Recently Bajan Vibes had the opportunity to sit down with one of the islands top deejays, Steven Blackett, better known by his stage name DJ Psalms. The following is an excerpt from the enlightening conversation that took place.
BV: We’re here today with DJ Psalms; HR practitioner, Lover of Fashion and Trends, DJ, traveller and he probably fights by night. But right now we are here to talk about the DJ. Give us a rundown on who DJ Psalms is.
DJ Psalms: I am someone who likes to interact with people all the time. I am also a very easy-going person, down to earth, you can approach me any time. I have a very strong love for music and sports. My love [of] music was second to my love of sports. I played cricket; I was pretty good at it till I reached a certain point in life. I took up music more intensely later in life and just ran from there, but Steven – DJ Psalms, is an easy-going and passionate type of person.
BV: Tell us where the name DJ Psalms originated from.
DJ Psalms: Well, I will shorten this story to save myself a little embarrassment. My nick name is Sams and it has been from my Combermere school days. When I started to DJ, I needed a name and I used Sams for a short period, then my friends asked me what I thought about the play on words by using ‘Psalms’ from the Bible. I thought about it, had reservations about it because of the [context] it will be used in. I tried it, and even when I tried it I never had any backlash from it, so it just stuck, and four years later, I am still using it.
BV: Recently we have seen all over social media that you have officially become a Hennessy Ambassador. Give us some insight on how you got to that point.
DJ Psalms: When I came into the game, most DJs were concentrating on playing music, which to be fair is basically what DJ work is, playing good music and entertaining a crowd. In my opinion, brands like to know when they bring on an ambassador, that their image is represented well. So when I came into the game, I was able to mesh image, personality, likeability, playing great music and entertaining people collectively. So how I believe I got to that point was to have a very clean and positive image, meshing that with playing great music and entertaining crowds, in addition to the power of word of mouth. This was the key for me getting that ambassador-ship, along with networking, because people won’t get to know you unless you get out there and interact. So when all of that gets together, it gets brands to recognise you and in the long term reach out to you. What I can say is that those who support me openly or behind the scenes are the real ones to thank for this Ambassadorship.
BV: That was Hennessey… How exactly did you become the Luc Belaire Rose Ambassador?
DJ Psalms: Well, I’ve been their ambassador for roughly three years. I was at the High Tea Event sometime back and Kimlee, who was their representative at the time, was there and she saw something in me that she thought would be good for their brand. At that point in time, Luc Belaire had little presence on the local scene. So she recommended me. I am the only Luc Belaire Ambassador in Barbados and I think they would say they are pleased with the work I’ve done for them. I rep them strongly and I believe that could be another reason Hennessey signed me.
BV: It’s hard not to notice the prevalence of DJs on the island, what sets you apart from the pack?
DJ Psalms: Each DJ in Barbados has their own unique style, the way they play music, demeanour, personality, fashion, etc. What I would say that works for me is that I always stay true to myself – humble, passionate, and for me, it’s not necessarily about just getting gigs or the money aspect. It’s about seeing the joy on people’s faces when you play a song that resonates with events that happened in the past or situations that are currently happening in their lives. Seeing that brings me great joy and that’s one of DJ Psalms’ ultimate driving forces. So I can say that sets me apart. The DJ Psalms you see now is what you would have seen years ago and to add to what I just said, my merger of style, playing good music, as well as [my] business and professional approach, have set me apart and for me personally, [that’s] what keeps me going.
BV: Final question, if there was any artist you would love to work with in any form or fashion, who would it be?
DJ Psalms: Hmm, I like Machel Montano, but I will go with Bunji Garlin. Bunji’s way of entertaining the crowd on the fly is fantastic, so I would love to work with him. Even if it’s as his touring DJ, I would definitely love to work with him. (SB)