Just a decade ago, the profession of Disc Jockeying (DJ) was reserved for school dropouts or those deemed as aimless in the communities, or what we term in Ghana as ‘kubolor’ boys.
The profession was very much disregarded, partly because of how the industry players at the time carried themselves. Lack of proper communication skills, low level of education and no regard for how one appear to work.
But within a decade, all of these misconceptions have been vastly removed. Today, the profession of a DJ is one that many green with envy. With the like of DJ Black, and DJ Blow, society’s attitude towards the profession has changed drastically.
Now DJs are seen and interacted with much more respect and not just brushed aside as those coming to ‘just play music’.
In actual fact, the smooth transition from Raggae to High life on a turntable is a skill one needs to master to maintain the vibe of an audience, especially a dancing one. In Ghana, the profession, DJ, is gradually taking a positive turn with almost every wedding, party or award event having a professional DJ present.
One of the DJs working hard to entrench the new era of DJing is DJ Sid, christened as Sidney Christian Nii Ayitey Ashong, who is a sensational Ghanaian DJ with a dose of creativity to his credit.
As a graduate of the University of Mines and Technology, DJ Sid, believes that despite the improvement, DJs are still not given the necessary respect and he is working with other players in the industry to rectify the anomaly.
“People don’t realise we spend hours practicing and selecting appropriate tunes for their special events. People do not realise we invest in expensive gears. You get an artiste perform for 30 minutes and he is paid in four or five digits and a DJ stands on his feet for eight hours and is paid in three digits – that’s not fair,” he told the B&FT in an interview.
He believes that the industry needs regulation and proper defence mechanism to protect and support DJs. “There are no clear directions as to what the industry requires of us and what we require of the world and so a regulated industry is what is needed,” he added.
DJ Sid intends to put together the Disc Jockey Union of Ghana – a union to regulate and support Ghana DJs to help clear the stereotypes associated with DJs in Ghana.
“With support from men like DJ Black, I am working tirelessly to help regulate and support Ghanaian DJs. I am bent on improving the reputation of the Ghanaian DJ and always take the least opportunity, especially in seminars and conferences, to speak on why regulation is needed,” he added.
Profile of the man
DJ Sid started his life as a young man from Jack and Jill School for his junior high education before entering Mfantsipim School for senior high education. In his early days in the University, DJ Sid developed a passion for Disc Jockeying, perfected his skill and played at school events.
He has been privileged to experience being a broadcast engineer with Dynamite 88.9FM in Tarkwa and Citi 97.3FM in Accra, where he possessed a mastery of the finest equipments in ensuring the wholesome of audios that are carried over the airwaves.
Passion is said to be the driving force of fulfilment in exploring one’s talent. DJ Sid says he is so passionate about the quality of music and sound for any event mandated to him. He was affiliated to Ghana’s No.1 Showbiz dial – Pluzz 89.9 FM, Accra where he hosted the Friday + 1 Show and the Saturday Nite Live Show.
Understanding the power of words and songs of music, DJ Sid tailors his mixes and playlist to his target audience and makes sure the music is appropriate for the tone and atmosphere of every event. Be it a Radio DJ, Club DJ, Event DJ, DJ Sid has been there and ended up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence.
All these have been translated into sets where he picks apart and infuses together all the pieces of music that he loves; beautiful synth work and occasional vocal hooks all on top of a pronounced foot-shuffling house beat.
As the official DJ for Hiplife sensation Keche as well as the Daavi Diva Feli Nuna, DJ Sid chooses to appeal to a more youthful and vibrant crowd. He is also the official in-house DJ for the monthly comedy show; Laughline. He has command over his craft and immaculate professionalism, serving in a range of generations, with his versatile knowledge of music.
It may come as a surprise to you that DJ Sid is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer and Project Manager by training and doubles as an Operations Coordinator for a Mining Support Services Company. Knowing how to set structures to achieve goals, just articulate your request for your event and he will ensure that your experience is a magical, captivating and memorable one.
To DJ Sid, playing those tracks that get you tapping your feet and nodding your head without you realizing it, regardless of genre, tempo, style, or release date; is why he calls himself, The Mix Meister!
To satisfy curiosity, DJ Sid cleared the air about why he decided to venture into the DJ profession even though he is a graduate from the University of Mines and Technology. He said: “DeeJaying is an art; a skill which is mastered and developed into a career. I double as a DJ on the weekends because I believe in life, one must have multiple sources of income.”
He believes education is what helped him stand out among his peers. “I apply managerial strategies to my work as a DJ,” he added.