Unless you’ve been burrowed under a rock for 18 months – and who would blame you given the turbulent times – it marks the end of lockdown rules. So, as DJs limber up to play for partygoers itching to relive prelockdown days, DJ YUKI (real name Osayuki Omo-Uwamere) has yet to confirm her plans. “I can’t reveal anything yet but whatever it is, it’s going to be epic,” she says.
The in-demand and genre-blending DJ has a penchant for playing in style. Jet-setting around the globe to spin for Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix or playing at Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launch are just some of her career high points. But it doesn’t stop there: in the last year, DJ YUKI expanded her CV with the addition of producer following the release of dancefloor summer anthem Weekend Love.
We catch up with the glamorous cover star to talk about issues close to her heart, from music, wigs and fashion to telling her Nigerian parents that she wanted to change career and become a DJ…
What album got you through lockdown?
I’ve been loving Beyoncé’s Homecoming album. I watched the documentary when it first came out but listening to the album is just something else completely. It’s the fact that it’s live – not just a live vocal, but recorded as a live performance. She’s singing, dancing, doing it all and just sounds flawless. It’s a fun, nostalgic album and just a throwback for festivals and live events, which I’m missing so much right now. Listening to the album just gives me all those amazing feelings again and has me reminiscing about good times.
Where does your love of music come from?
My parents were always playing music when I was growing up and they always had such eclectic tastes. They listened to everything from Fela and Victor Uwaifo to acid house, jazz and disco. It’s definitely shaped how I view music and my personal taste.
No genre is off limits when it comes to your sets, but what’s your favourite type of music if you had to choose?
That’s such a hard question. I really don’t know as I listen to so many genres just depending on my mood and the whole vibe. If I had to say right now at this very moment, it would be R&B to listen to and then Jackin House for my sets.
What was more challenging – telling your parents you wanted to be a DJ, or transitioning from DJ to producer?
Definitely telling my parents. Telling Nigerian parents, who thought I was going to be a lawyer, that I wanted to be a DJ was not something that I dropped randomly over the dinner table. It was a carefully thought out operation, which sounds so dramatic, but it really was. I always felt like there was so much expectation in the sense that I am my mum’s only child. And after going to boarding school to Warwick Uiniversity to then starting law school, everything seemed to be going in the direction of me becoming a lawyer. So for me to drop out of law school and tell my parents that I wasn’t happy and wanted to do music full-time was so difficult. It’s not as though they didn’t know that I wanted to do music for years, but I think they thought that it was just a phase and would pass. However, it never did. Thankfully my mum is my biggest supporter now and has all my tracks and playlists on repeat.
We’re obsessed with how you style wigs. Is there a process to deciding your next wig look?
Thank you! I tend to go for 5×5 or 6×6 closures as I don’t have the capacity for frontals, so it has to be a style that will work with that. I also never glue down my wigs. I work really closely with Edmund Bossman on my looks. He will sometimes just be like, ‘listen the blonde is cute and all but we need some lowlights, we need some colour, we need some spice,’ so we kind of work like that. I’ll tell him what I have coming up and we’ll just get to work. It’s really fun.
Your style is so on point; how do you keep up with evolving trends?
Thank you! Instagram is great, I’m also always on the fashion blogs and I never thought I’d say this but Pinterest is so good for discovering emerging trends.
You’ve played for a lot of cool brands like Fenty Skin and Fila – who would be your dream collab?
Oooh there are so many brands I’d love to collab with! I’ve got loads of ideas for beauty collabs from make-up palettes to nails and then of course I would love to work on a project with something to do with DJing, like creating my own headphones or something totally from scratch.
What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?
You are never going to be able to please everyone and that’s OK. Do what makes you happy.
CREDITS: Photography by Femelle Studios; Hair by Pashcanel Mitchell; Make-Up by Natasha Wright