Music

Spin Check — Russ Buss of Coppershot

WITH KEVIN JACKSON
Observer writer

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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This is the fifth in a 10-part series highlighting sound system selectors. Today, the spotlight is on Russell “Russ Buss” Gordon, a member of Coppershot Disco. He finished second in the 2017 SunCity High School DJ Competition.

Kevin Jackson (KJ): How is Coppershot different from other sound systems? What makes them unique?

Russ Buss: Coppershot consistently delivers quality music in every set that we play. We play a mixture of all genres, which is why we are sometimes dubbed a 'juggling' sound. We always switch it up so our sets are never predictable, and that is what makes us stand out.

KJ: How did you get into music and selecting?

Russ Buss: I originally played instrumental music (guitar, piano and drums) when I was around 12 years old. Later, after going to high school, I came to the realisation that I wanted to do something I truly love and can make a living from; one day I was on Instagram and saw a video of ZJ Chrome scratching and I said, “yo, mi ah try dat”. I later saved some money and got a laptop and a small mixer, and the rest is history.

KJ: What makes you different as a selector, what makes you stand out?

Russ Buss: My style of juggling makes me different. My ability to read and relate to patrons gives me the ability to make proper decisions on what to play. In addition, I am not afraid to be creative, think outside the box and play different songs that many would be afraid to play because of fear of a negative crowd reaction. I am willing to take risks.

KJ: How did you come by the name Russ Buss?

Russ Buss: Back in high school when I discovered I wanted to be a DJ I was around a group of friends and I said, “yo, I waan be a DJ, enuh” and someone shouted out, “yo, russ, yuh muss buss!' Everyone then looked around and said, 'Yo, dat shot! Russ...Buss lol'. The next day, I went to school, everyone was calling me Russ Buss, and the name stuck.

KJ: Which school did you attend and what did you study?

Russ Buss: I went to Campion College and I did the sciences up to fifth form, then switched to economics as well as digital media and computer science in sixth form. I am now in my second year of study at CARIMAC where my major is Integrated Marketing Communications and minor in Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management.

KJ: How did your parents react to you becoming a selector?

Russ Buss: I am from a single-parent household, just me and mom. We all know that there is a stigma towards the entertainment and music industry, so naturally my mother was not as enthusiastic as I wanted her to be. Being so young at the time, the nature of the job caused me to be out late at night all the time, etc. She supports me doing what I love, but I believe her fear is me being exposed to certain things like drugs, for example, and she doesn't want my studies to be affected negatively.

KJ: What other profession would you be doing if you weren't a selector?

Russ Buss: Really and truly, I don't know. Maybe I would be working in media on either radio or TV.

KJ: Reggae is celebrating 50 years this year, if you were part of the government, what would you do to commemorate this milestone?

Russ Buss: Jamaica is the reggae hub of the world and we should use that to our benefit. If I ran the government, I would put on a huge reggae festival to commemorate the milestone.

KJ: What do you think about the current state of murder/suicides rocking the nation? Any solutions?

Russ Buss: The murder/suicide cases are very unfortunate and I really feel like the country needs to pay attention to people's mental health. In addition, more public education is needed so that persons can pick up possible signs of mental disorders and things like depression, so that they can refer persons for help. It will help.

KJ: What is your advice to up-and-coming selectors?

Russ Buss: Success doesn't come overnight! That is the biggest lesson. Many young selectors enter the game and see the persons that have 'made it' and feel like it just comes easily, when in reality it takes years of hard work and networking to build and get exposure. You also have to be willing to learn and not be afraid of failure. Never give up, and keep working at the craft. If you are truly talented, it cannot hide and nobody can take that from you.


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