Born and raised in Benin, West Africa, the now-successful DJ tried a myriad of professions before finding his calling. Following his mother’s advice, AMÉMÉ focused on academics. After dabbling in finance and moving to New York to study pre-med, he realized he wasn’t the right fit for either. While trying out new jobs, Sodoganji continued to foster his love for music on the side by teaching himself how to mix songs and curate DJ sets. Eventually, he gave into his passion and decided to pursue it full time.
Now, AMÉMÉ is headlining sets at some of the biggest venues around the world, while producing music through his company One Tribe. MoSpecialising in Afro-leaning electronic music, with flourishes of tribal percussion and spiritual vocals built upon a foundation of contemporary deep house and tech, AMÉMÉ’s DJ sets are eclectic, energetic and nourishing for the soul.
Releases on his One Tribe label found their way to Black Coffee, who supported the music in Tulum back in 2019. With such an influential figure backing his productions, it was inevitable that AMÉMÉ’s name would soon be ringing in the ears of other key tastemakers. Over the past few years he’s been signed to Watergate Records, Blond:Ish has released his music on her Abracadabra label and the mighty MoBlack has also brought the West African wonder on board. Recently he was drafted in to remix fellow African artist Omah Lay’s song ‘Understand’ for Sire Records (Warner).
AMÉMÉ was chosen in order to maintain the connection to the motherland, injecting Omah’s original with unique influences from his own lineage. The remix breathes new life into the song, while holding true to the energy of their nation. Meanwhile, he has demonstrated his prowess as a selector, touring the globe to spin in global epicentres for electronic music; Ibiza, Miami, Berlin, New York, Paris, Mykonos and Tulum through to events like Burning Man, where his tribal rhythms, spiritually-enriching vocals and life affirming melodies were right at home.
AMÉMÉ’s outgoing persona and contagious energy behind the decks complement his rapturous selections, creating the ideal combination to fill the dance floor with uplifting vibrations. In his homeland Benin, West Africa, the ancient art of voodoo still has a presence in everyday life. The spiritual practice centres on human connection with the natural world; plants, animals and inanimate objects.
Everything has energy, vibration and life force. Many of its core rituals are rooted in drums and chants, the voice and percussion, deeply innate human modes of expression. AMÉMÉ’s early life was indelibly marked by the influence of this ceremonial tradition and wider African music culture. As a child he competed with his siblings to produce mixtapes that could be played in the car on the way to school. Whoever had the best selection was bestowed with the honour of soundtracking their journey.
Later he became part of a hip hop group in his home nation, achieving nationwide success and supporting French superstars when they toured in Benin. These two pivotal points instilled in AMÉMÉ crucial skills that would bolster his DJ career; selecting music and performing.
In 2005 his older brother moved to France after high school and returned to his homeland with electronic music from the European nation, which, of course, he played in the car, because he was the oldest sibling. Over the three months of summer, AMÉMÉ couldn’t escape from French house and (eventually) came to love it. This introduction to the greats of the French scene forms the bedrock of his shift into electronic music. Fast forward a few years and AMÉMÉ moved to New York.
There he utilised his new surroundings to begin exploring the possibilities of becoming a DJ, which had been his dream since he was 12. He bought a controller, taught himself to play and began spinning at small parties, later becoming proficient with playing vinyl, too. A few twists and turns, including a hiatus from DJing to concentrate on a career in banking, eventually led to AMÉMÉ’s decision to go for broke and embrace his dream wholeheartedly.
The early stages and influences in his life imbue his approach to DJing and production; chants, drums, African musical culture, impeccable selection, performance, French house… it’s all there in the DNA of his unique sonic identity. Thanks to his analytical mind, he was aware that it was crucial to establish other creative outlets alongside his DJing.
This led to the birth of One Tribe, a multifaceted platform which includes an events wing and a fashion label. He became connected with New York’s highly influential House Of Yes, which served as a launchpad for his vision. In 2019 he moved to Berlin and made contact with Rise, the subdivision of Watergate, forming a bond with the afrohouse outfit.
Living in the German city further cemented his love for electronic music culture, and fueled his growth as an artist. AMÉMÉ’s ability to connect with people and make things happen has been evident throughout his entire career. He has a considered approach to his ambitions, and plans his movements accordingly. This natural aptitude for strategising and forward thinking, combined with his passion for making and sharing music has put him in a position where he has been the master of his own destiny. For a relative newcomer to the electronic music world, his rise has been astounding, galvanized by this enlightened approach. AMÉMÉ’s empire continues to grow in tandem with his profile, demonstrating that true talent rises to the top.
His sincere and humble determination places music and community at the forefront of his actions, with positive intent behind every new shift and evolution. From Benin to Brooklyn to Berlin, his worldly outlook and unrelenting drive means AMÉMÉ will be hosting his own percussion-fueled rituals on dance floors across the world for many years to come – uniting the global community and reminding us that we are all One Tribe.