Every year, the music industry gets new, talented and exciting artists that captivate the attention of music lovers. However, with all these new musicians entering the competitive music arena, it becomes increasingly easy to forget some big-name stars of years past.
Some fans have no idea what their favourite artists from a decade ago are doing these days. To that end, Entertainment Now! had a brief chat with renowned rapper, Diogene Ochs, 34, better known as D-Jay to find out what he has been up to.
“I haven’t been in contact with the media lately. I decided to focus on my followers and not really stress on the music industry because of what was happening behind the scenes. There were a few things that I was unhappy with, that led me to not focus so much on the industry,” he said. Without elaborating.
The singer further clarified that he has not been on a musical break and has been releasing singles now and then. However, he was shying away from the spotlight due to personal reasons.
“Despite it all, I will never stop doing music. I am just waiting for something big to hit me - a multimillion or half a million-dollar deal. I feel like I have done everything and I just need that big breakthrough.”
The father of two is now also open to product endorsements, brand influencing and record label deals. Ochs said he got tired of the entire music production process and not getting what he wants out of it.
“I don’t want to do what I have been doing, I don’t want to be just another artist in the industry talking about the same stuff every year when it’s time to release new material.”
Asked about the state of the current music industry, the ‘Listen to your heart’ singer acknowledged the growth, saying the industry is totally different from how it was about 15 years ago. However, he believes there is a hard, long road to get to where it is supposed to be.
“There’s so much talent, but no structure (not well organised) now. The industry is a bit lost I would say. Especially now that the NAMAs ended, it’s even worse. Everyone went their own way. Things are moving very fast now. Hits last for about a week compared to the two years on the charts back then. Now we have social media, and everyone has a YouTube channel. Everyone is a celebrity. You don’t need to be talented to be an artist anymore.”
Ochs, who won Best Hip Hop artist award at the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) in 2008 and 2009, noted that people will follow and like anything entertaining and that affects the talented ones who are serious and spend over 10,000 hours perfecting their craft.
“To have the biggest hip-hop songs in the country was huge. Filling up the Kuisebmund Stadium was another big highlight for me. I remember driving to Walvis Bay for my concert and around 6,000 people were waiting. That was huge. We made good money that weekend.”
On his bad industry memories, the two-time award-winning artist reminisced about the day in 2009 when he was involved in a fatal car crash that claimed the lives of his producer Eclipse and RnB artist Roger. “I spent three months in hospital when I had spine surgery. I had a broken neck and backbone. It was terrible, but I made it through.”
The accident, he said, taught him not to rush the process and always make the right decisions.
The dos and don’ts
Ochs advised prospective musicians to find themselves, and not rush into the industry as they will get lost.
“You have to be very strong to last in this game. It’s not for the weak. Don’t do music for clout; you won’t last. The truth always comes out, that’s why only the real will last.”
In the pipeline
Ochs is currently planning on moving back to Windhoek from his coastal hometown and release an album.
“I will release an album, but it has to be different. I am working on a higher budget album with better marketing, and I have not shot videos in a while and that is in my plan as well. I would need investors for my upcoming project, so I make it bigger and better.”
He is currently unemployed but is a part-time livestock farmer. Ochs is raising his two sons and is looking for employment to enable him to secure a better future for them and support his dreams as an artist.
Award-winning rapper... D-Jay wants bigger deals. Photo: Contributed