Dymond shines through tough times
Carl Gilchrist, Sunday Gleaner Writer
From humble beginnings in the 1990s when he started playing on sound systems in his hometown of Linstead, St Catherine, ZJ Dymond has grown by leaps and bounds, but has managed to keep his humility.
His musical sojourn has taken him from selecting on sound systems to being resident DJ at Margaritaville, being a jock on Zip FM and producing riddims such as the 'Motivation', 'Infatuation' and 'Promiscuous', among others. But just speaking to the ZJ, whose real name is Kerishma Davis, one would never know how much the Dinthill Technical High School past student has achieved.
"I want people to know it's just me," Davis told Entertainment Avenue in a recent interview. "Mi nuh put on an' mi nuh tek off," he explained. "I just try to be as humble as possible. Sometimes people say they think I'm too laid-back or too humble for this business, but it's just me. I try to be the hype type and push up myself and it never work. I can't do it, so I just be me."
He paid his dues early in his career, jumping on trucks and travelling all over the countryside to select on sound systems. Then, he was known simply as Dymond. The first big break came because of his love for his craft. One of his friends who was living in Negril at the time was having a pool party. Dymond and couple of friends decided to jump in a car and head to Negril. As luck would have it, his playing drew the attention of the general manager of Margaritaville MoBay, who later invited him to an audition.
Dymond did the audition, got the job and started working the same night.
"Mi just call Mummy and seh 'Mummy mi naw come back a Linstead fi now! Mi get a job a MoBay!'," he recalled, laughing.
That was in 2003. The selector was to spend the next few years at Margaritaville building a name for himself as DJ Dymond, but he still yearned to be on radio. He started applying to IRIE FM from around 2004, but without success.
In 2010, he got another break, which landed him a Friday slot, once per month, on Zip FM.
Over time, Dymond's on-air presence grew, as he was given the Sunday 'Zip Drive' programme on Sundays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m, alternate Fridays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m, and what is now his signature programme on Wednesdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. He named the programme 'Full Charge' and has since expanded the name to include his record label, Full Charge Entertainment.
As a producer, ZJ Dymond has worked with Beenie Man, Charly Black, Chris Martin, Jah Vinci, Zagga, Teflon, Bugle, Cecile, I-Octane and Kalado. His latest riddim, 'Promiscuous', features tracks such as Kitty Cat by Gage and Pretty Position by Kartel.
Working at Zip FM has allowed ZJ Dymond access to a much larger audience than he had previously and he is grateful.
"It has been great. I can't complain," he conceded. "Whole heap a fruitful stuff happen and I've grown in so many ways in my craft. Being at Zip FM gives me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and to expand."
While he has expanded, there is still further to go.
Dymond brought to Zip FM the experiences of a sound system and club selector, and when those are intertwined with the radio experience, he now presents a powerful mix. He wants to use this experience to reach more listeners.
"There are people I still want to reach, yes," Davis admitted. "The Kingston side of the world, I think they are listening but it takes a longer while for them to accept you, especially if you're not from there, but I understand."
With his years in the business allowing him to cut across all age groups of listeners, ZJ Dymond intends to grow his listenership. Through it all, he remains grateful.
"Mi just wah big up di people who a support Team Full Charge. Give thanks to all the people dem who know Dymond from mi just name DJ Dymond and still a support the ZJ now. And di people who jus' start know mi an' hear mi an' a support mi an' a give mi di strength, give thanks to them. Respect," he said.