10 Most Influential DJs in Nigeria
Musicians may get the bulk of the credit, love, and appreciation for the music we enjoy, but even these musicians will give shout-outs to other industry players that were instrumental in their path to success. This shout-out always includes DJs who put people on to new and good music by playing them in clubs, at parties, at radio stations, and including them in their mixes.
Undoubtedly, DJs are in the Whatsapp group chat of the music industry movers and shakers and their role in the music ecosystem cannot be overstated. In that light, we’ve made a list of 10 of the most influential DJs in Nigeria and arranged them in ascending order while using parameters such as current relevance, influence overtime, endorsements, street credibility, social media following, and artist repertoire.
1. DJ Jimmy Jatt
Only Nigerians who calculate their age by deducting some numbers out of the last two digits of the current year, might lay claim to not knowing the level of heat that was sure to precede the watermark “It’s the jump-off!” whenever it played from DJ Jimmy Jatt’s deck. A walk through the archives of his jump-off which is only about the hardest freestyle sessions in the country will show footage of some of the current Nigerian music GOATS be it Afropop or hip-hop, freestyling over his beats.
Despite his legendary status, DJ Jimmy Jatt still continues to spin on his wheels of steel, holding jump-off sessions for members of the new age of music and this has earned him the number one spot.
2. DJ Spinall
Whenever you hear the tag “Top Boy!” you instantly picture Ankara fila while getting ready to be entertained with top-notch music. That’s because DJ Spinall who DJs with that tag, has with his skills and brand, made himself into a household name. This is a feat the Top Boy DJ attained through consistency as seen in his arsenal of musical projects which total 6 since he started releasing them in 2015. And in addition, by being a part of relevant conversations in the music space as seen in his recent deal with Smirnoff for which he hosts a talk show with Nigerian musicians.
3. DJ Neptune
Last year, DJ Neptune took us on a fun ride with his Joeboy-featured smash hit, Nobody. It had several iterations and yet there was none we could not resist turning up the volume to, with the first version and the Icons remix topping the charts for weeks. Prior to this, the DJ had earned his ‘Greatness!’ tag by collaborating with some of our favorite acts to creates tunes to turn up to.
4. DJ Kaywise
“DJ Kaywise Joor o!” that is the tag, a plea for him to take it easy on our ears and feet and yet remains a plea he never heeds. Last year, Nigerian musicians and producers caught the South-African Amapiano bug and churned out several dance-compelling songs that featured the genres airy pads, heavy bass, and horns. But of all these records, it was DJ Kaywise’s Phyno-assisted, synth-infused Highway, that broke the charts, carrying over into the new year and on to our chart as one of the most influential DJs in Nigeria.
5. DJ Consequence
Alias “The Vibes Machine“, DJ Consequence is indeed a certifiable vibes originator who has proved this over and over with his party-starting mixes and the all-white summer parties he throws where guests soon find themselves caring less about the delicate color of their outfits and more about their moves on the dance floor.
6. DJ Tunez
Some DJs’ influence carries over the seas and into the diaspora and DJ Tunez is one of such. At home in Nigeria, he has not only earned his chops as a skilled DJ with his irresistible Wande Coal-featured Iskaba single. But he also got Wizkid to co-sign when he was made the official DJ to the megastar’s Starboy Entertainment. Since then, he’s helped to ensure that the airwaves do not go for too long without having a Wizkid song to cool things down.
7. DJ Switch
The Big Brother Naija franchise is known for its star-making power on contestants but for DJ Switch, it was a matter of the universe giving her her flowers after she became the talk of the internet following her stellar jockeying skills during a version of the BB Naija Saturday parties.
The talented DJ soon sealed her place in the heart of Nigerian youths after her act of bravery at the Lekki Tollgate Massacre served to provide indisputable proof of the shooting of unarmed civilians by military personnel.
8. DJ Cuppy
DJ Cuppy has risen above widespread backlash and naysaying regarding her craft to become one of the most followed and endorsed music-making personalities in Nigeria. To cap it all, she is also the host for Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio, a show where she really shines as a show host as she converses with musicians making waves all over Africa.
9. DJ Enimoney
Music of the street-hop genre is one that connects to Nigerians at every level and DJ Enimoney is one of the key players where street-hop is concerned. He’s not only a force for that alone but also wears the crown as the official DJ of Olamide’s YBNL record label.
The importance of DJs comes full circle when you hear them being spoken about by musicians. For instance, in conversation with DJ Spinall, Wurld shared that it was ECool who first played his breakout song, Show You Off, in a club in Atlanta. A Nigerian-diasporan DJ, ECool truly straddles both worlds and finds firm footing as one of the most influential DJs in Nigeria as the official DJ to Davido’s DMW record label.