“DJs are underrated in Nigeria but things are about to change”- DJ Balor
The art of DJing hasn’t changed, just the interpretation of it has. From turntables to laptops, the idea remains the same. Everyone needs a DJ to add some bite to their event. This has increased the importance of DJs over the years. The likes of DJ Jimmy Jatt led the pathway for thousands of new entrants over the years. One of such people is Akinboboye Pelumi AKA DJ Balor. YC had an interesting chat with him about his craft and the world of DJs in Nigeria.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Akinboboye Oluwapelumi Victor known as DJ Balor and I’m a Disc Jockey (DJ), Turntsblist, Entertainer and Sound Engineer.
How was growing up like?
Growing up was nice, my parents provided almost everything I needed. I went to one of the best primary school at the time and a very decent secondary school as well. I went to Full Stature International School and then proceeded to Federal Government College Idoni, Ondo State. I had access to what you might call luxury while growing up.
What did you dream of becoming while growing up?
To be honest, I’m not one of those kids who wants to be a lawyer or Doctor, I am different. I just believe to take things one step at a time and see what happens and so far I have fallen in love with my craft. I just knew it was what I wanted and had the passion for.
How did you venture into Disk Jockey?
I started DJing in 2012 but started professionally in 2014. I was lucky to have a cousin who was a Dj, so it was easier for me to get access to music files and equipment. At first, I did it out of boredom, then there was ASUU strike in 2012/2013, so I decided to do something during that period and from there I started DJing.
What is the biggest stage you have had to perform your craft?
I have had a lot of big gigs in the past that I can’t remember, but there was this party I played at V.I, Lagos for Indians. It was at their Diwali party, I felt fulfilled because I had to put in a lot of work prior to the gig. Apparently, I have to play Indians songs alone and it was challenging. I have won several Disk Jokey competition, my first one was during my undergraduate days, my first ever Dj battle at the Federal University of Technology (Futa) organized by Xzel entertainment.
I won that night and from there I became a household name. I also won the online Jimmy Jump Off challenge based on my technical skills organized by the legend Cool DJ JimmyJatt. It was a dream come true because it was about 2 years into practicing professionally. I was brought on stage by the legend Jimmy Jatt which is every Dj’s dream.
How have you been able to make a name in a very competitive industry?
Nothing good in life comes easy, it takes a lot of passion, hard work, and dedication to the craft and most importantly working on your brand. I’m not there yet but I’m a working progress.
Who would you say mentors you or you model yourself after?
My cousin DJ Mondollar who taught me almost all I know about DJing and a lot of good DJs out there. I always like to watch and learn one or two things from any Dj because we are always learning in life and we can’t stop learning.
How did your parents take the news when you told them about your passion?
It was easy for me, I’m a straightforward person and I don’t like to lie to anyone about what I want to do. I went home and told them and from the look on both my parent’s faces, they were disappointed. But I care less about what anyone thinks about what I want to do. Because at the end of the day, it’s you alone that matters. I am not saying I was disrespectful to them but I made them understand what I wanted and I think they found a way to live with it.
So what is your advice to young people who are going through the same issue with their parents?
I don’t want to be a role model to anyone because it’s exhausting, but I try to tell people that what matters in life is YOU and you should find a way to let your parents understand you. Your passion for the craft is key because DJing is not as easy as people think. It takes a lot from you emotionally.
So what does it mean to be a DJ?
Being able to read your crowd and play the right tune at the right time is key and your primary assignment as a DJ. When you have the dancefloor grooving to your mix. The way the crowd is vibing and responding to my tunes inspires me.
So what is your plan for the future?
I want to become a household name and an entertainer that can be reckoned within Africa and beyond.
Do DJs get the same treatment and attention that entertainers in other climes especially Artistes get?
No, we don’t, we are underrated and most people think our job is to play people’s songs but it’s way beyond that. It takes a lot of rigor and practice to put a very good playlist together.
Do you see this changing in the future and what caused this mindset in the first place?
I think this will change very soon. This year alone, Nigerian DJs have been able to develop top songs. I am talking about the likes of Dj Spinall, Dj E Cool, E Ni money, Xclusive to mention a few. I think the industry on it own is gradually changing. Naija DJs has the highest record for the longest party in the world in which 207 DJs played at a club relay which was held at the Silverbird Galleria and I was part of it.
So any final words for young Nigerians and those aspiring to be DJs in the future?
My advice to aspiring DJs is to practice their craft first. Save up and get a good equipment and start practicing your craft because there is no need for fame when you are not good enough, nemesis will catch up with you.