Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Edward Burke - shooting for the stars

Published:Monday | September 29, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU: While a student at Montego Bay's Community College in the '90s, Edward Burke used Kelloggs boxes to make the speakers for his sound system, Elite Disco. This earned him the stage name 'Kelloggs'.

Burke has come a far way since then and is now the president of Elite Media Concepts. After college, he went on to study electronic engineering at the University of Technology before moving to DeVry University in Florida, where he furthered his education in business administration.

However, being a disc jockey was in his blood, and he never stopped doing it. As a foreign student, he decided he would be the best at everything. "I am there to represent my country, even though I was not on a government scholarship. I gained a 4.0 GPA, was named valedictorian, and became president of the student union two months after I enrolled," he told Flair.

He funded his degree programme from money he earned as a DJ at the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall, Coyaba Beach Resort, Jamrock Café, and all the staff parties from the banks in Kingston. His school fee was US$35,000.

return to first love

After DeVry, Burke got a job in South Dakota doing installation with a company called Daktronics, installing large video boards in stadiums all across continental United States.

However, during the recession, he couldn't get a job as an engineer in Florida, so he went back full time into his love: the turn tables.

While spinning, he had a problem sourcing videos for his songs. "I could always get American music videos and nothing from our locals, so I bought a camera and decided I would shoot my personal videos of popular artistes".

The first Jamaican artiste he shot was QQ, who he met on the beach at Hellshire in 2009. QQ took him to all the studios in Kingston and introduced him to the now incarcerated 'Gaza King' - Vybz Kartel.

"When Kartel met me he asked me to come the next day to shoot his Mind on My Money video," but because of his lack of experience, Burke said the video could not work on television but received thousands of hits on YouTube.

"From that time, Kartel had me do all his underground videos." Underground videos are videos that are not worthy of airplay. It was Burke's videos that brought Kartel the most attention on YouTube and the world stage.

He was doing a shoot with Sugar Minott to catalogue his hits when Minott died in the middle of the project. "What separates me from all other video DJs is that we have personalised music videos that nobody else has, and our Jamaican catalogue starts from the '70s."

He did official music videos for Wayne Wonder, Trinidad's Machel Montano, St Vincent's Skinny Fabulous, Jamaica's Richie Spice, US Virgin island's Pressure, and Left ' Side's Tuck in Yuh Belly.

Elite Media Concepts, during this time, was doing party reviews and adverts for all the large Jamaican parties in Florida.

Two years ago, he was discovered by Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. The team asked him to edit a year-in-review video for its sponsors.

"This was an overnight project, and the sponsors loved it and the Dwyane Wade team loved it.

The next video he did for Wade was his documentary, Journey to Three, which can be found at www.elitemediaconcepts.com.

He also did The Prom Surprise for a high school student whose wish was for Wade to be at her prom.

The biggest project he has done for the Miami Heats captain and his wife, Gabriel Union, was a sit-down interview creating a love story for their August 30 wedding.

"It had such an impact on the people who attended the wedding, some cried, some laughed. The biggest impact for me was seeing how impressed Union and Wade were at how we had captured their love story."

He went on to do their wedding ceremony in Homestead Florida.

Quite accustomed to working with big names in the industry, Burke has covered photo shoots with Serena Williams; actors Jamie Foxx and Kevin Hart, who starred in Think Like A Man'; and the National Football League's (NFL) MVP Jerome Bettis, who is now a commentator on ESPN.

The 37-year-old businessman, who attended Catherine Hall Primary and Herbert Morrison Comprehensive High, now has a team of 10, spread between Jamaica, Miami, and The Bahamas.

The company now specialises in destination weddings and does work at Half Moon, Tryall, Round Hill, Rose Hall Great House, Iberostar, Moon Dance Cliff, Rock House, and TenSing Pen.

The services the company offers includes cinematography, DJ services, lighting design, and wedding webcasts.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com