By Christian Agadibe
For Precious Nwankwo popularly known as DJ Preddy, her father’s love for pop music had inspired her to pursue a career as a disc jockey and singer.
Today, the graduate of Yaba College of Technology has carved a place for herself in a male dominated profession of disc jockeying. In an exclusive interview with Entertainer, DJ Preddy bares her mind on her passion and career.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Precious Nwankwo. I am a professional Dee Jay and my stage name is DJ Preddy. I graduated from Yaba College of Technology in 2013 and then proceeded to Ten Strings Music Institute in Lagos to learn the art of disc jockey. I graduated as a first class student from the music school in 2015. Since then, I have been a DJ.
Why did you choose music after graduation and not a white-collar job?
I have always loved music. As a child, I grew up listening to a lot of songs. My dad likes pop songs, so I grew up listening to music. I’ve always thought of playing music after school but I decided to work a bit. I was working in order to gather money to do music, because that’s what is on my mind.
At what stage in life did you choose to be a DJ?
While I was in school, I had a friend who was a DJ and I used to roll with him. Anytime he went for shows I used to go with him. When he went for rehearsals, I made sure I was there with him. There was a day he was called up for a show, he came but at a point he was feeling feverish. Then he told me he couldn’t continue playing, so I said ‘I can help you’ but he laughed and said ‘Do you think you can do this?’ And I said, ‘Well, let me try; instead of keeping the whole place quiet, let me see what I can do’. He then sat down and started watching me playing. The first 10 minutes I was not getting it right, but all of a sudden, I picked up and everybody in the party was like, ‘wow, what’s your stage name?’ And I said ‘I’m not a DJ’. And they were like ‘you have to be one’. ‘You should be one, you’re doing very well’. So, that was how I picked interest in disc jockey.
What are the things fans say to you as a DJ?
It is interesting. Some would see me and say ‘Hey, sexy DJ’. Some don’t even call me DJ Preddy anymore but DJ Pretty because I like looking hot at shows.
Which Nigerian DJ do you look up to?
DJ Jimmy Jatt. It’s because he does his job professionally and doesn’t feel big to relate with people. He relates with people well and he is not proud. He comes down to everyone’s level. I like humble people and he is one of them.
Have you met him one on one? Have you performed side by side with him?
Of course, yes, I have met him one on one. I am also a member of DJAN of which he is one of the officials. So, I see him and we relate.
What are the challenges of a female DJ in a male dominated industry?
It’s quite crazy. It is always difficult for people to believe in your skills until they see you doing it. It is not just enough telling them you are a DJ. They need to see you doing your thing. I have always had it behind my mind that it is a man’s world and I have to challenge them.
How do you plan to break through in the industry?
I am not here to compete with anybody. My interest is doing what I know how to do and doing it to the best of my ability. I have always loved my job. I don’t want to compete with nobody. I am not in for any competition. I love my job.
What is your unique selling point as a DJ?
Being sexy differentiates me from others. We don’t have any sexy DJ in Nigeria. Well, maybe we do (laughs). But then, I think I am different from other female DJs because I am so sexy.
In the next five years, where would you be in the industry?
I would be one of the best female DJs in the world, not just in Africa.
What are your memorable moments?
I can’t forget the day I went to Rumours Nightclub in FESTAC Town, Lagos to perform. When I got there, they didn’t allow me to play and I felt so bad. I felt so bad and I started crying. I love my job and I don’t like people depriving me of the joy of performing. I love my job like my life. So, I went outside and was crying. And the manager showed up and said, ‘I have been watching you, now come in and perform’. I started performing and everybody was like, ‘they should have allowed her to perform since, she is so good’.
If your future husband asks you to quit DJ, would you quit?
No. I can’t stop being a DJ. My husband would have to understand my kind of job. My husband would want to be happy and so for him to be happy, I should be happy too. If I don’t find joy in that home, he won’t find joy staying around me. So, my job gives me joy and I am sure he would understand that. And then going about at night for shows, well, as long as it is about going out to perform, I don’t fear anything.
Tell us about your music.
I have a song, a very fantastic single. The title of the song is ‘Let it Go’. It is everywhere online. It’s trending now. A lot of people like the song and then the video tells much about the song. It’s a very fantastic song and video. It is an inspirational song too. I titled it ‘Let it Go’ because there are so many wrong things going on in the world. It is so touching. I feel so bad. And I said to myself ‘if everybody in the world could just listen to songs’. You know, good music has a way of getting you off some mood. So, if everybody could just listen to those kinds of songs, I’m sure nobody would want to kill anybody. Everybody would want to be happy, because at that point you are thinking something wrong, there is this song ministering to you.
Has been a DJ paid off?
It is not just music all the time; I do some other things that fetch me money. I have a beauty salon. I have an audio studio. So, I do all that and I make money from them too.
Are you single or married?
I am single 100 per cent… (Laughter). Of course, I have a boyfriend. I’m not a gay. I have a boyfriend.
What exactly do you like about your guy? What attracted you to him?
He is so cute. He is cute but he is naughty sometimes.
So, he is comfortable seeing you play in the nightclub?
That’s the most amazing thing about him. He is happy with my job and that is the reason I love him so much. He likes my job and supports me 100 per cent.