Award winning international disc jockey and producer DJ Neptune’s single ‘Nobody’ sparked a viral global takeover across all online platforms with 40 million streams and counting. Neptune teamed up with emPawa’s Mr Eazi and Joeboy to give us this hit single, which is the next single off Neptune’s yet to be released project titled The Greatness II [Sounds of Neptune].
We had the pleasure to get Up Close and personal with Neptune where he talks culture vultures, DJ’in during quarantine and the status of the African music culture.
Talk us through the creative process for Nobody and collaborating with Mr Eazi and Joeboy?
Firstly shout out to my producer Magic Sticks he came up with the beat, he sent it to me on a cold chill evening, I was home he hit me up and was like “hey boss I sent you some beats I want you to listen to”, so I get into my studio and download the 4 beats he sent. Nobody was the first beat I played, I listened to it halfway through it caught my interest I then listened to the other beats but Nobody was still ringing in my head so I came back to the beat and played it from the beginning to the end on repeat for 20-30 minutes non stop on my studio speakers, while listening I was thinking in my head what artists to feature on the song and who to work with. Joeboy immediately came to mind, I called him up “Joeboy I got this lovely beat I want you to listen to I think you will you will love it”, I shared via whats app that same evening. I woke up the next morning with a message from Joeboy saying big bro check your email, I listened to the track and it was a banger, straight away I messaged Mr Eazi, he said if his not on the track we will fight he was somewhere in Europe when I sent him the record, within one week he sent his verse and we had Nobody the audio.
What’s the story behind the video?
We recruited TG Omori, we actually sent to a few directors but TG came up with a very interesting storyboard that we liked and went with. Prior to that we were discussing possible locations in Senegal and Sierra Leone but taking logistics into consideration it made sense to shoot here. The video was shot in January – shoutout to TG Omori he did an amazing job!
Nobody took the world by storm, was there a heavy budget to push the song?
I’ll be honest with you for Nobody there was no budget spent, everything that happened with the song was divine. No doubt it’s a good song from when I was sent the beat I actually tweeted that I am working on my next single and it’s going to be a smash hit. I already had that feeling that people will love Nobody but had no idea it was going to blow up. The truth is the timing was perfect right before lockdown as it was released on 6th march. We had no idea that the world was about to go into lockdown but I guess it was a divine connection. I was able to do a full week of radio rounds and club activations just before the lockdown came into effect. The first week Nobody had already done a million views on youtube and over million streams on audiomack.
We are currently on 13 million views on youtube and 40 million streams across all music platforms.
Nobody blew up more on Triller as well as TikTok, I was not paying attention at first but on Triller it was huge right now we have over 6 million views on Triller videos to the point that 4 weeks ago the CEO of Triller stated in and article “That Nobody is by far the biggest Afrobeats record that made an impact on the app on a global scale.”
What is one experience in life that, without it, DJ Neptune wouldn’t be the DJ you are today?
It’s been crazy as while I started this whole journey into becoming an entertainer and DJ people around me did not understand what I was doing they thought I was crazy and I remember leaving my comfort zone for two years. It was not easy but I told myself “you can not afford to fail” with that at the back of my mind, that I must succeed and then convert my success story to an inspiring one not just for me but to other young aspiring teenagers out there who want to do what they love but their folks or friends around them do not understand their vision. I am forever grateful I took that bold step, if I did not do that there would not be a DJ Neptune that everybody loves and is celebrating right now.
You have a deep love for putting on new artists, who is Runda?
So what happened with that is I’m currently working on my next project which is done but I am still recording – so I tweeted a few weeks ago that I needed song writers I put my email address saying if you are a good songwriter let’s talk. I received over 800 emails. It was so crazy, I couldn’t go through everything. When looking through I came across Runda’s email he actually did not send anything about songwriting he sent a song and was just so confidence “ DJ Neptune I need you to listen to this song I am a young artist you will love it” I hit download and heard the song and was blown away with his talent. I responded to his email to send me more stuff and told him I want to work with him, so there is going to be a collaboration with him. It’s his track we have already recorded. We were in the studio together last night, amazing track produced again by Magic Sticks. We are also talking to TG Omori for a video so that will be dropping soon. I have been blessed to come this far so I should be able to extend the blessings to the younger ones, this is my way of giving back to society. I am very positive he is going to blow up.
How is performing live and producing in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally?
It’s always a good feeling to perform to the audience. There’s that sense of achievement when you’re performing and people are vibing, loving what you’re doing. Shout out to everyone that came out to support me for my debut concert SOUNDS OF NEPTUNE it was amazing, it was dope performing alongside artists like Teni, Mayorkun, Tiwa Savage, Skibii, Peruzzi and a lot of guys. I was surprised by the way my colleagues came out to support me including the DJ’s as well Jimmy Jatt, Big N, a lot of DJ’s. Everybody came and we were all together in one space at Muri Okunola park. Shout out to everyone who attended, and to you as well Stefi K cos I mean you also worked with me on that day to make things smooth. It was not easy considering it was my first concert but it was a huge success.
You always have the dopest drip, who styles you?
So I have a personal shopper who I work with and a couple of stylist. For me I’m not really big on designer clothes as long as it’s dope and fits well and I’m comfortable those are the things I look out for but shout out to everyone that has styled me from Eko Moses, Maban to my personal shopper as well.
Music from the Continent is receiving world wide recognition, what would you say changed the game?
Afrobeats is the next big genre of music for attention of people across different parts of the continent. There’s a big eye on what we do in this part of the world, the sound is fresh from instruments to the artists, producers, engineers and directors, everybody putting in work. I feel that it’s our time and I’m happy with what is happening; before the pandemic our guys are already doing festivals and have their own shows in different parts of the world selling out and making good money for themselves. As an African DJ this is the next level, we are getting to the stage where promoters will start looking into our markets. It is a good feeling, things are changing, shout out to everyone putting in work with the help of social media, streaming platforms like Apple Music who recently launched Africa Now in more African countries shout out DJ Cuppy bringing the spotlight onto us. We may not have proper structure but we have the numbers now it is about converting the numbers to revenue which is already happening. We are putting in the work for the next generation. This is the time for us to have one voice. The western world wants to come into the market to take advantage and create the mentality of this person is competing against you.
With Nobody I have so many offers to re-license the song all over the world. Myself and the team have single handedly taken Nobody to this level so they would have to come with an amazing offer before I even give that a thought they want to reap from where they did not sow.
How are you coping during the Quarantine, what advice can you give to others on how you stay positive and active?
It’s not making sense at all but it is what it is. We need to stay safe, lockdown is eased off with curfew but the economy is still suffering as entertainers are bearing the cost.
I love to perform its not even about the money, with the success of Nobody I can’t even imagine the places I would have been to perform I would probably be on world tour right now, but it is what it is we need to keep safe and play our part while the government is fighting this covid-19 battle. Hopefully very soon life can go back to normal.
Doing online live parties is what the world is adapting to now the only constant thing in life is change. So you need to be ready when people are moving at a different pace, I have performed live for a couple of brands and platforms.
We have to stay positive and stay strong for ourselves, keep working, and keep being innovative. There are so many avenues, before now these platforms have been there but we have never taken advantage of live performances, events etc.
So this is an eye opener to a lot of us, after the pandemic this will be better.
Capitalise on all these platforms utilise it positively and see how you can benefit from it, it’s not easy but we all have to stay strong together.
What are you looking forward to most post isolation?
I would like to travel to an island to meditate by myself, just to get away for a week just to refresh.
Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Two artist I recommend would be Omah Lay and T Classic, check them out on IG:
Omah Lay: https://instagram.com/omah_lay?igshid=1a5evs3qwcftl
T Classic: https://instagram.com/tclassic_mne?igshid=1jvjwwsglxn0g
What is next for DJ Neptune? What do you want your supporters to know about you?
I am working on my next project which should be out sometime in September. I am also working on a remix EP for nobody so remixes from different parts of the world which is planned to be out in August and apart from that just working on music while we wait out the whole pandemic.
Download & Stream Here: https://empawaafrica.lnk.to/Nobody
EUGY RETURNS WITH NEW EP ‘4PLAY’
Eugy has been silently working away behind the scenes, to bring you 4 Play a musical experience he promises will keep you glued to your social feeds. He returns with 4 Play, his latest instalment a collection of sultry songs exploring the power of intimacy. This love tale takes the listener on a journey of emotional volatility. Across 4 songs Eugy’s weaves a narrative which explores the power of 4 Play, not just the physical but the psychological state of it too.
We caught up with Eugy to find out 10 interesting facts, you the fans may not know:
- He was born in Ghana
- He is the eldest of 5 siblings
- Our 6ft4 musician is super scared of heights
- Eugy plays the piano, drums and bass guitar
- His favourite food is a Ghanaian Dish Kenkey, accompanied with fried fish and pepper
- Eugy is terrified of Flying
- He previously went on X-Factor with his siblings
- His favourite drink is Super Malt
- Eugy can’t eat dinner/savoury food unless it’s spicy
- His new EP is out now
Eugy is amongst the key players at the forefront of the unstoppable new wave of African-inspired sonics that have infiltrated the UK scene and continues to flood the European airwaves. His breakthrough hit ‘Dance For Me’ alongside Nigerian singer-songwriter Mr Eazi, came in the summer of 2016 and went onto become a colossal hit. It racked up over 30 million views on YouTube and over 28 million streams on Spotify. Wherever he travels now, the reputation of the track precedes him including his second MOBO Award nomination in 2017.
Through live shows and a plethora of internet hits, Eugy has built a high fanbase stretching from the UK all thorough to the coasts of Africa and especially in Europe where he packed out shows in Amsterdam, Paris and Stockholm. He’s also done stadium shows in Japan and Ghana and supported Nigerian artist Wizkid at the sold out Afro Republik Festival at the O2 Arena in London.
Keep it locked to get the best in music, gaming, food, fashion and lifestyle from Eugy.
‘4 Play’ available on all major platforms – https://lnk.to/eugy4play
5 REASONS WE LOVE TOMI OWÓ
Meet Tomi Owó a dynamic songwriter with a distinct vocal tone, Tomi Owó incorporates reality with substance, to make for the musical output she is coming to be known for.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she grew up in a musically inclined family, where music from all over the world was appreciated, and where making music was a way to express the many facets of life; and she dreamed of making her contributions through music one day. With the musical brilliance she’s shown so far, Tomi Owo is expected to rattle the Nigerian music industry this year.
We put together 5 reasons why we love Tomi Owó:
Her personality is likeable:
Tomi Owó has a personality that will make you fall in love. She is sweet, very down to earth and she shows love to everyone — no matter who they are. Tomi embraces her strength and coming into her confidence as a woman, a creator and a healer.
Tomi’s music hits our soul:
Her musical style is mellow, albeit rich with eclectic vocal dynamics. Her genre is unafraid, a musical palette splashed with urban soul, pop, and afro-inspired sounds. She has a soft but sultry voice that when she sings, it sounds like gentle bubbles of love.
Her music is relatable:
Tomi Owó believes music is a gift, and a channel through which we can tell our stories, support ideals, and inspire change.
Her lyrics are firmly based on everyday experiences – hers and those of others, as she explores relatable human themes: resilience and kindness, affection and courage with many women (and men) being able to relate also.
She’s a creative genius:
When it comes to visual arts Tomi is extremely creative in this area. Growing up, she was also drawn to other forms of art, expressing this through personal poetry and dance. She likes to partake in the artwork for her music, as well as the visuals behind her videos and live performances. She continues to amaze us with her creativity.
She’s an original:
There is no doubt, Tomi Owó is one of the most refreshing artists in today’s music scene.
Her lyrics and style of vocals are unlike your typical Nigerian artists, and that’s what makes her an original Gem!
Check out her latest song titled “Beautiful”
The song explores beauty in a way you may not expect. Painting both male and female scenarios, she wonders when they will take a step to answer the call to a new kind of life, to begin something life-changing.
“In many ways, “Beautiful” is the soundtrack to my life right now. And how funny, because I was not thinking about myself when I wrote it; I was thinking about everyone else-all the people searching for something, listening for a true voice, taking steps towards something they believe in-I was thinking about all of them.”
Stream and Download ‘Beautiful’ – https://instagram.com/tomiowo
Follow Tomi Owo – https://umgafrica.lnk.to/BeautifulTO
HOT SEAT: TRAYC SELASI
In the hot seat today we are joined by Trayc Selasi London based Ghanaian Afro Fusion singer, dancer and songwriter also known as the voice for Ghanaian music and culture in the UK. While creating a buzz amongst the Afropop scene here in the London, Trayc talks us through her new single “Somebody” taken from her critically acclaimed sophomore EP set to be released later on this year and much more.
SK: Talk us through the creative process for “Somebody”, what is the story behind this single?
TS: Somebody was created during my trip back home in Ghana. It was produced by the amazing Abochi. We created this beautiful song together using concepts I had, bouncing ideas and melodies back and forth. The song is about a dilemma in the mind of a woman and the dilemma being, she wants to out her feelings of being in love but hasn’t been easy to as she goes through the pressure internally. I believe a lot of women out there can relate and may have somewhat been in that same “situation-ship”. This concept stems from my own experience with love and not knowing how to express it. There are many women out there like myself who tend to hide their feelings and emotions to avoid being hurt, suppressing ourselves but there comes point where enough is enough and we have to start speaking out and expressing your love to that special ’SOMEBODY’ but also being in that okay space to accept him not having the same feelings with you knowing that your MAN! made for you is out there. Don’t give up on love.
SK: How would you describe your own development as an artists and the transition towards owning your sound?
TS: My development has been a beautiful journey, all the ups and downs has made me who I am today. I started as a dancer but music was always my ultimate goal. I toured and performed on big stages for Fuse ODG with my dance partner ‘Move With KB’ and it was an amazing journey as we were learning so much on the job. I was quite observant with everything music around me which kept me interested continuously. I learnt how to record and engineer in the studio, engineering for some great artists and Fuse ODG himself at times using different softwares etc. Everyday there was something new to learn although it wasn’t always easy but it was all worth it all thanks to the ODG team. I now have my own home studio set up where I’ve been able to record music of my own including finalising my upcoming E.P.
SK: Do you have a vision of Afro inspired music, what could it be beyond its current form?
TS: Everything about me is rooted back home in Africa. Being born in Ghana and living a part of my youth there before moving into London helped me keep in touch and my mother will always remind me of where I came from by the food we eat, speaking our language to us etc. I see Afro inspired music taking over and being able to merge with so many other genres to create beautiful sounds. I see Afro inspired music staying and never leaving. It’s just so infectious.
SK: What do you think of the AfroPop scene in London?
TS: The AfroPop scene in London is super interesting to me because we here a blend of different cultures between African and the western sound which I love so much. It takes African music to new heights we have never been before and it makes me proud to be part of the culture. I believe it’s only going to get better and higher from here and there is no going back as we are already exposed to many different experiences.
SK: Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favourite musicians?
TS: I have so many different influences when it comes to music but my biggest comes from Erykah Badu, Ciara, Mary J Blidge, Alicia Keys, Beyonce and from Africa I grew up listening to likes of Angelique Kujo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Daddy Lumba and many more greats. These are some of the great musicians that have influenced me as an artist now. My current favourite musicians right now are Chronixx, Koffee, Asa, H.E.R, Adekunle Gold to name a few. I’m the type of artist that is easily influenced by so many different things and people and try to fuse those influences in my music when creating.
SK: What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
TS: My main inspiration stems from my past situations, experiences I’ve been through and I also look at my friends and family around me and sometimes take from their own experiences to help piece together my words and melodies. Sometimes it can just be words I hear, a feeling or a current emotion. When I write, I think about so many different words based on the topic I want to write about and most of the time I go off from my feelings and allow melodies and words to naturally flow out of me.
SK: What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
TS: My dream is to headline shows in Stadiums and Arenas but one one of my dream stages is the Super Bowl. After seeing Beyonce perform, I knew that I could also do it. To be absolutely honest even if it’s a small stage, or in a back garden of a house, the feeling of having my supporters singing my songs and me having the space and opportunity to showcase my talent to it’s full force is what I take from the most. Seeing the smiles of beautiful people no matter what stage is my ultimate dream.
SK: Who would you love to collaborate with?
TS: I would love to collaborate with Chronixx, Koffee, EFYA, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Kuami Eugene, Amaarae and of course Beyonce. There are too many amazing talents out there I would love to work with and hope to tick them off my collab list very soon.
SK: How have you coped during lockdown?
TS: It wasn’t easy during lockdown. At first, I went through a stage of trying to get used to being home alone, working from home and not being able to see anyone and I thought I would be okay because I usually love being on my own in my own space, however after a little while, it did take some toll on me where I got a bit stuck with my creative process but with the help of my amazing team Coelle LDN, I was able to push through and finished writing and recording my EP project. I’m grateful for the lockdown because it taught me a lot about myself and also helped by giving me more time to connect with God.
SK: What advice would you give to other female artists in your genre?
TS: To every female out there in this industry, all I can say is Pray, Meditate and NEVER give up. I know for us as women, especially black women in this industry, it’s not easy and we have to work 10 times harder than everyone else so in order to make it through, NEVER give up and stay connected to God always. Another important thing is to never rush the process no matter what.
SK: Tell us 3 items you cannot live without?
TS: 3 items I can never live without are My phone or Laptop for Music, a good book to read and Food & Water. That might be 4 but Food & Water go together.
SK: What is currently on your playlist?
TS: On my current playlist is, Trayc Selasi – Somebody, Wizkid ft HER – Smile, Maleek Berry – Free Your Mind, Tiwa Savage – Koroba, Chronixx – Full Chronology album. I’m currently listening to Tiwa’s new album Celia and Adekunle’s Afropop vol 1 whilst I wait for Kuami Eugene’s new album and my very own EP to drop soon. So much new music has been released recently and I’m so excited.
SK: Whats next for Trayc?
TS: Trayc Selasi is taking on new heights and flights. Now that my new single ‘SOMEBODY’ is out, I’ll be releasing my full EP project soon and also get some visuals together for it and get some shows and performances going. I will also be going back to Ghana very soon to engage with my supporters there also. I want to link up with amazing producers and songwriters and start working on my next project. So many things I want right now but all in due time.