Sunday Morning has never been the same since 96.9 Cool FM introduced the Gospel man on the wheels of steel – DJ Mordu. Being an integral part of the Sunday Praise Jam show hosted by OAP Freeze and Jibike, DJ Mordu has overtime become the medium through which the Gospel-on-wax is being aired. A lot of Gospel artistes have him to thank for being the bridge by which they are able to reach their fans.
Not only is Mordu Cool FM’s DJ, he is also the official DJ of the once-in-a-year event, Family Praise Jam and the official DJ of Xist Music Africa – home to Christian rapper Bouqui. He is Bouqui’s official DJ and had the privilege of being the official DJ of American Christian rapper Da T.R.U.T.H’s “Love Hope & War” Tour in Lagos. He won the National Gospel Award for Best Gospel DJ in 2013 and was nominated for the Best Christian DJ in Africa at the 2014 Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA).
DJ Mordu submitted that realizing purpose and why you are on earth is the most important thing and how you come by any achievement. He feels Gospel artistes; haven understood their purpose should fulfill their ministry with wisdom. He sat with SelahAfrik’s Alex Amos in this interview and gave insights on these issues while taking time to explain his shape, the urban Gospel music, the Nigerian Gospel Music industry and more.
Can you tell us about your background, your education and childhood
DJ Mordu: Yeah, I had a very humble beginning but it was fun. My childhood was fun because I played a lot (laughs). I grew up in Alimosho Local Government Area in Lagos. I had a lot of fun in school because I was a clown (laughs). I proceeded to the University of Lagos from there. My dad and my Mom are both from Edo state and I have four siblings – two girls and two guys, (the last 2, man… big problem [laughs]). You can summarize my childhood with this phrase – “played a lot.”
SelahAfrik: How have you been able to juggle being a DJ and your education?
DJ Mordu: If I must be sincere, you will always give more priority to one than the other. That’s the bottom line. If I’d known earlier on in life that I was going to be a DJ, I probably wouldn’t have studied the course I did in the University of Lagos but then again, I think it was predestined.
SelahAfrik: Considering that Disk Jockeying is going good for you, do you intend to practice with your studies?
DJ Mordu: That will be a resounding-capslock-NO! You know when you have the capslock active with the light is on and then you type “NO”? That’s my answer.
SelahAfrik: Tell us about how you began your journey into the world of disc jockeying
DJ Mordu: It started from secondary school. I used to save my money up from Monday to Friday to buy CDs at the end of the week. My mother got worried at a point. Then I spent a lot of time listening to DJs on radio too. It went for about a year and my father thought I was going to lose my ears (laughs). It grew into a passion from there. I realize that those things shaped my passion and it became hard for me to go secular because there is something that just tends towards positivity about me, I really can’t explain it. I did some gigs in church and when I got into the university, it took a new turn.
SelahAfrik: You seem to be more urban in your choice of music, what informs this perception?
DJ Mordu: I believe that we are shaped in different ways. I’m authentically hip hop if I’m to be sincere with you and understanding your shape helps a lot. Some are prone to party mixes, I tend towards Hip Hop. What informs my perception is the fact that I understand that there is this particular age limit of people I’m supposed to reach out to and I just go ahead and fulfill my ministry in that regards. I’m not trying to do more than myself. I recognize and respect what people like Don Moen, Donnie McKlurkin, Juanita Bynum are doing but I think I relate better with the likes of Lecrae, Ambassadors, Da T.R.U.T.H. As a matter of fact, I got saved through those guys and I think part of my ministry is reaching out to them – people like me.
SelahAfrik: Your choice of genre being Hip Hop, do you think you favour the foreign counterpart more?
DJ Mordu: Oh well (laughs) maybe I do but there is a point where I balance it. I have party mixes where I use more of indigenous music so I won’t really say I favour them more… We are trying to introduce Christian urban music into the mainstream music scene so we have to begin with the best guys, the foreign guys comes first in that order because they are good at what they do, then the minority doing it right in Nigeria follows. We cannot shove Christian Hip Hop down the fans throat because it is still new to them.
SelahAfrik: Will you say being a DJ is a ministry for you as well?
DJ Mordu: Basically, it is a ministry for me. I understand what matters to God, I understand why I am here on earth. I understand that I am shaped for the urban music and its culture, it’s not for myself because what matters to God is that we bring as many folks as we can back to Him so it’s a ministry to me. I’m out to reach out to this certain set of people. I’m not the artiste but I think we should do more mission tours to universities and places where the youths can be harvested for God. I’m not trying to do more than I should be doing but after all said and done, I want to stand and say I did my very best.
SelahAfrik: What’s your take on the Nigerian Gospel music industry, do you think we are doing enough?
DJ Mordu: Shout out to the Nigerian Gospel music industry but I think there is still a lot that need to be done and it all comes from understanding your purpose. A lot of the stakeholders want to sell out and it is quite easy to do that if all you want is money and a good life but we are different and this initial phase seems not to be easy but we have a greater purpose and we should try to give our best. Take me for instance, I’m a gospel DJ… shout out to DJ Gosporella… we are doing something that has never been done before, we understand the struggles but we are different. You need to understand that this industry is growing and it’s like the secular counterpart 10 years back. You need to know your purpose in all of it and also be an entrepreneur. You cannot put in work this year and then chill the next year because it is new and still growing and there is still a lot to be done. Take Nosa of Chocolate City for instance, the label plays the part of the business and he’s not slacking on his brand and creativity either.
SelahAfrik: Does being a Gospel DJ alienate you in any way from the secular counterpart?
DJ Mordu: Yes it does but then I understand that if these guys could have done the same to my King, what makes you think they won’t do it to me? So the whole looking down on down, taking shots and likes cannot be compared to the glory that awaits me when I am no longer here and I understand that life is a temporary assignment so it’s easier for me to live having this understanding. The Christians folks need to speak up because when you switch on your TV, no one is really saying anything. It’s like watching the same thing and it’s not healthy for you or the children.
SelahAfrik: Being a radio DJ, is it not challenging trying to keep up with other gigs, how do you juggle the two?
DJ Mordu: It’s not funny and it’s a lot of work. There is a part where you need to be on radio every week and bring in new materials because you cannot afford to sound the same way and there is the other part where you have to be at a gig every weekend. I get to sleep in my house (laughs), maybe 3 times in a week and then there is all these books I need to read but I think I have found a way to balance all these overtime.
SelahAfrik: Between Keeping up with your belt on radio and the other gigs, do you get time to relax?
DJ Mordu: Yes… sure
SelahAfrik: What do you do for relaxation?
DJ Mordu: I like to hang out with friends. Then there are times I like to get seafood and chill in my room, chat on phone and play FIFA 14 and I’m just chilling all alone. Aside that, I love to go see movies too.
SelahAfrik: What’s a regular Sunday in your life like?
DJ Mordu: Well, I’m up by 5am every Sunday and I have to be on air by 6am, mixing till about 12noon. (Laughs), it’s a lot of work and I get tired after the whole stuff and for the rest of the day, I try to chill… oh well, do I get to chill? (Laughs), I hang with friends, chat with friends but that’s if I don’t sleep off (laughs).
SelahAfrik: What’s the most recent gadget you bought?
DJ Mordu: That will be my Mac Book Pro. I just got that a few months ago and I think that’s the most recent I bought.
SelahAfrik: What are you most comfortable wearing, suit or denims?
DJ Mordu: I think I like denims more. I am more comfortable wearing that. I like to be urban with tees, snapback, Timberland boots. If I need to be official, I know how to fix that, otherwise, I like my denims.
SelahAfrik: If you were to rate your top 3 artistes, who amongst the majority will make your list?
DJ Mordu: Basically Lecrae, Andy Mineo and Mali Music make my Top 3 list.
SelahAfrik: What does the future holds for DJ Mordu?
DJ Mordu: For about a year now, I have been away from real work, and by real work, I mean I have been isolating myself and trying to understand what I should really be doing because I am not trying to do more thgan I should. I just trying to understand what I should be doing for the rest of my life so I think you should watch out for a contemporary TV Channel, a record label and a few other stuffs. There’s a lot on the table and we are grinding real hard, trying to bring the souls to God.
SelahAfrik Give shoutout
(Laughs) give a shoutout? I think this is my favorite part of the interview.
There are quite a lot of people I love so much from the depth of my heart and they happen to be the closest people I know…I love them so much.
My shoutout goes out to my Uncle Toluwaleke Odunuga (P. Leke the Realest Gee), FunkyDee (Our Linda Ikeji, Beat by Dre and Bella Naija), Meka George (Tumininu’s baby), Tumininu (mother), Olamide Oladimeji (family!!!), Dami Oladapo (White House Amala Down), Choko (grand mum baby), Ifeolatt (Party TurnUp), Saga (shey you get? & Laughter!!!), Femi (tiny legs), Dieko (straight face), Feyi (sleeeeeeeep).
(To Dami Ladapo, Ifeolatt and Choko, you guys have no idea how much we love you, and are patiently waiting for you guys to be part of the family instead of being TurnUp Geez.)
Love you guys so very much mehn and also to SelahAfrik, my shout out goes out to the whole team, thanks for looking out for me and also taking the time out… Appreciate it.
I should really just go. Had too much fun already!!!!!!! Bless.
Catch DJ Mordu on Cool FM’s Praise Jam on Sundays from 6am-12pm as he dishes out the best of Gospel mixes.
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