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DJ turned producer makes music all over the world

Korie Minors (File photograph)

At his primary school graduation, Korie Minors announced his plan of becoming an architect.

He was thrilled when he achieved the goal but as his career took him to places around the world, his thoughts kept turning to his real passion: music.

In 2014 he became a full-time DJ, capitalising on the contacts and friendships he had made. He is still designing – and is involved with a project in Portugal – but the workload is “not as heavy as I was when I was doing it full time”.

“It wasn't really a hard stop. I was living in Hong Kong. I came back to Bermuda in 2014 and started deejaying and then it kind of started to grow from there,” he said.

“I was playing in Korea, I was playing in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong and Spain, just all over the place. And then Covid happened and shut it all down.”

Being stuck inside gave him the time to work on producing his own music, something he had always wanted to do.

“Covid allowed me to be able to spend that time to dive deeper into what my sound would be. I was able to develop my own sound and start producing.”

Although he produces “everything” his focus at the moment is on Afro house, house, Afrobeat and Latino records.

He has released his own singles – Bengingati, a song that uses the gombey snare drum, can be heard on Spotify. Korie has also produced for well-known artists in Panama, the Caribbean and various parts of Africa.

An Afro house record he produced made it to the top of house records in May and was on Traxsource.com’s top 20 list featuring music of all genres.

“And then I have/had tracks charting on Beatport.com, a global house music database,” he said.

“It's one of those things where you get to a point and you realise you need to build a team to take it to the next level. And that's kind of where I am now. I have songs charting online on global house music charts; I'm working with artists from South Africa and working with producers and artists from Panama and Nigeria and Ghana, Kenya and Botswana. And just recently, I'm working on a record with some artists from Trinidad – some big names that I can't say until the projects are finished – and then some folks from Hong Kong … everywhere.”

He fell into deejaying at 12, fascinated by the work being done by friends of his older brothers.

At 15, Korie went off to boarding school and became the go-to guy for music at parties.

“We all used to make mixtapes back then. I was born in 1989 so we still had that sort of Eighties influence of making mixtapes but on CDs, not on cassette. I used to sell mixtapes in high school to people and even in university so the natural progression was, ‘OK, can you play the same songs that you put on the CD?’”

In university in Bristol, England, Korie was the host of a radio show that he filled with Caribbean and Afro music.

“That progressed to deejaying in the city of Bristol and then I played a few times in London, just based off what I was doing in Bristol,” he said.

He has been a traveller for much of his life, the journeys started in earnest once he became a qualified architect.

While working in Hong Kong he would deejay “maybe three times a week” in lounges and clubs there.

Back in Bermuda, after the pandemic gave him the necessary time to think about music production, he got to work producing singles.

“My friends, or people that I was working with, would send me records and say, ‘Hey, what can you do with this?’ And then I would put my parts on it and then they would release the record. So it wasn’t me as the primary.”

Once he developed his own “sound”, he was able to move forward.

“I started releasing a couple years ago but now there's more of a strategy behind it. And it’s just continued to grow.

“I have a bunch of releases coming out this summer. And I do have an album that's going to be released this year. It's more on the amapiano side, but it has a Caribbean sort of Bermudian element to it. So I have some local musicians that are putting parts on it – guitar, saxophone, violin. It’s more a lounge-like sort of house with an Afro sort of twist. It will be the first amapiano album out of the Caribbean ever. I’m really excited about that.”

The “international connections” he made through education and his travels through work helped him accomplish all that he has, Korie said.

“I like to experience the local community, the local culture. I immerse myself in it so I meet people and then friends, colleagues, and they call me. That's what got me to some of the other more far-reaching places like Japan.”

While he was at the wedding of a friend in South Korea, he was invited to play at the after-party. The club owner was so impressed, he asked him to return.

“And then from there, it just develops,” he said.

Most important is that he brings his A-game “every time”.

“It doesn't matter if it's two people or 1,000 people, it's the same,” said Korie, who was the official VIP DJ for the 2017 America’s Cup in Dockyard.

That audience was one of the biggest he has played for although a potential booking at a festival in South Africa in September, where 10,000 people are expected, would top it.

“I've always travelled abroad from when I was two years old so I’ve always had an international mindset. Even though I love my country and Bermuda has given me so many blessings, it was never ‘I'm going to stop here’. I was always connected to the world.”

For more information: djkorieminors.com

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Published June 05, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated June 06, 2023 at 8:04 am)

DJ turned producer makes music all over the world

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