Very few persons emulate the Barbadian motto of pride and industry like the multi-talented entertainer Kirk Brown.
He’s a livewire who is constantly on the go, working on current projects and future works. Not a fan of sleep, Kirk is energy personified, hence the nickname Mr Energy.
He has grown esteemed over the last decade as a deejay and radio personality, television host, soca artiste, leader of Strategy The Energy Band and successful Barbadian entrepreneur. His deep, charismatic voice is most often heard on Capital Media HD 99.3 FM, but prior to that he was also the host of the popular morning show, The Edge on CBC 98.1 FM.
Kirk shows no signs of slowing down and he doesn’t plan to. He is living his dreams, and is grateful to reach adulthood after surviving the worst as a sickly child.
Born premature on the floor of his mother’s Britton’s Hill, St Michael home, for 14 years he was constantly in and out of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, struggling with asthma and other ailments.
“My grandmother just came home and found me on the floor with my mom partially unconscious. . . .For the first 14 years of my life I was always sick. My 11-plus I did from QEH,” he recalled.
It’s a story that few know, but the artiste who sang singles such as Incredible Girl, Still Jamming and You’re My Number One grew up in poverty.
“It was hard, my childhood. People go through poverty, everybody has to survive, but it was rough.”
Nevertheless, Kirk has achieved great success and aspires to higher heights. Since his St Michael School days, he has not been sick and continuously strives to make each day better than his last.
“Any place I worked, I have never filled out a sick paper, taken two weeks off, have someone fill in or filed NIS….I put my all into what I do. Some people feel like not going to work but I have never had that feeling,” he said.
He revealed that one of the reasons he works so tirelessly is for his mother, whose life was put on pause when he was a sickly child.
“I always have given her credit because she has lost every job in life because I was so sick,” he told Barbados TODAY.
It was back in the early 2000s when the businessman kicked up a storm on the local entertainment scene. An avid patron at the Ship Inn in St Lawrence Gap, one night he was asked to sing on stage. After his cover of a Sean Paul single, he became the go-to “rap and dancehall guy”. This stint on stage led to him starting his own band, Strategy The Energy Band during an era when live performances were extremely popular in Barbados. However, when business started to dwindle in St Lawrence Gap, Kirk, cognizant of the changes, instinctively sought to diversify and develop his skills and he volunteered to work for free at Mix 96.9 FM for six months, where he was slotted in the graveyard shift—midnight to 6 a.m. Then luck struck. One night, he filled in during the 7 to 12 slot for an announcer and he gained a following.
Despite Kirk’s packed schedule, he keeps a smile on his face and maintains high spirits, which he attributed to loving his job and its ever-changing nature.
“I find a lot of people say ‘I would love to be an entertainer’. . . so I believe when you get to live your dream you should put your all into it and give people that energy. [My job] keeps a smile on my face, it keeps me energized, it is not taxing, it is not boring,” he shared, adding that he believed in the Ryan Seacrest model of business.
Seacrest is an American radio personality, television host and producer. He is a co-host on Live with Ryan and Kelly, hosts American Idol and is the executive producer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
“I looked at that [business model] years ago and said ‘that guy is doing so much diversity in a major market’. Here in Barbados, most people, not even in entertainment but the realm of business, they come and tell you ‘I think you are doing too much’. I look at persons like [Seacrest] and Jay-Z and actors like Tom Cruise who . . . are doing four or five works per year and we are here complaining when a person has two jobs,” Kirk said.
“It inspires me to do a lot more. Sometimes I get criticism from family, like ‘Kirk when last you slept?’. I enjoy what I do so it keeps me energized,” he stressed.
The multilingual entertainer—he speaks Spanish, French and a bit of Mandarin—has a domineering presence beyond Barbados’ 166 square miles. He will be travelling to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with American television network VH1 in 2019 to host their four-day music festival.
He has used his platform to bring recognition to Barbados’ unprivileged and support strides for development, by working with 50 charities.
With his success, Kirk has also expressed an interest in mentoring the future of entertainment in Barbados.
“From a business standpoint, I would like to provide more employment in entertainment and production. That is my new stage in evolution . . . . I want to help a lot of young persons get into the [entertainment] business. . . . Sometimes people need that little nudge or that business person they can lean on and then they can shine.”