Young DJ Ricky Dias is out to impress in a tough field
Ricky Dias is still relatively new to the fiercely competitive DJ world.
One year on from his first turn as a DJ in a Front Street club, the 18-year-old is gearing up for his first tour overseas with Bermuda’s own Young Gunz Sound (YGS Entertainment).
“DJing in Bermuda is a very competitive scene, because there are so many others out there that are quite good,” Ricky said. “Most of the DJs in the Hamilton night scene tend to be in their late 20s and 30s.”
The St David’s teen, a graduate of CedarBridge Academy, uses his job to help finance car repair studies at the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island.
His dream is to become “one of the youngest, most recognised DJs in Bermuda”.
He will join YGS owners David (Big D) Furtado and David (DJ Scoobay) Vieria this April in a tour of nightspots in Portugal, the UK and Germany.
“We’ll be taking our music to different countries, and at the same time promoting Bermuda,” Mr Furtado said. “I’ve reached out to Bermuda Tourism and we have some giveaways, little Bermuda mementos to give out to people, so the plan is to showcase our skills and a little of the Island.”
Having cofounded YGS in 1999, Mr Furtado has seen the company grow into a regular fixture at beach and boat parties, weddings, and corporate events in Bermuda.
Approached by Ricky in 2010, Mr Furtado recalled: “My first words to him were, ‘Can you handle it?’. He said ‘yes’ with a confused face.”
After giving the group a CD demo of his mixing skills, however, Ricky found himself invited to mix live on the group’s weekly online radio show.
“The first 30 minutes or so into his segment, right away I looked over at my partner Scoobay and gave him the thumbs up,” Mr Furtado said. “We decided from that night on, we wanted Ricky under our wings. He was exactly what we were looking for.
“Ricky is still very young but also is very hungry, he is very reliable and is willing to learn every chance he gets.”
Citing his early influences as Eminem, Sean Paul, Shaggy and Wayne Wonder, Ricky began to attend YGS events when he hit 18.
“I’d see how much of a good time everybody had, and I knew right away I wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “I look up to David and Scoobay, and when I see the crowd’s reaction to them, it inspires me to create the same energetic atmosphere.”
When he’s on the Island, Ricky handles the early DJ phase for YGS events, three to four nights a week, as well as setting up equipment and selling tickets to shows.
“I’m currently learning to select music for weddings, and corporate events,” he said. “Music selections for these kinds of events can get tricky. So the more experience I get now, the more it will benefit me in the future.”
DJing, he said, means “you have to sacrifice a lot of things”.
“The most challenging side of it is keeping up to date with all the different kinds of music.
“Organising folders into my hard drive for thousands of songs can get very frustrating. It’s also very time consuming with the long hours as well as attending school.
“The main thing you’re going to have to do is sacrifice.
“If this is really what you want to do, then your family and your friends must understand that you’re not going to be around as much. You are now behind the scenes of events, and everybody is depending on you to create the vibe.”
He added: “Patience is a must. You can’t just cut in line and be at the top. You have to put in time, practice every chance you get.”
Useful website: www.ygsent.com.