Ajayi Abimbola popularly known as Celebrity DJ Kiss is a Nigerian disk jockey, born in Lagos Nigeria. She left Lagos to study English Art at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree.
Although she always had an immense love for music, her flare for DJing started during her first year at the university. Her neighbour at the time was a DJ and watching him play piqued her interest. The experience helped her realise she could connect with people through DJing— a linked attribute she also appreciated about music.
With years of experience and consistent practice, leading her to expertise, DJ Kiss has now become a god at what she loves to do best.
She has been featured on BBC 1xtra London for The Afro Collective mix with Remi Burgz, Scar Radio Nigeria and Unilorin Fm. In May 2022, she was recognised in Femme Mag’s Top 7 Female DJs.
DJ Kiss has performed at notable events including LivespotX, Mainland Block party, Island Block Party, Premier Block party, Zikoko Z Fest, Tech Cabal’s The Future of Commerce, Martell club activations with Wande Coal, Jameson’s World Beards Day, and Industry Nite with Blaqbonez amongst others. She is the founder of Industry People, a platform providing emerging Afrobeats artists with the opportunity to be heard.
DJ kiss’ hack to Djing is partying with her audience, and her satisfaction comes from her audience’s positive reaction.
From waking up to the end of the day, what does a typical day look like for you? What’s your routine?
My alarm wakes me at 8 AM and I thank God before stepping out of bed. I check my Notes app and draft my to-do list for the day. On days when I’m less busy, I drive to the park. The park is usually quiet, so I love being there. It makes me think and focus properly. I also love listening to music there.
Doing things at the park helps me to get away from the noise in Lagos and away from people and distractions.
Talking about getting away from the noise at the park, is it a misconception that all DJs must love noise considering their jobs mostly entail working with loud music?
Yes, it is. I remember visiting a friend one time. It was a small room and the music they were playing was loud asf. I told them to reduce the volume and they were like, are you not a DJ? Don’t you people like loud music?
Of course, I love loud music as a DJ but only when it’s required.
Well, that’s very valid. So, what did you do at the park today?
Today, I brought my laptop, small controller, and speaker to the park. I plugged my stuff then went online to download some new music, worked on the music I already had, and rehearsed. After rehearsing I took a walk around the park and called my friends to catch up with things I said I want to do for the day. I left the park late and drove around for a little bit before heading home.
So that’s my routine for a day when I’m not working. But for a day when I’m working, my activities depend on the time of the gig.
Can you expatiate?
Sometimes I get early morning gigs which means I can’t be at the park in the morning. I have to be out two hours before the event starts and Lagos traffic unpredictably holds me down from being where I want to be at the time I want to be there.
For days when the event is at night, depending on when my set is, I also leave the house two hours earlier than the stipulated time. I like to get there at least one hour before my call time to be able to socialise with my fans, say hi to people, and get to know more people before I carry on with my performance.
On other days, I may have two events, like a wedding during the day and a club or lounge party at night.
Most weddings, including the after-party of the wedding, finish before 10 PM or 9 PM, depending on how early the event starts. When I’m done with the wedding and the after-party, I move to the club or the lounge, because I know I’ll be required to play at 10 PM or 12 AM.
That’s how I manage it. I make sure I do my best at the wedding and I also do my best at the next event.
Interesting. Is there any distinct event that you’ve done recently and would like to talk about? Tell us the juicy details that stuck with you.
There was this wedding I DJed at early this month, it was so nice, and I had another event later that day. I didn’t leave this event till around 12 AM. It was at this beautiful hall called The Monarch in Lagos. I had been briefed by the event planner that once I was done with the couples’ entrance and cutting the cake, the band would take over and I could go and set up in the other hall for the after-party.
The other hall was smaller. You could see the main hall from there, but it was demarcated enough that you wouldn’t hear the music coming from upstairs if you were downstairs and vice versa.
The band started playing for the older generation after I’d done my part and was told to move upstairs for the after-party. I got there and the sound engineer had already worked on the sound, so I just set up. I waited for like one hour and people were ready to start the after-party, but the couple were still downstairs partying with the older generation. I said okay, let us shut this hall down.
I like when people spray me money at parties because it gives me confidence. It makes me believe what I’m doing is really good and people are enjoying their time.
A lot of people sprayed me with money. So we were partying, drinking, dancing and having fun. The after-party was so lit that we even forgot there was another event still going on at the main hall. I’m not going to lie, I even forgot about the couple.
Two hours before my other event, I was already thinking of rounding up the after-party. People were starting to leave as it had lasted up to 4 hours. Then the MC came to tell me it was time to invite the bride and groom in for the proper after-party to start. I was like, “What? I thought they’d been here the whole time.”
I decided to sacrifice one hour, so I’d just use an hour to drive to my next event to meet up with the time.
The couple came in and danced and danced. They really enjoyed themselves. When I was leaving the hall, I met the bride on my way out and asked if she enjoyed herself, she said yes, I made her day and she really enjoyed the music.
I went to my other gig feeling more confident in myself, and my craft.
What’s your favourite part of being a DJ?
That I get to do what I love.
What’s a Djing hack you’ve mastered over the years?
I have mastered the art of connecting with my audience while playing. I’m always right there in the crowd dancing and having fun with them.
What’s your dream stage to perform at?
My dream stage is the O2 arena as a starting point. Then I’ll aim to sell out stadiums.
Which career path would you consider if you had to give up DJing?
I’d be an artist or an executive producer.
Three artists you’d love to collaborate with?
What’s a funny tweet stuck in your head?
Lol, I can’t choose any. Twitter is wild. Almost all the tweets are funny.
What’s a unique trait you love about yourself?
I love how much I love myself.
Would you rather be fire or water, why?
I’d be water, besides who’d want to be fire? Lol. Water is more dangerous though.
What’s a secret you can share publicly?
It wouldn’t be a secret anymore if I share it.
What’s your password?
My password is my dead pet’s name. I miss her.
What’s a weird thing you love but everyone hates?
I love honesty. I think people should be more honest but only some people like that.
Which 10 songs are you vibing to right now?
I love a lot of songs that I’m vibing to right now.
Omah Lay’s album, Boy Alone.
Burna’s album, Love, Damini.
Asake’s album, Mr. Money With The Vibe.
Drake and 21 Savage’s new album, Her Loss.
Wizkid’s new album, More Love Less Ego.
Some rap songs by Rick Ross, Jay Z, Jack Harlow and Meek Mill.
All the projects Tems has dropped.
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