Carving a niche for yourself especially as a female plying her trade in a male dominated field is no mean feat!
Then being one born into wealth and all the vestiges that comes with it; puts more pressure on you!
The constant need to always prove yourself without the big name attached to your first name could even put more target on your back
This is the fate of Female Disk Jockey, Business Woman, Musician, Entreprenuer and Heiress to the Otedola Dynasty- DJ Cuppy!
Hello there and Welcome to Timeout with Tega on Gbedustreet TV your lifestyle and Entertainment Channel.
I’m your host Tega
Timeout with Tega is a program where we x-ray the lifestyle of various celebrities- their epic wins, fails, triumphs and more; then juxtapose them with your normal everyday life to keep you thrilled, educated and entertained.
On today’s episode we bring to you the alluring story of this beautiful scion of one of the notable families in Nigeria.
How she chose her passion over her family’s wealth in Oil and Gas
What keeps her going especially in a chauvinistic society like ours, with the misogynistic tendencies she gets from the males who see her as a fairy tale princess riding on the wave and popularity of super rich Daddy!
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Born Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola on November 11, 1992), a Nigerian disc jockey, serial Entrepreneur and producer; of course we all know her as the daughter of oil magnate Femi Otedola and granddaughter to former Governor of Lagos state- Late Michael Otedola.
She grew up partly in Lagos but moved to boarding school in London at the age of thirteen.
Cuppy graduated from King’s College London in July 2014, with a degree in business and economics. She proceeded to the New York University where she earned a master’s degree in music business in 2015.
With her degrees in place both in Economics and Music; DJ Cuppy was ready to take the world by storm and no better way of doing this than flexing her muscles on the deck as a Disk Jockey- a male dominated business and one that would put her at odds with many of her detractors who feels she is just “wasting” daddy’s money on a fruitless venture.
But being a very strong and resilient young woman, Cuppy made her inroads into the Nigerian Entertainment Industry; doing it in grand style by being the resident DJ at the MTV Africa Music Awards in Durban South Africa in 2014.
The same year, (July to be precise); she released- House of Cuppy as her first compilation mix in London and Lagos; she later dropped the mix in September 2nd in New York. With this compilation, she mixed popular songs of top afro pop artistes.
As a lady with an entrepreneurial background, Cuppy launched the London-based music management and content production business, Red Velvet Music Group.
With this new wave in town a lot of peeps starting paying great attention to this rich kid with a passion for scratching the disk and controlling the tempo of the party.
In an Interview she granted Nancy Isime on the latter’s popular program on HIP TV- Trending. The Disk Jockey revealed that it was her passion for music that drove her into becoming a DJ.
“a lot of people ask me this question, qnd it’s purely based on passion. I was born in Lagos and I moved to London when I was thirteen. Imagine being 13 years old and all of a sudden your parents are like “you moving to London”. No friends you move to boarding school without them, so I missed home so much. I missed the food, the traffic, I miss everything about Lagos. So the only way of identifying with being at home was listening to music… it was almost like my savior”
“I have an entrepreneurial spirit I come from a very entrepreneurial family why am I music? …I decided that I would rather do what I love. I always say find a job you love and you’d never have to work a day in your life. This does not feel like work… I love what I do and you know I’ve made sure that I’ve learned to be good at it as well. I’ve learned also not just to do it as a hobby. DJ Cuppy is not for fun, it is a brand, it’s a commercial, it is a very serious profession…”
Again the Profession has not being one with no upheavals, because she went ahead to reveal in the same Interview with Nancy that she has been discriminated upon based on her gender.
A situation where she arrives at the venue of an event and being greeted with the “oh I thought it was a male DJ that was anchoring, oh! a female she will be playing sad and emotional music”.
While others felt she lacked the technical abilities to deploy her equipments at events, with some offering to help her with the wiring and stuff.
Cuppy has proven herself as a DJ in every regard, remember she anchored the Financial Times Luxury Summit in Mexico City; In March 2015, named the official DJ for the 2015 Oil Barons Charity in Dubai, and became the first African act to perform at the event; a beautiful feat she earned not by her dad’s connection, but rather by her ability to hold the crowd spellbound with her rich collection of compilations for every genre, mood and age.
In 2015 she dropped her sophomore mix compilation- House of Cuppy II and two months later (August 2015); she kicked off her tour of African cities in a tour she dubbed- “Cuppy Takes Africa” proudly supported by the Dangote Foundation.
During this tour, she visited 8 African countries of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa- in a tour that included both musical performances as well as charity.
The program aired on Foxlife TV as an 8 episode documentary series.
With her acceptance as a force to be reckoned with both within and without the industry; Cuppy decided she could show another side of her by employing her vocal abilities and tendencies as a singer.
She gave credit to Tekno for helping her make the transition easier, even when it was evident that she does not have the singing abilities of a Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey.
Cuppy talked about how the pana crooner made her realize that she could function not just as a DJ but a singer as well.
As an Artist, Cuppy has gone ahead to drop the following singles:
- October 13, 2017, she released “Green Light”, her first official single featuring Tekno
- March 30th 2018 she dropped “Vybe”, her sophomore single with guest vocals from Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie.
- August 24, 2018, she released “Currency” feat L.A.X
- October 5, 2018, she dropped “Werk” featuring the singing duo and brothers- Skuki
- April 19, 2019, she worked with Ghanaian act- Kwesi Aurthur in the Ghana inspired single- “Abena”
- August 16, 2019, she dropped “Gelato” her sixth single featuring the Zanku exponent and “Bolanle” crooner- Zlatan Ibile
She made another milestone and in January 2015, Cuppy was featured on the cover of the Guardian Life magazine celebrating African Women. She was also featured in the 2015 April/May issue of Forbes Woman Africa.
Internationally, Cuppy has anchored events like:
- In 2014 Cuppy was the resident DJ at the MTV Africa Music Awards in Durban
- played at the Tatler and Christie’s Art Ball in London
- the Financial Times Luxury Summit in Mexico City.
- named the official DJ for the 2015 Oil Barons Charity in Dubai
- In 2016, Cuppy was the resident DJ for MTV2’s Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne Tha God.
- March 20, 2018, Cuppy was announced as an Official DJ Ambassador for Pepsi
- 30 Billion Concert in 2017
- Alibaba January Ist concert in 2018
- LIVESPOT X FESTIVAL WITH CARDI B in Dec 2019
As far as Awards and Nominations go, DJ Cuppy has earned her own fair share of those; let’s get y’all up to speed by listing some of the Awards in her kitty as well as the Nominations too:
- Nominated as Female DJ at the ELOY Awards in 2014.
- DJ Cuppy won the Best Female DJ at the NEA Awards in 2015.
- Best female DJ of the Year at the Beatz Awards in 2016.
- DJ Cuppy was named Best female DJ of the Year at the Beatz Awards in 2017.
- Best female DJ of the Year at the Beatz Awards in 2018.
Regarded as the “Paris Hilton of Nigeria” by some of her detractors, I mean many literally believes that Cuppy is going the extra mile to spend her dad’s money in the bid to prove she’s got DJing Talents or the heart for the arts!
A target of misogynist who has made it a point to leave skating remarks as it concerns everything Cuppy, especially her career as a disk jockey.
Olamide playfully left the comments “cuppy and paste” in response to her post promoting her mixtape!
Well Cuppy has cleared the air and during an Interactive session on Twitter #AskCuppyAnything, she said:
“Hahaha… It wasn’t a diss, @olamide_YBNL and I were laughing on the phone! Inside Joke! LOL. #AskCuppyAnything
Aside this, the most notable attack on her personality was from Comedian/OAP- Ushbebe; when she referred to her a “whack dj”
Cuppy responding to the above attack to her brand and personality told Nancy Isime during their chat on Trending that, hear her:
“I didn’t necessarily want to pick on him because so many people
do it. It just happened to be a very public thing…I actually first saw it on hip TVs page and I felt like people always have something to say, it’s a shame but not everyone is gonna like you in life. I didn’t sit down and start crying… looking at it now I feel regardless of what you do, you have to do it for yourself, that’s why you don’t do things for others, because if you do you’ll have good and bad days and days you feel like rubbish and nobody likes you, but when you literally are passion driven nobody can tell you anything.”
Ushbebe on the other hand has also denied any rumored beef between him and the beautiful and super rich kid; he said:
“I didn’t crack a joke about DJ Cuppy alone; but about over seven people and some others seated in the hall.
I don’t understand why people singled out the joke I made on DJ Cuppy.
I also talked about Davido who is always dragging envelopes with entertainers despite coming from a rich background.
I attacked Wizkid and Mercy Johnson too. It was a comedy show. When you just take two seconds from a long video and put it online, you are obviously looking for attention and controversies. Something led to that particular video scene online.”
Cuppy has also been caught in other controversies, the recent one being when she had a “wardrobe malfunction” alighting from a car and paparazzi “allegedly” got a glimpse of her privates in a long slit gown she was wearing.
Relationship wise; the beautiful heiress has been linked to a wide variety of men.
She dated Ex Super Eagles player- Victor Anichebe
Asa Asika (Davido’s manager)
Had a rumored thing with Olamide which the pair have denied
Had it for Tekno, remember she attributes her crossover to music to the “skeletun” crooner
Zlatan Ibile, especially when she had another very close wardrobe malfunction on a stroll with the Zanku exponent
Now in a serious “purported” whirlwind romance with former WBC Heavyweight- Anthony Joshua who she has always regarded as her “crush”
Aside having crush for Joshua and Drake, Cuppy is also the crush of other men. Recall when Nollywood actor Uche Maduagwu pleaded with the DJ to have him as her boyfriend and he wouldn’t hesitate to quote- “wash her undies”
Regardless of all these negatives that people attribute her image and her brand to, Cuppy is known to have a large heart.
Her Foundation – Cuppy Foundation was launched in July 2018, and in November of the same year; the Foundation organized “The Gold Gala” where a whooping 5 billion Naira was raised for the Save The Children Initiative. The event had in attendance Cuppy’s Billionaire Father- Femi Otedola and Africa’s Richest Man- Aliko Dangote.
For Brand Endorsement Deals and Ambassadorship, Cuppy is never lacking in this regard.
- In April 2014, Cuppy was appointed by Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation (Edem Duke) as the tourism ambassador for the country’s “Fascinating Nigeria” campaign.
- On March 20, 2018, Cuppy was announced as an Official DJ Ambassador for Pepsi. She appeared in Pepsi’s “#NaijaAllTheWay” all star commercial ahead of the 2018 World Cup
- On June 5, 2018, Cuppy was announced as a Global Citizen Education Ambassador.
- On November 28, 2018, Cuppy was announced as an Ambassador For Save The Children UK
With an estimated net worth of about $1.7 million dollars, (excluding her inheritance); Cuppy has really done so well for herself.
Her brand and music also got the attention of some brands and she has been subsequently signed as their brand ambassadors, below are a few:
- She was endorsed as one of Pepsi’s DJ ambassadors, on the 20th of March 2018.
- Samsung’s ambassador in 2019.
- Partnering with Maybelline as an “IT GIRL” to help empower women which is one of the core values of the Company Cuppy was helping to portray.
While we continue to celebrate this Afro pop culture Icon- Cuppy, we must take cognizance of the following:
- Being born in wealth is not a precursor to world dominance, I mean it could serve as a springboard if properly used or a hindrance if underutilized or abused. Cuppy understands this and like the OBO Davido, she keeps trying to prove her worth outside her surname.
- Life is never a rollercoaster of popsicles, sweets and candies; Cuppy who is bilingual saw herself competing to show her entrepreneurial side outside the Otedola name tag by indulging in a profession that could be regarded as sexist; and still went ahead to show what “cuppy that tune” is always about.
Till I come your way again, stay blessed and continue to put that lighter up!