LargeUp Interview: Dr. Jay De Soca Prince is Toronto’s Carnival King

July 31, 2014

Vibes outside the Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club in Scarborough, Ontario.

LU: When did you develop an interest in music?

DJDS: My dadโ€™s a musician, he used to play drums and sing. Itโ€™s one of those things since I was three or four years old. My parents would show me record players and how to use them. I have been told that when family and friends would come over, I would just get up, pull out records and play music. People would be like โ€œWhoโ€™s playing di music?โ€ and my parents would say, โ€œOh that Jahhsoon.โ€ They have pictures of me as a kid doing that. I remember in high school, I was more into hip-hop and house.

I kind of rebelled against soca because I heard that music every day. It was one of those things where you were around your friends and Caribbean culture wasnโ€™t as popular back then as it is now. There was no Nicki Minaj saying that they areย  proud to be Trinidadian. But I always used to buy the records. My family would come back [from Trinidad] with Byron [Lee], Lord Kitchener and crazy records every year. I got a job at a record store, would get the stuff a little cheaper and bring it home. To make a little extra money, I would play family things and school alumni parties. But I loved hip-hop and house. I wrote for a magazine called Mic Check back in the day, and was more in the urban field. But I still used to play cultural music as a family thing until friends and I were like, โ€œYou know what? Letโ€™s do this full time.โ€ Soca became more of my passion and it came full circle.

LU: Your uncle Clive [Rosteing] was in the Tradewinds. What do you remember about that growing up?

DJDS: Theyโ€™re a very popular band that tours the Caribbean. When I was growing up, I would always see records and think, โ€œOh, thatโ€™s uncle Clive.โ€ But I donโ€™t remember that much. Eventually he moved to the Cayman Islands. I remember my dadโ€™s music more. He used to play pubs and do the Super Dave Osborne Show.

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