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DJ Powa ‘Can Cross It’

UTech student is brain behind humorous Bus can swim and People what are deading videos

BY GORGETTE BECKFORD Sunday Observer writer

Sunday, June 19, 2011

TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD University of Technology (UTech) student Kevin-Sean Hamilton, better known as DJ Powa, is the talented Jamaican behind the viral YouTube videos Canna Cross It (Di Bus Can Swim) and People What Are Deading.

The videos are ‘mashups’ of TVJ news clips and have received over 100,000 views on YouTube. They have also been featured on Tosh-O on Comedy Central.

Yesterday, Hamilton appeared surprised at the overwhelming popularity of the videos which, he said, were "done for fun".

"It is just a hobby," Hamilton told the Sunday Observer. "I have a regular desktop PC. I don’t even know the specs... I use FruityLoops to make the beats."

The release of People What Are Deading was planned to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the security forces’ May 2010 operation in Tivoli Gardens to apprehend accused drug trafficker Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. The video is a cleverly edited memoriam in which Hamilton spliced news clips featuring interviews with residents of the West Kingston community over an infectious beat.

He uses almost as a chorus, a voice clip of a female resident whose declaration to the TVJ reporter that ‘the people dem what are deading’ elicited much laughter when it was first aired last year.

The follow-up video, Canna Cross It, features a TVJ interview with a young man in Yallahs, St Thomas during a recent episode of flooding. That video has surpassed its predecessor’s popularity as it is now being played at parties.

The mp3s of the videos can be found in the iTunes store and he also has Deading and Bus Can Swim T-shirts.

Hamilton attended both Meadowbrook and Ardenne High schools. He is currently pursuing a marketing degree with a minor in economics at UTech.

He said he has no formal training in sound engineering or video editing, but has been composing rhythms since 2004 with no particular goal.

The name DJ Powa, he disclosed, came from ‘Powerman’, a nickname he was given by a high school coach after he kicked a football which hit a schoolmate with such force that it gave the youngster an immediate headache.

Hamilton, who said he is a devout Christian, lives with his father, step-mother and sister, all of whom are very proud of him. He is a well-rounded individual, having played football, tennis, badminton and volleyball while at Ardenne.

But music is his passion, and he has regular play dates at weddings. "I play the usual wedding music, the Luther Vandross... I don’t mind playing at secular functions as long as it is clear I will only play Christian music. I am a Christian discjock," he said.

Hamilton is mostly unaffected by the overwhelming level of attention he has been receiving since the release of the videos. "I credit God for keeping me humble," he said, and revealed that he has been contacted by individuals to participate in various projects, including mixtapes.

He has even been asked by a funeral home proprietor to edit funerals.

"I am open to blessings," he said. "In five years I hope to be married, definitely married, and establish a studio. I play the drums, so I will probably form a band."