LU: What was it like to experience soca in Europe at Berlin Carnival?
DJDS: It kind of makes my pores raise. Kes [the Band] told me about it last year and he was like, “Jay, you have to experience it.” Until you actually go, you don’t realize how big and crazy it is. Some people aren’t fluent and talk broken English, but they’re singing the songs word for word. There’s no arguments or stush vibes and it doesn’t matter where you’re from. I did this one party called Soca on the Beach. It was like a water park with a pool and lake. Just seeing all of the different cultures jamming to soca, singing word for word…I stood back, just looking around, saying “Wow. I can’t believe I’m playing Soca in Germany.” It’s amazing how far the music has come. There was another one on the weekend of July 18 in Rotterdam. Machel [Montano] was there for that, too. Big things.
LU: You’ve been called one of the best soca DJs in the world. How do you feel about that?
DJDS: Wow. It feels good. I don’t think that I am. There’s other people I look up to. I know I’ve been doing this a long time and I love it. I’ve been told that you could have somebody play almost the exact same set before or after me, but it will just sound different. People say, “I can tell. That’s Jay.” When you love something so much, it comes across in how you do it. I never thought I’d still be doing it at this age. I never thought I would be able to stay relevant and current. Even though I grew up listening to the classics like “Lotala” by Sonny Mann, Lord Kitchener’s “Sugar Bum Bum,” it’s not all that I can play. Even though some people don’t like the EDM vibes too much, I think there is a home for it. You can’t be dated. I am glad people around the world have been able to connect to my vision.