What is possibly one of the the coolest jobs in the world? We’re gonna go with DJ. Think you’ve got what it takes to get on the decks in front of a dancing crowd? Allow our latest Miss Boss Olivia Suleimon, aka DJ Yemisul, to give you a taste of what it’s really like 💗
Performing high energy sets from London to hometown Sydney, we literally can’t take our eyes off her bold style and money-moves right now. Take it away, Olivia.
Tell us about your career journey so far – we’re dying to know how you got started!
My career started with a magazine I ran in 2015 called izmzmag. Myself and friend Ebony Boadu would profile people, do Vox pops on topical issues and release them on Facebook. At the beginning of 2016, we thought it would be cool to branch out into music, interview artists and throw parties. I also thought we should try and learn to DJ ourselves, so we put our names on the flyer for our first event and it was a success, and more and more bookings came from that!
Work hard, play harder. So, what’s your creative process for putting playlists together? We need some help on that…
My creative process when putting playlists together would be to first check my Shazam. I am constantly Shazam-ing music when I’m out. It’s kind of embarrassing, I have to try doing it discreetly so I don’t look weird! But I first go to that, download all of the recent stuff and then build from there. I have my go to’s that I know work and I also think are a bit of a signature for me, like Khia My Neck My Back. The most important thing to me when creating a playlist is that it’s firstly fun, and not pretentious with a whole bunch of music no one knows.
Yesss! Where are some of your favourite places – countries, bars, parties etc – to DJ?
London has been amazing. I’m used to playing in Sydney which is great, but sometimes the stuff I want to play isn’t received so well. It’s been so freeing to play the music I genuinely like and have it be enjoyed by everyone at the same time.
That’s an interesting point, why do you think your music wasn’t well received as London?
I love to play dancehall, afro beats, uk hip hop and grime and naturally that’s not the biggest genre out there, so to be here feels extremely freeing, because people know the tracks, I don’t have to drop them really early I can play them when I like and they go off, as they’re supposed to.
Who/what would be your dream Yemisul collab?
What we would give to see that happen! Is there anyone you think has had a strong influence in your work?
Not really to be honest. DJing has tested my belief in myself because when you’re choosing what to play next it can get quite nerve-racking if you let it, but you have to back yourself and your decisions and keep reminding yourself that no one else knows your freaking out.
Back yourself is our new Monday Mantra, thanks Olivia. Describe your sets with one word?
You probably get this all the time but tell us about the name ‘Yemisul’. What made you decide on it as your ‘stage’ name?
My Nigerian name is Yemi and my name is Olivia Suleimon. A couple of years ago I was dead set on becoming a TV presenter and I still very much am but more documentaries and less presenting for television. I had an audition to host a game show and when filling the form it had stage name, the girl next to me helped me come up with merging the two names. This was pre Instagram so when that came out, naturally I used that name and then its just gone on and on from there.
So, what’s a a typical day like for you as Yemisul?
I’ve just started working for a filmmaker so my day consists of whatever needs to be done for the film we’re working on. It’s quite a long commute for me now so that actually helped my DJing a lot as now I have all this time to discover new and enjoy my old music.
Oldies = the besties. Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the DJ community?
Less conversations about “female DJ’s” and actual equality where we’re all just DJs.
Here here. What about when you’re feeling a bit uninspired, what do you do?
I write in my diary (I feel like a little girl saying that, haha!)
We definitely still have diaries, such an open secret! What would you say is the best career decision you’ve ever made?
Throwing that first party that set my whole DJ-ing career off.
I love a good well-made casual top/look that I can dress up with hair and make up. I think there’s something really powerful and confident in dressing completely down in a nightclub setting. Makes you look like you don’t care and you have other places to be, haha!