“One Song Will Change Everything” – Exclusive Interview With DJ Mensah

by Lucy Lerner

18th July, 2018

Two world-renowned music acts recently teamed up together to create the smash hit of the summer. DJ Mensah, Winner of Best Ghana DJ at the 2017 Ghana Entertainment Awards USA and top talent Ghanian rapper Sarkodie released ‘Say I Do’ which has been playing in clubs, weddings, and pretty much anywhere you can get feet on the dance floor.

‘Say I Do’ is certainly the soundtrack of the summer – it’s filled with an undeniable energy, a warm bass, smooth flow and infectious hook. It’s a sweet hybrid of Azonto, dance grooves, layered rhythms and all the ingredients for a dance-floor staple in between.

Neon Music caught up with DJ Mensah for a very enlightening interview to see what he thinks about the Afro-fusion sound and how nothing gets in the way of the school run.

Tell me about your track ‘Say I do’ and what it’s like working with Sarkodie?
The idea behind ‘Say I Do’ was to have a timeless song, something that will play 10 years from now. People get married every weekend and it will always cut out as one of the top 10 afrobeats wedding songs. Working with Sarkodie is very easy if you have the right song. ‘Say I do’ was the 6th beat I had sent to him. He rejected the other five.

What made you want to become a DJ?
I am very passionate about music and making people happy. I love throwing parties. I always felt I could DJ better than the last DJ I listened to even though I wasn’t a DJ yet. I didn’t kill my dream and my passion. I worked towards it and everyday has been a learning process for me.

How do you think the ‘Afro-fusion’ sound has evolved over the last few years?
It’s slowly taking over, I remember I used to play a lot of RNB, Dancehall & Hip Hop at my resident club just to hold people to stay till late but today it’s different. Everyone keeps waiting and requesting for afrobeats. I won’t even say we will soon take over, I can confidently say we have arrived.

Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
The never-ending talents springing up from Africa when it comes to music. It’s like there’s always a new artist to listen to. It inspires me to even work harder.

What do you enjoy most about being in the music industry?
Performances; making or playing music is one thing, but on stage, to see people move to what you do is amazing.

What have been your highlights of the past year?
Playing at venues I only saw on TV (02 Arena, Appollo Theatre, Wembley Arena, Brixton Academy etc).

How much time do you spend on social media per day?
Depends on my schedule, even on my busy days I try to catch up with everything before I go to bed.

Favourite venue/festival to perform at and why?
My recent one was Afrobeats in Marbella, Spain. I am definitely going back next summer. I want to explore it more before I go to Ibiza.

Top 5 tracks for Summer 2018?
Say I Do- Dj Mensah Ft Sarkodie
London Town -Mr Eazi ft Giggs
Soco -Wizkid
Fa Ma Me (Rmx)- Jetey Ft Sarkodie & Gidochi
Gringo – Shattawale

Describe a typical day for DJ Mensah?
Depends on the day. A typical day for me now, check if my phone is fully charged, read and reply all the important messages, have my morning devotion and say my prayer after. I never miss breakfast (coffee), check with my manager if all meetings are still confirmed. I never miss picking my kids from school at 3pm.

Everything I have to do must be before or after picking my kids. People always tease me that I never lose weight or build muscles even though I am always at the gym; I still make it an effort to go anyway. Thursday nights are for movies, Fridays you will find me at my resident club (On2One Bar-Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra). I have seven close friends which mostly meet to have lunch on Sundays after church.

Dream collaborations?
Shattawale, Wizkid, Davido, Stonebwoy, EL, Nasty C, Casper Nyovest, Mr Eazi, and Tiwa Savage.

Who would play you in a movie and why?
No one can play me better than actor Majid Michel, because he was there from the beginning.

You have been in music for a long time – what is your advice for people who want to break into the music industry?
Hit till it breaks! Don’t give up because a few singles you released didn’t get the attention deserved. I always say one song will change everything.

What’s next for DJ Mensah?
Dropping another single very soon (hopefully in July)
Ghana Party In The Park (UK)
Dropping one of the finest mixes of all times, Best of 90’s mix, hopefully in July.
DJs Rave: DJ Mensah’s Corner at Chalewote Festival (this August)
One Africa Concert (New York)
Untouchable Concert (hopefully in October)
My annual All White Party in November.
One Africa Concert (Dubai)
December events (Accra, Ghana)

Stream ‘Say I Do’ here.

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