The name Patrick Imohiosen might not ring a bell in the minds of many Nigerians. But DJ Neptune as he is fondly known, is a brand that is to be reckoned with in Nigeria and the diaspora. With humble beginnings dating as far back as 1999, DJ Neptune is quick to dispel the popular rumour among DJs that he’s in it for the money. Neptune is a producer, an artist, and of course a DJ who has always been a “Lagos boy” but whose parents originate from Edo state. When inquired as to why he chose Neptune as a pseudonym, he says it’s actually happenstance as he was fond of playing a particular track by The Neptunes, a popular duo in the 1900s and early 2000s. His early fans just sort of nicknamed him after the duo and it stuck.
After working for Ray Power FM for six years, Neptune left the radio station to evolve as a DJ and expand his horizons. On the changes that have occurred in the industry between then and now, he says that DJing is now more lucrative than it had been in the past. Though he believes that DJs should still be paid more than they are being paid now, because of all it entails to being a successful DJ. Also, the respect for DJs has grown in the years that he’s been DJing as they had been previously seen as dropouts and people looking for quick money. The music has also evolved greatly because when he started, a number of Nigerian music were not available for turntables so he had to rely mostly on foreign music. His privacy is one that he cherishes very much and it’s something he had to forgo as he has continued to grow in the music industry.
A while back, social media influencer and socialite Bizzle Osikoya, posted a tweet calling out DJs. In his tweet, he said DJs needed to diversify their sets and not be scared to try out and promote new music. He, as well as other people who shared his sentiment, agreed that the monotonous style of DJing has made going out and listening to music boring. Neptune says this is quite true as most DJs are skeptical about trying out new music because they are uncertain as to how the crowd would receive the music. However, Neptune provides a way out of this by suggesting that DJs introduce and play new music through other mediums apart from parties and clubs, as most people like to hear what they know during these events. For example, “when you’re on radio, it’s a different sect. You’re not at a party. Use that medium to introduce new music to them (the audience)” DJs are an important part of introducing new music to Nigerians apart from the media, and Neptune is unhappy that music artistes are yet to see just how important they are in the music industry. He is currently a live DJ for Urban 96.5 FM where he plays sets from Wednesday through Sunday from late evenings till midnight. Check out his live sets here
With tracks like 123, TGIF, Baddest, Believe, Marry, So Nice and most recently Bumpa to his name, Neptune is quick to acknowledge that DJing in Nigeria has evolved from just playing other artistes’ tracks to creating and playing their tracks. Bumpa, a track he featured Ycee and Falz, was released in January and has received a lot of positive response and feedback from the audience. On future plans and projects, Neptune says he plans to release his debut album Greatness in the coming months. The album is going to feature some of his recent singles, as well as new tracks.
Neptune advises aspiring DJs to perfect their craft and be in the field for the passion rather than because it’s the fastest money making scheme or the “in thing”. With the advancement of science and technology, Neptune says it would be much easier to learn the workings of DJing than when he had to learn it. There is no doubt that DJing is here to stay in Nigeria, and the influence that DJs have in promoting and introducing Nigerian music is significant. Neptune hope that other DJs, as well music artistes can realize this and give DJs their credit. With the unwavering passion and enthusiasm that DJ Neptune continues to have, it is unquestionable that his brand will continue to evolve. There is also hope that in the coming years, the music industry will see just how important DJs are in the promotion and circulation of Nigerian music.