IN what seems like a new twist to her successful career, popular female disc jockey and daughter of billionaire businessman Femi Otedola, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, otherwise known as DJ Cuppy has teamed up with Triple MG act Tekno for her debut single Green Light.
Coming shortly after she slit with her footballer boyfriend Victor Anichebe, the song comes with a scintillating video directed by Sesan and will set the tone for more to come.
“I’m really excited about my new project, Green Light; it’s my first official single and it’s exciting for me. I’ve decided to move back to Nigeria and I’ve decided that this is really a place that I want to make a home. It has always been home, but I’ve lived abroad for a long time and as far as my disc jockeying, I’ve been building my brand; I’ve been working very hard and I feel like it’s time for me to make my own original sound,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.
On the choice of Tekno for the collaboration on the new track, the DJ explained that “for a lot of DJs, we collaborate with artists and a lot of people are wondering why I chose Tekno. He’s an amazing and creative act that I value a lot; we’ve always wanted to work together. This is what we came up with and I’m really proud of it; I think it’s a great song. I’ve worked very hard on it; we produced it together, we wrote it together, and I’m really excited. This morning I woke up to a million views on Youtube. So, I really feel like this song is doing well and I really hope that people enjoy it,” she enthused.
DJ Cuppy, who recently featured in British public-service television documentary, Lagos To London, Britain’s New Super-Rich, informed that the new track signifies a movement.
“Green Light signifies for me, ‘go.’ To a lot of people, it’s an indication of moving forward. So, I’m using Green Light to represent me taking my career to the next level. I only said Green Light twice in the song, but I wanted to call it Green Light because, you know everyone knows DJ Cuppy, but it’s a change in action and it’s a change in my position,” she hinted.
From day one, the graduate of Business and French from King’s College, University of London, has always experimented with house music. However, this time, she prefers a mix of Naija sound.
“I love house music and that comes from living abroad and experiencing the foreign sounds. But having spent years in London, everyone loves Nigerian music. There’s never been a time that Afrobeat literarily has been on such pedestal; it had so much life in it. I remember when I first started as a DJ, when I was 18, I used to be scared to play Nigerian music abroad because they would book me for shows and want me to play their own music. And over the last five years, everything has changed. People actually book me abroad now and they say they just want Nigerian music. I’m so proud of how it has come, and now I feel like I can fuse both, and no longer have to play music I don’t want to play,” she said.
For DJ Cuppy, being a DJ comes with a lot of freedom of expression.
“What is a unique thing about being a DJ, rather than an artist? Do we get a lot of opportunities to express ourselves? Yes, we’re not restricted to our own songs. So, I feel like I get to have my cake and eat it too; I can play other peoples songs, and I can play my own songs. I have more control over my creativity and I have a lot more catalogues. Artistes go on and perform and they can perform their own songs; you wouldn’t catch someone performing someone else’s song. I can get away with it and I think it’s amazing,” she said.
Asked if she’s making money as a DJ, the pretty lady said, “I think it’s very important to make money. Now am I making profit? I can’t really speak on that because I make a personal choice on branding myself, so I have higher costs than a lot of people because I put a lot of my money in my business. With everything I do because I feel Cuppy has a reputation for doing things in a certain way.”
She continued: “The reality is that I generate revenue, but I have a lot of costs, some may call them unnecessary costs, but I feel like it’s really important that anything you do, you do well. But the thing is, while maybe I’m not rising in my profit, my brand is rising in value every single year. So it’s all about creating a name that has value, I believe that can later turn into profit,” she said.
Though she’s currently focusing on building her career in the entertainment industry, Cuppy is not losing sight of her father’s investments, especially in the oil sector.
“I’m turning 25 next week, I still consider myself a young person, but I have to make so many decisions; I have to think about the future. My dad always says if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. For me, I feel like, I have more to offer music-wise, whether that means I do one album full of good songs, I feel like Green Light is the surface and because it’s been so well received, I feel I have a lot of potentials. I feel I have to drop at least one EP or album that just had a body of work that Cuppy can just say this is what I did.
“Now, on the other side, I have been involved in my dad’s business, long time, before I was a DJ, for many years, he was training me to get my trading license. If I weren’t a DJ, I would be an oil trader in an office, probably complaining about how boring it is, but probably making more money than I do now. But for me, it’s happiness over money any day. Having said that, just because I don’t want to be an oil trader doesn’t mean I cannot be involved, particularly with his company Forté oil; I would love to get engaged in renewable energy.
I’m particularly interested in that, whether that’s solar energy or wind power. But I have worked for my dad; I spent four months out of my summer, in between my university, working for him. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, so I’m very well equipped to do it. Long term, I definitely think my dad has built something very unique, his legacy must live on, but as we speak, I am hundred percent dedicated to my brand. And I would love to see where Cuppy could go. I would also love, maybe I get into his business, but I still have red velvet music group in the future, so I can find more Cuppies,” she concluded.