“I want to show the world what it’s like to be a Nigerian youth. In this day and age, I think its really important to keep the culture documented in order for it not to be forgotten, also to show the world that truly we are a force to be reckoned with.”
– DJ Femo
“Normal” is definitely not the word you would typically use to describe Oluwafemi Gbadamosi. The 21-year old became known to many as DJ Femo following the release of her hit debut- Gbedu. Quickly enough, she proved that she was definitely not a one-hit wonder with her more recent tracks; Gbef and Adara featuring Fasina & GMK. While her music definitely attracts an audience, Femo’s passion for Nigerian culture and the creative scene is perhaps what keeps people locked in on her. That in mind, it should come as no surprise that when she isn’t making music, she’s running a platform called Something Radical (@soradng) which is in essence a space to curate content that showcases Nigerian creative and entrepreneurial youth culture.
For someone who has lived most of her life in London, it is interesting that she still refers to Lagos as home. Hers is definitely a case of “home is where the heart is”. While you may not entirely know where Femo’s heart is, know this- it definitely wasn’t in Marketing. At age 19, she dropped out of a Marketing degree at the University of Bradford. Her decision ended up not being all bad. According to her, although she wanted to study Behavioural sciences or Psychology after closing the door on Marketing, her dad encouraged her to study music production formally and see how far she could go. As of now, Femo is studying Audio Production at The SAE Institute.
For someone who seems to take life by its horns, one could easily assume that Femo was borderline fearless. However, she admits to having moments of self-doubt. In her words, “The big challenge comes with feeling like I’m not good enough but over the past 2 years I’ve shown myself that this is actually the right path for me. I genuinely believe in what I and my peers are doing, so that’s what keeps me going- seeing how far I’ve come and how far I can actually go.” Her internal struggles aside, Femo also discusses how the outflow of the Nigerian youth into other countries for studies and similar opportunities poses a challenge to potential creative collaborations. On this note, she says, “We all have to use social media and the internet to collaborate, and while that’s groundbreaking, it can also be very frustrating as a producer because it’s hard to get an artist or musician to deliver the way I want them to through the phone.” All in all, she feels that this particular situation is not entirely a bad thing for the music scene.
Femo describes music as a reflection of who she is. She adds that due to the fact that she grew up in a multicultural society, she is really multifaceted and all the different cultures have influenced the way she processes music. According to her, she is not able to pinpoint her style right now as she is just diving into production, and a lot of what she does is experimentation, but she is big on fusing genres and cultures, and you’d hear that in her mixes. It is hard to disagree with Femo on that, as anyone who has listened to any of her tracks would admit that she really is on to something.
In any case, Femo is not one to wait on approval as she confidently states, “I know it’s only a matter of time that it’ll take to get me to where I want to be, but I’m also really excited for what my career holds in the future.” For those equally excited about her future, Femo informs that she is in the early stages of production of a new EP, and an official announcement is coming soon. In the meantime, you can catch her on @reprezentRadio, a radio show she hosts every other Thursday, showcasing great sounds from ‘Young London.’