As all the revelries ceased last year, life began to look very different for DJs across the world. Some took to hosting versus events on Instagram live while others performed at virtual events and found new ways to express their art.
Born in Akwa-Ibom and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, DJ Emeezy is a multi-genre DJ based in Canada. DJ Emeezy is the official DJ for Spaceship Entertainment's artist, Buju, and is raising the bar for others in the industry.
In spite of all the cancelled shows, DJ Emeezy's creativity did not mellow out during his pandemic downtime. He recently released his first video mix that was produced with reminiscences of his dancing Afrobeats crowd in mind.
DJ Emeezy's video mix, Eargasm, features a unique blend of several afrobeats and trap artists like Buju, Fireboy, Spelz and Ajebutter22. The mix rounds up with a nostalgic touch of Ben 10 and other tunes that spin the clock years back.
In this first episode of Written By Isi x The Logue, DJ Emeezy gives us a peek into what a DJ's life in lockdown looks like and, in his own words, other ways to express his art and expand his brand during this pandemic.
WBI: How are things in Canada?
DJ Emeezy: To be honest, the pandemic has affected us in different ways. It's made us think of alternative ways to operate as DJs, artists, businesses, and students as well.
So it's made us think very differently about the art of DJing and how else to express yourself as an artist.
WBI: What kind of music do you specialize in?
DJ Emeezy: I specialize in a lot of different sounds. I'm always open to exploring new sounds, new rhythms, new everything, but most of the time I work with a lot of Afro swing, Afrobeats, Afro pop and South African Amapiano sounds.
WBI: What is your creative process like in the studio?
DJ Emeezy: I go into the studio with an open mind and I try to express exactly how I'm feeling at that moment. I feel like I have a very different understanding of music. I learnt music the traditional way: I learned how to count, how to write music, and I used to play the piano and drums in church, so that contributed a lot to my creative process.
WBI: Despite everything going on around the world, you were able to come up with an amazing project. Can you tell us more about your video mix, Eargasm, and what really inspired it?
DJ Emeezy: It was around June or July when the pandemic just got to me very seriously because it was the middle of the year and things were not meant to be the way that they were. I was meant to have a lot of shows and opportunities which got cancelled. So I thought, how else do I express my art, get my name out there and expand my brand instead of just doing Instagram Lives.
The first concept I had in mind was having animations as my visuals but I consulted a couple video directors and I met Eny (Eniola Yusef) who produced the video and he told me he had a crazy concept for the mix. With the Ben 10 insertion at the end, it was something Eny could be free and creative with.
WBI: Who's the audience Eargasm is targeted at?
DJ Emeezy: The audience I had in mind changed throughout the mix. At the start of the mix, I was thinking of ways to push the artist I'm working with, Buju, and ways to push his sound in Canada because I was meant to do that with my gigs at clubs, concerts, and Caribana. But with the pandemic, I had to think of different ways to promote his sound as well. That made me start the mix with "Party De," a song by DJ Lambo and Buju.
The audience I had in mind was an Afrobeat crowd and all the dancers I would've seen at concerts and parties if not for the pandemic.
We were able to bring out the tension in the visuals with the couple in the room arguing right before "Spell," by Ajebutter22 and Travis Scott came in.
After Lenu, I started thinking about beaches in Nigeria and all the songs I would've played at beach parties. I put in legwork sounds because I had moments in my head from Poco Lee and all the people dancing at the beach.
I wanted to test the audience I had by including one trap song at the end. I thought people would love that.
Around that time, Ben 10 was trending on Twitter, so I infused the Ben 10 sounds at the end and I felt crazy after that so I included "Over the moon" to express how I was feeling at that time. I was basically feeling over the moon.
WBI: What was your favorite part of shooting the video?
DJ Emeezy: My favorite part of shooting the video was my scene because it was funny. I basically free-styled my part and I'm quite shy so the videographer constantly had to say, "you're doing fine." He was just going round me with the cameras and I was just dancing and vibing.
WBI: What inspires your music?
DJ Emeezy: A lot of different things. It could be an event that happened to me a few years ago. I've had a lot of tragic moments in my life and I express that through my sounds as well. I feel like Amapiano really helps to express certain tense feelings because it's not really about the lyrics, but more about the beat and the emotion that is transmitted through the sound.
WBI: Who or what inspired you to be a DJ?
DJ Emeezy: Art and music are spiritual languages and combining and bridging those from different cultures could help you create a well rounded dynamic sound. The way you combine the sounds helps you express how you're feeling. I started DJing because I really wanted to use music to express how I feel. There were a lot of things that I held back emotionally and music helped me express that.
WBI: What is it like working with Buju?
DJ Emeezy: It's a blessing for me because he has changed the way I perceived the industry. Having a brother like Buju in the game that is also really interested in my sound is quite crazy and the fact that he gave me the offer to be his Dj is a great opportunity and great exposure. I listen to his sounds and a lot of things he does in the studio and it's a different creative process from a lot of other artists. He motivates you to become a better version of yourself.
WBI: What are your plans for the future?
DJ Emeezy: I started working on production and I think I have an EP coming soon. I also used the video mix to expand my brand as well as a measure to impress my parents and show them that you can do a lot of things with music.
I think my audience really liked that concept so I might be dropping a few more video mixes as well right before I drop my first EP. I already have some of the artists that I want to have on the EP already.
WBI: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
DJ Emeezy: I think everyone should go check out Written By Isi. That's the last thing I want to say.
WBI: Thank you so much, and thank you for being the first guest on [WrittenByIsi x The Logue]
Watch Eargasm here: https://youtu.be/qu7oXBJ0XKU
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