DJ Humility has finally joined the exclusive rank of label owners as he recently launched H-Records. Artistes already signed on by the record label include, DJ Humility, Naz B, Wizzy Wee and Chiflow. In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he opened up on the relationship between him and DR Jimmy Katy.
Let’s start with your DJ career, did you envisage where you are today?
Believe me, I never expected to be this big. But I don’t think I’m big enough. I’ve always been doing what I know how to do best. I never knew I was going to get to this level but this is not where I really want to stop.
Is DJing part of your childhood ambition?
Exactly, I’ve always been a lover of music. I started as a rapper and I discovered that I could do better as a DJ. So, I immediately switched into DJ and that was when in secondary school.
DJ Humility and DJ Jimmy Jatt are rated as two of the A-list DJs in the country. Do you find it difficult to strike a balance in terms of competition?
I can never compete with DJ Jimmy Jatt. He is our father in the game. He has been there for many years and he’s someone I look up to when I was growing as a DJ and up till now. He still wears the crown as the numero uno DJ in Nigeria. We will always be submissive to him because he’s a genius.
Are you saying there is no rivalry between you and Jimmy Jatt?
No! It’s just a relationship of big brother and younger brother.
What has been your staying power?
I think it is God and creativity.
You just launched H-Records, what makes the record label different from others?
First, the kind of music we will be dishing out. Since we are just starting, we have few tracks out there and because our music is different from what others are doing, as times goes on, Nigerians will get to know more about what we have in stock. But believe me, our music will be far different from others. It is not just me, I also have top DJs who have ears for good music.
We have to start from somewhere. There is no way I can put my hands or my fingers in my mouth. So, these are the few ones I got out of the thousands of talents that are out there. I know there are still millions of them out there because Nigerians are so talented. Music is Nigeria, African music is in Nigeria. So, Nigerians are so talented and we have musicians in almost every house in Nigeria. Trust me, there is more to come from H-Records.
Can you tell us one unique thing that makes H-Record’s artistes different?
Number one, they have their styles. They are not trying to be any other person in the industry, they are themselves and that’s the reason why we signed them.
We have seen several record labels who have tried to make a difference in the industry but before you know what is happening they backup. What do you think is the cause?
It is because they are not doing it the right way, the way a record label should be run. So, the ones that are still consistent, you will see that it is just one thing they are getting right. Mo’ Hits was one record label that was so strong, and what made them so strong was that they were always dropping hits. But just because of some kind of little misunderstanding and then greed, that was why the record label fell apart. But believe me, every other record label has been holding it down. It is just because they are always dropping hits and we are here to drop triple hits.
The story is always different when a record label signs an artiste but after several years the artiste would start saying negative things. What do you think is the cause?
First, I think it has to do with the boss and the artiste. You need to have artistes that will understand where you are coming from. There has to be a black and white agreement between the label and the artiste which I don’t think most record labels are doing. I’m not mentioning names but I guess you all know what has been going on between our top record labels and artistes. It is just because there is no proper arrangement between them, that is why they have that problem. Yes, we know we have greed in us but the way you manage it is what matters most as a record label owner.
Are you ruling out the possibility of signing a known artiste in future?
Signing established artistes sometimes could be problematic. He or she might feel oh! I’m known. With that, there will be problem along the line. So, it’s better you go for fresh talent that nobody knows, and you let him know that nobody knows you right now.
People always feel there is tendency of exploiting the raw talent that’s why most record labels go for them?
Not that. If you want to bring out a product, definitely you package your product well. You will want to make your product look presentable and while trying to do that, you invest big money on your product. So, any raw artiste that will come, make fame and say they want to exploit him is wrong. I don’t think that’s the reason why I’m going for raw talents. The reason why I’m going for raw talents is because I want the unheard voices to be heard.
It has been taking away a lot money and I don’t want to disclose any amount for now. But I know I’m going through a lot.It is just because it is what I love doing, it is what I want to do, so I have to invest in it.
Now, you are investing and the money might not come immediately. what is the plan B?
That’s why I went into it because I understand the game. So, I pray to God that I won’t lose hope, I will keep doing it. And I still have other artistes that are lying down apart from Shuga Boiz and Chi-Flow and then Nas B. I also have Humble Smith, I have Enye, another very beautiful female artiste based in the States. So, I have so many other artistes that are lying low. I just want to make sure these ones are heard first before I can start putting my hands into other things.
The way you are talking it sounds as if you did not face any challenges trying to bring all these artistes together?
Definitely, I had challenges. We know everybody won’t do it because it is DJ Humility. You know there are so many things that go with promoting music and promoting brands in Nigeria. So, it is not as if I have everything on a platter of gold. I am ready to face the challenges.
No doubt, you have set a standard, where do you see the record label in few years?
I see H-Records being on all the major platforms, all the major stages and all the big events in Nigeria. I see H Records artistes being nominated for Kora Awards and our own Headies Award and I see my own H-Records being called on for Grammy Awards.
How was 2013 for DJ Humility?
2013 was good for me and I will always appreciate 2013 because that’s the year I formerly announced my record label.