FOR many music lovers, buying a vehicle goes hand in hand with installing the latest state-of-the-art stereo. It was no different for St Catherine-based LPG technician, Dean Harriott. He owns a 1993 Nissan pick-up which is known in the local auto sound system world as Bad Influence.
"I have always wanted to have a sound system in my vehicle. When I was younger, before I even had a car I bought a car radio and had it in my house," Harriott, 47, told Auto.
"I used to see people driving around in their topless vans with their sound in it and I liked it. I really wanted a pick-up and I made up my mind that when I got it, I would have my sound in there. Not particularly for clashes at first, but for my own comfort," he continued.
Harriott's Bad Influence was declared winner of the 'tune-for-tune' battle in the car stereo competition called Sound Ruption in Montego Bay, St James, recently.
At an early age, Harriott said he developed a love for entertaining people with music. He used the first dollar he made to buy a tape deck so he could play music on the corner. Yet, it was not until he had started to ply his selecting skills on the road that he was introduced to the world of the auto sound clash.
"In 2006, a friend of mine — who had a sound system called War Tanker — decided to challenge me to a clash. I took him on and I
loved it. We would do battle every week but not in any official competitions until one day I was persuaded to enter an official clash," he said.
Equipped with an Alpine radio, three 13-inch JL audio speakers, a matts 3500 watt amp, three Hifonics amps (two 500 watt and one 1,000 watt), a laptop, and two 12-inch 18 sound speaker boxes Harriott's pick-up is always battle ready. He said sceptics are easily silenced when it comes to the test.
In the past three years since seriously competing, Harriott has stacked up nearly 50 trophies. Too many, he said, for his wife to keep on display.
"Music is something that draws people and anywhere I go I try to bring the crowd. I travel across the island to compete and sometimes people don't know me, but as long as you play what the people want, you're going to get them on your side," said Harriott.