This site was launched as Africa Fashion Plus, where the plus allows us to be inspired by art, drama, food and music. With Afrobeats becoming ever more popular on a global scale, we approached DJ Felix Nashito about creating and sharing a series of cool mixes with the Africa Fashion audience. Luckily, he said “Yes”! It all starts with a Valentine’s mix.
Nashito is a term of endearment meaning ‘A Strong Force of Energy’. Born in Nigeria, the home of AfroBeat, this DJ’s reputation tells you to expect the unexpected.
Nashito is an avid traveller with an insatiable appreciation for all musical genres. Right now, he resides in Canada as one of the nation’s premium party rockers. Previously, he’s lived in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kenya and France.
Every month, he will be looking to create an exquisite mix for Africa Fashion readers and we encourage you to tune in, enjoy and share Nashito’s Top 10 Afrobeats of the moment. You’ll see, first hand, that Nashito has an innate ability to create memories everywhere he plays. To kick off this new feature, we spent some time interviewing the man himself.
We asked when he first played a record or a set for someone else.
“Just a record? That would be 2001”, he told us. “My first set was at the High School Dance Party in Ethiopia when I was just 13 years old”.
Plenty of history to draw on then!
So what about 2016? If you need to liven up the dance floor, which track ALWAYS gets the crowd moving?
“Well now, that depends, but universally Chris Brown is always a smart choice”, said Nashito. “Wizkid for Africa”.
Travelling as much as he does, Nashito must see wildly different reactions on the dance floor. We asked him about the differences between Miami, Lagos, the UK and the Caribbean.
“There’s definitely a difference!”, he exclaimed.
“Africans go crazy for good Afrobeats no matter where you are!”
“In Canada the music has, and is, currently crossing cultural barriers. In Dubai for example, the DJ’s know a lot of Afrobeats and mix them in with much of their peak nightly sets and the crowds love it”, he said.
“The US is a tough market so I can only attest to only Africans vibing to Afrobeats, so far LOL”, he explained. “Obviously back home in Nigeria and Ethiopia, Afrobeats is leading the local dancefloors. The bottom line, everywhere I’ve played and been people like and dance when Afrobeats comes on!”.
Clubbers just need to be exposed to new music enough times for it to move them.
What about his ambitions for the future? If he could play a gig anywhere, where would it be?
“Most DJs would probably say the cliche ‘Tomorrowland’, ‘Ultra’ or ‘Ibiza'”, Nashito told us. “I’d like to play those places, for the experience. But, as a professional DJ with love for the music, I’d rather DJ for 20 people who love music, have an open ear and just wanna dance, than for 5000 pissy zombies.”
So, Nashito, if you could have any 3 famous ladies at your dream gig, dancing in the booth next to you, who would they be?
“Nicki, Ri-Ri and Bey”, he responded without hesitation. “They’re probably the most popular black female artists today. It could help spring Afrobeats further”.
While on the subject of the ladies, any views on why there seem to be so few female Afrobeats stars?
“African practices, beliefs, and cultures in general can be very negative towards the art & entertainment industry and women are held back a lot more, as is the case in most of the world unfortunately”, he said. “The standards you need to hit in order to see commercial successful in music are very high and usually require more effort than much of our culture will allow us to explore and respect”.
So does he have a personal favourite when it comes to genres?
“I really don’t have a personal favorite genre”, he laughed. “I usually tell people when they ask me that question that I like sounds that make people wanna move straight away, fast or slow!”
We asked about his fashion interests – and what he likes to do when not DJ-ing.
“I am getting into African fashion a lot more now, with emerging designers such as Ludama Ngxokolo, Laurence Chauvin Buthaud, and especially Olorunyomi Omoniyi Makun of Yomi Casual”, he told us. “When I’m not playing, I love watching documentaries about history and nature”.
Lastly, any messages of inspiration for youngsters who might want to follow in your footsteps?
“Make sure you LOVE IT and learn the business as soon as possible”.
Listen, Watch & Share ‘Sounds Of Africa Radio’ #SOAR: with Africa Fashion. Head over to Nashito’s TOP TEN African Hits Mix – FEBRUARY 2016 ”Valentine Vibes”