15 Most influential African DJs in 2024

image

Sometimes it’s romantic, sometimes it’s provocative, and sometimes it’s just plain playful, The colourful setting of African music and pop culture thrives in the beats of fun and dance. At the centre of this great landscape are the music-mixing masters –the DJs.

These God-sent party avengers make it their work to keep every club, party or any kind of gathering alive with no dull moments at all. The creativity when mixing songs and the energetic timing on the decks keep the parties moving and jubilant.

Some consistently create playlists that masterfully blend genres and styles to create an unforgettable experience. Others are more event-inclined, creating beautiful transitions that cause fans to fall in love with each song. In this article, we highlight the top 15 most influential DJs in Africa, showcasing their unique styles, collaborations, and contributions to the industry.

These DJs have not only mastered their craft but have also become household names. From the legendary status of DJ Jimmy Jatt to the energetic mixes of DJ Kaywise, each of these DJs has carved out their niche and left an indelible mark on the African music scene.

Here are the 15 most influential African DJs in 2024;

15. DJ Switch

DJ Switch, a talented and versatile disc jockey, rounds out our list of the top 15 most influential DJs in Africa. 

Born Obianuju Catherine Udeh, DJ Switch is known for her exceptional skills on the decks and her ability to seamlessly transition between different genres, making her a crowd favourite at various events and parties.

Her rise to fame began with her appearances at several high-profile events, including the MTV Africa Music Awards and the Financial Times Luxury Summit in Mexico. Her impressive performances and collaborations with notable artists have earned her a reputation as one of the most talented female DJs in Africa.

DJ Switch’s influence extends beyond her music, as she has become a prominent voice in the #EndSARS movement, a social movement protesting against police brutality in Nigeria. Her courageous actions during the Lekki Massacre, where she live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting and attempted to remove a bullet from the leg of a man who was shot, have made her a target in her country. 

This act of bravery has led to her gaining asylum access in Canada. Despite the challenges she faces, DJ Switch continues to be a powerful symbol of resilience and activism in Nigeria, solidifying her position as the 15th most influential DJ in Nigeria.

14. DJ Big N

DJ Big N, a talented and versatile disc jockey, ranks 14th on our list of the top 15 most influential DJs in Nigeria.

Born Nonso Temisan Ajufo, DJ Big N has established himself as a hitmaker in the Nigerian DJ scene. He started his career in London in 2009 where he performed at the Nigerian Independence at Coventry. Since then he has gone to work as the in-house DJ for Mavins record label. He also has been the official DJ for Mavin UK tour, the official DJ for Tiwa Savage’s first American tour, and recently the official DJ for Rema’s Rave and Roses world tour

DJ Big N also brags of numerous awards such as the City People’s Music Award, Beatz Award, and The Nigerian Choice Award. Recently, he was awarded the Best DJ in  Africa  at the 2021 African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA)

DJ Big N has also released several Mavin-themed mixtapes, including the Mavin All Stars mixtape, the Surulere Mixtape Volume, the ENERGY Mixtape, and several Afro session Mixtapes with the Alternate Sound band. His dedication to his craft and his unwavering passion for music make him one of the top Nigerian DJs of all time.

13. DJ Xclusive

At number 12 we have DJ Xclusive, a renowned Nigerian disc jockey, record producer, and entrepreneur.

Rotimi Alakija, as he is legally known has made a significant impact on the music scene with his unique blend of RnB, Urban Funky House, Hip-Hop, and Pop. 

He started his disk jockey career in 2003 and in 2010 won the World Best DJ award at the Nigeria Entertainment Award. He also won Most Outstanding Nigerian Doing Great Things In the Hip Hop World at the LoverBall Awards that same year.

Apart from this, DJ Xclusive works with Afrobeats heavyweights like Wizkid, Timaya, Olamide, D’Prince, Terry G, and Banky W among others. In 2011, he became the resident DJ for CoolFM 96.9 and also joined Empire Mates Entertainment as Wizkid’s official DJ.

With a net worth estimated at $2.1 million, DJ Xclusive is not only a talented artist but also a successful entrepreneur, further cementing his influence in the industry. 

12. DJ Kaywise

Born Ayorinde Kehinde Savage, DJ Kaywise has made a significant impact on the music scene with his unique blend of Afrobeats, hip-hop, and electronic dance music. 

He first came to the limelight in 2010 after his Emergency mixtape broke into the mixtape market in Alaba market in Lagos. So far, he has released over 10,000 Mixtapes both CD and digital.

He has been a part of several notable collaborations, including his work with notable artists like Olamide, Tiwa Savage, and Wizkid. His ability to bring together different artists and create memorable hits has solidified his position as one of the most influential DJs in Nigeria. 

He kickstarted his DJ academy in 2019 called Kaywise Academy which might be temporarily closed for now. Afterwards, he released a mixtape titled Revolution Mix Vol1 in solidarity with the EndSars movement that started in Nigeria in 2020. In August 2020, his single What Type of Dance featuring Mayorkun, Naira Marley and Zlatan Ibile peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Top Triller Global chart.

With a strong social media following and a reputation for delivering high-energy performances, DJ Kaywise continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian music industry. 

11. Major League DJz

Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Major League DJZ, a music duo consisting of twin brothers Bandile and Zinhle Mbere, began their careers as DJs in their hometown. 

WIth their talent and unique blend of hip-hop and house music propelled them to local fame, and they soon found themselves performing at various venues around Durban. 

This success wasn’t confined to Durban; their energetic sets and reputation travelled throughout South Africa, eventually landing them gigs at major festivals like Rocking The Daisies and Back To The City

These skills have earned them a loyal fanbase and collaborations with notable artists like Cassper Nyovest, Kwesta, and Moonchild Sanelly. 

Major League DJz’s influence extends beyond their music. They have been instrumental in promoting African music globally, particularly through their annual Major League Gardens festival, which brings together some of the biggest names in African music. Their dedication to their craft and their unwavering passion for music make them one of the most influential DJs in Nigeria, solidifying their position at number 11 on our list.

10. DJ Yk Mule

DJ YK Mule, a talented and versatile disc jockey, ranks 10th on our list of the top 15 most influential DJs in Nigeria. 

Born Yinka Akanbi, DJ YK Mule is a viral Nigerian DJ and music producer extraordinaire. His infectious beats and skilful remixes of trending tracks have catapulted him to fame, capturing the hearts of fans on TikTok and Instagram. 

Through his viral beats, he has spurred countless social media challenges, setting the online world ablaze with his musical prowess.

9. DJ Consequence

With a career spanning over a decade, DJ Consequence, whose real name is Akeredolu Precious Pelumi, has consistently mesmerized fans. His journey began in Lagos, where he honed his skills and quickly became a sought-after name in the entertainment industry.

One of DJ Consequence’s significant achievements is his residency at Club Quilox, one of Lagos’s premier nightlife spots. Sometimes referred to as the Turntable King, he was so influential during his residency as an official DJ, that he toured with them in 2017/2018.

He has collaborated with some of Nigeria’s top artists, including Olamide, Tiwa Savage, and Davido, contributing to several hit tracks. His mixtapes, such as The Vibes Machine Party Mixtape released from 2017 to 2019,  have garnered millions of listens, showing his skill in curating music.

In 2024, DJ Consequence will organise and celebrate the Zero Gravity Lagos where he will perform live and support other upcoming DJs. Whether he’s spinning at a high-profile event or mentoring the next generation of DJs, DJ Consequence’s passion for music and dedication to his craft is evident. His impact on Nigeria’s music landscape is undeniable, securing his place as one of the most influential DJs in the country in 2024.

8. DJ Jimmy Jatt

DJ Jimmy Jatt, a true pioneer and legend in the Nigerian music scene, holds the eighth spot on the list of the most influential DJs in Nigeria in 2024. 

Oluwaforijimi Adewale Amu, as he is formally known has an astounding influence spanning over three decades, making him a household name and a central figure. His journey began in the late 1980s when he transitioned from being a rapper to becoming one of the most celebrated African disc jockeys.

DJ Jimmy Jatt has played a crucial role in bringing hip-hop and urban music to the forefront of Nigerian culture. Until 2 years ago, his show Jimmy’s Jump Off helped showcase both established and up-and-coming artists. 

DJ Jimmy Jatt’s legacy is one of resilience, innovation, and unwavering passion for music. As a mentor, pioneer, and advocate, DJ Jimmy Jatt’s influence in 2024 is as strong as ever, ensuring his place among Nigeria’s most influential African DJs.

7. DJ Obi

DJ Obi, whose real name is Obi Ajuonuma, is a name synonymous with breaking records and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a DJ in Nigeria. 

Ranked seventh on the list of the most influential African DJs in Nigeria in 2024, DJ Obi has carved out a unique niche with his exceptional talent and innovative spirit. He gained international recognition in 2016 when he set the Guinness World Record for the longest DJ set, playing non-stop for 240 hours. This remarkable feat not only showcased his passion but also put Nigerian DJs on the global map.

Born into a family with deep media roots, DJ Obi’s journey into music was almost predestined. He began his career in 2011 and quickly became known. His style is a fusion of Afrobeats, hip-hop, and house music, making him a versatile DJ.

He has played at some of the most prestigious events and venues worldwide, including the  MOBO Awards and MTV Africa Music Awards. In addition, his weekly event, Obi’s House, where people get to party and experience new DJs is a favourite among Lagos partygoers.

6. Uncle Waffles

Uncle Waffles, whose real name is Lungelihle Zwane, holds the sixth spot as one of the most influential African DJs.

Originally hailing from Eswatini, Uncle Waffles has made a significant impact on the South African music scene. She is one of the spearheaders of the Amapiano movement.

Her journey into the world of DJing began in 2020. Within a few short years, she has captured the hearts of music lovers with her blend of Amapiano. A genre that has taken Africa and the world by storm. Uncle Waffles’ sets are a dynamic mix of deep, soulful beats. Her releases like Wadibusa, Yahyuppiyah and Peacock Revisit have garnered millions of streams.

She has leveraged her platform to become a prominent advocate for female African DJs in a predominantly male industry. Her success has inspired many young women to pursue careers in music, breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes.

5. DJ Neptune

DJ Neptune, born Imohiosen Patrick, secures fifth position on the list of the most influential DJs in Nigeria in 2024. 

With an over two-decade career, DJ Neptune is also one of the household names in the Disk Jockey industry. His journey began in the early 2000s, and he quickly rose to prominence with his dynamic DJ sets. His mixtape albums released in the 2010s, such as Eva Blazin and Let’s Party Naija Mix, were fan favourites.

One of DJ Neptune’s most significant contributions to the Nigerian music scene is his role as a producer and collaborator. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. These include Davido, Burna Boy, Olamide, and Mr Eazi, to produce chart-topping hits. 

4. Dope Caesar

Dope Caesar, whose real name is Sarah Oboh, took the DJ scene by storm with her blow-up in 2023.

She had grown up in a household where her father was a musician, sound engineer, and record producer. So it was only natural that she would follow in his footsteps. Her journey began with learning chord progressions from online videos and practising with her father’s small entry-level controller. 

Dope Caesar’s rise began with her short videos of mixing different songs, she uploaded to her social media pages. These videos gradually grew her audience, earning her gigs and exposure to other artists and DJs. 

Her breakthrough came when she participated in a DJ contest and emerged fourth. This was key in securing a spot in a training academy where she honed her skills. Then, her set at DJ Obi’s, Obi’s House, event in Lagos also sparked fan interest. There she featured a seamless transition from Brick and Lace’s Love Is Wicked to Victony and Tempoe’s Soweto. This drew widespread attention and earned her a follow from Nyanda Thourborne, one-half of Brick and Lace.

Since then, Dope Caesar’s has become one of the most sought-after DJs. She has participated in training workshops for females interested in gaining similar skills. Such as The Sound Lab workshop organized by Femme Africa. 

With her viral TikTok videos and her performances at high-profile events. Dope Caesar is undoubtedly one of the most influential African DJs today.

3. DJ Maphorisa

DJ Maphorisa, whose real name is Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe Sanele Thusi, is a renowned South African DJ and producer.

Born in 1987, DJ Maphorisa has built a career spanning multiple genres, including Afro-house, Amapiano, and Gqom. His influence extends beyond his music, as he has played a crucial role in popularizing Amapiano. This is a genre that with his contribution has gained immense popularity globally.

Maphorisa’s rise to prominence began with his work as part of the group Uhuru before embarking on a solo career. He has collaborated with top artists from both South Africa and Nigeria, including Wizkid, and Davido. He has also been recognized for his contributions to the music industry. This was seen when he won the Best African DJ at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival in 2023.

Furthermore, He is also the founder of BlaqBoy Music, a label that fosters emerging talents. His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to nurturing new artists have made him a respected figure in the music industry. 

2. DJ Spinall

DJ Spinall, whose real name is Oluseye Desmond Sodamola, is a Nigerian disc jockey, record producer, and songwriter.

Born on June 2, 1984, in Lagos, Nigeria, Spinall has been a driving force behind the rise of Afrobeats globally.  Spinall’s impressive career has seen him release six studio albums, collaborating with top artists like Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, and Asake. 

His breakthrough came with his debut album My Story: The Album in 2015. This album featured hit singles like Oluwa and Money. He followed this up with TEN in 2016, which featured Davido, Sauti Sol, and Mr Eazi. His third studio album Dreams in 2017 featured Wizkid, Simi, and Mr Eazi, among others. In 2018, he released Iyanu, which included the hit singles Nowo and Baba. Finally, he released his latest album, Top Boy in 2023.

He has made history as the first Nigerian DJ to perform at prominent festivals like Coachella, SXSW, and Glastonbury. In 2023, he signed with Epic Records and released the hit single Loju featuring Wizkid. Spinall’s influence on Afrobeats cannot be overstated, and his contributions have paved the way for future generations of African DJs.

1. DJ Tunez

DJ Tunez, whose real name is Michael Babatunde Adeyinka, is a Nigerian-American disc jockey.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tunez began his journey as a teenager by DJing his local church’s Christmas parties. This eventually led to paid gigs at church members’ events such as birthday parties and weddings.

Tunez’s rise began when he was asked by Wizkid to join Starboy Entertainment as the official DJ in 2015. His first production was the hit single Iskaba in 2016, a collaboration with Wande Coal. This song gained widespread recognition and earned him numerous accolades, including the Nigerian Entertainment Award for Best Collaboration. His subsequent releases, such as Gbese and Turn Up, were also major hits, further solidifying his artistry. 

Tunez has had a significant impact on the internationalization of Afrobeats, with his music gaining appeal across various cultures. He has performed at numerous high-profile events, including Wireless Festival, Boiler Room Toronto, and the Royal Albert Hall. 

His yearly event, Blackout, has become a favourite among New York City’s nightlife lovers. With his unique style and exceptional skills, DJ Tunez is undoubtedly the most influential African DJ today.

This post was originally published on this site