DJ Cuppy is truly a force to be reckoned with! She also has one of the most famous surnames in Nigeria, so I guess that helps too.
Her musical ear and her ability to connect with music fans has seen her rise to become one of the most talented DJs/Producers in the world.
We caught up with the woman of the hour herself in the run up to the release of her debut album.
Meet The Team
- Photographer: Zek Snaps
- Stylist: Jen Eleto
- Stylist Assistant: Chioma Chukwu
- MUA: Marie Chantal
- Hair Stylist: Ruki Garba
- Interview: Ore Olukoga
Cuppy, What a year 2020 has been. How have you found the ups and downs of this year?
It’s been eventful, it’s been up and down! Was booked up for festival season and then Corona happened and put everything on a stand still. So it’s been exhausting but I’m taking each stride as it comes. Life is so unpredictable!
Here we are on the week of you releasing your album. What emotions are you feeling right now?
Honestly, I’m so excited, I can’t wait. I worked my ass off on this and I feel inspired to tell the world my story. I’ve had a lot of criticism in the past, a lot of people didn’t believe I should venture into music making and just do DJ’ing, but I’m here to prove them wrong!
Why now? You did ‘The house of Cuppy’ and you’ve been producing for a few years now. Is that the long term goal to do it full time?
I’m definitely still a DJ! It’s really important to me! I’m just diversifying and playing on my strengths. I feel confident in the studio but behind the decks will always be my first love!
You’re a busy busy woman, you’ve got a show on Apple Music as well. How did that come about?
So I did the demo quite a while ago, and they were like “we’ll be in touch” and then it went quiet. Then surprisingly almost a year later, I got the call like “yeah Cuppy you start next week”. I was like “wow”. But yeah it’s super exciting and the show really brings out the celebration of our music.
African music has really taken off across the world, we only need to look at Beyonce’s Lion King album, Burna, Davido, Wiz, amongst many others. Why do you think now our sound is being truly embraced?
It’s always been taken seriously but just not by an international global audience. People are realising Africa have so much more to give than they thought. We’re some of the most dynamic, hard working, creative people in the world. So it’s exciting.
Obviously you are a DJ by trade. How has COVID-19 impacted your ability to work?
I’m used to connecting with the crowd and having that direct exchange of energy! But I’ve been able to do lives and still have ways to connect with people!
Let’s talk fashion. What are the three items of clothing in your wardrobe you simply can’t live without?
Can’t live without Ankara. I love love Ankara. There are these really cool young designers called ‘Flat 17’ and they make all my custom Ankara.
Then I have a really cool headband. Everyone knows I love pink and being loud and creative!
And a little bit of Fendi; I love to “offend with Fendi”!
Do you have a favourite designer? If so, what brand would it be?
Have to be between Fendi and burberry! I’m a print addict!
You have such a vibrant look, who would you consider your ultimate fashion inspiration?
I dunno you know, I get inspiration from everywhere. I’m constantly evolving and changing! My album is called ‘Original copy’ because I’m just unapologetically myself. I just do everything for me!
Now, I went through the track list for the album and there’s one particular collaboration that stuck out to me. The legend that is Shina Peters. Talk to me about how that came out?
My Dad actually set that up, it was a dream of mine! My Dad has a great relationship with him and used to be part of his PR team. There’s a record I have called “54” and it’s about Africa. I’d spoken to Bob Marley’s son Julian about the record too and I just wanted to make it an impactful song. I’m proud!
Has your Dad heard the album yet? What does he think?
His favourite record is “Jollof on the jet” and his other favourite is my song with Teni. My Dad is loving the party tunes.
The album is out now, so what else is in store for the rest of this year for you?
I just plan on kicking ass with this album! I’ve been so nervous, I’m turning my lemon to lemonade! For me it’s already a succes and I hope it helps me connect with more people! I’m looking forward to using this to tell my story! I hope it inspires more young women from Nigeria to go and do what they want!
How are you celebrating?
I dunno, but we gonna get lit! I’m hoping my manager and friends do a a little surprise for me! There better be cake and a few drinks! I mean, I’ve got the music covered!
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