DJ Neptune:The Journey to Greatness
Words By – Oreva Akpoborie
He was born Imohiosen Patrick, educated at Vetland Grammar School, Lagos State, and later, obtained a degree in Public Administration from the Lagos State University. Raised in a supportive and loving family, his early passion for music was born and nurtured, allowing him to run with his passion which he horned upon getting into the university.
In 2001, he took on the stage name DJ Neptune and began a career path where his musical brilliance has seen him move from the bustling streets of Nigeria, to global stages. While DJ Neptune may not have had a traditional mentor or teacher in his musical journey, he learned the ropes through years of practise and dedication. Drawing inspiration from various industry professionals and fellow DJs, he developed his unique style.
DJ Neptunes remarkable career has taken him from the streets of Nigeria to international stages, solidifying his reputation as a musical virtuoso. His exceptional talent has made him a household name, and his music has resonated with audiences worldwide.
In the world of music, where every beat carries a story, and each rhythm paints a vivid picture, few have the magic touch to craft an unforgettable musical tapestry like DJ Neptune.
In this interview, Allure delves into the depth of his inspiration, the challenges faced on his rise to greatness, and the remarkable moments that have defined his iconic career.
What inspired you to become a DJ, and how has that journey been?
I was inspired by the power of music to bring people together and create memorable moments. My DJ journey has been incredible full of growth, exploration, and unforgettable experiences. I’m grateful for the opportunities and connections it has brought into my life.
Did you always know that DJing would pay your bills?
Not initially, but I was passionate about it and believed in my craft. Over time, as I honed my skills and built my brand, I realised that DJing could indeed become a successful career.
Who did you train with or study under?
I honed my skills and craft through years of dedication and practice. While I dont have a specific mentor or teacher in the traditional sense, I’ve learned from various industry professionals and fellow DJs along the way.
What were your fears at the beginning?
My biggest fear was not being able to make a mark in the competitive music industry. The fear of not being good enough, or not being recognised was a constant challenge.
How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of your craft?
I stay motivated by embracing new challenges, exploring different musical genres, and collaborating with talented artistes. The excitement of creating unique experiences for my audience keeps me inspired.
Can you share a memorable moment from your career that celebrated greatness?
One of my most memorable moments was getting nominated at Nigeria Entertainment Awards, NEA, that took place in New York in 2008, and then also, getting the chance to perform to a diverse audience in the US.
Which Nigerian artistes songs make great gigs?
Nigeria has a wealth of talented artistes, and tracks by Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Joeboy and Rema consistently make for epic gigs.
What advice do you have for aspiring DJs who want to achieve greatness in the music industry?
Stay dedicated, practise relentlessly, network with other DJs, and never stop learning. Embrace innovation and be open to diverse music styles to set yourself apart.
What are some of the challenges you faced on your path to greatness, and how did you overcome them?
My major challenge was convincing my folks during the early stage in my career. I had to leave my comfort zone for a couple of years just to prove them wrong. I overcame them by focusing on the craft, improving my skills, proving my worth through my work, and staying true to my passion.
Could you share a moment when you collaborated with an emerging artiste and helped them celebrate their greatness on a larger platform?
My collaboration with Joeboy on the hit track Nobody was a significant moment. It allowed Joeboy to shine on a global scale and reinforced my commitment to promoting emerging talents. I also collaborated with an artiste called Runda, and he is doing very well in the music scene.
How do you choose the tracks for your mixes or sets to ensure they resonate with your audience?
I blend popular tracks with fresh, lesser-known tunes to keep my sets exciting. I focus on the crowds energy and adapt my song selection accordingly.
How are you ensuring that female DJs are carried along and encouraged?
I’m a strong advocate for diversity in the DJ industry. I actively support and collaborate with female DJs and artistes, aiming to create more opportunities for them.
Do you have anyone you are currently mentoring?
Yes, I’m currently mentoring a few up-and-coming DJs. Its important to pass on knowledge and help nurture the next generation of talents.
What can be done to foster better relationships between mentors and mentees in the music industry?
Fostering better relationships between mentors and mentees in the music industry is crucial. Mentors can provide guidance, support, and opportunities, while mentees bring fresh perspectives and enthusiasm. To strengthen these relationships, both parties should communicate openly, set clear expectations, and establish trust. Additionally, mentorship programmes, workshops, and industry events can provide structured platforms for connections and learning.
How has it been with young artistes signed on to you?
I firmly believe in nurturing and empowering young artistes, rather than exploiting them. Creating a supportive and collaborative environment is essential to me.
How do you balance your work as a DJ with your personal life, and what tips can you offer others striving for greatness in their careers?
Balancing work and personal life is a constant challenge. I prioritise self-care, time management, and setting boundaries, to ensure that I maintain a healthy work-life balance. My tip would be to set clear boundaries and take time for yourself.
You are currently building a community called the Greatness Republic; tell us about that?
The Greatness Republic is a community that celebrates greatness in music, arts, and culture. Its a platform for creative minds to connect, learn, and collaborate, fostering innovation and inspiration in the industry.
How will the Greatness Republic function?
The Greatness Republic is a community I’ve envisioned, to celebrate greatness in music, arts, and culture. It will serve as a platform for creative minds to connect, learn, and collaborate. The community will facilitate innovation and inspiration in the industry through events, workshops, networking opportunities, and resources. It also aims to bring together established and emerging talents, allowing them to share their experiences, learn from each other, and collectively elevate the industry to greater heights. The Greatness Republic will be a hub of creativity and a source of support and encouragement for artistes and creators in the music and arts world.
What destination do you go to work that feels like home for you?
I’ve had amazing experiences performing in Ibiza. The energy, music culture, and connection with the crowd make it feels like a home away from home.
What’s your favourite song of all time?
Thats a tough one, but if I had to pick one, it would be Michael Jacksons Billie Jean. Its a timeless classic.
What would you say life has taught you?
Life has taught me the value of perseverance, hard work, and the power of music to transcend boundaries and bring people together. Its all about embracing the journey and staying true to your passion.