Nigeria’s very own DJ Cuppy has been steady making upward moves for a while now and she bared it all on this recent interview with PAPER Magazine.
Speaking to Beatrice Hazelhurst, she revealed that it is quite difficult to make it as a black female DJ and to top it off, being an African.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On how she built up her profile:
I definitely always felt like a true creative. Growing up in Lagos, one of the most colorful, cultural and dynamic environments in the world, really inspired me to express myself in different ways. There’s a lot of male dominants [in the Nigerian industry], and a lot of quantity over quality. So it’s hard to push through as a female DJ. We also come from a society that is quite ageist, so being young and DJing as a teenager, a lot of doors were closed. But through hard-work, passion and determination, here I am today proudly dominating as one of not only the country’s, but the continent’s leading female DJs.
On how fame has been for her:
Fame has been interesting. I have never considered myself someone that cares about it. I feel like it’s a byproduct of being talented and in the public eye. I have grown up under the shadow of a successful father, so I always had a certain amount of pressure and attention on me. That definitely has helped me cope well. But yes, it is weird when I am in traffic in Lagos and I see myself on a billboard or I walk into a coffee shop and they are playing my song. It is always very exciting. Life in Lagos is very different from everywhere else — Lagos is so big yet so small. It’s nice feeling that African warmth.
On memorable moments in her career:
When we look at moments in my life and landmarks as far as where deejaying has taken me, winning New York University’s 2017 Alumni Artistic Achievement Award is a moment I will never forget. There is nothing better than your passion, something I would do anyway, becoming a skill, profession, and reason to be awarded for. It was a beautiful moment.
On being taken seriously as a female DJ:
Yes, nothing comes easy when you are a young, Black female DJ from the African continent. I have learned to use my uniqueness as my strength, and I think it is fantastic how suddenly the world seems to be celebrating uniqueness and diversity. There will be prejudice and assumptions made, but I always let my work speak for itself.
On setbacks in her career:
I went through a phase where I was a bit lost in my sound. This was before Afro beats was appreciated and recognized on a global level. I used to play it and my clients would hate it, and I struggled. Now Afrobeat is getting the attention it deserves; I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with the genre.