Little access to finances ... yet we pay taxes - music selector
Presley 'Hype' Rodriques is 31 years old and proud of his career choice. He wishes to debunk the myth that selectors are all crass and rude with no business sense and is happy to highlight the enterprising skills that are needed in the industry.
This music selector and St Ann native knew that he wanted to pursue a career in music since his days at Ocho Rios High School. He often attended parties and other events with his uncle, and this launched his affection for the craft. It has been just about 10 years since he graduated, yet he has managed to build a reputation as one of the most prominent and well - respected young selectors on the north coast. He does not only play at popular events such as Marco Polo in Ocho Rios and Bubbles in Priory, but he travels all over the island whenever he is requested. He knows the importance of building a portfolio very early on in his career, and he decided to delve into event planning.
"It is all about Brand Presley Hype. I keep yearly events, in particular my birthday bash. This year, it will be at Margaritaville on the 25th of March. I also do an event called 'Chill on the Hill'."
He employs about 20 persons when doing these events and will have one or two by his side if selecting at parties. He plans to grow his brand with initiatives, including adding other genre of music to his tapes mix and creating unique T-shirts to further push it.
"I am still not where I want to be as yet but I am getting there," Hype said.
The world of selecting is not without its challenges. Many young people aspire to join the ranks of the best but have no idea what they are up against.
"When you are a selector, if you do not work, you do not get paid. This is why it's important to do something on the side while you are building your brand. To ameliorate this, I take downpayments to secure specific dates, but if a date is not paid for, I will take another event on that day as well. This way, I am not left out of pocket."
He believes that banks need to be more flexible when dealing with selectors and other individuals who do not have traditional work because often, he said, these persons are paid more than those who to the regular 9-to-5 jobs.
"It is very difficult to get loans. Many people do not take us seriously even though we make more than a lot of government workers. We pay our taxes but have very little access to finance because these banks want payslips or work contracts in your business name, so it is not easy, overall."
Furthermore, in the industry, Hype would like to see selectors get more respect from promoters.
"It is a job, and we take it very seriously."