Sun | May 26, 2019

DJ Laing living his dream

Published:Monday | January 28, 2019 | 12:55 AM

When twenty-four-year-old Gahmeal Laing discovered his love for mixing music, there was no turning back. “I had no idea I would end up here,” stated the young disc jockey, who is currently making headlines in the entertainment industry as the latest fresh face in the music arena. Finding his calling took a level of gumption that allowed him to convince his family, friends and himself that he was passionate and ready to take on the persona of DJ Laing.

“Funny enough, this was not until college,” explained the full time professional DJ who developed his love for music from fooling around with the software virtual DJ. “I liked the experience so I kept doing it until it developed into where I am now,” stated Laing, who toldFlair that initially he thought walking around with a laptop and using virtual DJ was very ‘nerdy’.

After that encounter it was as if something clicked for Laing. He began practising mixing music and taking an interest in the performance of local DJs at live events and over the radio. “I used to have my book writing down which songs they mixed into which. I did that for a full year. It was like studying for a test ...well, I was studying how to be a DJ,” he admitted sheepishly.

CHRISTIAN UPBRINGING

Laig is nothing like your average DJ who revels in the nightlife and embraces the fast-paced lifestyle associated with the party scene. “I hardly go to parties unless I am working,” he explained. Being the son of a deacon and nephew of a pastor has taught him to be more reserved and focused on his goals. “My Christian upbringing also gave me an appreciation for all types of music, from R&B, which is my favourite, to soca. I am not one of those DJs that is into straight raw dancehall,” said Laing.

Getting his family to support his dream was no easy feat. “I was trying to sell them a dream with nothing to show for it and no accomplishments. They spent so much money sending me to school and kept asking what was I going to do with myself? It was not easy,” he reflected. By the second year within his chosen career Laing finally reached a tipping point with his family when he was acknowledged in a newspaper for his craft.

Laing began making his name on the scene from his early days as the resident DJ for the University of the West Indies Integration. “I was able to learn a lot here, make my mistakes and develop as a professional,” he said. He prides himself on being able to freestyle for most of his shows and not rely on creating playlist. “I am not one of those playlist DJs. I cannot set a playlist and just go to a party. What if the DJ before you plays all your songs? What are you going to do?” he expressed. He spends most of his hours in solitude listening and mixing music.

“My biggest life lesson so far is to always do your research,” said Laing who shared a rather embarrassing first time experience as a disc jockey. “Back then I was only exposed to virtual DJ. I knew nothing about turn tables and serato software. Luckily it was the early part of the party. That stuck with me because it shows that if you are going to be serious about something, ensure you are. Don’t say you want to be something and not know everything about it. That does not work,” said Laing.

As a young entrepreneur he implores others who want to come into the industry to ensure they are passionate about it. If you don’t do it because you completly love it, do not do it at all. Don’t do it because it looks cool, or you think you can make a quick money from it or because you like the lifestyle. You won’t last,” as he explained the strong mentality that is needed to get through the slow periods and the hunger one must have to keep thriving for more opportunities.

“I do not see myself ever going into a nine to five. It is not my thing,” stated Laing who sees himself as a future producer like his many local and international idols.