Custodian Interview: Mufasa DMG

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Hell0 Mufasa how are you doing today?

I am good thank you bro.

Awesome. How did you get started in the music industry?

I have always had a love for music since I was young. Back then, I was really into Afrobeats and Chris Brown. Literally, he was the only American artist I listened too.  During A-Levels, one of my friends was a Semi- professional DJ; He was on decks for all the school parties and events. I got really interested in his equipment. I played with it a couple times, downloaded virtual DJ, you know everyone has Virtual Dj! *laughs* Later on, I got into uni, my cousin, Sammy, started Donzelli group, then I joined him, and we started running it together. I later decided that I was going to buy decks and start learning you know. This way back in October 2014. I started listening to a lot of DJ Olu mixes, I watched tutorials online, then started mixing and mixing, and within 3 months I was pretty good.

You mentioned your cousin Sammy, what exactly is Donzelli Group about?

Originally it started off with DJ management and then evolved into talent management, event planning and management and merchandising. We are into a whole lot. We are currently managing DJ Olu, DJ Baj, myself, Futago; a twin dance group, TSK; a young talented photographer and Omar; an artist who makes dope beats as well.

Mufasa DMG

Can you describe the first couple of months when you initially started learning about Dj’ing. 

When I first told my friends about DJ-ing and picking up the name Mufasa, they thought I was crazy. My three best-friends, Chubby, Qudus, and Deyemi loved the idea though. What stamped it for them was when they started hearing me at events here and there. This brought to realization, for them, the fact that I could actually do this and do it well.

What was the first event you DJ’d at? How was the experience for you?

My first event was actually my own party. I am the kind of guy that doesn’t wait for anyone to give me an opportunity. I took the initiative to have this event to give me great exposure. It was my birthday, originally supposed to be a private event, but then there were a few complications, because everyone kept asking if they could bring a plus one, you know how it goes. So I thought to myself, this is the chance to really put myself out there. I decided to just have it as a normal public event, in a club that was formerly called Mansion. The line up was obviously Olu and Baj and I decided I was going to include myself in it. At this point I was good enough to start a party, but definitely not at the best of my abilities and so I Dj’d the earlier set, and my bros DJ’d the next two sets. I played until like 1 o’clock ish. A lot of people heard me, and were surprised, like wow, this guy really is serious about this. From then, just a bunch of house parties and all. In March, I did an event called Face of Africulture in Nottingham. This was my first proper event, people were like “Oh my gosh, what’s your Soundcloud?”

What are the highs and lows of 2015 for Mufasa?

2015. Lows. Not that many lows, mostly highs to be honest. The lows will probably be not getting as many events as wanted. In 2015, It was kinda like once every month an event, or once  every 2 months, then suddenly from like October till now, I have been dj’ing every weekend, so it’s been such a huge blessing. I feel like I started blowing up after I put out my first mix, Gidi Lifestlye, you should listen to it on my Soundcloud. I personally think it’s my best mix in terms of transitions, very smooth.

We have seen in the last couple of years, many Dj’s venture into producing. Have you thought about branching out?

Hmm producing. I actually had an interest however, I study chemical engineering now, so juggling my academics, Dj’ing and producing isn’t feasible. At the moment I am not looking into it.

What are Mufasa’s plans for another main event this  year?

We have events often, if you know me, and I am doing an event, just know DJ Olu, DJ Baj and I are gonna be on deck. Guaranteed shut down. We’ve got something that might be coming through end of March/ Start of April. We also have an event on June 16th, an end of exams themed party. There’s gonna be one in London that weekend as well, featuring a special guest artist, definitely stay tuned for that.

With the quick rise in the entertainment industry, how has your social life been affected?

I have definitely gotten a lot more fans recently! Laughs! I can go somewhere and people ask “Oh, are you Mufasa?” People recognize me, I was actually quite surprised. One time I was FaceTiming one of my friends, she pointed the screen to her other friend in the room for me to wish her happy birthday, the girl started screaming! I have definitely gotten a lot more popular.

Another problem I’ve noticed with Nigerians in limelight, occasionally they tend to loose their head, and go wild, what keeps you level headed?

I think it’s a lot about the way you are brought up. For me, I’ve been privileged; so DJ’ing is merely a hobby. Some other people, who aren’t as fortunate, might make a lot of quick money and squander it due to influences from social circles. So I guess, the way you were brought up, sort of, affects your lifestyle. My parents are comfortable, so even with the new acquired acclaim and income, I don’t let it get to me.

How about with the ladies? Surely that was impacted a lot!

Girls have been. Laughs! We are grateful for how 2015 turned out! As a DJ now, I can’t say It hasn’t helped!

Mufasa DMG at Roar II

Over the last Christmas break,  while I was in Lagos, I saw a lot of Don Zelli shirts and hats, what other merchandise ideas do you have store for us this year?

We just invested in some new designs. At the moment, it’s the Hats that the crowds really love. We have single colors, double colors in many countries. We have had pop up shops at Mente De Moda. We also sell on eCommerce sites globally. This year, we are trying to get into more sweatshirts and hoodies. We only made some samples and we’ve noticed a lot people were fond of them, so we decided to produce them commercially this year.

Is there a particular designer DMG’s works with? Or are the designs just created by you and Sammy?

The key to DMG’s merchandises is to always speak class through our ritzy pieces and we let the message illuminate in their simplicity. Keeping it simple is key.

As there a lot of veteran Dj’s In Nigeria, where there anyones you particularly used to look up to?

Personally, my favorite DJ apart from Olu and Baj is DJ Xclusive. He is amazing, I’ve heard him live several times, he is crazy. Another DJ who is not as blown as Xclusive, is DJ Ruud: I heard him once at Grill At The Pent, very talented.

There has been a huge rise in DJ’ing industry in Nigeria over the last 3 years. What separates you from the other DJ’s?

Packaging is very important, if you understand what I mean. I have a kinda crew I am rolling with. Take DJ Cuppy for example, she is a prime example of full on packaging. For an example, you want a celebrity DJ for your event, there might be better DJ’s than her, but you will still call Cuppy for your event. She is essentially a brand name now, which comes with many perks. My mixes too have really helped keep me unique; I went for a friends 21st birthday in Sheffield, It was my Escape Promo Mix, and Genesis they played throughout. Whenever “It’s Mufasa” was said on the mix people looked at me, and I just had a light smile on my face! I also make sure I never ever dull at a party. I might not be as good as I wanted but I would never play badly. My standards are very high. The best thing at an event is to put someone good before me. Personally I don’t believe I can let anyone outshine me in an event, so no offense if you have DJ’d before me o! Laughs!
In the long run, are you looking to have a regular gig at a high end up club every weekend? To bring some stability into your career in terms of the number of events you have? 

I wouldn’t rule it out. For now, I just see it as a hobby, however you never know what opportunity lies ahead. The plan for me after uni is to move back to Nigeria to start work, and I actually want to go into the Oil industry too, so we will see how I manoeuvre everything. I hope to build my brand to a certain level whereby If you want me to DJ at your event, it must be of certain reputation, so in that case, I wouldn’t be DJ’ing everywhere, and can have my regular working hours job.

Do you have any particular interest in managing artists?

Yeah, we are actually looking at a couple of artists, I obviously can’t reveal the information regarding that yet! We have signed one already. We are currently looking for 2 more artists. We are trying to expand the Donzelli brand, we want it worldwide. Olu is moving back to Lagos after graduating this term, so we will have artists in the UK, Canada and Nigeria.

What is the long term goal of DMG?

The long term goal is to break into the whole entertainment industry as a whole. But we’re taking it one step at a time. Building blocks for the future.

What are some negative effects of being a DJ?

Song requests are very annoying. You hire a DJ for a reason, let them do their job. People complain about the genre, but they need to understand that there are 100s of more people in the same club enjoying it, so we can’t just play Afrobeats all night, have to mix in Bashment, and hip hop as well.

How are you managing your finances? There’s always that urge to splurge when we start making our ow money.

Since I was young, I’ve actually been very good with money management, my mum taught me the importance of it. I don’t just splurge anyhow, the money I am making is just adding to my allowance. It’s going well. My bank account looking a lot nicer! Laughs!’

Since you have DJ’d at various uni campuses, what particular uni’s will you say you enjoy DJ’ing at the most?

I have Dj’d in Birmingham, Loughborough, Hull to name a few. I think Birms might be my favorite city to perform at, I’ve shut down parties there all three times I gone down there. I respect DVB, they always throw banging parties. Shoutout to Vibe Entertainment and Tilda too.

Don’t you think you have missed out on socializing because you’re always at the DJ booth?

That’s the thing, for me, I have the most fun at the booth. When your Dj’ing, and make a crazy transition, the crowd gets hyped, you get hyped, so it’s very fulfilling. You are having just as much fun as they are. Truth is that you actually DJ better when you are slightly tipsy, so I usually have a couple of drinks before I go on my set.

Any final remarks?

I want to shout out to Donzelli! Best management out there, Shout out to Henny Boyz, best promoters, they always support, and to the young aspiring DJ’s, just keep practicing and you’ll get there. God bless.