Eff The DJ
DJ Reflections: Dezemba 19
4th August 2019
It is September 2019. Calls have started coming in for inquiries about events in December. Some inquire and leave me with the 'okay, cool. I go link you'... Some got back, some didn't. But by October, I wasn't getting any more calls, and I was stressed because some of the toppity top events I had marked down were already booked up.
The panic. The desperation. Have I not worked hard enough throughout the year to have gotten some of these calls down earlier than expected? Yes, I felt insecure of my accomplishments, skills and competence.
What was I going to do to get a busier Dezemba? There's AfroNation doing all these waves of promotion and its the grand 'Year of Return' which has had activities going on all year round, about to climax it all with back-to-back parties in Dezemba.
Its Dezemba - sidenote, for clarity purposes; by my own definition, December and Dezemba are not the same thing. December is the traditional 1st of December to 31st December. Nothing special… But Dezemba? That's from about 15th of December stretching all the way to the first weekend of January… so 5th - 7th January, and these days are jam-packed with back-to-back parties. Breakfast gatherings, brunches, day parties, packed pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs… There's no escaping merry-making in the city during those dates.
Back to the piece - Its Dezemba. Finally coming to the realization that 'it be like that sometimes. Win some lose some, chale. Getting closer to Dezemba things have shaped up quite better than it was looking when I was panicking as of September. I still wasn't feeling all the way pumped because of my initial concerns but abi you know, we move regardless.
I look at the calendar again and now I'm looking at 17 events; 6 day parties, 2 weddings, 2 concerts, 3 (night) parties, 1 brunch, and 3 private events.
The thing start dey over me. "Whew. Let's get it. Money don't sleep", I say to myself. Dezemba started on 13th with a private event. This was predominantly done by a live band. I managed to get an early and latter set in, so all good. Next was a (night) party… next was a brunch, next was a day party and sheesh… This thing wasn't easy. Next thing we know, it's Manifestivities. I left one event to get here, and bruh… I had started burning out. For some reason I started to pack sachets of instant coffee just in case. At this exact moment, they came in handy. On stage with all these superstar artists, great DJ interludes and electrifying crowd energy, how am I sleepy? I went backstage to hit one of my instant coffee sachets to revitalize myself and get back on stage to get the work done. Caffeine may be the gateway drug to cocaine after all.
Next was Afrochella, which turned out to be my most star-studded bill to be associated with thus far. Finished with this event at dawn the following morning. All the 5 hours of rest I got weren't enough because guess who was on the road once again for another event? Got done with that and rolled through the following events till I got to TBHNY II which I was really excited to do. Hip-hop being my favorite genre and a gathering of hip-hop heads? Lets fucking go! By the last event I got to, I was burnt. Overall, a good time but boy, did I need rest.
In fashion, after the first couple of weeks, probably by the 2nd or 3rd weekend of January, almost everything in Accra takes a break from exhaustion. This was Eff. Carrying all the exhaustion of Accra in my body. I needed this break more than anything else. My day job resumed the very next day after the last public event, and there I was, reporting for duty with my battered body and mind, with another private event waiting to be done later that evening. Still not sure of the words to use to capture that amount of tiredness and frustration. For that event, I had to carry a safety net along. I went with another DJ friend - JamJam - for assistance. We balanced the workload. I didn't have to carry the entire night on high energy. It was another hit.
Reflecting on my schedule and how I navigated Dezemba, I now wish it wasn't any busier, and also did enjoy every single event I did. In terms of how I approached my performances at these events, I was pushed to my known limits of being dedicated and mentally present and aware at all times. My mind had to be in a free flowing state to approach every event with a varied execution. For how frequent these events were in the short period of time, it does take a toll on how much mental energy you have to devote to the craft. You end up pouring so much of your heart and soul into it. For your own sanity, a much needed break to replenish what energizes you isn't negotiable. I realized I shouldn't be insecure of my efforts. In as much as its possible for efforts to go unnoticed, the thing is to keep your head down and grind. Those watching will take notice and commend you. Overall I realized that this is how I'll like to be remembered.
Devoted, passionate and emphatically committed to my craft, with hardly any reason to ever doubt my competence or skill.