MC NEL AND DJ WALLPAPER: LIFE OF A YOUNG GHANAIAN DJ
Disc Jockeying as an art of playing recorded sound or music simultaneously for a crowd or audience on radio, TV, or at a gathering has been booming in Ghana in recent times.
With their direct access to musicians many are if they believe that as we’ve seen in the life of some of the most popular DJs in the world living extravagant lifestyles, DJ is as lucrative as music-making itself.
Ghana can boast of having some of the best DJs on the continent with the likes of DJ Mensah, DJ Vyrusky, DJ Black, Dj Kess, DJ Mic Smith, DJ Akua among others doing amazing work with their art.
However, just like any other field what we see on the gram and on the news isn’t always the same behind the scene.
In this article, I look at the stories of two young DJs (MC Nel and DJ WALLPAPER) who are on doing amazing their own spaces in Ghana’s DJ scene. I look at how they cope with all the misconceptions, ups, and downs that are associated with being a young DJ in a country like Ghana.
Real name Allen Marrett Pappoe, Mc Nel is a DJ, MC, and podcast host who Started Djing due to his for love music.
After high school, he decided to channel his love for music into djing and sharing music with others. He thus, researched and begun the Djing journey.
Nel is of the belief that Djs just like artistes are artists and as such he considers disk jockeying as an art form that goes beyond just knowing BPMs. Therefore, he puts a lot of effort into his work and it has resulted in him having wonderful sets.
His works have exposed him to a lot of things and also connected him to a lot of people he wouldn’t have met had it not been for DJing. He has learned how to work with people and understand how music affects people differently.
— The Don🥶 (@McNel_) September 2, 2020
He has worked with brands such as Echo House and Hotor Brands among other brands. He has Djed alongside some of the biggest acts in the country.
In as much he has enjoyed his time as a DJ, he has experienced some frustrating and difficult moments. However, his family has been very supportive of his career especially his mum.
My Mum has been supporting me all this while… her only concern was how I will combine my studies with this. So, for her as long as I could keep my grades up she was ready to support me… in fact, she is one of the people that has been getting me shows to play like private parties and things.
In response to a question about how DJing has been, he stated that Djing in Ghana is not as easy and as some people perceive;
You need to take a firm stand with regards to your dealing and you need to understand that there’s going to be low movements. You’ll have people who will not pay you what you are worth or hold up to their end of an agreement bargain. “Sometimes it gets frustrating that you play a wonderful set and the person ends up deciding not to pay you as they should, but it gets better when you able to package well.
Mc Nel aside being a DJ is an event host and also runs a podcast that runs on digital platforms. His podcast addresses of issues from entertainment to social topics.
THE FEMINISM PODCAST IS HERE!
I had two amazing guests join us to talk about a touchy subject that has made waves in recent times. It was an interesting conversation and YOU should listen. Let me know what you think too, I’d be anticipating your views. 🍏:https://t.co/NU2cMwLwuy pic.twitter.com/YsFbXE5dGn
— The Don🥶 (@McNel_) August 23, 2020
He also has three songs to his credit and a number of mixes. You can check out his latest single with Endwd DJ titled Diamonds featuring Roadman Remy below
You can also listen to his recently released mix he calls Dubstep Mix which consists of electronic themed songs.
For further enquires or bookings you find him on all social media platforms via the handle @mcnel_ you head over to his website by clicking HERE
Bittor Elikem Wonder, known as DJ Wallpaper is one of the finest DJs that has been making waves in the country over the last 2-3 years, Wallpaper has gradually carved a name for himself in the industry.
His love for DJing can be traced back to his childhood days when he began playing around with music gadgets but had to wait till he got to the university to begin disk jockeying.
The University of Ghana graduate during his time on campus played at some of the biggest parties on campus as well as major events and concerts. His dedication to his work earned him a lot of awards, gigs, and slots on various platforms, events, and clubs after university.
He has been resident DJ at some of the biggest locations in Accra including Venus club and FireFly but currently plays at Cockpit and Ace Tantra. His exploits have seen him mount some big stages in and outside Ghana.
He has worked with acts such as Mzvee, Dope Nation, Dj Vyrusky, and is currently the personal DJ for Lynx entertainment signed acts KiDi and Kuami Eugene.
— DJ WALLPAPER ( THE VIBE ) ( KREW ) (@djwallpapergh) December 1, 2019
Despite gaining some success in his career thus far, he stated that it has not been easy.
Growing up in the industry has not been as smooth as it may seem. People don’t accept Djs like that… apart from having little sleep cause I play during the day(weddings, engagements) and in the club at night, others don’t respect your job. They have this perception that Djs are not educated. Like DJs are mostly dropouts but that is not the case, take me, for instance, I have a degree but I am DJ by choice not because I dropped out of school and felt it’ll be an easy way out..
He also added that it is not easy being a DJ in a country where the systems do not support what they do and he is playing is part in ensuring that people see DJing as a professional job and as such, they will be able given the respect and recognition they deserve.
It is quite difficult for DJs in Ghana, cause like I said people already perceive Djs as some dropout or some rascal… I know people that work in radio stations and this is their 9-5. So we (DJs) are trying to make it profitable as we see in the West. Cause sometimes you are called to play at a show, you give your price and the person goes like Ah nyɛ ndwom kɛkɛ na wobɛbɔ? so people feel like they are doing you a favour but it is my profession and should be treated as such, but I believe we will get there and people will eventually see us as the professionals we are and give us the respect and amount we deserve
Earlier this year Wallpaper started a high school tour in collaboration with High Skul Clique and Beta Malt. The tour was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
— DJ WALLPAPER ( THE VIBE ) ( KREW ) (@djwallpapergh) February 12, 2020
In between playing at parties and events, Wallpaper has released several mixtapes including the popular ‘The Vibe’ series. Below is the third edition of the series of mixes which is a collection of some the best afrobeat songs around.
If you want to book or interact with Dj Wallpaper you can do that on all social platforms via his handle @djwallpapergh
MC NEL and DJ WALLPAPER just like other young DJs go through a lot in the quest to do what they love and make a career out of it. As such we the public can start making things smoother for them by treating them as the professionals they are. I will be talking to other DJs and creatives in subsequent articles.
Story by: Nana Kojo Mula