Mariam Amusa popularly known as DJ Miranda is one of female Nigeria’s most DJs. As a party-starter, beat-dropper, who has been rocking the dance floor for years now. DJ Miranda has seen it all. In this interview with OgunToday she recounts the story of her life as a female DJ and what one can do to become successful in the business.
My name is Amusa Mariam popularly known as DJ Miranda, the first born of family of 6 and the only girl. I started my Disc Jockey fully in 2012; I always had passion for it when I was very little.
Being a female DJ, how does it look like?
Wow, it is very hard, not easy at all, I faced a lot of challenges, but thanks to God and my parents blessing. Am coming out good.
Do you think that “DJ world” is men’s job? In your opinion do you think it is hard for girl to become a famous DJ?
Sighs! DJ work is easy for guys, than females, my reason is that, men have much time than ladies. Ladies have to be careful of where she plays , she most have someone to follow her around because l am also facing this part too, I received invitation for many shows , but I couldn’t go to all, because I don’t want to get hurt. Ladies have many offers but not all offers are real, some just want to have you, I have a lot of opportunities as a lady, but they are ready to take something in return.
How do you start with music and DJ?
I started my disc jockey fully in 2012; I always have passion for it when I was very little. I have always love music right from when I began to know the world. Though my dad loves music, most especially my mum, she is my inspiration I bet it with you if I don’t do this DJ work anymore she won’t be happy with me at all. They make me love music, Fuji, Hip Hop, Blues and all kind of music.
Could you tell me in chronological way your “music way” ?
My inspiration comes especially from DJ Jimmy jatt, but actually nobody was my boss, but I do call someone my boss, because I was supposed to learn from him, but money didn’t allow me to learn from him, but he never looked at that, he always showered me with advice, encouragement, love and he was the first deejay I met that never try to take advantage of me and love me for who I am. Also DJ Mikkiyaski is my mentor and for my role model is Beyonce, I can’t sing but I can play and sing with my mix tapes. In this life, money, connection, beauty and to be educated is very key.
Talking about the profession, what does it take to become a successful DJ in Nigeria?
To be a successful DeeJay in Nigeria, you have to be good at what you do, we have so many DJ’s, but not all knows what it takes, you just have to be good at what you do and always try to get your audience attention with your mixtapes, my first play was a friend’s birthday party I never knew how to mix but I have good selection of music and this really got peoples mind and all eyes were on me.
What has been your memorable experience as a DJ?
That was the first time I played very far away from my environment and I got peoples mind up, and they never believed i could keep them till day break. That day was my first time I was going to play in a carnival, I just couldn’t really forget that some guys were like, “do you want to kill us, haha stop playing my legs wants to rest” and I was like then run away from the music.
How did you survive being a deejay?
With God’s grace all things are possible, the difficult thing is the standing for hours and someone just comes up, please give me old school as if he’s the only one at the party, but my boss do say, you are not there to please one person but a lot of people. Just play for the audience let them feel you and with all of his rules, am really surviving it.
Was there any time your mood affected the way you mixed your music?
Yes, When am not feeling too good, sick and I have a lot of crowd that wants to see me in a good mood, I just play what comes to my mind. I guess because of the love and as a female they overlooked it all and let me do my thing the way I could.
What is it like to be a DJ for years now?
Wow, it’s not an easy task for orphan like me, with years in it, i just started getting my crowd in 2015 with the help of friends and family, but I still haven’t got what I wanted, am still hustling big time, I want to be of all I have imagined from little and I know am going to come out loud in good not in bad.
At what point in your career did you realise you had become a brand?
Wow, that was when a lady came all the way from Ikotun to Ota in Ogun state to just see me playing, I was blushing, she was like she has been wanting to see me but she had to get connected to someone who knows me so she could meet me and she did. She calls me almost all the time and asks me when I will be playing and that she wants to be there.
Most DJ’s set up academy where they train people, do you have such plans?
For real no, I don’t have plans for that but I guess with time, I can have passion for that, when I begin to have my own setups.
Was there any point you wanted to quit because you could not cope with the challenges anymore?
For this deejay no way, I can never quit, no way, but there was a point, that when I played in a carnival and they didn’t pay me my money when I am done. (Poor me) I was as broke as…, for that week, I was like God (person dey work, money no still dey), but I just have to remember my dad, I know he must have felt this too in his life, but he still always find a way out, so I just have to put that aside and keep moving. I know am going to get there fully.
How affordable are you?
High, not too high, but if you don’t want to spend don’t call me, am a sister to five boy’s, they all have to look Good.
Sister to five boys’? How do you cope?
Sighs, that’s the difficult part in all, but with the grace of God, his blessings is really on me. I must say, sometimes I just want to leave the house, but because of them I won’t. Though I haven’t gotten my full deejay set but I know it will complete one day.
What genres of music do you like the most?
Afro pop, not to dancing at the same time dancing, Naija or out of Naija .
What’s your impression about the Nigerian music scene?
Wow, we need more pleasant ones, we have them already but we need more so they can kick away the unpleasant ones. As a DJ, am not supposed to dislike or like any music but I love some artist that am crazy about them no matter what they sing and they hardly sing unpleasant and if they sing unpleasant they come back correcting themselves, Wande coal, 9ice, kiss Daniel, Yemi Alade, LK kiddy, all these guys are good.
Whenever you want to perform, what do you do and how do you select your music?
First of all, I check my crowd I try to get what they want to hear, my first two three songs I play first will tell the kind of people am playing to, from there they will surely dance.
Finally, what is your message for the up and coming Dj’s
Keep playing, do all you can to get to your dream and most importantly be prayerful.