Sun | Dec 17, 2017

DJ Glen C the musical side of ‘Titus'

Published:Friday | September 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
DJ Glen C makes a 'speech'.
DJ Glen CC provides music at a co-worker's wedding.
DJ Glen C at the controls.
Monte Blake (left) of Merritone and Glen 'Titus' Campbell, who plays music as DJ Glen C.
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Glen 'Titus' Campbell is a theatre favourite who treads the boards especially frequently at the Centrestage Theatre, New Kingston, before thousands of persons in Jambiz's productions. However, in addition to learning new scripts, doing intense rehearsals, and then putting on high-energy performances night after night, he has a role that he does not cast off when a current play ends and the next is in the wings.

Campbell plays music as DJ Glen C, a measure of his commitment being that he has invested in amplifiers and speakers, in addition to a Serato system. "I can't play at Mas Camp, but I can rock a house party," Glen C told The Gleaner. His most recent purchase is a laptop stand, Glen C saying that it looks more professional. And, if required, he can take his turntable to the party and play vinyl selections from the music room at his home, where Campbell says he can get lost in music for hours, skipping meals in the process.

"I think I am a frustrated DJ who wants to get out there," Campbell said.

While he has been doing more public dates since 2010, playing "birthday parties and small events", DJ Glen C's music roots go deep and wide - in terms of the range of music he enjoys and plays, as well as distance.

"I was born and grew up in England, and I remember listening to the gramophone," Campbell said, the connection coming through his father. So he developed an appreciation for Desmond Dekker and Laurel Aitken, among others, and inherited not only the gramophone, but also the records from his father, the equipment, and, a growing record stash coming back to Jamaica with the family in the early 1970s.

He went through the 'school days'phase of taping off songs on cassettes and doing some tape splicing to make playlists of favourite songs. Then, when he started working, Campbell bought records he still remembers Gregory Isaacs's All I Have Is Love. He does not put a dollar value on his collection or take up offers from people who go around and buy vinyl records, but says that he once saw someone trying to buy a copy of a record he has for £600.

 

Changing media

 

Moving with the changing media, he went into CDs and then digital, doing some of the conversion to the latter himself sometimes as a playlist for a particular event, so the digital library keeps growing.

DJ Glen C said that his tastes are wide, from European classical music to the Jamaican Folk Singers, musicals such as The Student Prince and, of course, Jamaican rockers galore. He says, though,"I can't play to a dancehall crowd" and enjoys the setting at someplace like Merritone's Monday night sessions at 2A Straitham Avenue, (where a more unaccustomed version of a popular track, such as Tarrus Riley's She's Royal done in acoustric fashion is a strong possibility), Monday night being his time off from performance does not hurt, although DJ Glen C will sometimes leave the theatre after the show and go to play out.

It does not hurt that he used to manage the Turntable Club on Red Hills Road, with Winston and Monte Blake of Merritone naturally being influences. He reels off the names of DJs like Errol from the Rock, Gladdy Parker, Mikey Thompson, Colin Hines, Kurt Riley, Krazy Kris, Richie Clarke, and Craig Ross with delight in their styles.

DJ Glen C gets a different audience reaction from the one at the theatre as he recalls a young lady hearing him play at a venue where she went to celebrate her birthday. "After I played, she said, 'I can no longer call you Glen, It is 'Mr Campbell'."