Crop Over Release: DJ Kashi moving with 'Hypest Crew'
Kashi 'DJ Kashi' Browne
It appears to be a bug hitting many a DJ, especially around Crop Over time- the calling to the stage in front of the turntables, rather than behind them spinning the popular tracks.
There have been artists like Hypa Sounds, Verseewild, even Ricky Reid, known as Lil Rick, who transitioned from disc jokey to soca performer. Now in 2019, the person coming to the front is Kashi ‘DJ Kashi’ Browne.
Two weeks ago, DJ Kashi, was up front and centre, performing not one - but two songs - at the launch of Anderson “Mr Blood” Armstrong’s 2019 compilation, Soca Reloaded, a double album featuring over 30 songs from various artists.
“It was actually something that I wanted to do for a long time. Stedson “Red Plastic Bag” Wiltshire . . . RPB . . . he was a close friend of my mum. I spoke to him a few decades ago and I told him that I wanted to get into music. Honestly, it was something I always put to the side. I mean, I was into poetry. I entered the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts – NIFCA and I won a few awards but that was as far as it went.
“I never really took to the stage to do music, but, after putting it off year after year after year . . . I mean it was something that so many DJs have been doing . . . I said ‘you know what, I need to take that plunge’. I have been working with [Mr] Blood in a different capacity for years, so I took the invitation and I just made the plunge,” he said.
Kashi told LOOP ENTERTAINMENT he had intended to do just one song initially, but after being in the studio and playing and hearing some instrumentals, he “felt the vibe” and went with it.
“The Riddim I heard was the one that the features my first song Hypest Crew. It is like the name suggests about the hypest crew. Who has the crew that starts the party? You don’t need a thousand people. Whether it is two or ten people . . . 20 . . . it doesn’t matter. You are there to start the party, enjoy it from start to finish. You get your drinks, hold your position with your cooler, have everybody come out and have a good time. It is not about posing, taking selfies and posting on social media. No. You come out to have a good time with your crew, the Hypest crew. That song is for you.
"The second song is Release and with that one, I was just going through some up-tempo soca. . .. and I just felt it. ‘This year we coming hot, no time for warming up, t’ings hard, yuh pockets bruck but I can’t stop de wuk’ and in about half hour, I wrote out all three verses and tweaked it when we went in the studio. Release is all about letting it go, all the stress and problems when you hear Soca whether at Crop Over to whenever,” he explained.
As for how the music from the popular radio personality is being received, many who have heard and see him perform the two, have been very humble and appreciative about it but has been taking it all in stride.
“Let me tell you. I am my biggest critic in anything I do. I might be happy with it, but I am always asking, especially [of] those who have been there before, and those who would have the expertise in it; what do you think and what can I do so in terms of the recording. I would ask Blood or any of the others in the studio, what do you think, how can I do this or that.
“In terms of the performance, on the night we launched, I was just talking to Mikey, I was talking to Mac Fingall, other people that have been in the business and they are willing to give their opinions and are always willing to help out. Yes, I am satisfied, but in my heart, I know that I can do better.”
And out of the two songs, does he have a favourite? Kashi said his lack of good behaviour when attending parties, he prefers the up-tempo track.
Kashi revealed he has been putting in the work too.
“It is not easy. Let me tell you. I have to give kudos to the other entertainers out there . . . Edwin Yearwood – De General, Allison [the Caribbean Soca Queen Hinds], Mikey - all who can actually do back to back uptempo songs because trust me . . . doing one is a task.”
Competition-wise, he said, he has not made a decision as yet.
“I am not a fan of competition. Anyone that really knows me knows that I am not a fan of competition when it comes to music and such . . . but of course, it is something that you feel inclined to do because it is a part of the festival. It is a part of Crop Over. Let me just say that if I do, I do . . . and if I don’t, I don’t. It is not really a deal breaker for me . . . I’m not really here or there about that.”