DISC jockeys play an essential role in nearly all aspects of music and entertainment in Jamaica. It is the disc jockey that an artiste depends on to promote their material.
It is also the disc jockey that patrons at any event depend on to revel, and that persons depend on for entertainment during their daily commute.
Twenty-two-year-old Shaun Duffus, alias 'Heavy D', is a rising disc jockey who is soon to reach the pinnacle of his craft. The former Campion College student currently majors in electronic engineering at the University of the West Indies, and is steadily making a name for himself within the local music fraternity.
Describing the journey of his career so far, Heavy D stated: "My big break was at Integration Thursdays at UWI in 2010, and then Dream Weekend 2011. Since then I've played at most popular party series such as Uber, Sky Life, BNM, and more. Last summer I did my first gig in New York City."
It was also last summer that Heavy D launched into mainstream with the Best Of Addi mixtape. The compilation featured a juggling set of some of Vybz Kartel's notable early singles created a firestorm on the Jamaican social media scene.
"Initially I wanted to do a throwback mix CD, but realised that would be too cliché. I thought to myself that Vybz Kartel is incarcerated, but has a big catalogue, so I decided to compile some into a mix, and give it my flavour," he said.
Currently the Best of Addi mixtape has clocked 20,000 Internet downloads and growing. Box.Net, a website that hosted the mix, crashed twice as the number of downloads exceeded its bandwidth capacity.
The initial potential of the Best of Addi mixtape, caught the attention of party promoter Sterbz, and as a result, the two paired in a promotional blitz for the mix via social media and distribution of physical CDs.
Heavy D notes that social media as a promotional tool "Allows the people to see the type of person you are, and if you happened to be liked, they will gravitate towards your work."
Coming up for Heavy D is the impending release of the second instalment of the Best of Addi series, and a juggling collaboration mix CD called Four By 1, that includes Kruddy of Renaissance Disco, DJ Lank of Code Red, and the veteran Kurt Riley. Each disc jockey will have their own segment, with Heavy D manning the hardcore dancehall section.