By Taryn St. Louis, 2nd April 2021
Music carries with it a magical energy and most music lovers can identify with the emotional highs and lows they’ve experienced while listening to their favorite genres. Any one who enters the music industry with the hopes of having a successful career must themselves carry an internal energy that their fans can identify with. Music is not so much heard as it is felt. A DJ for example, must be able to ‘move the crowd’. Playing popular tracks and shouting into a mic every now and then just wouldn’t cut it. An artiste can get on a stage and sing a verse that everyone knows and loves, but at at some point the audience must connect with their presence. What is this ‘energy’ that I speak of? It can only be described as an unseen connection that awakens the spirit so that one connects with the music in a spiritual way.
BJ (Blashford Wilkins Junior) carries that energy. Because of this, he has accomplished much as a young DJ hailing from the Caribbean Island of Antigua where he first fell in love with the art form. It all started with him downloading a virtual DJ program and watching some insightful Youtube videos. A 15 year old BJ became quite fascinated and asked his mother for his first set of DJ hardware equipment. As most mothers would be, she was hesitant because teens often change interests with every new trend that comes on stream. BJ was determined, so eventually he was granted his wish. This began a plethora of practice sessions, sometimes for 20 hours daily with short breaks between and this musical obsession became his career. BJ became DJ Quest.
Now 24, he reminisces on the journey from being an Instagram/Facebook DJ and getting booked for school events to regional carnival bookings and opening for Grammy Award Winning Jamaican Artist Koffee, UB40 and Masicka. He was booked for lover’s Choice in New York and as one of his biggest accomplishments to date, he entered the Redbull 3 Style Caribbean Finals in Panama where he placed 2nd among some top hitters in the industry. What sets this musical prodigy apart? He doesn’t force his energy or his vibe. The Magic that moves him comes naturally, and his audience moves right along with him.
DJ Quest has suffered many of the same insecurities as those in careers that depend on a motivated and accepting audience, but his fear of not being accepted as ‘the new kid on the block’ didn’t stop him from staying focused. With a determination to succeed and a love for music itself, he perseveres. He also credits his level focus to the support of his parents and a few select friends who have been his rocks of support. For amazing visuals on his major projects he applauded the creativity and ‘top tier’ guidance and support of @chaso_media. For inspiration, he singled out regional DJ’s like DJ Captain John from St. Vincent, Travis World from Trinidad & Tobago, DJ Puffy from Barbados, DJ Ovadose from Bahamas, Selectah Kerry & Precision Production also from Trinidad and Di Genius from Jamaica. On the International music scene, he admires the creativity and musical excellence of Timbaland & Jon Bellion – “their approach to the music is really really dope.”
His energy and positive outlook are amazing, and as an Antiguan based publication, we are thrilled to learn that DJ Quest has big plans for the island’s music industry. His main mission is to grow the interest in Antigua’s talent regionally and internationally. “Whether it be DJ’s, Producers, or artists, I would really like to see people from my country be included on the main stage in music across the Caribbean music circuit. I want people to know that Antigua is a real force to be reckoned with as it pertains to talent.”
Covid 19 happened to all of us, whether we were infected with the disease or not. For DJ Quest, Covid caused a major delay in many of his plans including bookings he was in the process of lining up in New York, Miami and St. Lucia and his homeland of Antigua. Instead of losing his spark, he pivoted and transferred his energy into music production.
On all platforms this April 7th, He drops his new EP of Antiguan Dancehall called “HomeGrown”. It includes 7 songs he’s produced or co-produced with other Antiguan creatives. We can look forward to energetic collabs with producers like G Slixx, Chippy G and Gozie. It also features songs from Niqko Wyld West, Di Melody Kid, Jay Abnormal, TayNova, Anjie Blacks, Mula Million & Gozie.
He left us with some valuable advice for other black creators like himself:
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