Fredericks Odughu, also known as DijayFred in the music entertainment circle in Columbus and central Ohio started imagining broadcasting and operating music production equipment as a child by listening to transistor radio in the village in Nigeria. He desired to become one and would always borrow a transistor radio from his friends to listen to music while the friends played soccer. DiJayFred, married with two beautiful daughters spoke with New Americans Business on his exploits in Ohio including venturing into television shows: –
Disc Jockey is the art of playing mainstream or popular songs regardless of the genre at radio station or social gatherings. DJ was my childhood dream, although I didn’t know the name then, but I could remember how I just wanted to be like the people I hear on the little transistor radio I used to borrow from a friend to keep me company when others went to play football. I used to wonder how the voices I hear on the radio got into that small box (radio). It was later I found out that they are called radio personalities who work at radio stations. I didn’t have no other childhood dream growing up other than to be a DJ. I dare to say, I am blessed to be living my childhood dream as a Disc Jockey aka DJ. I went into DJing because it was my childhood dream.
The road to becoming a professional DJ wasn’t easy, but since I was destined to be a DJ a lot of the skills I have today as a DJ were self-taught and I met some people along the way who helped by way of giving advice and tips. I started officially in 2002 in Lagos Nigeria. Prior to that, I remember each time I went to a party I used to hang around the DJ booth and just watched all night how DJ interacts with the system.
I also used to listen to radio DJs on weekends from 12am till 4am when they featured live DJs. I love DJing. I started as a freelancer and later became a club DJ. Before I relocated to the United States, I was the resident DJ for years at the famous MARKEE night club at Mega Plaza rooftop Victoria Island, Lagos.
After moving to the states, I started all over again as a new immigrant. The level I had attained in Nigeria as a DJ didn’t matter in Columbus, Ohio. It was tough till I met a Liberian-born DJ, Benedict Keloh, aka DJ Heat, who took me under his wings and introduced me to the game in America. I am very grateful for his assistance, but that doesn’t mean I was handed everything, NO! In the art of DJing you must earn your flowers, you have to put in the work. It hasn’t been easy being a DJ out here in Columbus, Ohio compared to Lagos, Nigeria where I came from; but the love for the art has kept me going.
I have performed at countless events including weddings, House warmings, Birthday events, Concerts, Church events, Vow Renewals, Baby Christenings, Corporate events and lately I have been doing zoom parties because of the current climate in the entertainment industry.
Covid-19 crippled so many areas of our lives, but the entertainment industry and by extension, the Disc Jockey industry has been hit so bad. All the bookings I had prior to covid-19 were cancelled. Only few clients moved their events to online (zoom party). The love for the art is still keeping me. The year 2020 has been a bumping ride; hopefully 2021 will be a better year. Fingers crossed!
The current technological advancement has been a blessing to the DJ industry mostly for anyone who’s ready to acquire new skills, the opportunities are just endless. It has helped me to grow my audience, reach a wider audience and also expand my client base. I stream Live DJ set at least once a week, mostly weekends. Each time I stream live DJ set people watch from all over the world. That’s something I couldn’t imagine many years back. COVID-19 has changed the way we relate and do business, the DJ community isn’t left out. As a DJ, the ball is in your court! You can take advantage of the advancement in technology or sit around and blame it on COVID-19.
I setup a television studio and started operating in the last quarter of 2020. My very first guest was the president of Nigerians in Diaspora Bukola Olaoye during Nigeria’s Independence Celebration in October. That’s really the goal of the platform. It’s a platform or a medium to promote African culture, to promote African owned businesses, a medium where we can inform our brothers and sisters back home in Africa; give them the right information about America to assist them in making an informed decision about this great country (USA) rather than making decisions based on what they saw on TV. African community leaders can also use it to pass important information to their people. Currently, the way I operate is to invite notable guests for live interviews, I stream live DJ set, and also stream Afrobeat videos to my audience. It’s needed mostly at this time when we have a lot of people struggling with unemployment, depression, and the pandemic.
My future plan is to expand and grow into becoming a full fledge Television station that will broadcast African contents here in the United States, so help me God! I wish you all happy new year!
(DiJayFred is on social media platforms:Twitter: Dijayfred; Instagram: Dijayfred; YouTube: Dijayfred; Mixcloud.com/live/dijayfred; Facebook: Dijay Fred; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)