Music actually saved me, says DJ Face Money
Mark Daley, popularly known as DJ Face Money (da Musical Pilot), hosts the popular First Class Flight music show every Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. on Reggae King Radio in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
The show has grown in popularity over the past two years or so since Face Money has been flying solo, hosting and interviewing countless reggae artistes.
The format is heavily dependent on reggae and dancehall but with some global, pop and house music as well.
Long before Mark Daley got involved with music, he played football, first for Camperdown High School, then for his community team, Waterhouse.
Waterhouse, too, is the home of legendary reggae record producer Lloyd 'King Jammy' James' studio, from which hundreds of hits songs have emerged over the past three decades or so.
Not surprisingly, as a youth, Daley was drawn to the music. He remembers spending hours at a time at the studio, along with friend Rohan Stephens, better known as dancehall deejay Zumjay.
Daley migrated to the United States in 2000 and later formed his own label and began producing for himself and other artistes. After more than a decade in the business, misfortune struck and Daley was left holding an empty bag, where there ought to have been lots of returns from his efforts.
Subsequent court battles resulted in him being victorious in the court, but still there has been no compensation, even now.
The experience took its toll on Daley and he went into a state of depression.
"After I went into that state of depression, it took me about two years to get over it," Daley told Entertainment Avenue from his home in New York.
Ironically, while it was Daley's involvement with music that ultimately led to his suffering, it was the same music that "saved" him, he said.
After spending time battling his illness, he eventually returned to music, his return being marked by him playing music at barbecues and other social activities.
At one such event, a hostess from Randy's Radio (forerunner to Reggae King Radio) heard him play and liked his style. She subsequently invited him as a guest DJ on the radio, working Mondays and Tuesdays. That was in 2014.
Last year, Face Money went solo for the first time and launched his First Class Flight show, which has now taken wings.
The show is streamed on the Internet and can be accessed in the United States, the Caribbean and several other countries across the world.
"The music actually saved me," Daley confessed. It was his playing and providing enjoyment and inspiration for others that lifted him from the dungeon he was in, emotionally, he explained.
As a direct result of his experience, Daley decided to name his show First Class Flight to signify his turnaround in the business.
Now that he is soaring once more, he wants the music he plays to serve as more than just for fun.
"I want to inspire the younger generation. You can entertain with music at a high level and still keep it clean, still maintain that positive vibration. I want to set a standard for the new generation. I grew up listening to people like Alan Magnus, Richie B and Barry G, and we need to build on that foundation."
He continued, "Ultimately, I want to have my own station, as I really want to set a standard for others to follow. If it's even one person who I can motivate and influence to travel the right path, rather than they going the wrong way."