In a male dominated industry, choosing a career as a professional DJ wasn’t taken seriously
until recent years. So when a female decides to ply the same route, how does the society
respond? What steps does she take to attain the much needed recognition and success? These
and many more questions are what Nigerian born US based female DJ Soupa Model answered
during this interesting interview session.
IN THE BEGINNIG, YOU OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T INTEND TO BE A PROFESSIONAL DJ. SO HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Wow! It was all a dream; it’s been long time coming. I have been through a lot, but I stayed
motivated, persistent and consistent. I’ve always loved music but never did I say I wanted
to pursue Deejaying or Music Production. One day, I ran into a music store, and decided to
purchase music production software, and then I randomly selected Reason software. It was
complicated, but I read a lot of tutorials and started using it. Right now, I use Logic and Protools
software for music production. As for Deejaying, I got the inspiration from a friend of mine who
had just started Deejaying and I thought it was cool as well. I’ve always loved music and was
always the person friends come to when they needed mini mixes, and that’s how I started.
SO, WHY THE NAME “DJ SOUPA MODEL”?
My friends gave me the nickname “supermodel” because I was tall and slim, so I guess it
fitted perfectly. When it was time to select my stage name, I went through tons of names.
It just didn’t seem cool initially but all of a sudden “light bulb moment.
I chose the name DJSOUPAMODEL but changed the ‘Super’ to ‘Soupa’ for uniqueness, and it stuck since
then. Its funny seeing peoples reaction when I tell them my name is “DJ Soupa Model”. They’re always
like “oh ok” you sure you can be a DJ and Produce too? It’s definitely marketable.
WHAT GAVE YOU THAT INITIAL PUSH?
I would say it’s “my desire to try new things” because I’ve always wanted to try new and
challenging things out of the norm.
WHICH CAME FIRST? DEEJAYING OR MUSIC PRODUCTION
Production came first, then Deejaying.
SO TELL US, WHO IS KEHINDE A. O?
Kehinde A.O is the first African female DJ; first African female producer; a history maker,
motivator, twin, female, business woman, but most importantly, a wife and mother. I’m
married to my secret crush and blessed with a son. He’s two years old now and that’s where all
my motivation comes from, that’s my foundation and the reason why I do all I do. It’s safe to
say I’m very friendly and funny (at least my friends say so). I love to crack jokes, hang out and
cook. I can cook pretty much everything and anything; don’t let the look fool you. I’m also a
Grammy associate; one of my most exciting accomplishments of 2012. I’m a core DJ, number
one coalition of the world’s most influential DJs, and a nappy boy (T-pain) DJ. I also own my
own indie label, music production, and artiste management company (Music BLVD). I love
challenges. What you say I can’t do is exactly what I want to do.
WHAT WAS GROWING UP LIKE FOR YOU?
Just like any other typical kid, it was fun. Had its ups and downs but you can see the end result.
I was quite a tomboy growing up. I loved fashion and soccer as well. There’s a video of myself
son YouTube dribbling some folks during a match. I loved playing billiards too and used to beat
most guys as I loved the competition. Their first impression was always “Who’s this prissy girl”
but after each game I usually accorded mad respect.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO NIGERIA BEFORE AND IF NOT WHEN DO YOU INTEND TO VISIT NIGERIA?
I’ve always been back and forth but I lived in Ibadan for a bit too. Don’t think I can’t speak
Yoruba; I’m deeply into my roots. I’m very fluent in it, incase you choose to ask me if I
understand or not, you’ve been warned (laughs).
WHAT PART OF NIGERIA ARE YOU FROM?
I’m from Osun State, Nigeria and I love the place. Both parents are from there, but I was born in
Tuscon, Arizona (USA)
WHO THROWS THE BEST PARTIES AT THE MOMENT?
There are quite a lot out here in the states. I work with a lot of entertainment companies and
would be unfair to name some.
SINCE YOU’RE AN INTERNATIONAL DJ, WHICH OTHER REGIONS HAVE YOU WORKED?
I’ve worked in different countries; in the states, Paris and UK. I’m looking forward to putting
some shows in Nigeria by the end of the year.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST EVENT YOU EVER PLAYED AT?
That was in 2003 –a pre-wedding party; I still remember like yesterday and I did exceptionally
WHAT’S THE BEST EVENT YOU’VE PLAYED AT?
That would be T-pain’s concert. It’s still the biggest and best till date!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST RECORD YOU BOUGHT?
Wow! Don’t really remember, but I think it’s “The boy is mine” by Brandy/Monica. This was way
before I became a DJ.
OF ALL THE SONGS IN YOUR POSSESSION, WHICH ONE NEVER FAILS DJ SOUPA MODEL?
“Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe and “This is how we do it” by Montell Jordan, but currently it’s
definitely “Cashin out” by Cash Out and “Kukere” by Iyanya. Infact, I’ve got a lot.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA AND GLOBALLY?
It’s forever evolving in Nigeria. I’m really excited with the direction it’s going. A lot of artistes
are not taking chances and looking to try new materials, sounds, etc. That’s what it’s all
about. Getting out of your comfort zone but most importantly, give yourself that diverse and
international appeal. Globally, from a producer’s perspective, it’s getting more and more
creative. I’m really heavy on my Electro and Dubstep production now. A lot of artistes tend to
like that nowadays.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OF ALL TIME?
It’s called “Nothing” by Brandy because I love her vocal arrangements, and her range is insane.
I’m definitely a brandy fan. I also love Babyface’ “Sorry for the stupid things”, it’s also another
YOU’VE WORKED WITH BEENIE MAN AND WIZKID IN THE PAST, AND MOST RECENTLY THERE WAS A TWEET FROM YOU WHICH SUGGESTS THAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH ICEPRINCE. WHAT WAS IT LIKE, WORKING WITH THESE PEOPLE?
Each experience is always different. Beenie man is a ‘Bad Man’, he’s a very cool dude and has
got high energy so you’ve got to meet his level of energy when working with him. He’s very
professional as well. Wizkid aka Wizzy is my dude. I can boldly say that he’s one of the most
professional artistes I’ve ever worked with. He comes to the studio ready to work, gets into the
booth, 2-3 hours after, it’s a wrap. You tend to see why he’s so successful and good at what he
does. He’s really focused. Ice Prince is another good friend of mine. We’re definitely working
on something too much to handle. I love working with Iceprince because he’s very creative
and unpredictable. That’s what I like about him. You’ll definitely hear something soon. I’ve
got tons of materials coming out with most of your favourite Nigerian artistes. Folks love the
Soupamodel production sound, so let’s get it.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST COLLABORATION EVER?
Even though I’ve had quite a few, the biggest on my mind would be with Beenie Man. I just
loved the energy and chemistry. I’ve worked with some other great artistes as well such as the
EME camp, Wyclef, Jason Derulo, Mims, Soulja boy, Day 26 e.t.c.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT PARTYING, HOW DO YOU RELAX?
Let me clarify that I don’t party that much, if I’m not Deejaying. I’m typically not on the scene at
all. My schedule is so cramped up that I don’t even have time to chill or party, but when I’m not
Deejaying, I’m producing. However, I do cherish my personal time with my family. That’s set in
stone and most people know me for that. I like spending time with my family.
HOW LARGE IS YOUR VINYL COLLECTION?
In this day and age, I don’t think anyone uses vinyls any more. My hard drive is over Three
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF CDJ’S?
It’s good. Whatever rocks your boat, as long as the end result is good. I use Cds (pioneer) and
turntables (Technics M5G).
TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECTS YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT.
Sigh…a whole lot. I’ve got works with my artiste DI’JA; that’s top on the list. In Nigeria, Ive got
projects with Ice prince, Davido, Brymo, Vector, 2face, Wizkid, Banky W, Skales and Shaydee.
While on the International scene, I’m currently working on materials for Mims, Newboyz,
Rupee, Nicki Minaj, and much more. I produce music for film and TV projects as well (The
kardashians, love and hiphop, etc). So you should start seeing a lot of new materials rolling out
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST MOMENT YOU EVER EXPERIENCED AT AN EVENT?
In Florida, someone challenged me to a dance battle (laughs), so I agreed. Of course, he starts
to show off with his break dancing skills. Now mind you, this was when the movie “You got
served” was just released. Meanwhile, my dance crew had learnt all the dance moves, so I let
the dude finish, before I started my own session. I gave a few power moves, and dove right
through the dudes legs, and the club went wild. It was a wrap (Laughs).
WHAT OTHER DJS DO YOU RATE HIGHLY?
I’ve got mad respect for a lot of DJs. Tons of them are doing big things, like DJ Tony Neal who’s
the CEO of the core DJs who definitely tops my list. Also, DJ Jimmy Jatt and I worked together
for the Nigerian reunion about two months ago here in DC; I’ve also got mad respect for him.
He’s a very good friend of mine as well.
DO YOU CONSIDER BEING A FEMALE DJ A CHALLENGE?
Definitely! It’s a territory that’s male dominated but I never saw it as a challenge, I just had to
work twice as hard and be on my A game all the time. It’s nothing really, the talent speaks for
its self and I’m not trying to be cocky in anyway, shape or form. I’ve just learnt to give 200%
every single time and stay creative.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE OUR MCS?
Everyone is doing his or her own thing.
WHAT DO YOU DO ASIDE THE DANCE MUSIC SCENE?
Production wise, I produce R‘n’b, Dubstep and the Afrobeat genres as well.
HOW WOULD YOU ADVICE UP AND COMING DJS/PROMOTERS?
Stay motivated and give it your all as though your last breath depends on it. Nothing is given
freely, you have to earn it. Stay creative, be consistent, have your own uniqueness and selling
point. Lastly, always pray.
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