Artist Spotlight: Chief Dejjy
What is your name?
Name Is Ayodeji Lapite but everybody in the world knows me as Chief Dejjy.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born June 25th to Abayomi & Oluwatoyin. A music lover and also a guy who values his education before anything. I graduated from the State University of New York, University At Buffalo. Graduated with my BA in Psychology. I always wanted to be involved with music but the value of education held me back so I was able to finish and get my BA In 2013.
When did you start doing this?
Right before I graduated from the University at Buffalo, I was involved in music, doing talent shows, Djing at house parties and also making mix tapes, which you can catch on Sound Cloud with over 15,000 plays. I started writing music and being around music making in the spring of 2014 with my brothers Jr. aka MosFlow & JayMoh. Finally that same spring, I finally dropped my first official single "KaLojo" (Lets Go And Dance) Produced By Big H & Mixed & Mastered By JMP Sounds.
What Was The Feedback From Those Around You (Family, Friends)
The Reaction I got from my friends was basically "ABOUT TIME" I Was always the guy singing in the hall ways in high school, all through college I would be singing out loud and people would just like tell me why are you even in college go and start making music. So they were kind of skeptical when I started to take it serious, it actually took a couple airplays in Nigeria, US & The UK for them to actually realize I was taking it serious finally. They would constantly search me on YouTube and I would receive random messages like "I didn't know you were on YouTube" or "You need to do a song with WizKid" random text messages that always made me smile. And as for my family, they are definitely my biggest supporters. My dad always uses my cover art for my songs as his Display pic on WhatsApp, BBM & So on... My little sister, Oyin would always post my track on her page and write the sweetest things which always made me feel like I'm up there with the best of them. I mean I have the best support system in my family. At every family gathering they would play my videos & songs on YouTube, and the joy of it all is watching them sing along and Dance. Brings me so much joy & satisfaction because as long as I have them in my corner the sky is really just the beginning. As Long as they got me I feel like I can take on the world. GOD WILLING!
What Inspires Your Art?
Honestly, the joy of dancing and seeing people happy makes me always wanting to do a happy dance song. But really the inspiration is really the things around me and the situations of the moment. But really the joy music brings to me just inspires me to make happy music.
Where is your favorite place & why?
Recording Studio is My Favorite Place. As An Artist Who Is Still Growing & Still Willing To Learn More, I Just Like To Be In The Studio And Just Listen To Different Artists & Different Songs. It's Just Like My Happy Place. The Vibe Just Does It For Me. With That Being Said Big Shout out To My Brother JayMoh Of JMP Sounds Who Always Left His Doors Open For Me To Come In Whenever. Bless Him.
Who Would You Like To Work With/Which Artist Do You Admire?
Me for one I'm really big on unity at my home front, which is NEW YORK. I Would Really Love To Work With Every New York Artist, As long as they serious because studio time and beats ain't free. LOL.... I mean there are a lot of great talents out of New York it would be dumb for me not to want to work with them. At the end of the day, I always tell myself, "Support Those Who Support You" & Since I Started This Journey A Couple Of NY Artist Has Always Shown Me Great Support. The Likes Of Mr. Bello Great Guy, Always Showing Love And The First To Write Me & Ready To Critique The Work, which I am always, opened to. That's real right there. Another Artist I have great respect for is Olahyinka. We have mutual respect for each other as I always tell her I am her biggest supporter and she says the same to me. Just know we got something in works. Sudan, Owen, Ogasilachi, Just To Name A Few Dope Artist Out Of New York I can't name them all. I Already Worked With CodeMan (Oro Ife) Alhaji Currency (Ibebe) & Balaish (Coming Soon) Those Are My Guys. I'm Just Really All About The New York Movement & I Respect each and every artist out the Tri State & The DMV, too Many To Mention.
In Terms Of The A List Artist, WizKid, Tekno, Olamide Are My Top 3 I Would Love To Work With. Toby Grey Is Another Talented Vocalist I Wished for a long time To Work With And Thank God It Has Happened (Look Out!).
When It Comes To Admiration, The Likes Of WizKid, Tekno, And AyoJay Comes To Mind. Not Only Because Of The Great Music They Deliver, Its How Their Stories Changed Through Music. Now They Are Probably The Most Sorted Out African Artist. God Will Change Our Story Too One Day.
What Is Your Favorite Piece & Why?
Man This One Is Tough Because All My Work Has A Story Behind It. From Where It All Began With KaLojo to Oti Pari To Tòlòngò and Now BAKASI. But If I Have To Choose One It Would Be TÒLÒNGÒ, Because It Was Just A Fun Track And Maybe One Of My Best Work Yet. From The Cover Art To The Reception Of The Song Itself Then To The Struggle Of Recording The Track In Nigeria With No Light In The Studio To No Gas To Put In The Generator Because Of The Fuels Scarcity During This Period. Overall The Experience Alone Makes It One Of My Favorite Work. We Also Shot The Video In Nigeria In That Hot Sun & My Skin Don Black Hahaha. You Just Got To Love It. TÒLÒNGÒ I Would Say Is My Favorite Piece. For Now. Because We Not Done Dropping Songs. Got A Lot For 2017 I Hope Everyone Is Ready!
People May Not Know But You Are Related To Nollywood Director/Producer Kunle Afolayan, How Has That Helped You Or Does That Give You An Advantage Over Others?
Yes, My Sister Is Married To Him. They have 2 Kids together and honestly that is all it is. I Admire Uncle K, His Works are always among the best if not the best out of Nollywood. He Works harder than anyone I know. So me as an artist I don't want it given to me, I want to earn it and the way Uncle K is, he won't just say okay let's go let me go and introduce you to 2Face, D'Banj and co. No. He sat me down several times and told me it's all about hard work and dedication. He would always be there if I need him but he wants me to get it myself so I can appreciate it more. So everyday I am grateful for those words as I rather get it done myself than get spoon-fed and not appreciate the hard work others put in. So with that being said, Uncle K is very supportive of me and always there when I need someone to talk to like a mentor kind of thing. I appreciate him.
Your most recent work "BAKASI" ft. HKN Gangs Own DeeKay, how did that come about?
Before I break it down on how it all happened, make sure to go check out the BAKASI Video. Directed By Nneka (@africanjawn) Shot By Maxwell Jennings. OUT ON YOUTUBE RIGHT NOW!!!
The song really is a product of a relationship I had built with DeeKay himself a couple years ago when I was in Nigeria for a couple months. Met him a few times and we spoke a lot on IG & whatsapp. We always spoke on working together or something you know and as God wanted it, my manager Chrissy from C&F Management also is good friends with DeeKay. Chrissy actually set it up for it to be a go. She contacted the producer, StreetBeatz who has produced for the likes of Castro, Sarkodie just to name a few. He sent the beat and both Chrissy & I told each other yea this one we gotta put DeeKay on it, and it all truthfulness that's how it happened. And I must say it was really great working with DeeKay & Streetbeatz. Very pleasant Folks and I am so ready to get in the studio again with them. Oh yea I must mention, I recorded my part at Jaymohs studio here in Brooklyn and DeeKay Did his part in Ghana, thank God for technology.
After the song got massive love from people and blogs that I didn't even expect, we decided to shoot a video for it, which we shot here in New York. As I mentioned earlier please make sure to check out the video, it's out on YouTube please check it out and feel free to give feed backs.
We see you are related to Big Sheff aka Nigeria's Rick Ross, should we be expecting a collaboration with him or any plans with all these artist we see you doing shows with in 2016?
Big Sheff is out there doing his thing and I am forever proud of him. He is a very talented guy, he sometimes makes his own beats, records himself I mean the guy does it all and every time I'm in Nigeria you can catch me riding out with my brother. As per collaboration when the time is right you guys would be BLOWN! Trust! He is one guy that I know is really about to take the industry by storm. Make sure to check out his latest single "Careless" (IYALAYA ANYBODY). As for other artist, God has plans for me this year 2017, just really try and keep up with me. Follow me on IG, Twitter & Snapchat @chiefdejjy For All Of Them & You Will See That The Work Don't STOP.
As 2017 Just Began, Baba God Knows I Want To Put Out More Music, More Videos, And More Shows. So God Willing That Is What I Am Going To Do. Drop More Songs, Drop More Videos, More Shows More ChiefDejjy 2017 & Beyond. With My Management Team C&F Management & With God On My Side, All These Plans Would Come To Pass. Just Keep Me In Your Prayers.
What Advice Do You Have For Anybody Out There Who Wants To Be An Artist Like Yourself?
It's Simple. Believe In Yourself, Work Hard & Be Dedicated To Your Craft. When I First Began Many Said I Wasn't Good Enough Or "I Am Wack" & Many More Other Negative Things. Even till today they say those things but I don't let it bother me because at the end of the day, I'm doing what makes me happy & if they don't like it I cant help it. You can't control what others feel. Just keep believing in yourself and continue to work hard. God has a plan for everyone. What shall be shall be don't listen to others who will put you down just to put them selves up.
Facebook: Ayo Dejjy