NONSON Temisan Ajufo, popularly known as DJ Big N is Dr. Sid’s official DJ. He is currently one of the hottest DJs in town. His services are usually required at high profile events. He DJed at the Nigeria Centenary Awards, Aliko Dangote’s 56th birthday and a lot of big wig events.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with him about his career, working experience with Mavin Records and more…
Why a DJ, what inspired this kind of career?
DJ is something I made up my mind to do. It is a passion for me. I come from a family where you will at one point or the other come in touch with music. It started when I was in London. I just decided to move back to pursue my dream in Nigeria. I got the appointment to be Dr. Sid’s official DJ. I also love the fact that you can go to the club and get drinks without paying, let me be honest. I also love music a lot.
How did your path and that of Dr. Sid cross? How did you start as his DJ?
When I moved back to Nigeria, people were picking different artistes to work with, but I didn’t want to jump to the bandwagon because the artiste will determine how far you will go. I have been speaking with Dr. Sid for a while about what we could do together. I was guest DJ at Club Likwid one day, I mixed his own song with an R ‘n B song of 1999. He was surprised that I could achieve a great blend. From then, it was pure synergy.
So, how will you describe the experience?
It has been good. Like I said, Dr. Sid is an intellectual. If I have a problem, I just discuss it with him and he will understand the point where I am coming from. I don’t need to talk too much. We understand each other very well. Understanding takes away friction, it brings mutual respect and we have an easy working relationship. You cannot buy that. He also believes in me. When I started as his DJ, there was one or two hitches on the way but he kept on believing in me. On his wedding day, we left the venue by 2 a.m. He gave me a chance to prove myself to the world and I did. I respect him for that. He has also introduced me to people who I respect in the industry. It has really been a good working relationship.
What were you doing before you hooked up with Dr. Sid?
I finished from UNILAG, served with an oil firm. I decided to start an MBA in General Management. I started doing DJ in Coventry (the United Kingdom). I did a Nigeria’s independence show that shot me into limelight. I became a household name. I got another DJ job at Oniru Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a Sprite show. I made money before I got the appointment with Dr. Sid. I was DJing elsewhere before I got Dr. Sid.
What were your parents’ reaction when you told them you are going into DJ business?
I come from a liberal home. My father lived in London for a long time. He is open to ideas. He just told me to make sure I finish from school, so that if all fail, I will have something to fall back on. I have a twin sister that works with an oil company. She is doing well for herself. To be honest with you, that is her life. I have chosen my own life. We have always had a free hand in my house. Do what you want to do, just make sure you go to school. It wasn’t a problem. He even bought my second DJ instrument for me.
Tell us some of the events you have done and your favourite.
I have done quite a lot of shows both in Nigeria and outside the country. I did a show for Sprite soft drink at Oniru Beach, I DJ at Aliko Dangote’s 56th birthday. I did for J. J. Okocha before Nigeria’s Centenary Awards in Abuja, Dr. Sid’s wedding. I co-DJ with Jimmy Jatt at 2Face’s wedding. I did his traditional wedding. I did a lot of high profile clubs. Miss Nigeria pageant, Miss Elite Nigeria, Gulder show. The list is endless. My favourite was the Nigeria Centenary Awards, 26 presidents were in attendance from all over the world.
What does a DJ job entails?
Basically, you must be able to make good music. You must be able to mix a song, transit it, be able to think outside the box. I usually look out for the unhappy person in the gathering and make him happy. You must be classy. I play music of the 60s, 80s, you must be creative and intelligent. It is also about research, do your research about the best music you can put out there.
What is your comment about the music industry?
Nigeria has reached a stage where content does not matter. Anglophone and Francophone countries have come out of that. You cannot sing a song that is not meaningful in Angola, it wouldn’t sell. Nigeria has not come to that stage but I see an uprising and a revolution, whereby, it is your content that will sell for you. A lot of artistes will not be relevant then. Ask yourself, why is it that an artiste will reign only for two months and you wouldn’t hear about him again. It is all about the content.
You released a mix tape a couple of days back, what inspired it?
The mix tape is a way of giving back to the fans of Mavin Records. It features a lot of songs from the Mavin family, Dr. Sid, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, Rekado Banks, D’Prince, Di’ja. It is a reminder of what we have been through. It comprises of songs that have not been heard before from the Mavin crew. The songs cut across different genres. It is free. It can also be downloaded on www.bit.lyforward/mavin.mix.
Don’t you think your good gesture will be an opportunity for others to pirate your work?
Don’t be surprised, you can see such in Alaba Market, that is another challenge we have to tackle. Piracy is what is killing the industry. In some other countries, they have almost curbed piracy. There is really nothing I can do about it. Don Jazzy also raised the issue, but we are leaving everything in the hands of God. In every bad situation, I look at the positive side, that is what I do. I will urge our fans not to buy it because it is free.
– SHADE METIBOGUN