Its 4am and the club worker swings the final broom over the dance floor, passing all of the night’s memories into a small corner of the room. Flyers, napkins smudged with red lipstick, hookah shillings, and cracked plastic cups evidence the massive pelt-waist throw down earlier in the night.
The once heaving speakers have rested their chests and stand dormant against the stage as DJ Norie packs his laptop into his Gucci bookbag.
Outside, the cool, familiar mist of dawn greets him. One night, five venues, and not nearly enough sleep,
he takes the long drive home and does it all again tomorrow.
This is the life of a DJ.
In between shows, WhereItzAt was able to steal a few moments with the hottest Caribbean DJ right now, the “Reggae Don” himself, DJ Norie of Power 105.1 FM to talk his life, music, and party.
WhereItzAt: Norie, what made you get into music?
DJ Norie: I remember listening to the cassettes of Stone Love, Kilimanjaro and other sounds I knew, I wanted to be a part of that. It was kind of hard in the beginning; they used to line up four or five records, tell me what to play and when I played them, people used to go crazy. So it used to seem like, yeah, I can do this, even though I was scared as s*#t. But I did it anyway and it was a good experience.
WhereItzAt: Well your hard work has definitely paid off. It looks like 2017, started off well for you. You are the recent recipient of the Global Spin Awards for the third time. How does that feel?
Dj Norie: It feels pretty good to know that people actually acknowledge the work that you do and the accomplishments that you achieve. You know a lot of times it goes overlooked. So It’s a pretty good feeling. In the Caribbean market, we don’t get recognition from urban people unless you’re like big sound clash guy. For Global Spin to pay attention to a Caribbean DJ, It’s pretty cool.
WhereItzAt: You’re in the middle of one of your biggest events for the year. What’s life like three days before a concert as big as Anything Goes?
Dj Norie: It’s a lot of pressure. Now you have a lot of people who want to get involved last minute between artists and fans and regular supporters that just want to come out. They hit you with all the questions you can’t avoid because of social media. It’s cool though. If you cannot handle the pressure you don’t need to do it.
WhereItzAt: Who is performing this year?
Dj Norie: We tried to do it differently this year. Friday is the Icon edition so we brought in some artists that have really made an impact. Tanya Stephens, Spragga Benz, Rupee, Cobra, Mr. Easy, and Tifa!
WhereItzAt: Sounds like an amazing lineup! Norie, you are a DJ, host, and the producer of this event. You have a lot on your plate. How do you separate business from your artistry?
Dj Norie: It is very difficult, but I always believe that God gives you what you can handle. So I suck it up and do what I have to do. Once you get the right team around you to take the load off of your shoulders it will help a lot. It’s not easy. You deal with the artists, the promotions, the venue. It’s a lot of work. It burns you out for sure.
WhereItzAt: I could imagine that it must be stressful. How do you manage the stress?
Dj Norie: Ummm that’s a good question! I just lock it down sometimes and chill with the kids. Hanging with the kids gives you a better vibe and makes you understand that life isn’t always about work. Once I hang with them and have a little me time to myself I think it balances me out.
WhereItzAt: Do you have any before show rituals?
Dj Norie: Not really, I just say a prayer and get everyone’s energy going and just do what I do.
WhereItzAt: You are friends with some of the most popular dancehall and reggae artist to date. Whether it’s having breakfast with Shaggy or just hanging out with Kevin Little for drinks it must be lots of fun! What’s the best part about being a part of the Reggae fraternity?
DJ Norie: I think it’s to know that you are always a part of history. You play a part for them and they play a part for you. The bond that I have with them is more than the fact that I’m a DJ or that I’m on the radio. We are cool. They respect what I do and I respect them too. Even if some of them don’t like me they respect what I do. I think I get a lot of love and respect from a lot of the artists.
WhereItzAt: So over the past year you have produced some hits with Ayo Jay, Bunji Garlin, Konshens and more. What made you decide to get into producing?
Dj Norie: I think I have a good ear for music. You know picking hits isn’t easy, especially when you have to explain to someone the song they believe in is trash. It’s a lot of work. Why not put some of the energy you put into everyone into yourself. You make people millions of dollars off of music and things you do for them. Sometimes you have to learn how to generate it for yourself.
WhereItzAt: Undoubtedly, you have a good ear for music. Who are some of the artists that you feel that we should be paying attention to right now?
Dj Norie: Aww man, Alkaline, Masicka, Jahmeil, Vershon. Those are some younger ones that are really doing their thing in the game right now. There are few others, I’m just not remembering their names right now.
WhereItzAt: What do you listen to on a daily basis?
Dj Norie: Believe it or not, I listen to a lot of alternative music. I’m not even going to lie to you. I listen to all different kind of music. I can’t listen to reggae music all day. It would drive me crazy.
WhereItzAt: Where can we hear you?
DJ Norie: I play every Sunday on Power 105.1FM from 8pm – 10pm.
By Chelsea Grant