Name of a track you can't get out of your head: "Gbe Mi Lo" by Ofege (Try and Love album) This Afro Rock masterpiece was produced in 1973 by Ofege, a band of high school students from Nigeria.
Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Tony Allen : Secret Agent.
Being that you're from Nigeria originally, how do you work Nigerian music into your sets and events? I work a lot of Afro Beat, Afro Funk and other traditional African music into my set by mixing them with other western dance music. I also like to work in live percussion elements like bongo, conga and talking drum and sometime spoken words during my events.
How does being from outside the US inform your work as a DJ and label owner? I believe that coming from the motherland with a strong musical background gives me an edge and a knowledge of different rhythms. I have the African rhythm ingrained in my soul. I like to produce and play music with African influence. Living in Europe in the 80's also gave me an insight into the western music culture and club scene.
The latest release from your Fatsouls label is by Mr. Raoul K, who incorporates the N'goni (African guitar) into his "Sun of Gao" single. How does the African guitar differ from its American counterpart? An N'goni guitar differs from the American guitar in that it is a hollowed out small instrument with a big sound. The shape is different from the American
guitar. N'goni guitar usually has anywhere from 4 strings to 7 strings, no frets, and varies in tone. The tone sustains less than the American guitar.
Musical mantra: Music's got me!
Favorite DJ experience: Playing @ Deep Space (Cielo, NY) with Francois K during my "To Motherland" record release tour. I had a great time playing on the infamous Cielo sound system. The night was brilliant.
Worst request: I got a request for Milli Vanilli once while DJing at a spot in San Jose!! The person actually brought me the CD to play.
Worst club faux pas you've committed: The day I played a 3-hour set with just 12 vinyls without anyone knowing. I mistakenly brought a bag of wrong sounds and luckily pulled it off.
Most treasured vinyl score: Confusion by Fela Kuti. This album is one my favorites of all his older albums.
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? I'm currently working on several upcoming Fatsouls releases. "Long Story," with mixes by Jerome Sydenham, due out in July. "Abuja," number 2 release by Mr. Raoul K & also a Fatsouls Afrobeat compilation.
What's something happening in the local music scene that should be getting more attention? I think people should pay more attention to the events and promoters in the East Bay. Oakland is becoming a staple of house music with parties like the Brothers and Sisters, The People Party, Aficianado and more. There is definitely a good vibe out there.
What elements would your fantasy club night entail? My fantasy club is a club that has a fantastic sound system (i.e Funktion One, Richard Long) and also a very open minded, enthusiastic and educated dance music audience.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: I ask myself when clubs are going to start posting DJ etiquette rules by the DJ booth - like they do at Body & Soul in NYC. People need to know not to make stupid requests or bother a DJ when in the mix.
Next time we can see you spin: "Sun of Gao" record release party this Friday, June 26 @ Otis SF. Hope to see you all there!