In the past, DJs used to be limited to working their hands across turn tables. They were only called upon when a mix of music was to be supplied at functions. In those days, DJs were seen as the turn-table boys (and girls). Once a show is over, they would have to watch from the sidelines as other entertainers got to serve the juice to the fans through various mediums, while DJs could only air their works through party speakers.
This was the norm, and majority of DJs went with the flow. However, for a DJ whose favourite sport is entertaining fans with mood-setting musical arrangement, scratching turn tables alone cannot be enough. For such an entertainer, having to depend on the unpredictable timing of events to get performance opportunities, was not exactly an exciting experience, especially when the fans are constantly demanding for more entertainment. Something had to change, new ways of entertaining fans had to be discovered and DJs had to be more involved in the entertainment business. This led to an unannounced revolution in the disc jockeying profession in Nigeria.
Bit by bit the revolution started, it did not take long before the industry welcomed a new spirit of creativity; new ideas were springing up on how to make more sense of the resources available to DJs. A lot of them were good judges of sound; they had easy access to artistes and money was on the table for some, so it was only proper for them to look beyond the deck. They started to collaborate with artistes to make music, and since they know the kind of music that thrills the fans, their musical releases were well accepted. Some learnt and marketed their production skills and gradually, more life was brought in the profession.
One of the people that caught the early wave of this revolution is DJ Spinall. The tall, black DJ, whose real name is Sodamola Oluseye Desmond, is a powerhouse in the Nigerian Disc Jockeying business today. Although he did not start the revolution, DJ Spinall however keyed into the movement at its early stage, and with a lot successful musical collaborations with artistes, he was able to accelerate the acceptance of the culture of musical releases among DJs. Since he started, he has worked with the makers and shakers of the music industry including Wizkid, Burna Boy, Wande Coal, Olamide, Mr Eazi. So far, his collaboration with artistes has helped him record two successful albums namely; My Story which he released in 2015 and Ten, which he dropped in 2016.
It is important not to think that DJ Spinall was handed a free pass to the top. Like a lot of other people who have climbed the proverbial ladder, he had to learn the act of leaping from one rung of the ladder to the next. After picking up interest in experimenting with sounds, DJ Spinall, dedicated himself to a life of watching online tutorials on how to jockey discs. With practice, his lessons started to yield results. Day by day, his skills were improving; from holding down a crowd of tens of people, to getting a larger crowd to find bliss on the dance floor.
His journey to becoming a pro DJ continued and after a while he got to work with the popular radio station Ray Power, where he spent his days and nights entertaining listeners with mood influencing music. He paid his dues at Ray Power before rolling over to Eko FM. His time at the station brought juice and sauce to the entertainment being served to the fans. Everyone that listened was thrilled by how he played the perfect songs for warm days and spirit-lifting songs on days that would normally be lull. He was the magic man with the right mix of music for any kind of mood.
It was therefore no surprise that he got called to work as the official DJ of Industry Nite; a call that he heeded. There, it was magic as usual. His performances were getting more and more refined. A lot of people that experienced his performances shared testaments on how daunting DJ Spinall is on deck, how he would mix songs of the most unlikely genres to fit into splendid performances. Being a place where players in the Nigerian music industry converge, it was not long before he got signed by one of the big players. In 2013, he got signed to Don Jazzy’s MAVIN Records and at some point; he became the official DJ for Wande Coal.
DJ Spinall is a man on motion, and wherever he goes, he takes his magic with him. In the same way that he got his listeners fascinated at his previous duty posts, he entertained the listeners of Beat FM. There is something uncommon about the man called Spinall that fascinates his audience. Asides the vibes from speakers that he sends usually, he is celebrated as a fashion icon in Nigeria. DJ Spinall popularized the use of fashion caps as an adornment on non-traditional outfits; this is now sort of a culture practiced by some fashionable Nigerian men.
His fans call him the ‘CAP’ but the alias was not gotten from his fashion success. The CAP in the context of referring to Spinall, means Crazy Ass Party. It is quite easy to guess that he got the name from the many parties that he led wild. DJ Spinall is well known for leading the audience at his shows to the climax of fun. For this reason, he is believed to be one of the most bankable men on deck around. He is comfortably one of the leading disc jockeys in Nigeria and in 2015; Smirn Off named him their brand ambassador.
Across Africa, the name DJ Spinall is taken seriously. He has released hundreds of mixes and entertained fans from many African countries with them. He has made some border crossing African music by collaborating with top music stars in the continent like Sarkodie of Ghana, Sauti Soul of Kenya and Mafikizolo of South Africa. Without doubt he is an international DJ. He is revered for being the first African DJ to perform at the SXSW Festival in USA and the first African DJ to tour Europe. Very recently, he was given the rare privilege to play at the 2017 BET International Awards, which was held in Los Angeles California.
Over the course of his long spanning career, the ‘CAP’ has won multiple awards and has recorded a lot of remarkable achievements. The always smiling DJ stands out as one of the vanguards of the movement of taking Africa to the world, a movement that has Wizkid playing a major role. The star boy is said to be working on a project with the ‘CAP’ and it is believed that their collaboration could make DJ Spinall’s forthcoming album which is scheduled for release in September 2017.
One can only expect more great works from an entertainer who has contributed a lot to the growth of African music already; as he travels from nation to nation, in and out of the continent, projecting the beauty of African art through his music and his powerful performances. DJ Spinall would continue to be cheered by African music lovers as he continues in the path that only great men have walked.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets
Culled from Issue 17
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