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

July 31, 2014


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Positive vibes at the Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club.

LU: How do you instill culture in the household today, and are your kids embracing it?

DJDS: I have a 15-year-old and a two-year old. The two-year-old dances and jumps to everything. When Iโ€™m in the house, it will be soca, calypso, he jams to it and says, โ€œHey dad, I like this song.โ€ But I know that when he is with his friends, theyโ€™re listening to Yung Lean or whoever is out now. At home, I definitely try to have my iPod on or stream music.

For my podcasts, I try to listen to stations from the Caribbean before their Carnival is coming up so I know what is relevant in those countries. A lot of times, weโ€™re here, and a song may sound good. But are people feeling the song in St. Vincent or Barbados? The Internet bill at home is a little high, but itโ€™s one of those things where I feel itโ€™s a part of the job. You have to do it.

LU: You host parties and events, promote them, produce the podcasts, spin live every week, on the air, at venues, travel, have a family, organize the mas camp. What keeps you going?

DJDS: I really [have] a passion for the music, and want to leave a legacy. I feel that if I donโ€™t do it, somebody else will. So why not be the guy? I donโ€™t want to ever look back and think, โ€œI should of.โ€ I am always looking for different ways to reinvent myself or a particular event.

We have this event called Re-Jouvert-Nate. We created a supersoaker-shaped flyerโ€ฆ I was thinking of different ways to get the vibe out there, to get the crowd excited. I always have people asking, โ€œSo youโ€™re a DJ. But what do you do during the day?โ€ Well, this is 24/7. I canโ€™t punch a clock and say that Iโ€™m done. At night, I am promoting something and have to put a flyer somewhere or have to be at a nightclub. If I stop and take a night or two weeks off, I might miss opportunities that I have to put into motion now, for events that won’t happen until November or December, but I have to start now. A lot of times, when people are rushing events, you can tell. Thereโ€™s no real theme, no vibe. Itโ€™s not about naming a party after a song. Nah, put more into it. Patrons need something that deserves [their] hard-earned money. I have seen young people come to the door, literally pulling change out of their pocket for [a] 10 or 15-dollar cover charge. And theyโ€™re just drinking water. I find that itโ€™s more about no dress code, no pretense, but just about fun. Itโ€™s not about going to pop bottles just to say you were there.

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