Singer Di’Ja, recently sat down with LIB, to talk music and her career with Mavin record. The ‘Awww’ crooner, opened up on a of of things starting from her style if music to her career with Mavin and thoughts on owning a record label anytime soon.
Read excerpts from the interview:
Let’s get back to music. Your music kind of stands out from what every other Mavin artiste does. How have you been able to maintain your distinct style of music?
Di’ja: First of all, thank you so much for even listening to my music, but i don’t think, adding new things into your music or adding commercial things into your music, makes you un-original. I actually love commercial music. I think I’m in my own world because sometimes i actually think that my music is not commercial pop, but it is everybody else that tells me something else. So i guess as the saying goes, the word celebrity means you are a celebrated person, meaning, you are working for the people. So i don’t run away from being influenced by certain things because no matter how you look at it, everything from when you are born is influenced by something, even how you think and what you are, regardless that somebody told you that, that’s what you are going to be, it’s later, later that you will start forming that, ah!, ‘i want to be myself; you know what i mean. So we have a platform called ‘music’ to express different things. But first of all, i always give it up to the grace of God, i cannot lie, I’m very much in the believe that it’s not all me, because, as much as i have plans, it’s God that says it all. So apart from that, i honestly just do what i love. I do music i would love to hear and when same is compared to what every other person is doing, people would kind it. But i don’t really think there is so much difference in music in terms of how it makes people feel. For me music is how you interpret it, if it makes you feel good and you are listening to it, then that is your kind of music and there is no need to be figuring it out, like what kind of genre it is, because even as we dey now, (everything just dey fuse) you know, everything just ends up coming back together. So for me, i think i just enjoy what i do and i do what i enjoy, and if you like it along the way, I’m very grateful and if you don’t, i hope that i do something you’d like. But i try not to… (as you guys deh talk am, trend setter), i just try my best, even if I try it and I look somehow doing it, I try it again and you know, one might just end up refining it. Everybody started somehow, and refined themselves later. For me, i just keep doing what am doing and refining same, so the more people I know and the more things that influence me, the more it allows me to form my own music. Again, I also think it’s the lack of my ability to copy someone, that gives me the ‘how’ to form my own music. (So because i no fit be you, i go com add one kind style like this to my song), and people would be like, ‘ah! You are original. So nothing under the sun is original my dear, we are just influenced by something somehow.
How come apart from ‘Dorobucci’ you and Tiwa have not collaborated?
Di’ja: Uhm, do you see how many we are? And how do you know we haven’t? I keep telling people that, it’s not all the songs that you recorded today, that you’d be release today. So depending on how long you have been working. When you started is only as irrelevant as whatever people feel that they already know about what you are doing, but then you have been working on many things, but I always say, how do you even know we haven’t collaborated yet, it’s just that the said song, you haven’t heard it yet. Then there are so many of us, and there are so many songs in Mavin right now, because we like music, and each and every one of us, bring something very different, which is why it works so well. So sometimes you see similarities some other times you see differences, and it is those differences that complements the other. So you never know what to expect until you see.
How do you feel about Tiwa being referred to as the first lady of Mavin records?
Di’ja: But i met her there, right? I mean, she is the first lady of Mavin records. It’s kind of funny when people want to state the obvious. Tiwa is such an inspiring person. Set aside the fact that we are even in the same record label, i mean, she has done so much and been through so much, and she still keeps this standard of performance that she does all the time, you know what i mean, you can see it. For me, it’s inspiring, and like i said, i met her there. When you go to a place and you meet someone there, it’s one of two things, it’s either you learn from them or you don’t, and so what i am doing and what would be good for me is to learn from somebody that is that strong and that can inspire me and it’s really mad cool, yeah.
So what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced working with Mavin record?
Di’ja: I think one of the greatest challenge you will face working with Mavin is actually feeling like you are creating hits. Because hits are being made in that place, and na you go tell yourself sey, (omoh, mek i stand up), you know what i mean. Whatever challenge i am going to be talking about now, is going to be my strength later, because, those guys force you to be better, because you can’t be in Mavin and not do great music, i mean, we have hard times and no matter what, you are going to try certain things and people are not going to like it, but if you are in that group of people, you would be inspired to try something else. So it’s more or less of saying, ‘How do you keep up? That’s what you should be asking me, because everybody is hungry and everybody is working, and what i like about Mavin is that nobody is going to tell you to work. When you see what people are creating, you yourself you’d just be like, (omoh, make i do something or, why i dey sleep sef, why i dey nap). So it’s a beautiful place to be in.
So do you plan to own a record label
Di’ja: Uhm, it is not in my plans, and it’s not like there is anything to fear about doing that, it’s just that owning a record label is a very hard work. Dealing with artist with very different personality types, thoughts and creativity is not very easy. So is not something i can say, oh, because you did it then i can do it. So right now, in my mind, i will never tell you that nothing is ever going to make me own one, but as of now, i don’t feel i am that kind of person to own one. But then i can have artistes, i mean people that are doing very well that i can be part of their lives and development ‘cos i always believe that if God blesses you with something, if you can in turn do it for somebody else, even if it is one person, then you’ve tried. So i can help someone else build, but to say to own a label right now, i don’t think i am just about that kind of a person right now.