Success has many friends, so ever since he broke the Guinness World Record for the longest DJ set, DJ Obi and I have become BFF’s.
Well, not really. We did have a brief chat with the record-breaking DJ late last week but that’s about it. He was able to take a break from his media rounds to… do some more media rounds. Rather admirably, the quiet DJ is taking all the newfound attention in stride.
It’s been amazing with a lot of press and a few doors opening up
I thank God cause I know there is more to come.
I’m sure there is. 6 years ago, South African DJ Black Coffee attempted to set a Guinness World record himself by DJing for 60 hours straight with just one hand. His brand value quadrupled in the years that followed and now the DJ is arguably the best-known disk jockey on the continent with platinum albums, multiple awards (including the BET’s International Act) and international gigs.
DJ Obi says Black Coffee partly inspired his own Guinness World Record attempt. Before he embarked on the feat a month ago, Obi was unofficially known as “the Wedding DJ”. Now, similar to Black Coffee’s career trajectory, industry observers expect the Nigerian to add a lot more tags to the ones he has gotten on his 11-year long CV.
DJ Obi is understandably excited about what’s to come –
A lot is going to be happening in the next few months, nothing I want to talk about right now. I don’t like talking too much, I’m more of a just do it guy.
“Just do it”? Did he just sneak in a plug for one of the sponsors of the event or what? Obi and company were able to strike gold twice and not only beat the existing world record but also get the support of major brands such as Nike and TAG Heuer for the 10-day event leading up to it. But all the money in the world wouldn’t take away the disappointment if the DJ trips up at the same hurdle that Black Coffee did before him – and that’s failing to have his attempt certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The DJ is all too aware of this, that’s the reason why he and his team have dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s.
Everything about the world record attempt is very official. Prior to attempting the record, we reached out to the Guinness world record office and took all the proper steps we needed, that is, applying for the attempt and also ensuring that they verify the attempt after it’s done.
We also got the approval to use all their official logos and trademarks as well.
DJ Obi is hopeful that they’ve done enough to get the plaque. He explained –
It is currently in the verification stages now and an official announcement would be made as soon as that process is done.
But what would make anyone embark on this kind of project in the first place? Who in their right mind will put their mind and body through this kind of punishment? DJ Obi is that guy, he says he was given the green light by everyone he shared his vision with –
No one talked me out of it (attempting to break the record). I got a lot of encouragement from everyone I mentioned it to.
Well, that’s how you really know DJ Obi and I aren’t BFF’s. If we were, I would have definitely tried to talk him out of it. Lily-livered me. But after accepting the challenge, how does one actually go about preparing for it?
There’s actually no physical way to prepare to stay awake for ten days, but all I did was get my mind right, eat right and yes I did work out for two months prior to the record attempt. I also did a juice cleanse with simply green juices.
Unfortunately, even though he did his best to prepare, the DJ admits that he did have his bad days – hallucinations, weariness and high blood pressure – yet he kept pushing.
The thought of stopping crossed my mind many times during the process, but the energy around me kept me going. The support I got while doing this was really amazing.
The support came from friends, peers, industry professionals and random well-wishers well outside his circle of Synik8 brethren. Speaking of which, they too have gotten recognition of late. Blink got rave reviews for his “Anonymous Bars” parts 1 and 2, while label head Lynxxx got a lot of press for his decision to embrace born-again Christianity. All that is wonderful but these days, it’s all about Obi. No longer will the affable DJ have to live in the shadow of the ones whose music he plays.
There are different kinds of DJ’s – club DJ’s, radio DJ’s, event DJ’s, jack-of-all-trade DJ’s et cetera. There’s another kind of DJ whose name alone transcends everything else that they do – the celebrity DJ. DJ Jimmy Jatt is Nigeria’s biggest by virtue of his status as an icon and pioneer, while DJ Cuppy leapfrogged the pack with proper branding and by maximizing her opportunities. In fact, part of the reason why every DJ wants to release music these days is so that they too can become celebrity DJ’s and their names will work magic for them, even before they touch the turntable. Making the music has taking precedence over breaking the music.
DJ Obi has taken a different route entirely, a route his peers never dared to try. Not content with spinning records for a living, the DJ now wants to make a living even when the records are not spinning. Not satisfied with making magic music moments at weddings and on the dance floor, the son of the media veteran, late Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, now wants to make a name for himself and in so doing, make global music history along with it.