On the Decks – With Africa’s finest DJs
African Global DJ Awards (AGDA), an awards ceremony created to honour DJs in Africa and around the world is one of the platforms on which African DJs and their counterparts are been recognised. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM brings to the fore the leading African DJs rocking the music scene in African and beyond.
DJ Aly and Fila (Egypt)
Aly & Fila is an Egyptian trance music duo made up of Aly Amr Fathalah (aka Aly) and Fadi Wassef Naguib (aka Fila). They host an Internet radio show called “Future Sound of Egypt”. In 2011, their track “We Control the Sunlight” was chosen as “Tune of the Year” on Armin Van Buuren’s show “A State of Trance”. Aly and Fila were both born in 1981 and have known each other since kindergarten. After falling in love with the music of Paul Van Dyk, Steve Helstrip and Chicane they built their first small studio and started doing electronic music and djing from 1999.
Once they established themselves in Egypt, they decided to go international signing with the German record label Euphonic Records in 2002.
Their first release, “Eye of Horus,” received huge airplay from the likes of Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Tiësto and many others. The track was licensed to Fundamental Recordings in Holland and reached number four in the Dutch Dance charts.
They have been voted among the top 100 DJs on DJ Mag three times. They ranked number 111 in 2007, 31 in 2008, 22 in 2009, 20 in 2010, 22 in 2011 and 19 in 2012. The duo had opened a new record label by 2009, naming it like the radio show “Future Sound of Egypt” Recordings. The record label signed on various well-known DJs such as Sean Tyas, Bjorn Akesson and Neptune Project. They have also signed up different upcoming Egyptian trance DJs such as Philippe el Sisi, Mohamed Ragab, and Brave.
DJ Fresh (Botswana)
Thato Sikwane is a well-known radio personality/DJ/producer who was born in Botswana but is based in South Africa. In 1997, after various stints as a part-time DJ, new Gauteng station YFM employed him – where he worked for more than five years. The large and tattooed man has since moved to national station 5FM (where he does the afternoon slot) and has several gold-status albums under his belt. Thato Sikwane is one of South Africa’s most-sought after mix masters. He is credited with pioneering the house music that is engulfing Southern Africa.
DJ Xclusive (Nigeria)
Rotimi Alakija, better known as DJ Xclusive, is a British-Nigeriam DJ, producer and artist. DJ Xclusive started his career as a DJ professionally in 2003 by performing at various night clubs including Aura Mayfair, Penthouse, Funky Buddha and Jalouse while at the same time frame completing a course in Music Production. Over the course of his career, DJ Xclusive has performed with acts like Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Mario Winans, Brick and Lace, Nas, and Fat Joe.
In the 2010 edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Awards held in the United States, DJ Xclusive was voted the “World Best DJ 2010” while in 2011; DJ Xclusive was nominated for “Best DJ” at the 2011 edition of the Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television Awards (BEFFTAs). In 2011, DJ Xclusive became the resident DJ of Nigerian hit radio station, CoolFM 96.9, and also joined Empire Mates Entertainment as Wizkid’s official DJ. DJ Xclusive released a single “I’m Xclusive” alongside renowned UK-Nigerian artist Mo Eazy
DJ Crème De La Crème (Kenya)
DJ, entertainer, TV host, radio presenter, website administrator, businessman, “Sakata Season 3” dance show host, Channel O VJ, apparel owner (Epic Nation Apparel). According to him on his Facebook page, music is the air he breathes and the dance floor his solace. Wow!
“I cannot credit how far my star has travelled to myself alone, the fuel burnt to bring me this far has been from you guys, the fans, the clients. “Everyone who has played his or her part … however silent a role, I highlight my sincere appreciation,” he said.
‘Now I give you a glimpse into my life … talk and discuss anything and everything, regarding music, yourselves, I mean anything … would offer the ear to listen.”
DJ Black (Ghana)
Born in Ghana, raised in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria by his grandmother, the award-winning DJ was 2013 Ghana’s Best DJ, Rothmans 2001 West African DJ Champion, 2009 Red Carpet Awards independent artiste and DJ award winner, ranked by MNET 2010 as number two in the Top African Radio DJ ratings, 2011 RTV Radio DJ of the Year and Africa’s Best Radio among many other awards. According to him, he loves reading, writing, hip-hop, poetry, archaeology, and drama.
Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt (Nigeria)
Born and bred in Lagos Island, Jimmy Amu, popularly known as Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt is a renowned disc jockey who is known for setting the pace for hip-hop music in Nigeria and beyond. An icon in the Nigerian entertainment industry, he is a veteran who has survived the test of time.
Formerly, known as Master J, DJ Jimmy Jatt came into the music industry as a rapper with lots of demos but after a fruitless search getting a record label to support him, he started dee-jaying with the support of his brothers.
The stage name DJ Jimmy Jatt came from the initials of his brothers who long passed on the touch to him. He developed an interest in hip-hop and rap at an early age and grew up listening to a lot of rap albums from the late ‘70s.
In giving back to the society, he is playing a major role in Nigeria by grooming new talent. Jatt has helped nurture many deejays, such as DJ Waxxy, DJ Syl-D, DJ Funky J, Mix Master Tee, DJ Osar, DJ Hotega, DJ Tony Blaise, DJ XGee to mention a few. He has an album, “The Definition”, which is a mixtape featuring over 50 of Nigeria’s best artistes.
The first single “Stylee” featuring Tu Face Idibia, Modenine and Elajoe was quite successful, enjoying heavy airplay and the video staying on the MTV Africa countdown for weeks while earning him several Channel O Africa Music Video Award, Hip-Hop World Award, SoundCity Music Video Award, Nigerian Music Video Award, Nigerian Music Award nominations among others. Cool DJ Jimmy Jatt has a TV programme called “Jimmy’s Jump Off” currently airing on local and international stations.
DJ Oskido (South Africa)
You cannot fully relate the South African music story without mentioning Oscar Bonginkosi Mdlongwa, also affectionately known by his stage names Oskido, Oscar Warona, Godzilla or The Big O. Born in Oukasie, the producer, performer, radio presenter, record producer, and entrepreneur, grew up between South Africa (Brits) and Zimbabwe (Bulawayo).
Oskido later moved up to Jozi to chase his music dream. He started Kalawa Records with Don Laka and Christos, that later changed to Kalawa Jazzmee when it was joined by Trompies members Mandla “Spikiri” Mofokeng, Zynne Mahoota Sibika and E Mjokes Matsane.
Oskido was honoured with a Special Recognition Award at the 9th Channel O Video Music Awards in 2012 for his contribution in the development of South African music scene, and was part of the Kalawa Jazmee crew honoured at the SA Dance Music Awards the same year. – Leadership