For nearly a month, Justin Jus Jay King was running on caffeine and adrenaline.
The popular Barbadian disc jockey was one of the three wild cards in the recent Red Bull 3Style World DJ Championships.
Hot on the heels of the 2017 win by Andre DJ Puffy Parris, the pressure was on Jus Jay to bring home a second victory for Barbados.
However, it was a tight competition with over 40 competitors from across the world and while he was successful in making it all the way to the finals in Krakow, Poland, unfortunately Jus Jay didn’t place.
In an interview with Bajan Vibes, Jus Jay described the experience as “mind challenging” with no sleep and eight hours a day of practising at the turntables. Still, it is one that he would attempt again. Recalling his final performance in the competition, he told Barbados TODAY that while it was not his best, he gave it his all.
“When we got to the club that we were actually playing at, it just went hay wire. I just felt very pressured, . . . [but] as soon as I went on stage, I just transformed into a different person. It was like I just left my body,” he said.
“I had a good set, but it wasn’t the best set I could have done. I knew I could do more, I could do better, but given the time and my nerves and all the factors that were there . . . I just felt like I gave it the best shot I could . . . [and] I feel at peace knowing that I gave it a 100 per cent of me.”
He also said that given the fact he and DJ Puffy had similar styles, it was never going to be a cakewalk in a competition based on technical skills and originality.
“For one country to win twice it is not easy because your country has basically showcased a style that is the same style that you are bringing, which means that you are immediately not as original as you could be, because it is not about what you do in the competition per say, but what they have seen over the years,” he explained.
Despite knowing that his routine which consisted of elements of soca, dancehall, and electronic dance music could work to his disadvantage, the Barbadian performer said he was determined to represent his country and its culture.
“I still felt like the most important thing for me was to showcase where I am from regardless of if that makes me not original . . . . I didn’t really care. My thing is that I wanted people to know where I was from and I think that is the feedback I got with people saying, ‘oh, I love the island sound,’” he added.
Working alongside international legends, such as DJ Nu-Mark and DJ Jazzy Jeff, proved to be an invaluable experience, as they gave him advice on what areas to work out on, should he enter the competition in 2019.
“I really sat down with the judges and got a lot of feedback on different things. I think it is just a matter of research and about seeing what styles and what vibes have been done before. It is not necessarily what you do the night or in the competition, it is about looking at the entire competition history and trying to present yourself in a way that has never been done before,” he stressed.
Looking ahead, after taking a much-needed break during February, Jus Jay is facing a packed agenda of performances for the remainder of 2018. He will be touring a number of countries, including Barbuda, Jamaica, Belize and the United States.
As he climbs higher heights, the esteemed disc jockey is encouraging upcoming youngsters to practice and put in the research.
“My best advice would be to approach it professionally. Deejaying is a craft that a lot of people look down on as not a real career, but it is a real career and as such you need to treat it as a real career. Put in the practice, put in the research, . . . learn the business of entertainment.
“Young deejays they need to learn the business. They need to learn the ins and outs . . . the work ethnic that goes into any touring deejay,” he told Bajan Vibes.