If you have ever attended Hennessy Artistry, Soca Royale, Reggae On The Beach, or Reggae On The Hill, you have probably grooved to the sounds of music provided by DJ Bon and Mikey Dread.
Together, the duo have been hyping up parties and fetes for just over two years now, keeping Bajans’ feet moving and bumpers going round.
Speaking this afternoon to Barbados TODAY at Slam 101.1 FM before their half-hour promotional show for an event, both deejays said that for them “music is life”.
Bon, a graduate of the mass communication programme at the Barbados Community College, said he always had a passion for music, and, after many failed attempts in other areas, decided that was the place to be.
“I was always interested in the media. That’s where my first love was. I tried lots of things: law; accounts; you name it, and I wasn’t getting through. So I thought my head was just hard.
“But when I did mass comm it was great. That’s when I knew, yea, this was it; this is where I’m supposed to be,” Bon said.
He added that he was further inspired to go into deejaying by his uncle Orin Gordon, who at the time was a broadcaster on BBC World News. But for Bon, it was his first gig at the former Café Sol in Sheraton Centre that firmly secured in his mind he had chosen the right profession.
“Playing for that crowd and seeing their reaction was something out of this world. It felt good, man!” he said with a bright smile.
And Bon, real name Kambon Aarons, admitted it wasn’t a major event. But he went in with the belief that all great people once started “somewhere”.
“I believed that once I had the passion and drive, I would go far; so I put my best foot forward.”
As for Mikey Dread, real name Michael Inniss, he stepped onto the scene in 1995, and has played at many events in Barbados and across the region.
“I always liked playing music. I deejayed in clubs all over –– in Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia –– and it has been great. I even played with Monstapiece, with my cousin Peter Coppin, for a while,” he said.
On deciding to go solo, he came across Bon playing at an event and was impressed with his repertoire of music and determined they would make a great team.
Since joining forces, the two have been steadily gaining recognition and playing at many major events across Barbados.And for those who have the misconception that being a deejay does not pay, Bon and Mikey Dread disagree.
“I guess we have been hooking up with the right promoters. It has been very profitable thus far. I would consider deejaying to be my major job, and it pays the bills; I am comfortable,” Bon said.
But, he added, he has put his Associate degree in communications to good use, doing radio commercials and graphic work.
Mikey Dred, who is also into marketing, agreed that being a freelance deejay paid off.
“Deejaying is my livelihood, and it puts food on the table,” the 41-year-old said.
And just like the musicians, these two deejays are looking to take their talents outside Barbados.
“We are looking now to do stuff regionally and even internationally. That is our aim right now,” Bon said.
But getting the experience in Barbados first was important –– and it was great. He believed once they were accepted at home, they could play anywhere else in the world.
“Bajans are very hard people to please; everyone knows that. So if you can get a Bajan crowd going, you can get anyone else going,” Bon added.
As for wanting to play full-time for a radio station, the 30-year-old confessed: “I have considered it, but I guess the time is not right at the moment. Everything in its time.”