DJ Neptune is a legend in his own right, and he continues to bless the masses with his music. Deemed the Funk Flex or DJ Khaled of Afrobeats, the Nigerian DJ, producer, and radio personality has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, collaborating with nearly all of the top African artists in the game.
A decade in, Neptune proves no dream is too big, as he continues to live out his own on the daily.
Fast forward to 2021, DJ Neptune returns with his highly-anticipated album titled Greatness 2.0, the follow up to his 2018 debut Greatness. The new star-studded project hails a roster of all-star talent, including Mr. Eazi, Yemi Alade, Stonebwoy, Joeboy, Harmonize, Rema, Simi, Oxlade and Omah Lay, Patoranking, and more.
Spearheaded by lead single “Nobody” with Mr. Eazi and Joeboy, which peaked as the #1 song in Nigeria last year, the 16-track project truly showcases Neptune’s ability to bring the greats together, while creating his own feel-good sound.
AllHipHop: How’s the radio show going?
DJ Neptune: Pretty well, my show is Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. I’ve been DJing for 20 years, but I’ve done radio for 8 to 9 years now, with different radio stations.
AllHipHop: How did you learn how to DJ?
DJ Neptune: I started DJing professionally in 2001, but the first time I had an encounter with a DJ was in 1999. I was at a friend’s party, and I saw a DJ live for the first time. I said “Oh my God, this feels like magic.” I caught an interest in it, started doing research on how to be a DJ. I met up with DJ Douglas, who’s based in the UK right now. I studied under him, that’s how I started my career.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to be one of the most well-recognized DJs in Nigeria?
DJ Neptune: It feels great when you work so hard and you get recognized for that. It’s a good feeling, it keeps you going and pushes you to want to do more. I’m just doing me, working hard. Trying to be one of the best out here in our continent, Africa. Nigeria’s where I’m from. We keep hustling and working.
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about Greatness 2.0! Fire project.
DJ Neptune: Thank you! I appreciate that.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to finally have it out?
DJ Neptune: It feels good putting the project out, and everyone gravitating towards it. It means all the hard work has paid off and been appreciated. Amazing body of work right there. 16 tracks, 15 new tracks aside from “Nobody” which was the #1 record of 2020. I feel good. I feel blessed. This makes me want to work more. The reception has been awesome.
AllHipHop: Mr. Eazi’s the OG, Joeboy’s the hottest new artist. How did it feel to bring both generations together?
DJ Neptune: Those are my boys, they’re like family. Myself and Eazi, we started working as far back as 2016. I was there when Joeboy came onboard via Eazi’s emPawa Africa platform, so it wasn’t that difficult. It was getting that beat across to Joeboy. Joeboy did his piece, sent it back to me. I reached out to Eazi like, “Yo, look at what myself and Joe just created.” Eazi wanted to be on the record, that’s how we came up with “Nobody.”
AllHipHop: How did it feel to go #1? That’s always a blessing.
DJ Neptune: Whew, it is a huge blessing. It was me doing me, getting appreciated, and making it to #1. It was a crazy moment. It was mixed-up feelings, because this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to be great at this, so having a #1 record was a huge blessing. I appreciate everyone who played a major role in making that happen, also the consumers as well for loving the record. It all starts with that, I appreciate you guys.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite song?
DJ Neptune: Every record on the album is my favorite. I love all the records on the project, but my favorite one is “Rise Up,” which is track one on the record. That’s because I put so much effort into creating that one record. I had an idea when I started, I’m so happy that everyone loves that song as well. It’s Hip-Hop, and we know how Afrobeats is huge out here in Africa. Afrobeats is taking over the world. Having people also listen to the Hip-Hop too, look at the message, it’s very motivating. It makes me feel happy. It’s the exact reaction I had in my head when I was creating “Rise Up.”
AllHipHop: You got 25 artists from all these different countries. How was it getting all those features? Was it hard?
DJ Neptune: [laughs] You know how it is. In life, if you really want to achieve something, you have to set your mind to it and work hard to get to it. It doesn’t really matter how long it took for me. I had a vision for this project, and I wanted to bring that to life. It wasn’t easy because even myself, I’m always on the road. I’m busy doing shows, having meetings, doing my radio gigs. I also put myself in the shoes of my colleagues who are also performing, trying to make records. They have their personal lives as well, but there’s time for everything. When it was time to make music, the ones I could get in the studio together, we did that. The ones that couldn’t make it out to my studio, I sent my ideas over to them. They delivered, and sent it back to me. It was cool.
AllHipHop: I love your mission, your message of how the sky’s the limit. What is greatness to you, and how did you display that on this second album?
DJ Neptune: Greatness to me, if you’re talking about the project, it means a lot because we put in so much work to achieve our sound. Dope collaborations, collaborations that have never been heard or seen before. The track with Omah Lay and Joeboy, this would be the first time those artists have collaborated together. Shout out to them for making that happen, all our other collaborations as well. Overall, being great means you’re on point with what you do. You’re 100%, you’re almost accurate in everything. That’s all I put into this project to make it a successful one.
AllHipHop: Can we expect more visuals?
DJ Neptune: Definitely! Some visuals are on the way already. “Only Fan” featuring Zlatan and Lojay just dropped. They’re very very talented. A lot of energy, a lot of dancing. It’s a party and danceable track, so a lot of dance involved. We shot it in London weeks ago. I can’t wait for it to drop, people will love it.
AllHipHop: What do you do when you’re not working? What do you do to have fun?
DJ Neptune: I just work at my studio. I’m walking to my studio now. It’s work, work, work, but I love to play sports when I have the chance. I love to travel as well, even though I’m always traveling. I’m always on the road.
AllHipHop: How often are you in the studio?
DJ Neptune: I’m always in the studio. Right before the album dropped, I had to take a break because I had to plan other stuff. I’m always here. This is like my house. If I’m not indoors, I’m in the studio.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
DJ Neptune: My microphone, my sound guy, and my hard drive.
AllHipHop: What are your favorite songs to drop in a set?
DJ Neptune: Definitely any track from DJ Neptune, any track from Wizkid. Wizkid and Tems’ “Essence,” that’s a huge record. Joeboy as well, “Alcohol.” Fireboy’s “Peru”, Rema as well. Burna Boy, there’s too many hot Afrobeats records. The list is endless, you can’t box us right now. Afrobeats is on a whole different level.
AllHipHop: How does it feel that the world is catching on? Even in the US, we’re having all Dancehall/Afrobeats parties.
DJ Neptune: It feels good, what a great time to be alive. Imagine what Wizkid just did, sold out the 02 Arena in London for 3 nights. 20K strong, that’s 60K people attending for 3 nights. That’s huge for the culture. What this tells me is there’s room for a lot. There’s still a lot more coming, there’s still a lot more money to be made in the music business as an Afrobeats artist and DJ. Shout out Buju and Davido as well, always in my mix. Every Afrobeats artist if you make beautiful music, as a DJ I work with your song. If I didn’t mention your name, it’s because this is an interview and the list is long. It’s all love.
AllHipHop: Someone you want to collaborate with that you haven’t yet?
DJ Neptune: Wizkid, we’re always talking about working. Hopefully in 2022, we’ll have that. On the international side, I’d love to create something with Chris Brown. He’s very, very talented. He could dance, he could sing, all that. I’m open to anyone to be honest, because right now Afrobeats is at a level where it needs no more introduction. You don’t have to say anymore, “Oh, do you know this genre of music?” It just plays and people go, “Oh, I love that sound!” That’s Afrobeats, it is what it is.
AllHipHop: You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, any goals for yourself?
DJ Neptune: The major goal for me right now is to conquer the world. I want to be able to perform at different levels of events, big festivals, carnivals, concerts on that international level. That’s why we’re working hard. Because as a DJ, I play different genres of music. If you pull me in the EDM space, I will deliver 100%. If it’s Hip-Hop/R&B, we’ll go there. If it’s Afrobeats, that’s nothing. The main goal is to keep pushing, and shout out to everyone supporting as well. Together we’ll make it, we’re all going to get there.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
DJ Neptune: My album is out! It’s my sophomore album, Greatness 2.0. A lot has gone into it. 16 tracks, amazing collaborations. If you love good music, if you love Afrobeats, if you love Hip-hop and R&B, there’s something for you to take back home on this project. Go stream it! It’s available on all digital platforms, a lot of visuals are coming as well. Keep supporting the boy, and you can connect with me on my socials. It’s very easy @deejayneptune.