It is no longer news that, Patrick Imohiosen, popularly known by the showbiz moniker, DJ Neptune, is the resident DJ of the BBNAIJA 2020 season 5 lockdown house. He appears like Ebuka Uchendu’s second in command on every eviction Sunday. Reputably one of Nigeria’s top Disk Jockeys, a record label owner and an entertainment impresario- he’s from Edo state and from a family of four and the only son. DJ Neptune is also happily married and blessed with a beautiful daughter, Jarnell.
In this interview with AZUKA OGUJIUBA, he recounted his journey into the entertainment industry and Disc Jockeying. He has featured a lot of celebrated music big wigs in his album and his most recent, released at the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic with the hit single titled ‘Nobody’ featuring Mr Eazi and Joeboy. He shared his opinion about the entertainment industry and on incessant cases of sexual violation amongst sundry issues.
Did you grow up wanting to be a DJ or just a random entertainer?
Not really, but I had it at the back of my mind to be an entertainer because I loved everything that had to do with entertainment. I remember while growing up, I used to play the drum in church and all basically I was a lover of music. I listened to all kinds of music and always listening to a lot of radio shows and I think its destiny that has brought me to where I am today.
You said you love the entertainment industry and love singing, did you want to be a singer?
I actually wanted to be a singer, but my dad wasn’t in support of that. I remember then I used to have a relative that visited us every Sunday who was a good singer with a fantastic voice. And he was putting me through voice training and all, but my dad was like- no it won’t work. Along the line, he passed away and as the only son, I had to pursue my dream.
What prompted you to be a DJ?
Like I said earlier, I attended a party and that was my first time seeing a DJ mix and everything they did that day felt and looked like magic. His hands were on deck, there was a mixer and then the songs kept repeating itself. I was just there watching and in shock. On getting home, I asked myself if I actually wanted to be a singer or a DJ. And I felt DJ was it for me and I had to go with it.
How then did you start your journey into Disc Jockeying?
It started immediately I had an encounter with the DJ I meet on the wheels that night at the party. So, I started listening to radio shows and hearing DJs play and trying to get familiar with songs and how the job was being done. Luckily for me, I met DJ Douglas who is now based in the UK. I understudied him and used to go to his studio back then just to watch him and would always follow him to parties, carrying equipment and all. Gradually, he gave me an audience and put me through the art. From there I got on radio and had that cheap breakthrough where everyone started getting familiar with me. Then moving forward, I got a deal with storms record then owned by Obi Asika and we started building the foundation.
How did you coin the name DJ Neptune?
I get this question all the time. A few years into my career, I didn’t have a stage name- not because I couldn’t get a name, but I wanted something that would stand out. I tried to mess around with my name Patrick. I tried DJ P. I tried DJ Master P, but it wasn’t sounding so catchy. So, I just took my time while that was happening I was already getting booked for events and people were getting familiar and there were these particularly guys that came into an event I was playing at and kept on saying that this party is going to be a blast. And they said this Neptune is going to do what he knows best and all that. I realized that there was something people were already knowing about, I went back home, did my homework and made sure there was no DJ in the world named Neptune. Then I decided to stick to the name, DJ Neptune.
Would you please tell me your real name?
My name is Patrick Ihmose from Edo state family of four, born and brought up in Lagos. I’ve lived all my life in Lagos and still hustling in Lagos. I am the only son and the last child. I have three sisters and two half-sisters. My dad grew up in the UK.
The first time I met you was at SWE bar…
Yeah, shout out to Jibola. I mean, they were running SWE bar then because I used to play there every weekend and then Noble Igwe came up with his slush party and I was the official DJ for that. And it was amazing if you ever attended SWE bar then- you would know that it was a good and nice party. So, it was an amazing experience then. All the superstars you see now went through SWE bar and it also gave me another side of Lagos which is on the island.
How long did it take you to engrave your name amongst Nigerian celebrity DJs?
I would say you just need to work hard and be dedicated. It’s God’s grace for me being in the industry for 19 years and staying true to the profession and doing the right thing.
Has there been a time in your career when you wanted to give up?
There has never been a time I wanted to give up because when I came into this craft, it was all about the passion and not the money. Even when the money wasn’t really coming in- the passion still kept driving me to where I am today. I mean you wouldn’t want to give up from what’s giving you joy and now paying you cash while at it.
Did you have any mentor while you were coming up as a DJ?
Yes, definitely. Back home I look forward to DJ Jimmy Jatt and DJ snoop. I used to record tapes during Friday night shows then and whole lot of them.
Can you tell us in a layman term what a DJ album is?
I mean for DJ putting out tracks, I always say if you are capable of pulling a collaboration with an artiste, go for it. And if you have the production skills that’s another plus. I will give you an example; I’ve been doing this as far back as 2010, and it’s all the experience that I have gathered from then till now that is working for me as a DJ and as an Artiste.
Do you think that the Government taking interest In the Entertainment industry would benefit us more as Nigerians rather than putting all their energy into oil and gas and the rest?
Yes, definitely. I mean the industry back then can’t be compared to the one of today from what the artistes are making from shows, bookings and all that. The industry has evolved and new technology has come in which has obviously played a key role and would still get bigger and better. And I feel the government needs to wake to this on time and realize that this is an industry that has single handedly empowered people and created jobs for people this putting foods on their tables. So, they need to start seeing the bigger picture and do huge things that will bring in more turnovers for them rather than putting all resources in oil and gas.
Apart from music what other things are you willing to do either in or outside showbiz?
I have started tilting towards that direction. I acted in Flatmate by Basketmouth and I’ve been through two different episodes and I know there is that part of me waiting to be shown and once I get the opportunity, I’d go for it big time.
Your last single was a big hit, was it your plan to release the song during the pandemic?
So shout out to Mr. Eazi and Joeboy. The honest truth is that jam was to drop on the 13th of March which was around the time the country went on lockdown but for some weird reasons, we shift the date to 5th of March and that was because Joe boy was meant to drop his single towards the end of March. So, the plan was let’s give the song like three weeks or four weeks airplay, so that Joeboy can drop his single. But I guess that worked in my own favour and everyone just caught the bug and all. I feel blessed by everyone who took part in the challenge especially the dancers and to everyone who downloaded and listened to it. Once again shout out to all the artistes that worked with me on the record.
How was working with Mr Eazi and Joeboy?
Eazi and I have always had good working relationship. So, working relationship has always been there so it wasn’t much of a burden. Though he was travelling all around then, but Joeboy had recorded his part and I sent to Eazi and he was like; ‘’guy, if I’m not on this record, me and you go quarrel.” Then he came through a week after and sent me his version of the song and went into the studio to mix and master it. So, it wasn’t really a hard one to pull off.
What did you study at the university?
I studied Public Administration at the prestigious Lagos State University.
What is your candid opinion about the Nigerian entertainment industry and our artistes?
Big ups to our artistes from the big ones to the upcoming ones. Everyone is on fire. And right now they can literally listen to our music outside and vice versa and I feel it’s a gradually process and the right stuff to be put in place cause there’s a lot of money to be made in the industry. Our boys are bridging the gap and all and it’s evident to the other part of the world.
Do you think the role of DJ is really appreciated in the Industry?
I mean it’s getting better from what it used to be like yesteryears. And I would say that a lot of upcoming DJ would benefit a lot because of what the pioneers have done. We might not be earning up to what’s expected, so I feel like a DJ needs to understand the power they have and come together in one voice. And like I said, the Industry is evolving.
How do you feel being the resident DJ for Big Brother Naija?
I feel blessed and honoured. Shout out to the Big Brother Naija crew for reaching out. I mean I have had that working relationship with them. And I feel being a professional at the job and getting the job done well helps too, because nobody wants to engage you and now have to bother about you not messing up in some certain areas because of the pandemic they decided to let it be for 10 weeks instead of 4 weeks. And I feel grateful for the opportunity and platform given because it has opened more doors for more gigs and all that.
What’s your take on domestic violence and rape?
I don’t subscribe to it. I mean it’s not a nice thing and wouldn’t be nice seeing you caught in that web. The best thing to do is walk away if you are in any unhealthy relationship.
How do you unwind?
Even when I’m not busy I still work. I almost don’t have time for myself, but I always find time to strike the balance.
What’s your favourite food and colour?
Pounded Yam Ogbono soup while my favourite colour is black.
How would you describe your dress sense?
I like to try on new things, but in the process of doing that, I like to be comfortable because that’s key for me. If the weather is hot you don’t expect me to wear extremely certain things. I like to be comfortable with whatever I’m putting on and also like to be stylish as well. I basically just try what is being thrown at me that fits well.
Which Nigerian Designers do you like the more?
There are a lot of them- from the Mai Atafo to the Okunoren twins and Kamsi Charles. But I work with Kamsi Charles more because I love his stuffs and creativity and we have that synergy.