Quick Questions with Soul Yin
From studying Human Resource Management and Psychology to becoming the First Black Female DJ to break a Guinness World Record. On this week’s Quick Questions, Soul Yin shares her story and journey with us.
We’re creating a comic book of superheroes of the African music industry, as a DJ what would your superhero name be and what super powers would you possess?
My superhero name would be Soul Yin and my power would be vulnerability. I see it as a strength, especially in today’s world where most people are afraid to be vulnerable.
You have to introduce yourself to an audience using three song titles what would you say ?
Lauren Hill – You’re just so good to be true;
This Woman’s Work – Maxwell; and
Any Sade Adu song
How did the name Soul Yin come to be ?
I think everyone who has come in contact with me feels like they have seen a piece of my soul. I can also be seen as dark because of my stoic face so there’s mystery to me, and Yin is the feminine energy of balance. In summary Soul Yin is a description of me.
Your journey to becoming a dj is not one of the Cliches, can you fill us in on some of the details ?
I always knew I wanted to be a DJ, from listening to Dj’s on Channel O to critiquing Dj’s as a child and watching my dad who used to Dj in Chicago, its safe to say I was immersed in the DJ culture early on. In Secondary school my very close friend happened to be the daughter of THE DJ Jimmy Jatt. He acted as a father, mentor and guide on my path to becoming a DJ. The truth is, I haven’t seen myself doing anything outside being a DJ so even though I started out as a musician , my heart beats for my turntables and mashups.
Top three obstacles you’ve faced as a Dj & how you creatively manoeuvered them?
- Living & existing in Lagos Nigeria; between the traffic, the absence of infrastructure and the economic state.
- Being a woman, and as a direct result, being looked down on, objectified and underpaid.
- Being a very reserved person, in an industry filled with various pressures to be every where every time. I tried this for a while but I am in a place now where I am focused on crafting my path and name in a way that honours who I really am. So far, this has brought me more peace.
I have learnt early on to view “obstacles” as an opportunity to partner with God and thats what I’ve tried to do every time i’ve faced a tough situation. I strongly believe that’s what’s gotten me here.
What are Soul Yin’s three favourite meals of all time?
- CHINESE ! As long as it doesn’t have octopus, mussels, oysters or any of those guys count me in!
- I love Egusi and Pounded Yam
- I love Spaghetti, not linguini, not penne pasta, I mean Spaghetti I mean like Dangote Spaghetti and Chicken. But it’s the way I cook it , no body do it like me, so the more accurate statement would be “I Love Soul Yin’s Spaghetti”.
Tell us the story that led to the title “First Black Female Dj with a World Record”?
Funny story when I told my mum I wanted to beat a record she said “how will you Dj for 3 days?” and I said “ Mum its actually five days” But even I was wrong because when I checked I realised Dj Obi had done it for 10 days. At this point I was shocked but I told God; you have to help me. Till tomorrow I cant explain what made me do that. but I’ve come to realise that it was just me being my most authentic self in that moment and honouring my needs.
The summary of the story is that I have a coconut head!
For details, I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career at the time and I needed to do something that would break me out and place me on a new level in the industry. One day I randomly told my friend I want to break a world record and he said that “would be amazing” and he went on to get me everything I needed, including a controller and a laptop, basically the ideal set to practice for such a feat.
I knew I needed to build endurance and stamina and so I started training intensely. I eventually realised it was more mental than physical. There soon came a point where I was running for 5 hours everyday, my life was; walk or run to gym and back then practise.
On my first day playing to break the record, my mum sat in her car and cried but I knew that if I got to day 5 and I couldn’t do it I would stop knowing I had tried. By day 3 Davido called me and I knew I had to go the long haul, and more people showed up. I lost my mind at some point because my mum said there was a time I didn’t recognise her. I didn’t know I could sit so I stood for 3 days straight and my back started to hurt at some point so every time I was dancing it wasn’t because I can dance it was because I didn’t want to feel the pain. After breaking a world record I slept for 11 hours and went right on to the next thing because I had done what I had set out to do and I was satisfied.
When you’re not being soul yin the Dj what unexpected things can you be found doing?
COOKING! aside from Yin Spaghetti, I love to cook Jollof rice, Sweet and Sour Chicken, coconut rice, and Egusi.
I also run a business and have a couple side hustles so I’ll be found there.
If you had to start the journey from scratch what would you do differently?
I’d be more mindful of people I let into my life, but honestly I wouldn’t change any thing because I believe that everything happened with a purpose and if one thing changed, the course of my life would be changed and I think this journey so far has been worth every minute of it.
Your name is going in the Hall of fame for people who impacted the Music industry what would your quote be?
Work hard, Work smart, Never let go of God!
What would you say to anyone who is considering becoming a Dj?
Make sure you love it, don’t do it because it looks cool. If you don’t love Dj’ing you’ll be beating people on the road daily because in addition to the job being difficult, you will be disrespected. You might make money from it, but be sure you love it as that’s what will keep you going on the days you don’t make a dime.