TURN table practitioner, Oyedola Oluwatoyin, popularly known as DJ Top, has been the official DJ for Globacom at the annual Ojude Oba Festival for four years now. The Lagos born entertainer is also the face behind most of Globacom shows and corporate events. Those who have listened to him slam confess that he has the magic fingers. Boasting of just an OND in Mass Communication, from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, DJ Top revealed to ENCOMIUM Weekly, at his Yaba, Lagos abode, his plan to redefine street carnivals and the Valentine’s Day.
How did you come about the street carnival, Reloaded Concept?
As a DJ that likes doing things in a different manner with quality, I had to work on myself and did research and I came out with the idea of playing at street jamz with quality speakers and equipment, and not the usual uninteresting and old fashioned style of disc jockeying. Before now, all that was needed at any street carnival were four speakers and the DJ who would slam till day break. Every one would come and put up a rowdy scene, which sometimes ended up in a free for all. But now with a standard stage, lighting and sound system, I just come around and hook up and play in a more organised and secured atmosphere. That’s why I did a street tour. We were in some areas where we showed them how to organise an interesting and more enjoyable show.
What you have just introduced is quite expensive, how do you convince those in the under-developed areas to embrace the idea?
That’s the purpose of the tour. We had to go round to show them. At the first instance, they may not be able to afford it, but seeing how it was organised, they were convinced that that’s a more civilised and acceptable way of doing street jamz or carnival as the case may be. Anything worthwhile doesn’t come cheap. That’s why we are calling on sponsors to tap into the idea. They can select locations.
We have seen over time that street carnivals usually end up in chaos. With your own brand of repackaging, do you have a place for security?
We involve security personnel in our plan. Security of a place during a street carnival depends on what you give to the people. You can imagine when you have a good set up for a street carnival, a good sound, light effect, a well decorated stage, irresponsible people will not come near. A good sound output itself creates a peaceful atmosphere, instead of coming around with the intention to cause chaos, you rather join the groove.
What plan do you have for Valentine?
Just like the street tour in December, I am coming up with a club tour during Valentine. The club tour entails me going to slam in clubs for Valentine and it’s going to start few days to Valentine. I have plans of visiting The Chills, Club 38, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere; Road Runners in Yaba; Moods Night Club on Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, Lagos. We move from there to Lounge 46, also in Surulere. That’s like four major clubs on the Mainland, the following week I will be going to The Arch and The Place, all in Ikeja, Lagos, we are going to Rehab and Movida on Victoria Island, Lagos for the final lap of the tour. Because it’s a tour, we will not restrict it to the Valentine period alone. Those who couldn’t catch up with us can join till the end of the month.
Artists will perform and we will do more of dancing because it’s a club. I’m going to the clubs to do exclusive mixes and remixes. The artists will also perform because it’s for Valentine. We encourage the ladies to come with a touch of red, dress good, look good and enjoy yourself. Expression magazine is going to host the red carpet exclusively.
What actually led you into disc jockeying?
First, I loved music since my younger days. Fortunately for me, where I grew up, there was a studio very close to my house. I usually went there to record. Along the line, we became friends, we went to parties together. While I went out with them, I learnt how to connect cables, link two stereos. That’s how I became a DJ. From then, it has been fun all the way. It’s like making money from what you love doing.
Does your job require training before one can become an expert?
It does because being a DJ is like going to the university. If you don’t like music, forget about it. You need to also learn how to deal with people. You must be loyal and humble for you to learn. Even if you learn, the major challenge is how do you deal with the people on the dance floor, bringing different people together as one on the dance floor. That alone is something you must learn.
Which of the jobs that you have done gave you a break?
This job has been good to me. Have done a lot of jobs. But the job that gave me a break was Guinness Greatness Show in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja. It’s like a tour. My second break was Globacom. Sincerely, they have been wonderful to me and then Coca Cola after that MTN and some jobs for agencies.
How are your charges?
My charges are affordable. Sometimes I bend the rules because I know that all fingers are not equal. A corporate event is different from a wedding reception, a birthday party or get together, so the charges are not the same.
What makes a good disc jockey?
Every DJ has a unique way of operating. A good DJ must be humble, loyal, respectful and know how to deal with people.
If you had not been a DJ, what else would you have become?
I would have done something related to music, I would have probably been a sound engineer.
Who are the DJs that have continuously impressed you?
DJ PHunk Master Flex in the US, DJ Jazzy Jezz. Back home, DJ Jimmy Jatt, DJ Humility and Midas.
Where do you want to be in the next five years?
I want to be at the top.
Tell us about the Ojude Oba experience.
I have been handling the Ojude Oba for Globacom since four years ago and every Ojude Oba has been very fantastic and has been very unique. Globacom has been very wonderful in that aspect. The last Ojude Oba was enjoyable, I performed alongside Gbenga Adeyinka, 9ice, Wande Coal, Pasuma and others. We had over 10,000 crowd and it was all night, no fight, good security.
Are you married?
No, I am not. I am still single and searching. Anything you want to do, you must be committed. I came out of a competition of about a hundred DJs organised by Guinness years back. So, now, I am committed to my career and I thank God for where I am today. I have done shows in Dublin, Republic of Ireland and by the special grace of God, I am looking at this year’s Nottinghill Carnival in London.
- – This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, February 8, 2011