In the early 2000s the disc jockey Neptune ruled the radio airways with his mixes on the popular Lagos-based radio station Ray Power. Fortunately, you can still hear his music, but not on radio. Neptune has grown from a radio DJ to a multiple award-winning DJ and has played at sold out concerts in Nigeria and Africa.
In this interview with Naij.com’s Michael Abimboye, Neptune reveals his new plan and his upcoming album.
Naij: What is DJ Neptune into presently?
Neptune: Basically, I am doing a lot of things at the same time, I am working on an album which will drop hopefully before the end of this year, the recent one was with Davido. I am also working on an online radio show which is 90 percent done. First of august I will in Makurdi, 8th of august I will be Sapele and Auchi on 15th of august. What inspired you to go into the industry? I have always had the mentality of becoming an entertainer and desired to be a musician when I was much younger but my dad discouraged me to go ahead with music as a career but, along the line, I lost my dad then I became free to choose career for myself. I got into DJ after attending a party and seeing DJ playing live. The experience I got from that party in 1999 was what led me to arrive at a conclusion of becoming a DJ.
Naij: If your dad were alive, do you think you would have become a DJ?
Neptune: He wanted me to be an engineer but I think along the line I would have still find myself doing what I am doing now because if it is not music then it’s nothing else. That cannot stopped me from doing what I want to do and I will like to use this opportunity to advice other guys out there to pursue their desire. If you have talent, try and nurture the talent because at the end of the day, you never can tell which will bring food on your table.
Naij: What is special about being a DJ?
Neptune: If you check the entertainment industry, after production from the studio the next person is the DJ because they help you to reach out to number of people, they are lots of DJ’s and you know when you have the DJ's playing your songs obviously you will go far.
Naij: As a DJ, if you have the capability of making your own music why not do it?
Neptune: It is another way of stamping our name, thank God I made the move before Dagrin died, if I had delayed, they probably will never have any mix like that and the mix is one of the best hip hop collabo in the Nigerian entertainment industry. They are things you cannot do as an artist but DJs can do.
Naij: Any mixes yet?
Neptune: I have released lots of mix, I have released one reggae dancer mix about two weeks ago and over the weekend I have released not your usual mix and if you go online I have over 50 mixes. Mixing is one of DJ’s cultures and I make do with professional DJ when putting up my mixes.
Naij: How has the journey been so far?
Neptune: I started dj professionally in 2001, and I was studying under a DJ called DJ Douglas based in UK then in 2004, I had the opportunity to go on radio that is, raypower FM where I freelanced for a year before I was staffed in 2005. That is where the journey began and that is where I got my breakthrough.
Naij: Why did you leave raypower FM?
Neptune: I left there in 2010. Nothing happened, I felt the name was getting bigger and I needed to venture into other thing and radio was taking much of my time.
Naij: Any plan to return to a radio station?
Neptune: Yes. Right now I am working on a radio show and it will be out soon so, look out for that, it is not like I left radio because I don’t want to be a radio dj because, radio is part of the platform that made me who I am today.
Naij: What is the radio show going to look like?
Neptune: It is going to be a radio show that will give you the experience of being in the club while in the comfort of home. It is going to be energized Who are your sponsors? I am speaking to one or two sponsor right now but would not like to disclose that now.
Naij: Is the radio show going to centre on music alone?
Neptune: It’s going to be music and entertainment, it will as well inform you of the latest songs within and outside the country and we will have parties as well If not DJ what? If not DJ I don’t think there will be anything else.
Naij: Do you think government has done enough for the industry?
Naij: Entertainment wise, I don’t think so. Maybe things will get better with this present administration otherwise, they have done nothing much. During the campaign, lots of them associated with entertainers and I think they will realize that they looked down on entertainer before now meanwhile it is a sector that can actually dictate what is next.
Naij: What would you like the government to do for the industry?
Neptune: There is lots of revenue to be generated from this industry, imagine if we have proper venues in 10 states and you are organizing a show that will feature the whole world in partnership with the federal government. It will generate revenue. The government should also try and fight piracy to minimal level. Once something is done, people tend to jump to it, as for me I have production skills, 80 percent of job I sit down with the producer to discuss what I want. Most tomes I have the idea of what the chorus should be. I still give credit to everybody because as a DJ you have the talent to sing and producers have their own talent too. We sit to share ideas and that is my own input in production.
Naij: Any challenges so far?
Neptune: I had my low moment at the early stage when I started, then after show I will go home with nothing but because of the love I have for dj I continued. At some point I had a second thought as to if it is going to be profitable in the future, like they said, no one knows tomorrow, I faced a lot of challenges when I started but here I am now.
Naij: Does your background influence who you are now?
Neptune: Yes because my dad will always sit me down and make me understand that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well, he taught me that I can always fight for what is mine without depending on anyone. I was brought up with the mentally that I have a dad that is nowhere around me a way that.
Naij: Who do you look up to in the industry?
Neptune: A lot of people, like DJ Jimmy Jatt, he is a family man that has being in the industry for over 25 years now, he is still strong and hungry for DJ. He is very innovative and I am as hungry as when I started in 1991. People celebrate me that I have made it but I don’t feel so, am still hungry for DJ and I want to be known in the whole world.
Naij: Any major difference between Nigerian and European DJ?
Neptune: Yes, our counterpart enjoys advanced technology with strict regulatory body that is protecting them.
Naij: Do you think we can stop piracy?
Neptune: No we can’t because there is lots of software you can use to mix songs these days. even non professionals are sinking songs all in the name of mixing so people no longer pay much attention to professionals that are actually doing the job. I give it to DJ Jimmy Jatt, I remember the situation when you will be invited to perform in an event and you will be made to sit on the corridor while the event will be happening in the sitting room. But we still thank God because people are getting to appreciate DJ mixing live now. Finally, people should look out for more from me this year. I started DJ Neptune live in America and it’s a tour I would like to take round the whole world. I started in Loss Angelus then to Washington DC and many other country.
Naij: What is your take on some parents stopping their wards from studying music or taking DJ as a career?
Neptune: I am not going to be that kind of dad that will chose career for my kids, I will send you to school, give you the best life and guide to pursue your desire.