DJ Cuppy might be the first female DJ to do a tour of Africa and that is just one of many milestones for someone in a domain that is mostly reserved for the daring; whether male or female. The daughter to Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola, DJ Cuppy real name Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola doesn’t stop at operating turntables. She is a producer, a song writer and “a creative” and aims to inspire young African women.
Cuppy was the DJ at Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration ceremony in May this year and the resident DJ for the MTV MAMA awards last year.
“What’s exciting for me is that they are putting a young African Female at the fore-front, I think that’s a source of inspiration,” Dj Cuppy says of her experiences. This comes at a time when artists outside of music like DJs, fashionistas and others in the creativity industry in Africa are “getting the recognition they deserve”.
DJ Cuppy recently played in Kigali during her eight-country DJ Cuppy Takes Africa tour. She says that her gigs are never about “keeping people on the dance floor”, but to create an impact. During her time in Kigali last week, she visited and donated to FAWE Girls School. She did the same for other institutions like schools, orphanages and women centres in her 8 country tour that started on August 1, in Lagos, Nigeria.
The question that comes up all the time is how she has made it as a girl in a male dominated profession. It hasn’t come easily, she has always had to answer questions why she was doing something too difficult or why she wasn’t sticking to school. Her motivation stems from her zeal to break boundaries.
“It’s very difficult; I sometimes think we don’t get the support we need as young African women. We have to fight a little harder,” she says. She says she is lucky to have supportive parents but is aware there are a lot of parents who don’t support their children going in the music industry, she urges young women to go for their ideas no matter how crazy or ambitious.
“For any woman that wants to deejay, you have to make sure you are strong, you’re focused and you are good at balancing,” she says.
DJ Cuppy was inspired by growing up in a society and culture known for the spirit of risk taking, fearlessness and ambition, better called The Lagos Hustle.
“It would be fantastic to see that sort of approach from everyone else, I think when you take risks, when you try new things, you have amazing outcomes,” she says
With such ambition comes some personal sacrifices.
“It’s very difficult to have a relationship, I’m married to my music,” she says before adding that at 22, she is “still discovering herself”.
In spite of the music, Cuppy is determined to finish her education; she is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Music Business at New York City University.
“You shouldn’t allow your dreams to stop you from having a balanced life style”, she said.