Boom Boom - Full of energy and style
F amous for his skills on the mic, dancehall selector Boom Boom doesn't need his voice barrelling out of speakers to show that he is the life of the party because at the end of the night, it isn't all about playing music. In a selector's world, it's all about presence.
"People get excited when them see me, because them know once me deh inna the party, anything can happen. Without World Boom inna di party, nuh matta weh yuh do, the party nah guh have dah energy deh. All when me guh ah party and me nah perform - once me deh deh, the selector dem just get motivated because the young general deh deh. Dem wah impress me. People just love see me at them event."
It took some time for Boom Boom to grow into being a prominent presence. This week, this 'Life of the Party' shared a bit of the history which took him from wiping down vinyl records to touring the world with Gully Gad Mavado. Boom Boom shared how censorship paved the way for corporate deals and that in all his travels, this jet-setting Grants Pen, St Andrew, native prioritises his community above all else.
Boom Boom said it was local crooner Singing Sweet who introduced him to music, at age six.
"My uncle had a sound named Invader in the corporate communities. We start play vinyl," he said. After they finished spinning, his cousins (Mario and Val) would hand over vinyl discs to Boom Boom, to wipe down with a chamois and store in the sound-box - until one day, they gave him a chance to play at a children's party.
As they say, the rest was history - with Invader Sound taking young Boom Boom to events across the Corporate Area in places like Cassava Piece, Whitehall, Red Hills Road and Barbican. "Me have a big buzz as a yute!" he said.
Moving from Invader Sound to Y2K - Boom Boom began to travel to other countries.
"Dem time deh when yuh nah hear bout Boom Boom, me did ah live a England, but to and from. So 2007 when Mavado ting tek off - him look pon me and seh 'Hear wah gwaan, yuh ah go be me deejay.' Me and Mavado grow, he said.
"Then me and Harry Hype start out, and Mavado start bring we all over the world. Dem time deh me ah play the tracks and open the shows - so when it touch 2010, mi career ah tek off," he said. He eventually started getting overseas bookings without Mavado - who gave Boom Boom his blessing.
Boom Boom & Boom
Fittingly, Boom Boom is currently a brand ambassador for local energy drink, Boom. Besides the obvious similarity, the selector found that partnering with the energy drink brand was a no-brainer because of his corporate-friendly presentation.
"Mi always try tell the yute when dem ah play music - at a concert or anywhere at all - you see badwords, cursing and disrespecting on the microphone, you need to stop it. You never know who in the crowd ah listen. Fi reach the top, or reach which part me reach, you haffi learn, look and understand. When Stone Love first come in with this 'no disrespect on the microphone', mi take a page outta Stone Love book and keep the ting clean," he told THE STAR.
With a clean image, Boom Boom was able to unabashedly approach Boom's brand manager with an inarguable proposal: "Boom Energy Drink is the leading energy drink in the dancehall - Boom Boom is the leading deejay inna dancehall - so it make sense!"
It also made sense because: "Mi always endorse the brand Boom, because me name Boom Boom! 'Any man whe ah drink two Boom, yuh ah try afta Boom Boom!'"
Boom Boom wants to plug his selector success back into his Grants Pen community. For the past few years, he has re-fit a long standing community event (Early Sundays) as Boom Sundayz.
"The Sunday event did a gwaan long time. Ah yute name Spinal, him was the founder for it. We used to do it back in the days without permit. We used to lock off like, 8 o'clock," he explained.
Crime and violence brought the weekly event to a halt. But after successfully celebrating his son Bob's birthday one Sunday - the idea was resurrected.
"Mi look pon Spinal and a couple more members of the team and seh yo we aguh start back Early Sundays. But we haffi link the MP and get them involved, and the councillor -and have a relationship with the peace officer and citizen dem," he said. They also got Boom Energy Drink involved.
"The people in the community benefit a lot. My dream is to uplift my community. For the last six, seven years - no crime and violence," he reported.
Advice from Boom Boom: Just do the ting the right way. If you deh ah one little party, inna club - yuh just play the music, less talking. Because the more people hear the music, the more vibes them inna, the more yuh sell liquor at the bar. If yuh ah go draw down the sound and start preach, it nuh really make sense.