My Kingston - Kamau Preston

International DJ

Sunday, May 26, 2013

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What are your most distinct memories of Kingston?

Playing for Kingstonians who are very eclectic and have music vision, as I call it.

What has been your most memorable meal in Kingston?

I went to Devonshire at Devon House; it was off the hook! I can't put into words the experience I had. One word would be insane. I had foie gras and sweet potato.

What is your beverage of choice?

I'm a gentleman, so I drink rum cream.

Which cologne are you splashing?

Mont Blanc Legend.

And the last bit of music you listened to that you really enjoyed?

Marvin Gaye and Erick Sermon's Just Like Music; that's my pick-me-up when things aren't going so well.

Share a few places in your travel book...

Paris, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Australia, Hawaii and Pula in Italy. I've also played in Tokyo, Japan.

Where's the place you head to when you need to escape from it all?

My studio. I close the door and create music.

What new projects are you working on?

I'm working on increasing my visibility in Kingston and starting my own party here, which would be an alternative to what's going on. There are great parties in Kingston, and adding another great party wouldn't be a bad idea.

Did you study music?

A lot of what I know is from observing and being self-taught. I'm now going back to school to study music.

Where did you get the name DJ Monk?

It was my alias growing up; everyone called me Monk. It stuck with me.

How did you get your break in the music industry?

I used to spin at a resort in Montego Bay, then I moved to New York. I got lucky and a DJ who was playing the circuit took me under his wing. He said, "Listen, this is where you want to be." I was lucky to get some pretty big gigs early in the game.

And your most memorable gigs to date?

I opened at the Prudential Centre in New Jersey for the New Jersey Devils with Bon Jovi; played at the 100th anniversary of legendary cosmetic house L'Oréal Paris at the Grand Palais in Paris. I've also played for Howard Stern, the New York Giants and the owner of the New York Giants. There have been quite a few.

Who inspired you while you were growing up?

I had a great support system in terms of the friends I grew up with — they had both parents — I only had my mother, hence their dads became my dad. Looking back, my friends definitely inspired me. We are still friends to this day, still goofy.

What's next for you?

I'm going to branch off into the concert circuit where I'm playing at stadiums. That's what all this preparation is for.

Finally, what's your philosophy?

Do your best and always prepare. He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail.

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