Shock value killing music - Squeeze
Veteran DJ, media personality and sound perfectionist DJ Squeeze is celebrating 40 years in music this year. According to the DJ, who will celebrate his career milestone with a party next Tuesday, his longevity in the music industry came as no coincidence since he truly loves music.
Squeeze, who sat with The Sunday Gleaner, recently, also shared some of his views on the present state of Jamaican music. Paying attention to DJs and artistes, Squeeze expressed that he yearns for the day when the new generation of music enthusiasts will develop genuine respect and love for their craft.
The DJ, who prides himself on actually purchasing music, ignoring illegal downloads and acquiring the best sound equipment, tells The Sunday Gleaner, "Music should not just be a means to an end, and because it is such for some people, they really don't get into it like they should. They don't know the foundation, they are not familiar with foundation technology, they don't show respect to the elders; it is just a shortcut," he said.
Not to be left behind in the age of technology, the veteran has adopted the modern format of playing music opposed to travelling with boxes of bulky vinyl recordings. He, however, believes that some technological advancements have led to the cheapening of the value of the craft and have given rise to less than qualified musicians.
"They don't go out there and see, they don't spend the time, they just take something and run wid it. We live in a copy-and-paste generation and we are losing the grass roots. Nobody is doing their research. Who did the song? Where did this song come from? What is the story behind the artiste? ... to be the best you can be, you have to connect to the roots and the legacy. You don't have to know who Sir Coxsone Dodd is, but you should know that he is one of the root of the recording industry in Jamaica," he said.
Squeeze advises potential DJs to study their craft and strive for the best quality. He also revealed his secret to having a squeaky clean sound system over the years, expressing that he does not store his music on storage devices with inadequate memory, since this practice can compress the record, compromising the sound. He also said that he spends the extra cash to get the original format of his records instead of subscribing to the mass duplication process like many contemporary DJs.
DJ Squeeze is one of the first DJs to transcend from playing music in the dancehall and party settings to commercial radio. He also moved on to owning his own radio station, playing at major events globally and even holding down the position as the music executive an one of Jamaica's popular radio stations.
Among other things, the veteran simply wants the new generation to carry on his legacy with pride.
"This shock value is destroying the art and craft of Jamaican music culture. Persons, including myself, are turning away from music out here and listening to overseas channels like SoundCloud for real Jamaican music. Everybody wants to play like how Boom Boom play, but there are other ways to do it. You can draw inspiration from several persons and create your own style from it ... I did the same thing from Winston Blake, Barry G, Duke Fuller, Denver Silvera, Winston Williams, Errol Thompson, and others. So the art should be developed from some of the greats," he said.
Squeeze's 40th-anniversary party will be held on February 28, at Spoogie Sunday's Kool, Sligoville.
"I think 40 years of anything is a milestone. A lot of people don't make it to 40, and I think I have had a good run," he said.
The celebratory event will feature VC, Nadine Sutherland, George Nooks, Lone Ranger, Welton Irie, Sanjay The Taliban, among others.