Global Beats: DJ Cuppy
Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, famously known as DJ Cuppy, is a musician and entrepreneur with a rapidly increasing empire. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Cuppy’s musical endeavors began at a young age. By the time she turned 18, whilst attaining a BSc Economics at Kings College London, she was already producing her own tracks and DJing around the world. To this date, Cuppy’s DJ skills have taken her to over 25 countries and she continues to fill dance floors across the globe.Inspired by her Beats, skill and tenacity we had the pleasure of interviewing her and delving deeper into her life and how she maintains the rhthym.
When did you decide that you would build a career in music specifically as a female DJ in Nigeria?
I would say that I started Djing at 16, thanks to my parents. From a very young age, my parents have always been tremendously supportive; they’re both constantly challenging and motivating me to grow and be bigger and better version of me. Music was always my first love, so I felt, if I can chase my career whilst being a dedicated academic, why-not! Being a young excitable kid in Lagos, my parents were never short of support and encouragement; they’re my biggest fans. I have the most amazing parents, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
How do you feel about the recent commercialization of the Trend of Afrobeats?
To me, music is a healing source. Us Dj’s have the power to control people’s emotions and enable them with an escape route away from the struggles and worries of everyday. That’s the best part of my job- making people feel good! I would never trade that feeling of satisfaction for the world… Thus, ofcourse it’s a great thing that Afrobeats is finally getting the recognition it deserves- I get to now share my story through my own music!
Where do you see Afrobeats and it’s global impact in the in the future?
In my opinion, there has never been a better time to be an African Creative! Living inside and outside Nigeria has definitely exposed me to an array of cultural influences, which is evident in my music. With Afrobeats being on-trend, I’ve been able to grow my depth of the genre- I call my genre ‘Neo-Afrobeats’. This is best described as a fusion between Tropical House and Afro-beats. What I think will start to happen is we will now see sub-genres of Afrobeats appear. Let’s be honest- 52 different countries in Africa and we wanna squeeze the music into one genre? Come on!
As a female Africa Dj in a non-customary career how is this received in your culture? how does your family view your career accomplishment ?
As mentioned, my family has always been my backbone from day one and I’m so greateful , because they support me regardless . Certainly, being a female DJ can have its disadvantages- Sometimes, people don’t like what they don’t know. Furthermore, ageism and even racism can even come to play as well. But you know what? Whatever us girls come to do we do twice as well as boys to be thought half good. Luckily it is not difficult for me. Haha!
You recently did an African tour as a purveyor , producer and creator of music and filmed it live as a tv reality show,how was that experience ? Did you get to the opportunity to visit parts of Africa for the first time through this opportunity?
Cuppy Takes Africa was the most ambitious project I’ve ever done in my life! Both planning and the process of the tour really helped me grow as an artist but also as a young African Woman. The opportunity to visit some parts of Africa for the first time through the tour was amazing and was able to take entertainment and empowerment from country to country; viewers get to go on this ambitious adventure with me… The show is very interesting; I’ve accepted the fact that different people will get different things out of it. However, the main essence from Cuppy Takes Africa is to use my story to inspire other people. I think it’s important to realize we are all here for a reason. Life isn’t just about following one path. It’s much more exciting and purposeful than that. We each have unique talents and gifts, things to offer the world. Mine is DJing!
The music industry overall has changed globally over the past 10 years where do you think the future of music is going?
These times are so uncertain, but exciting! I think we’re going see more and more influences from around the world creating synergies.
We consider you a GYPSY , a wander luster and lover of culture and music, where in the world is your favorite culmination of all these things ? Where in the world do you feel most inspired by the culture and the music?
Nigeria is and will always be my source of inspiration. I’ve just begun my journey, and I am ready to take the world!
I believe that time waits for no one; chase your dreams no matter what! I’m still on an experimental path, but whatever I settle for, I hope to have made a difference, inspired others and changed the rules!