After making a name in the South South region, Queen Udeme, popularly known as DJ Moonlait, tells Saturday Beats that she is ready to take over Lagos
How long have you been a disc jockey?
I have been doing this for four years. I thank God for the parents I have. The moment I told my father I wanted to be a DJ, he encouraged me. He gave me money to buy an instrument. At parties too, my father sometimes comes on stage to cheer me up, introducing me as his daughter. I played at the weddings of my two elder brothers and my sister’s child dedication ceremony. My family members are happy that I am a DJ. When they see a man with me, they often ask if he knows I am a DJ. They don’t want a man who is not interested in what I do.
Was your father into music before?
He has never done music, but in the past, he used to anchor events as a Master of Ceremonies. They would give him drinks and write him official letters to be the MC at the event, but there was no money in it then; he was just doing it for the fun. He likes entertainment and he has even encouraged me to try singing. But I don’t think I want to go into that. My younger brother sings classical music and I have also done classical music before. My elder sister was into music before she got married.
Don’t you think marriage could affect your career?
As a strong believer, God says He would give to me all my heart desires. Also, a man who loves me must allow me to do what makes me happy. I am deeply into this and I expect him to support me since he met me as a DJ.
Did you study music in school?
I had B.Sc in Computer Science at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. I was very reserved in the university; I kept to myself. I was not even going to social events as a student. I never knew I would be a DJ until 2012. Before then, I worked for over a year. I just noticed they called me a DJ even when I had yet to think of it. It was my church members that told me to give it a thought. I went into disc jockey because I felt I could mix tapes. I used to travel a lot by road and in the bus, I often came across uninteresting mix tapes played by the driver. Then, the person who taught me how to be a disc jockey, DJ Big Joe, advised that I had to be going out at night. For the first set of night outings, I fell sick and there were times I slept in the club while others were having fun. I have had to quarrel with my boss many times because he didn’t allow me to go home when I insisted. But I got used to it gradually. Now, sometimes, I don’t sleep at night even when I am not in the club.
Did your background contribute to what you do?
Yes, my background really helped me because I grew up in the church and I played instruments. When someone taught me how to play the keyboard, my dad went ahead to buy me a keyboard. I started playing the drum later.
How did you feel the first time you manned the stage?
I was shaking. It was a wedding ceremony at Port Harcourt; it was not really a big event. My boss just left me all alone to play and it was the first time the people saw a female DJ. Since it was strange to them, people were not responding. For the first ten minutes, people were not paying attention but things changed later and I became the talk of the town. I am like the first female DJ in Port Harcourt.
What makes you unique?
I play music to thrill my crowd; I know how to carry the audience along. Some people don’t really care about how their fans feel.
What’s the major difference between being a DJ in Port Harcourt and in Lagos?
It is competitive here in Lagos but I don’t really care about that. I am here to stay and I am doing well. Lagos is Nigeria, whether we like it or not. Lagos is the hub of entertainment; I have already built a brand in Port Harcourt but I need to reach out to more people or a bigger audience.
Is your boyfriend proud of what you do?
I just left a relationship, but all the people I dated since I became a DJ were supportive. Some of them would come to work with me and wait till I was done. Though they had friends or people around them who questioned the relationship, they always stood their grounds. But as time goes on, I see myself reducing night events.
The way we look at things is wrong. Bankers go to work in the morning and come back late at night. They do that every day. But disc jockey is just for the weekends when there are jobs. I have Monday till Friday to rest or do other things. The mentality of people needs to change; they should understand that DJs have more time than any other professionals.
Are you not afraid of competition from the likes of DJ Cuppy, Lambo and other more established female DJs?
I have heard of them all but I only see myself. I want to be the number one DJ; I want to take this to the highest height. The last show I played before I came to Lagos was the Miss Niger Delta in December. I have been their DJ for three years now. I performed at the African Fashion show in 2014 in Bayelsa State alongside Jimmy Jatt. Since I lived there, people called me for most events in the Niger Delta region. I have a brand there already, people know me well.
How did you get the name, DJ Moonlait?
When I was thinking of a name, my boss told me there should be something about me that would bring about the name. Immediately I opened the door, my complexion reflected and the next thing he said was, “see moonlight oo.” I love the name so much, though many people have urged me to change it. Even when I joined Rhythm 96.7 in Port Harcourt, they tried to make me change it to my first name, Queen. According to them, it would give a feminine touch. I joined Rhythm FM in 2012 and I worked with them until I left Port Harcourt. But whenever I visit Port Harcourt, I still go there to play. I have a good relationship with them.
What other things do you do?
I have a boutique, but my work as a DJ is gradually moving me away from it. The business is still there in Port Harcourt and I have people helping me out.
How often do you cook?
I don’t really cook but I cook well. There was a time I slept off and the food got burnt. I was very tired as I did four jobs that weekend. By the time they woke me up, the food had gone.
Do you believe that most women in showbiz are promiscuous?
I think it has to do with individuals; I am not like that. If I am in a relationship, I am in a relationship; I don’t play games.