“As a son to an elite businessman who was into oil and gas business, one would have expected to see him follow in his father’s footsteps but hell NO! DJ OBI found his calling in music and mixing songs. Tush Magazine caught up with him as he sheds lights into his life, career and family.”
DJ OBI was born in the mid 80’s. Christened Obinna Ajuonuma, he is son to Dr Levi Ajuonuma, one of Nigeria respected presenter in the broadcasting industry (Open House Party on Raypower), although he later branched into oil and gas and grew to becoming Group General Manager Public Affairs Division of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
Obinna as a little child had his Nursery and Primary education in Nigeria, and then moved to Rainbow College also in Nigeria before moving outside the country to study Broadcasting and Communication in Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
LEAVING NIGERIA A STUDENT; RETURNING A DJ
While Obinna was still in Nigeria, he had always tagged along with his father to the Raypower Studios every Saturday where his father hosted the Open House Party, right from when he was a kid, young Obinna has always learnt from watching other people and for him watching DJ Jimmy Jatt and DJ FX2 playing in the studio sub-consciously made him learnt DJing informally.
Moving out of Nigeria for his tertiary education, his passion became his second source of making more aside his allowances he got from home. With support from his father, he got his first set of DJ equipment and with practice he became an option for birthday parties and gigs around campus.
His planned return to Nigeria fully was scheduled for December 2012 but due to the ill-fated Dana Air crash which had on board his father, he came back early in June and being the eldest son with responsibilities, he stayed back ever since to continue his trade as DJ.
When Obinna was leaving Nigeria, the Nigeria entertainment industry was just forming and that also gave him an insight of what Nigeria music industry was at that time. Coming back at a time when the industry can be termed ‘explosive’, DJ OBI is boastful he was here from the onset.
FROM HOUSE PARTIES TO BECOMING SYNDIK8 RECORDS OFFICIAL DJ
When DJ OBI kick started his DJing career, he started with house parties and birthday gigs as that was the best way he felt he could perfected his DJing skills. His first ever experience was however not funny as his speaker blew at his first ever house party. Not deterred, he kept on the hustle and became a go-to DJ for most Nigeria A-list artistes when they came into the United States for gigs.
He also worked with show promoters as well and was able to open for Lupe Fiasco at an event which to him was his first and major breakthrough for a new DJ like him. During all these grinds, he met Naeto C, MI, Lynxxx, DJ Neptune, DJ Humility and a couple of other artistes that came into the states.
Coming back to Nigeria, he pitched his tent with SYNDIK8 Records, although he has all along been under his owned self imprint – AJ ENTERTAINMENT which he founded with a pharmacist cousin of his, Paul Ajuonuma.
Presently the official DJ for SYNDIK8, same label that houses LYNXXX, BLINK and NEDU. Being the DJ, he is steadily grinding as he gets to work always whenever each artiste is working aside his own personal project. Call him DJ WORKAHOLIC and you wouldn’t be wrong at all. He also has released materials and he plans on dropping a DJ MIXTAPE later in 2014.
FOLLOWING HIS FATHER FOOTSTEPS?
No doubt DJ OBI has much respect for his father [May his soul rest in peace] and obviously his father has a significant influence in him becoming a DJ. From following him to the studio and getting support from him. But do we see DJ OBI actually tailing his father steps who went from hosting to becoming Group General Manager, Public Affairs Department of NNPC?
He did confirm he doesn’t see himself taking a 9-5 job. He tried it once when he worked in a bank in the US but the zeal wasn’t there and he had to quit facing his DJing career fully.
DJ WITH NO HEADPHONES?…HELL YEAH! THAT’S DJ OBI
One distinctive feature of DJ OBI is that he plays with no headphones on! While in the states, his signature outfit was usually a corporate suit while playing but coming to Nigeria where the weather is quite hot, he opted to wearing T-Shirts and hats [All branded in DJ OBI’s name]
CHALLENGES SO FAR
Though born with a silver spoon, DJ OBI still has his own fair share of challenges, with the death of his father, more responsibilities became rested on his shoulders and to keep surviving, his career needed all the push it can get by playing at more gigs.
Exclusively, he mentioned most show organizers/promoters always look out for so many factors before selecting as to which DJ would best suit them, of such factors, he mentioned being a radio DJ has always popped up and has limited him to playing at some functions. Why then not take up a job as a radio DJ since that would further add to his profile and keep more jobs coming? He did say he has gotten offers but he wants a platform where as a radio DJ, he gets to interact with listeners not as an OAP but as a DJ, quite an ambitious concept you say!