.• Says his new Cadillac was a birthday gift

WHEN disc jockey, performer DJ Zeez sang 4kasibe little did he know that it will become a hit. To his amazement, the song is now… receiving massive airplay across the country.

The talented artiste started as a DJ at age 17 before venturing into music with a group of four called, Exist. “Then I was a rapper, along the line I started producing music. Finally, I ventured into singing. Then, I came up with my first single in 2004 which was entitled, Orun to ba ti fe.”

The Imo State born artiste whose real name is Kingsley Elikpo explained how he became proficient in both Igbo and Yoruba, as well as the English and the Nigerian informal ‘pigin’ lingua. He said his father was Igbo and his mother, Yoruba. “My growing up period was fun, I would not lie to you it was fun. I think I was one of those kids that had too many toys in my bedroom then. That helped in building my sense of humour, my intellectuality and everything you see me possess right now was by God’s grace. And the kind of upbringing my parents gave me also helped a lot.

“It will interest you to know that I was not a big fan of music when I was in secondary school – as in music as a subject. It was my worst subject in school, maybe I was not just ‘digging’ the teacher or I was not just down with the whole professional thing and all that. I could stay at home, I love miming music.

“As for turning around to be into music, I don’t know what happened because I was a science student and the president of the Jet Club (a science orientation club for high school pupils) in my school. So I was more science-inclined. Then, I was being inspired to become a Robotologist, hoping that one day, I would work for NASA in USA because back then I always had big dreams. when I was young I used to build small robots like caterpillars, helicopters that never flew and flyboats that we will take out when it rained.

“But I guessed that is why I got into music through the technical part of it which was the disc jockeying part that I found interesting when I began. All I had to do was get a couple of discmans together and mix sounds like that. I think I was one of those deejays that embraced the idea of mixing with CDs rather than just print.”

The talented artiste said the song 4kasibe is a slang which everyone in his childhood neighbourhood was used to. “It came out of Bariga (Lagos). 4kasibe is a slang. If you trace my way back, you would see that I have been a dude who infuses slangs in his songs. Like, Same ni, one of my songs, is a title taken from a slang saying: ‘We are all the same.’

Asked whether through the use of slangs and catch phrase street lingua, he has happened into a trick that makes his singles catch-on with the dancehall crowd, he replied: “It is never how you do it but how it’s done. I am this kind of person who makes motivational songs on bumping club beats. So that you get to get attracted to the song because of the groove and later you get to take the message.

“4kasibe came in as a slang and I found out that boys used to use the slang to hail and acknowledge each other. It’s not like a curse. Usually, what they say in Yoruba is “Ori e wambe or ori e tukasibe,” then I decided to take it to the “4” level (through the expression ‘4kasibe’) because we have 4 cardinal points the north, south, east and west in the world. And to carry everybody along when you say Ori e wambe (your head is there), exactly where is it? But 4kasibe is global because you are talking about everywhere.”

DJ Zee hinted of his desire to have a collaboration with Femi Kuti because he was a great fan of the late Afrobeat music king, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Femi’s father. “The best way to get a feel of his dad is through him. He is African, he keeps it deeply rooted in Africa but still has a fanbase that spans the globe. He is really truly African and I admire that.”

Apart from his album, where the now popular expression, ‘4kasibe,’ originated, the artiste said he is working on a new hit.

He said, “I have already started working on my next album before 4kasibe came out, I worked round the clock. Now, it is safe to say that my next album is half-way done. 4kasibe was the last recorded song on the album.”

DJ Zeez revealed how he came about his largely talked about, Cadillac car.

“It was a birthday gift which was given to me on January 10. Well, this is how it came. My boss and I has always been talking. And I always talked about cars that you hardly get to see in Nigeria. And the Cadillac was one of them. I was always mentioning it. Then, when my birthday came he just handed me the keys as a surprise gift.”