Since the turn of the century, one question has echoed throughout the halls of dorm rooms, barbershops, nail salons, and even grocery stores. The same question that used to keep me up at night as I argued with my good friend and Radial co-founder. That question is:
Who is the best DJ?
Needless to say, we have not yet cracked that age old conundrum, but we have come to an agreement. That is, more often than not, Caribbean DJs are far better-suited for people who enjoy our style of entertainment than non-Caribbean DJs . Ok, before you get your pitchforks out, I am not knocking the talent of Non-Caribbean DJs — in fact, there are some insanely gifted individuals doing great work to push the craft. What I am saying is that the style of DJing that works with our unique blend of cultures and tastes, comes with years of experience within the Caribbean community. And that makes a difference! Our friends at 2BKaribbean, do a great job talking about the qualities that make a great Caribbean DJ. Check it out:
With all that being said, we have seen both the new and the seasoned Caribbean DJs continue to push the conventional boundaries by experimenting with various tones & drops, remixing and remaking classics and current bangers, and using new technology to bridge the divide between the performer and the audience. One notable technology is the use of social media to bring fans closer to the DJs. I can think of a few examples of people who have done this incredibly well to help push their brand, with the added benefit that these influencers take our music to the global stage. From Sean Paul to Beenie man, Machel Montano to Bunji Garlin, King Bubba to Ricardo Drue, artists also agree that our Caribbean DJs fill a needed role to be ambassadors to our culture and serve on the front lines of our mission to the world.
Over the years, we have seen the growth of DJs like Trinidadian Dj Private Ryan; his creative remixes combined with his eclectic tastes secure him the iconic mantle of The most versatile DJ in the world. We have seen DJs like Antiguan Dj Crown Prince (aka The Soul Rebel), with one of the most popular podcasts, estimating downloads of 1800+ daily, who takes the music as the inspiration to create smooth mixes that introduce our music to fans all throughout the world. We cannot forget, the multiple-award-winning DJ and fellow entrepreneur, DJ Stephen, who not only tours the world with some of your favorite soca stars but has successfully started his own Merchandise Brand “I AM SOCA CLOTHING”. And of course, this list would be incomplete without the Jamaican Sound System Black Chiney that is best known for their fusion style of dancehall/hip hop refixes and dubplates that took the world by storm in the late 90s, with a team that includes Grammy Award-winning producer, Supa Dups.
As we fast forward to today, we at Radial, have the honor of working with some of the new faces of the Caribbean DJ movement. One of those faces belongs to rising Barbados superstar, and Digicel ambassador DJ Puffy who is one of the first Caribbean DJs to be selected for the Redbull Thre3style World Final DJ competition held in Chile this year. In fact, you should check out his entry video for the competition (that was featured on the Redbull Thre3style social media accounts and has been viewed almost half a million times on Facebook)!
If you enjoyed that video as much as we did, we have some great news for you. As of today, Caribbean music fans can sign into Radial (get our free ios app here) and see one of our newest features. We have collaborated with some of your favorite DJs to create a listening experience that would continue to bring you closer to the music. Each of these playlists has been curated by our partner DJs where you can find some of their favorite tracks. The future of Caribbean music is literally in your hands and our team will continue to do our part to provide a platform to showcase our talent, creativity, our culture, and of course our music. This week we are featuring three DJs: Dj Puffy, Dj Adrenalin, and Dj Floops!
Follow them on social media, you will thank me later!
Stay tuned as there is so much more exciting stuff to come.
So let’s hear from you. Who is your favorite Caribbean DJ? What do you think makes Caribbean DJs different from other DJs?
Until then, #SocaToTheWorld.