Friday, 30 July 2010
DJ JIMMY JATT: CELEBRATING NIGERIA'S GREATEST DISC JOCKEY.
I have not met Jimmy Jatt physically, but he's always been in my imagination since the early 90's. I don't know if Literary Days are still held in Nigeria's Secondary Schools, but back in the 90's, this special day was foremost on the events calendar of our Grammar, Comprehensive, High Schools and Federal Government Colleges. Though the day was called Literary and Debating Day, it was mostly characterised by dancing, choreography and miming of popular artists and their music. The DJ was the most important person of the day and not the guests on the high table who were usually teachers in the schools hosting the event. The organisers in my school, Ijebu-Ode Grammar School [ J.O.G.S ], were fond of paying Jimmy Jatt to perform at the event. Jimmy would then send one of his boys to deejay for him because of other engagements he had. I never saw this amazing DJ with my eyes, but I witnessed what he could do on the Wheels of Steel through his proxies.
Jimmy Amu was born and raised up in Lagos Island, an old section of Lagos State, Nigeria's former capital. He grew up with music all around him and he developed a deep interest in this genre of the arts. He started listening to a lot of Rap and Hip-Hop albums from the late 70's. It was not long before he started to collect albums of American acts like LL Cool Jay, Kurtis Blow, African Bambaata, NWA, etc. Jimmy Amu's [ JATT is an acronym from the initials of his brothers who encouraged him and gave him a hand up in his early days as a Disc Jockey ] rise as a phenomenal party DJ started when he opened shop on Odo Street in Surulere. Odo Street was located strategically in the sense that it was close to Ojuelebga, a very busy and commercial part of Surulere. This made Jimmy's Studio very accessible to budding Hip-Hop artists in the country. He started organising talent shows in his studios and ended up discovering many talented rappers in the process. He networked with Radio Stations and helped his discoveries get their unreleased songs on air.
There are a few Hip-Hop artists in Nigeria today that do not owe their breakthrough to Jimmy Jatt. He has been in the jockeying game for so long that he's become the Don King of Nigerian Entertainment. Long before we started having modern music labels like Kennis Music, Storm Records, Dove Records and the rest of them, Jimmy Jatt had been producing and promoting budding artists in his unique way. This is what has made him popular. Hip-Hop hopefuls identify with him and help spread the word about his skills. He also helped to nurture the careers of spin doctors like DJ Waxy, DJ Funky J and Mix Master Tee among others. Jimmy's Road Block Street Carnival brought famous artists like Ruff, Rugged and Raw, Daddy Showkey, Daddy Fresh, Junior and Pretty and Aladin [ He was known as Chuck Da Bone before his name change ] to our attention. Jatt has also performed at many concerts in Nigeria and internationally. He has made a Disc Jockeying a noble profession in Nigeria. Jimmy can be referred to as a legend.
If you've listened to the song 'Stylee', a collaboration between Jimmy Jatt, Tuface Idibia, Mode 9 and Elajoe, you'll understand what I've been saying all along about this amazing DJ. The song is out of this world and brought together Nigeria's Hip-Hop dons on a track. 'Stylee' the lead single of his career defining mix-tape 'Definition' was named as the 'Best Collabo' at the 2008 Hip-Hop World Awards and the song's video also won Best Music Video at the same event. Jimmy has two daughters and a beautiful wife. He survived a serious car crash on the morning of Saturday March 15, 2008. His GMC SUV ( Which was purchased from the US in 2005 ) was a total write off after the accident. We thank God that Jimmy Jatt is still with us today. He's currently working on a project called 'Battle Field'in an attempt to discover new DJ's. The project has rolled out and winners will be awarded sums of money and other incentives. His TV programme 'Jimmy's Jump Off' is presently being aired on local and international stations. Jimmy Amu is a man of many firsts and RV is proud of this great Nigerian. Keep the flag flying, mate.
Where To Find Jimmy Jatt Online: www.djjimmyjatt.net, twitter.com/jimmyjatt
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