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DJ prepares to rock Bermuda into New Year

DJ Skratch Bastid could have played in any number of destinations this New Year's Eve.

He chose Bermuda.

The Toronto-based turn-tablist will headline Ciroc the New Year at Pier 6 on Wednesday.

Organised by 441 Productions, the event will be hosted by comedy reggae artist Uzimon and features VIBE 103 DJs Chubb and Smokey.

Skratch Bastid, whose real name is Paul Murphy, told The Royal Gazette why he picked Bermuda and what he's hoping to offer the party crowd later this week. Read on to learn more ...

Q: How did you first get introduced to music?

A: My mom is from Trinidad and is a music enthusiast so music was always being played around the house. My dad is from Nova Scotia, Canada and he's also interested in music, so between that and my mom's naturally “wining” hips I have had the music in me for a long time. In grade school I got into hip hop music and from there I started buying and collecting records. Due to my interest in that I decided to take part in various DJ competitions. My mom convinced me to enter my first one in 1998, when I was around 16 years old, and I did well. After that I travelled around North America competing in competitions and then I moved over to the club scene — that's when I started making a name for myself and it made sense to consider it as a career. Now I've been to more than 25 countries around the world and right now I am a guest judge for Red Bull Thre3style competition. I don't compete much anymore. For myself I actually prefer the regular club and show environment where it's not as competitive and just about playing good music and generating good vibes.

Q: What's the first record you ever got really excited about?

A: It's probably the Michael Jackson ‘Bad' album. That was the one I asked my dad to put on and I would dance around the living room to it.

Q: What's your favourite part about being a DJ?

A: I like bringing people together and exposing people to good music. That's my privilege as a DJ, to share good music with people and make them happy. I'm a positive person and like bringing people together for a good time and DJing helps me to do that. There is a lot of negativity in the world, but when we get together and hang out that's when all the fussing and fighting and badmouthing on Facebook and social media tends to stop. I know for me, music has changed my life and brought me so many great things and all I want to do is share my music with other people.

Q: On your website it says you have a reputation as being one of the hardest working DJs in the world. How did you get that reputation?

A: Travelling around definitely keeps me busy. Just two weekends ago I was in New York and Vancouver for two different shows. Plus a lot more goes into it than just playing in various venues and clubs. As a DJ you have to work on promoting yourself, making mixes and remixes and learning new techniques for playing music. It's easy to be a DJ right now because there are programmes and apps that teach you basic skills, so to stay on top and be on the cutting edge you have to research every day. I think about music from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I am behind the desk a few hours a day at least and producing music outside of that. Being a DJ is always on your mind. You are thinking of ways you can mix a song as soon as it comes on. I could be in a restaurant or a coffee shop and hear a cool track on the radio and decide to work that into my set. We have to keep our eye on music culture and play the record that people want to hear, but in our own style.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: When I play I aim to have one foot in the past, one foot in the future and one hand on the beer, or shall I say Dark N' Stormy. Basically for me I like to share old and new music that I like because I think there is [a lot of] great music that people haven't heard.

Q: What brings you to Bermuda this time around?

A: I've actually been coming and visiting the Island for quite a few years now. [Gosling's event promoter] Andrew Holmes invited me down for this particular show. I really love the vibe down there and the people there are very music-minded. They know their stuff and it's really nice because for me to come back and visit (I come back once a year) I have to be on top of my game. I know at this time of year all the young people will be returning home from school and I'm just excited to be in charge of the music for New Year's Eve. I've played in the past for events around Cup Match and the Rugby Classic, and it's always fun. I just think people there have amazing taste in music. As a DJ all you want is a crowd — one that knows their stuff so you can go out and give them your very best.

Q: Did you have a lot of other requests to play in different countries for New Year's Eve?

A: New Year's Eve is one of those things you get like five or ten offers, but you choose your favourite one and Bermuda was an easy one for me as a destination because I like to come down there so much.

Q: Out of all the places you've been, what are some of your other favourites?

A: DJing for me is kind of like cuisine — wherever you go there is a different style of music and a different appreciation for it. What's really fun for me is when I travel you find every country has a different set of ears and taste in music. Part of the fun as a DJ is bringing your own style to them, but fusing it with what they listen to and what they're interested in. It's fun for me to travel over to Europe for a day where they haven't been exposed to the same music industry. They have a different opinion on what's popular music and what's appealing to them. I also like to play in North America as well. It's hard to pick a favourite because everywhere has a different flavour.

Q: What can people expect from the show on New Year's Eve?

A: They can expect music of all genres — from the biggest stars of 2014, as well as classics from all the years. You can expect a party fit for a celebration of a great year. New Year's is always a time when you get together with your closest friends and it's always my favourite part because everyone is in a good mood. They're out seeing people they haven't seen in a while and celebrating. I'm so lucky to have a job like this where I'm able to enjoy myself. It really is a dream come true for me.

*Tickets, $50, are available from www.bdatix.bm. Tickets are available at the door for $75. For more information, or to purchase VIP tickets, contact 441productions@transact.bm

Music man: Toronto-based DJ Skratch Bastid, aka Paul Murphy, will be playing at the ‘Ciroc the New Year' event at Pier Six on Wednesday
<p>Skratch’s three favourite songs right now</p>

1. D’Angelo’s Really Love: He says he’s really enjoying the soul singer’s latest album, particularly this song. “I bought the album last Sunday and have listened to it ten times since then. I am a big fan,” he said. “Really Love especially has been catching my ear and it’s something I can see myself enjoying for many years to come and it just gets caught in my head and puts me in a good space.”

2. Chronixx’s Here Comes Trouble: “Chronixx is like a younger generation Jamaican artist,” Skratch Bastid said. “He’s really versatile and this was a big tune when I played it at the Johnny Osbourne concert down there.

“His voice bridges the generational gap in Jamaican music. Classic fans and younger fans enjoy him so I like that.”

3. Disclosure’s Latch: He counts this as one of his favourite songs to play in 2014. “I always got a good reaction from the crowd and it’s quality dance music,” he explained.

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Published December 29, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 30, 2014 at 9:50 am)

DJ prepares to rock Bermuda into New Year

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