DJ Ernesty… From Regular Club, Party DJ To High Praise
Ernest Esekhile better known as DJ Ernesty is one Nigeria’s undisputed strictly gospel music disc jockey (DJ), whose vision is to take the gospel to the mainstream with anointed sounds and lyrics that get people on their feet in high praise party!
As one of the most sought after gospel disc jockey, his mixtapes and music cuts across genres and cultures. He refers to the audience as the ‘congregation’ and the turntable as his ‘pulpit’.
After serving as a regular club and party DJ for few years, he encountered the Jesus, and things took a new turn for him. “I had an option of quitting disc jockeying, but God showed me a vision and the future of gospel music and put this vision in my heart to carry it through the hurdles.
“The vision is to create the identity and propagate the gospel through music and influence the normal culture and traditional practices. Till date, I am still carrying on with that vision and recruiting people to join me on this journey,” he said.
For the music producer cum promoter, the quest to carve his own niche as an inspirational gospel music DJ has kept him to be doing what he loves to best… “getting people on their feet in high praise party.”
Commenting on his first setup as DJ and how he has been able to evolved over the years, the artiste manager at Kerusso Entertainment says, “My first DJ setup was more of an experience for me because I was introducing something new to the audience, which is playing songs that are strictly gospel and most of the songs were quite new to the listeners. But over time and with more gospel artistes making DJ friendly music, it has become easier for gospel DJs to flow at events, parties and more.”
On what influenced his choice to become a professional DJ, the Straight Outta Coza singer said, “my passion to make people happy through music, which is a universal tool that lights up an atmosphere. It still amazes me that I am paid heavily to do my hobby.”
Describing the influence his job as a DJ has on the audience, and how he has been able to transformed music through his works, the Over the Bar crooner featuring LC Beatz, states: “I would say that my job has positively influenced my audience and artistes especially on the type of music they put out.
“Gospel artistes are more confident in putting out mid or up tempo hype songs these days than we had in the earlier days, because of the structure my work has been able to create in the mainstream media and events. I also serve as an advisory to these artistes based on my vast knowledge of music and sounds and it’s trends or general acceptance.”
For his contributions to the industry, DJ Ernesty has received various credits and recognitions, and the latest is his ambassadorial award for the Christian Broadcasting Network Nigeria, A subsidiary of CBN Africa, 700 Club, One Cubed Naija.
Commenting on the use of technology and how it has enhanced his work, especially in terms of feedback and creativity, the DJ said, “The use of technology as a DJ cannot be overemphasized because the art needs technology to function, and the more digitalized our society is the better for the DJ to function and perform effectively, from large turntable equipment to more portable controllers that are easier to operate and more flexible in expression.”
On his development as an artiste and the transition towards his own voice, the Grace Don Rub Me said: “My development in entertainment as a source of livelihood has transitioned to spearheading a new terrain and creating a niche on sampling music, which edifies, inspires and motivate the audience with lyrics and motives.”
Speaking on the relationship between copying, learning and one’s own creativity, DJ Ernesty states: “Copying and learning are two different things. Copying means doing exactly what your contemporaries are doing, while learning is more of knowing how it is done and using that knowledge to enhance and create something positive from it and in the process creating a niche for yourself.”
What edge do you have over your contemporaries?
“My niche, as a gospel music DJ, this is because there are very few gospel DJ and that puts me in high demand to perform in several function around the world. My success today comes from carving a niche for myself. Though being a gospel music DJ is more daringly tasking and requires total knowledge, skill than the secular or mainstream DJ.”
What are some of the considerations you take into play before you decide which track to play next and what makes such track a good fit?
“As a professional DJ, the art of blending and smoothly transiting from one song to another is paramount; a lot of factors influence choice of song to play next from the previous. This includes popularity of the next song. The song doesn’t have to necessarily break the vibe the first one brings, it must possess the qualities to influence the audience and keep the party going.
“For me what the music is saying has a huge influence on my choice, it most times flow with what the previous track is saying because for me it’s a journey to inspire and motivate with the words in the music.”
DJ Ernesty explained that what makes a DJ performance a satisfying conclusion set, which is also known as outro, is not complete without client’s expression of satisfaction and a round of applause that signifies job well-done and hunger to go for more groove.
“As a believer of Christ Jesus, I consider Christianity as not just being a religion but a lifestyle, our activities, even the type of music we listen to. Being a gospel DJ creates an alternative for believers to listen to and still get the same entertainment but also get inspired and motivated. For me what is more satisfying is that people are blessed because I made them dance, loosen up and happy.