Kingsley Elikpo is from Isiala Mbano in Imo State of Nigeria. His started out as a Disc Jockey way back and then he was rechristened as DJ Zeez his fans. This Diploma certificate holder in Digital Film animation from Nigerian Institution of Information Technology, NIIT, DJ Zeez became a household name when he released the highly rated song titled Same Ni in 2005. The self-trained beat producer who has done lots of works for the likes of 2face, Konga to mention but just a few is out again with another chart-buster aptly titled Ori E 4 Kasibe. That single which has been enjoying tremendous airplays on radio stations home and abroad has really re-launched Dj Zeez back into the minds of his teeming fans in all 4 walls of life. In this no-holds-barred chat with Michael Alonge last year, he opened up about his musical career and other sundry issues…Excerpt
Why are you called DJ Zeez?
DJ Zeez is just a nickname given to me by my friends way back in secondary school when I was into disc jockeying.
You started out as a DJ; when was this?
In year 2002, that time I was with musical group called Xzist as at that time and had a single entitled ‘Jehun Soke’ but you know how it’s in Nigeria now, due to one person or the other incompetence serious minds have to move on. So, I decided to work alone and I came out with a single called Orin Tonba tife, which was my first single in 2004 before I released Same Ni.
How come your first single didn’t enjoy airplay?
Not that the song was bad but, as at that time even up till this moment except for some certain people, they hardly give room for the upcoming artists to make a headway excerpt God intervenes. So, that was the brick walls the first single met but due to the fact tha t Same Ni was slang-oriented track you couldn’t take it out from the street, which made it penetrated it into the minds of everybody.
Now you have Ori e 4 Kasibe, how did you get the inspiration?
From the same environment I got Same Ni. I get my inspiration from the environment I am, from people I see everyday, from nature etc. Nigeria as a whole inspired me for Ori e 4 Kasibe. 4 Kasibe is just slang and not an abusive word as some people are insinuating.
It’s an extreme level of praise. You could be blessed but your blessing could be limited. So, when somebody says Ori e 4 Kasibe that person is simply expressing how unlimited your blessing is. 4 Kasibe connotes the four cardinal points of the world, North, East, West and South and if I say Ori e 4 Kasibe it simply means that in all the four corners of the world, you are connected.
Why did you take about three years to come up with a follow up to Same Ni?
Same Ni was released in 2005 with the video that got us Channel O Musical Video Awards’ Nomination but I must tell you that there is no law that governs that aspect of releasing a song this year and follow it up the next year. Michael Jacksons, Mc Hammers of this world take their time to release a follow up album. If one could take his or her time dish out quality or do better than the previous album, then there is no cause for alarm. A lot of artist in Nigeria find it so hard to surpass their last album except just for a few lucky ones. I really took my time to know what next to give to my fans that will make them glow with pride. Though, before 4 Kasibe, I had a remix of Same Ni with Lord of Ajasa, Ruggedman and 9ice which I promoted for a while, it’s going to be in the 4 Kasibe’s full package. I had to prove my critics wrong who were saying that I don’t have songs again, that’s why I stopped the promotion of the Same Ni Remix.
How well did Same Ni album enrich your pocket?
Well, so far so good, I would say it did its best. A lot of artists have released songs better than Same Ni and they didn’t even get a dime for their effort, I will be very ungrateful to God if I say something didn’t come to my pocket with Same Ni but the basic thing is relevance, if one is no longer wanted by the people then there is a problem. I am happy that the only tool I have to express my grievance is music, everybody cannot hold a bible and be behind the pulpit to preach the gospel, and callings are different.
Who is marketing your new musical effort?
Well, for Same Ni, I had a deal with a record label, Spingomania Records, but they weren’t too familiar with Nigeria system of doing things because the owner has this foreign orientation and that slowed things for me. But with this new album, we are still talking with a marketer as soon as the deal is struck you will be the first person to know.
And now whose record label are you with now?
Yeah! For the record label I am in now, it’s by divine intervention that brought us together. The name is Edlyne Records, a Nigeria born entertainment impresario based in the UK, Edward Benson. His recording studio in Ikeja is where the whole album is been done right now. But I won’t lie to you, the record deal we have is juicy,
I couldn’t get it better anywhere. Apart the fact that the business relationship is juicy I also have this cordial relationship with him despite the fact that we have not seen tête-à-tête.
What message are you passing across in 4 Kasibe?
4 Kasibe is a strong word on its own; it’s just like when you see a car and you are like wow this car is too bad. Not that the car is bad in the real sense of it but you are just trying to metaphoric it, that is exactly what we are saying in 4 Kasibe. In all regions, whenever you may be as an Africa the ‘4 Cast’ NEWS, you are grounded, Ori e 4 Kasibe. That’s what it means literally.
What’s your passion?
Music and I and I am freaked by creativities. If you are a creative minded person, in all walks of life you are grounded. Ori e 4 Kasibe, gba be.
What musical instrument do you play?
I play the Keyboard. You know as a producer, you have to know how to play a little bit of keyboard. I mix and master songs for people, I have done a couple of jobs for people. I.e. 9ice’s Party Rider, JJC of 419 Squad, Konga, 2face to mention but a few artists I have produced songs for.
How about ladies; how do you cope with their pressure as a handsome and multi-talented person?
When someone does not see you often that person tends to embrace you more than your imagination when that person sees you. The male, female, old and young ones presently seem to be fans of 4 Kasibe and if you are hooked with 4 Kasibe that means you are fan of Dj Zeez and if you are a fan of Dj Zeez then you are a fan of Edlyne Records. I treat fans like fans and families like families.
How about some ladies who just want to have a one night stand with you; would you treat them like fans or what?
Well, the power to resist this pressure comes from above and the kind of God I serve has instructed me in His words that if I go any further than I am suppose to go, His going to terminate that power that brings out those creative things.
You sound too religious; how close are you with God?
Well, I am a Christian.
Are you born again?
It depends on your own definition of been born again. I am not a saint but I try as much as possible to establish a cordial relationship with my creator.
Do you lie?
But for child of God is not good
Lie is a sin we all know that but one or two times we find ourselves lying unconsciously.
What you are saying is that you have lied in one of your statements above?
Not at all, no lies.
Have you ever had sex with any of your female admirers?
No, I haven’t!
Do you have a girlfriend?
At present, no.
Are sure that’s not a lie?
It’s like this, I would I grant an interview that I know my girlfriend may get to read and I am now denying her? I don’t have a girlfriend and that’s the truth.
How about your sexual experiences, how many girls have you had sex with?
We have AIT, Channels, CNN, BBC etc campaigning against unprotected and immoral sexual escapades and most of the time musicians are used for such campaigns so I think I am of the artists that play that role. I think that answers your question.
Tuface Idibia was used for such campaigns on how to wear a condom, he’s one of the musicians that play such pivotal role in controlling the spread of the deadly disease called HIV/AIDS, but by my calculation, he has about five children from three women. What can you say to that?
I will not say anything about 2face either for or against, I am not in position to do so. But most times those things are read in the papers maybe and we all understand that not everything one reads in the papers is true. If I see 2face and we talk family matters, if he brings such topic up then I will know that all I have read is true or false.