For me, music has always been about a vibe. There’s an energy to the collective experience that it creates. As a DJ and producer, I feel blessed to be able to share this energy with people every day. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream that I’ve gone all out in pursuit of…not once, but twice.
Growing up in East Vancouver, Hip-Hop wasn’t part of the mainstream culture. It was my older brother who turned me onto underground radio stations and made me countless mix tapes. This music changed my life. I became obsessed. Bone Thugs-N Harmony were my gold standard. I instantly related to what I was hearing. I felt like the songs were telling the stories of my own neighbourhood… my own tribe.
I would close my eyes in bed at night and see myself on stage, mic in hand. By the time I graduated from high school, I was determined to become an MC and music producer, following in the footsteps of Dr. Dre, Timbaland, and Kanye. This was my dream and I set out to University to help make it a reality.
That first year, I just tried to grind my way into every aspect of the music industry I could. One night at a bar, I struck up a conversation with the man who became my mentor… Adam H. Hurtsfield. Just to give you an idea, Adam has produced music for Jeremih, Ray J., Ne-Yo, and Kat Deluna – just to name a few. Adam was kind enough to let me, a kid from East Van, shadow him in the studio for months. It was the best crash course imaginable.
Taking all that I learned, I recorded and released my first single. It was a song I wrote for my mom, called “For You”…and it exploded. Within one year, I had won an International Songwriting Award, been featured on the news, and was being asked to perform all across Vancouver. But most importantly, people were connecting with my message… my vibe.
I ended up at a festival called the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (now known as 5X). Bhangra for anyone not familiar, is a high energy musical and dance tradition, with Punjabi roots that is often accompanied by a drum called the Dhol. As a kid of Indian descent, hearing this blend of East meets West genres, with all that energy, completely blew me away. So I began experimenting with elements of Bhangra music in my beats.
I began to collaborate with local South Asian artists, which led to some International touring. I was travelling, seeing the world, making music, and connecting with people far and wide. Honestly, it was amazing, I had found my tribe, I was literally living my dream. But soon, uncertainty would begin to fill my mind.
During this whole process, I was still a full-time student and with everything happening so fast, I would lie awake at night questioning my future. I began to doubt who I was. My abilities. My skills. Everything I had accomplished. Could I really make a career here? I swallowed my pride and buried my dreams. With my degree in hand, I decided it was time to get a “real job”.
I spent the next five years working for the government and then in sales. But something was missing. I slowly began to realize I was never going to find the same passion I had when creating music. It didn’t matter how much money I was making. I knew I couldn’t have a simple 9-to-5. I had to live my life in music. Its energy. Its ability to unite people was and is my calling. My dream.
I made the decision to again follow my dream… for the second time. I dove back into DJing – hard beats, heavy drums, exciting lyrics. I had to start from scratch again, but I didn’t care. I knew who I was now and I wasn’t gonna question it.
And then one day, while picking up gear, a young scrawny kid asked me if I was a DJ. He said his name was Ryan and then played me some beats from his phone. All of a sudden, I felt the energy of the universe go through my body and I saw myself in this kid. Honestly, it could of been a scene from “The Secret”.
Over the next few months, me and Ryan (aka DJ REKing) started DJing live shows and working on beats. We dubbed ourselves the Global Party Starters and started posting tracks and remixes on YouTube.
It’s true what they say… “your vibe attracts your tribe.” As we’ve turned our passion into music, amazing artists have followed us into the studio to collaborate… Which leads us to the present day. Which is actually where I started, back behind the mic. You recently heard the “Tonight Rap Remix.” A culmination of all my production skill, a huge collaboration with Elise Estrada, and the confidence to again be an MC.
The amazing feedback on the release, reminded me of the quote “Follow Your Dreams.” Such a simple quote, we hear a lot, but often brush off. So to really embody the quote, I was inspired to create the “Follow Your Dreams” gear. Gear that not only I could wear, but that I could share with others as a reminder to stay true to themselves, and their dreams. So I hope the Tees, Hoodies, or Bracelets serve as an affirmation to yourself to follow your own dream, and let’s your people know that you are on your journey.
If you like the track, or the swag, please feel free to reach out with a comment below or DM me on Instagram. I’ll hit you back.
Here’s to hoping our music and our gear can be the soundtrack for your journey as you find and follow your own dreams… For the first, second or even third time.
Global Party Starters