Back in the 2000’s my grandmother; a market vendor; around Christmas time would bring us back some little battery powered radios after her long and hard market day. That’s when I fell in love with MUSIC. These were the days of ‘Ms. Jackson’ and Shaggy’s ‘It wasn’t me’ song.
Chateau Belair is the name of the very small community I grew up in. In this community, A rural place with a population of fewer than one hundred persons. Back then I was the community’s biggest distraction, with my loud music. My music would be on blast as soon as I got home from school.
At home, we did not have electricity until the 2000’s. Unlike other kids, I did not have any gaming machines. Music and reading were my only forms of recreation. I was also very different from the other neighborhood kids. I was less outgoing; an INTROVERT.
In 2004 my parents separated. My schooling was financed by my brother Mervin’s minimart that I was tending. Whilst there, U used my spare time to experiment musically with a lot of mini radios, amplifiers, CD players, phones. There were times I even got some minor electrical shocks. Some experiments did not go so well and I ended up destroying a few things.
Entertainment at the shop was scheduled for every weekend by my cousin. My cousin Albert’s system was being stored at the shop. Sneaking into the shop and play around with the system, at 2am. That’s how I started my DJ career; on my cousin’s music system. Back then CD’s were used and he would literally be mad if anyone scratched his CD’s and touched his system.
Advancement came when another community member came from the UK with a complete system that was also stored in the shop. Thrilled to have permission to use this system. At that point is where I was introduced to computer Ding using Virtual DJ. But like everything else frustrations aroused and conflict also came when I asked to borrow the laptop too much and I also unintentionally broke a small part of the system. I guess my passion got me in a lot of trouble.
In the community, we had weekly street BBQs. So I sorted out a bag of CD’s and entertained everyone with my selection of music. Everyone enjoyed watching me do what I love, especially when I used the microphone.
In 2005 with the support of Mervin I successfully made it to Secondary school. No one thought I would be able to obtain the grades needed to advance to secondary level schooling. Midway through secondary school (high school) was when I received my first laptop; a Toshiba Satellite from my mom. Of course, we know that it was used more for DJing than school projects. I used this laptop to play for school events including my own high school ball. Around that time I left my community. I went to live on my mom’s floor in her rented one bedroom apartment, with two of my siblings.
You may be wondering how I did academically. Successfully completing all my subjects and even completing an additional subject, with additional stripes as a poet. It was not financially possible for me to attend college, knowing this I was hesitant in submitting an application; it was never done. With me always wanting to keep busy, doing many certifications and attending many workshops including Logistics and Warehouse management, First Aid, CPR, Plumbing etc.
Graduated from high school in 2010 and volunteered my time at a government office. That was also the year I lost my friend tragically in a hurricane. It was a tough pill to swallow.A porter position became vacant at a supermarket where Mervin worked as a security guard. The manager kept questioning whether this was the job I really wanted, with my grades. The job was in no way suited for me but I was willing to bury my pride and start somewhere.
Fast forward, I needed a couple of documents to get the job including my birth certificate which I did not have at the time. While in search of these documents I landed an interview with Sugar Beach Resort (Jalousie at the time). On my way from the interview, a friend of mine who worked at the Bank informed me about an opening. I headed there right away, already dressed appropriately. I sold myself well enough to the manager and here I am today, as a bank teller after five years.
Started working as a Bank Teller and then started a DJ Group named Hyperphonicz with two other DJs trained by me. The group Hyperphonicz was very popular at the time, performing at major events, all clubs and parties. In the group, I was named DJ Hyperactive, because of the level of shirtless energy that I brought to any event. We landed a gig at Stonefield Resort, which impressively landed us a weekly gig at the hotel. But Hyperphonic was not what I intended it to be in the first place, my team had a different idea. My idea was to operate a private professional DJ service group. There are so many DJs in St Lucia who play the same set of music, so having just another group was just too cliche.
Hyperphonicz was dissolved and I moved on to form Soul O Bliss Entertainment on my own. Later I hired another DJ, Brent Modeste. Brent fitted what I was looking for perfectly. Brent is broad minded and like me plays a wide variety of music. In three consecutive years, Brent and I entered a DJ competition against more than 15 other DJs. We secured 2nd place once and 3rd place on two occasions. Up to this day Brent and I have been enjoying making Soul O Bliss Entertainment Successful.
My very first wedding was nothing but hard work. I had to wake up at 6am to go around borrowing and renting equipment. Then I had to search for and hire a vehicle to drop my stuff at the ceremony. From the ceremony, I then carried my stuff on my own to the dinner, which was a fair distance away. From the dinner, I then had to jump a ride with one of the guests to the reception at a different location.
Soul O Bliss Entertainment have been going strong after 4 years. We have faced many challenges including starting with no equipment. At startup, we rented our equipment from a friend. The challenge we faced with this was the rental fee took most of the money that we received. The equipment also had to be returned the very same night. This was difficult since I did not have a vehicle of my own. So in addition to paying rental fees, I had to pay a vehicle to transport the equipment.
Purchased my equipment; one at a time, with the little that I had. We now have a full line of equipment with required backup. Soul O Bliss Entertainment also has a proper vehicle to transport its equipment.
Thanking God and my mom for making me so patient and persistent. My mom always encourages me to be content with the little that I have. With her encouragement, I am able to be patient and go through the struggles and take this business venture step by step.I am very thankful to everyone who has helped me on the journey
Working as a bank teller, a job which has been very helpful in assisting me with creating this business. Hoping to move on one day, when I am comfortable with Soul O Bliss Entertainment’s success.
Soul O Bliss Entertainment is not just another wedding business. It’s my outcome, my sweat, my passion, my life and journey, my determination.