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

July 31, 2014

A mannequin dons a mas outfit from Beyond Illusions, the eleventh section of the Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club.

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, โ€œJay, you have to experience it.โ€ Until you actually go, you donโ€™t realize how big and crazy it is. Some people arenโ€™t fluent and talk broken English, but theyโ€™re singing the songs word for word. Thereโ€™s no arguments or stush vibes and it doesnโ€™t matter where youโ€™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 wordโ€ฆI stood back, just looking around, saying โ€œWow. I canโ€™t believe Iโ€™m playing Soca in Germany.โ€ Itโ€™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: Youโ€™ve been called one of the best soca DJs in the world. How do you feel about that?

DJDS: Wow. It feels good. I donโ€™t think that I am. There’s other people I look up to. I know Iโ€™ve been doing this a long time and I love it. Iโ€™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, โ€œI can tell. Thatโ€™s Jay.โ€ When you love something so much, it comes across in how you do it. I never thought Iโ€™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 โ€œLotalaโ€ by Sonny Mann, Lord Kitchenerโ€™s โ€œSugar Bum Bum,โ€ itโ€™s not all that I can play. Even though some people donโ€™t like the EDM vibes too much, I think there is a home for it. You canโ€™t be dated. I am glad people around the world have been able to connect to my vision.

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