terms of this DJ work because I do it often. I think practice makes perfect.
Why did you choose to be in this career instead of many other jobs out there?
I think it is very important to follow your heart, choose the job that you like to do and you will never waste a day. It is about personal fulfillment and with my dad, I think I told him this is what I want and he told me that if I want to be a DJ, I have to be the best at it.
Was he not disappointed when you told him you wanted to be a DJ?
No, he was not. I would like to use this medium to advise every Nigerian that there is need for us to support our children in their careers. My dad was one of the first people to say to me, “Cuppy, I know you can do it but you must be the best”. He is also my biggest critic as well and it is fantastic having that support and challenge. He is giving me that competitive drive; he made me not to get comfortable with my brand and my skill. So, I think my dad is someone who is actually bigger than what people think. Cuppy brand is doing very well because of him.
Most of your songs have this foreign touch, what would you say inspires your songs?
For over 10 years I lived in the UK and USA before I came back to Nigeria, so I feel it is very important to get inspiration from your environment. And I wanted music that will open the minds of Nigerians, we are the biggest economy in Africa. So, there are lots of influences from the western world coming in. I also wanted to bring in the western influence into Nigeria through music; I am also an advocate of Nigeria. Wherever I go or whatever I do, I make sure I represent Nigeria. It is important for me to have that experience and also bridge that gap. As a brand, I want people to walk into an environment and feel Cuppy without even seeing my face. So, it’s very important to be unique, I am also putting all my time into this industry.
Many people are of the opinion that you wouldn’t have been what you are today without your father. Did your father influence you?
Thank you for that question. I think it is wise to know that on April I, 2015, I was appointed one of the tourism ambassadors. A lot of people asked me how the thing came about. I would say it was because I did a song entitled, I love my country, which was a great song, and the Minister of Tourism listened to it and liked the song. He thought it was a great way of inspiring the youth in Nigeria through songs.
So, being a tourism ambassador in this country, I am looking at my potential role in tourism because the inauguration committee thought it would be great having someone that would represent Nigeria. I am a representative of the new Nigeria. A female DJ so unique and I think I am honoured by a presidential inauguration. I am also looking forward to working as well.
What would you say about the rumour of the romance between you and Asa Asika, your tour manager?
I think the story between Asa and me goes a long way. We have known each other for over 10 years now, even before I started as a DJ. If you look at him as an individual and the way he comes across, you will see he is a guy who knows his onions. I think I cannot do this tour without a tour manager that knows his job and also well informed like him. He is no doubt very ambitious.
I think that when we were putting the team together there were many people we considered. We thought about a new generation but the team we have here, I would say, is the best. This can be a good or bad team but all I know is that within ourselves, we put together a good team. It is also fantastic that we have a friend on board. So, we are not dating and we have not dated.
Are you in any relationship now?
I can tell you that I am certainly not. Unfortunately, with the tour coming and all the things we need to do, I do not have time to get in anything like that. Maybe I will find someone around Africa.
Who is your ideal man?
I am someone that is very ambitious and my career is very important to me. I am a very young individual. I like someone that is very confident and self assured, someone that is also very ambitious. Maybe in the future, that is something I will focus on or care about.
For now, I am still learning about myself and I believe this tour will result in my coming back as a different person. I can tell you what I like now but I think that changes with time. Every young person is still discovering him/herself. There are prospects to that except if you have a husband for me (Laughs).
You said something on your instagram about having a crush on Koredo Bello?
Yes, the two of us always joke a lot. We always have jokes to share. But dating is far from it. I think he is a great artiste who gets me excited as a result of his talent but nothing between us can be taken as serious. He is a good act and I think he has a lot of fans that look up to him.
You seem to enjoy a lot of goodwill; everybody wants to be Cuppy’s friend. How do you know those who are real?
I think everybody knows how important I feel about my relationship with people. I am a very friendly person and people who come with the wrong intention tend to realise that they have to change their intention. I also think I associate with very good people. I still have to say that work is not allowing me to associate the way I want. My friends tell me that I do not have time for them any longer. I am still trying to figure out how to handle all those things.
Do you think as the daughter of a big oil mogul, your admirers are intimidated by your father’s status?
It is something that I cannot answer because I actually do not see myself in that light. I see myself as an individual. My dad and I are two different individuals and we have differences in the way we approach life. He is somebody that has continued to support me. I have never seen myself in that light, I think I am somebody that is very approachable and I love meeting people.
Tell us about your last relationship.
That is very hard to talk about because it was a long time ago- precisely two years. For me, anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well. In order for me to achieve what I wanted to achieve as the Cuppy brand, I have to give more than a hundred percentage attention to that.