Uni-T spins reggae and dancehall every Friday at the Red Sea.
How did you become a DJ?
Started in college in 1990, doing my own radio show and some parties. Then I went to Jamaica--I was hooked!
What else do you get up to?
I'm also a freelance brand developer for Livity Outernational Clothing, I run a reggae record pool servicing DJs around the country with the latest reggae 45's, I have over 33 mix CDs in circulation, just did a CD for Graphonic Clothing... if it's a reggae brand, I'm trying to get involved. I promote and organize events that support the mission of keeping a scene alive here in Portland amidst the onslaught of commercial radio bullshit.
How do you describe your music?
Conscious, lyrically potent, makes people smile and flash up their lighter in approval--sometimes people hit the wall and start yelling to show their approval. It's reggae and it's not Bob Marley--imagine that.
Top five artists?
Vybz Kartel, the Kanye West of dancehall reggae; Sizzla, the next Bob Marley--yeah, I said it!; Sean Paul, who's bringing attention to reggae on a national level; Elephant Man, keeping the energy in reggae; Ce'Cile, a hot up and coming female artist.
Do you gauge the crowd, or play what you like?
Both--gotta please the crowd, but also gotta push the envelope a little, expose people to what's hitting around the country. Sometimes I'll announce a tune as the number one hit in NYC or London this week -- sometimes people care!
Does spinning get you laid?
Yes, girls like to show their love to the DJ. Just don't come over with your drink and bump my turntables.
What wouldn't you play?
More than one Bob Marley song in a night -- it's time to move on, people.
Ever cleared the floor?
Trying to play something that I just got from Jamaica that week. I keep getting reminded that I'm in Portland--gotta mix in some Bob Marley first.
What do people request?
Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru -- rarely will I get a request for someone who has had a song in the last 10 years. MARJORIE SKINNER