DJ Gringo NYC's Reggae Roots & Culture
Born into a musical family with a DJ for a father, by 6 DJ Gringo was playing sets alongside his dad at family gatherings and local parties, until he got his own turntables at 13. He was deeply rooted in the Reggae and Caribbean music of his heritage, but by 10 was also immersed in the HipHop of his peers, deejaying throughout High School, at college parties, house parties, dancehalls, Caribbean parties & sound clashes.
The 80’s NYC Reggae & Dancehall scene was ablaze, fueled by a wave of Caribbean immigrants in the 70s, bringing their Sound System culture with them, and everywhere Reggae, Dancehall, & Culture was being played, young DJ Gringo was in it. By the 90’s, with a high school friend Marlon, he created Stateside Revolution. DJing was second nature to him, like breathing. A firebrand, known as much for his DJ skills, as for speaking out against injustice and for unity, DJ GringoNYC made his name alongside the greats and the up and coming DJs and sound systems - DJ Black Roy, Supertone Soundsystem, Kilimanjaro, Ricky Trooper, Mighty Crown, King Addies, Road International, TC Connection, Klassy Dan of Klassy Entertainment, Sticky Mikes, DJ Khari. His talent & constant gigging brought him in contact with all the Reggae legends and he began producing & writing songs for & with artists like Freddie McGregor, Nadine Sutherland, Glen Washington, Mr. Easy & more, often at the iconic Philip Smart’s HC&F studio.
The start of the 21st Century saw DJ Gringo busier than ever, with concurrent weeklies, and constant guest appearances, some weeks he would DJ every night, some nights at more than one spot, his energy seemingly limitless. In the 90's he also added radio personality to his CV, working with "Caribbean Blend” for a while on 105.9WNWK then joining a friend from college, Christopher "Love" Williams on 93.5WRTN on Friday nights for the "Positive Vibrations Show". Going further with the radio personality aspect of himself in 2003, DJ Gringo (NYC) joined Sirius Satellite Radio, at first just twice a week, but soon he could be heard 7 days a week on The Joint42, his smooth voice between playlists uplifting listeners, promoting Reggae and recounting Reggae & Dancehall music history in the making.
He spent 5 years there on his first stint, & interviewed the likes of Fantan Mojah, Wyclef Jean, Tanya Stephens, Assassin, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Baby Cham, Macka Diamond, Warrior King, Marcia Griffiths, Bugle, Pressure, Sly Dunbar, Half Pint and so many more. In 2004 he was hired - along with Pat McKay, his boss at Sirius - by the makers of Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas, to be guest voices on the game's Reggae Radio Station, K-JAH West. Another gaming company, Xbox360, approached him soon after to be the DJ on their Saints Row Reggae Station, 103.6 Four20; on this video game he had his own radio show. When Sirius merged with XM Radio in 2008 he left, but returned in 2014, and can now be heard every Sunday from 1pm – 7pm (EST)
The last 10 years have seen DJ Gringo continue to make the crowds dance, free up, and enjoy themselves with steady weeklies all over NYC, and special appearances across the US, and globally, including Jamaica, Trinidad, Bermuda, Europe and Africa. Playing at Rebel Salute, Jamaica (2005), was a career highlight.
“MUSIC is LIFE, and DJing has always been a part of who I am. When I look out on the dance floor while I'm playing, and see people dancing, courting, throwing their hands in the air, clapping, excited and loving life, nothing else compares."
I don’t feel the need to stop and, still at this point, after a few decades of doing this, I am not satisfied, I still feel like I have so much more to do… I’m going back to writing and producing, I’ll keep traveling the world, continue to spread the culture of Reggae music and its’ message of Love, Consciousness, Revolution, Faith, Strength, Unity & Upliftment.”
DJ Gringo NYC
In 2013 DJ Kenny joined the Stateside Revolution Sound, and can be heard alongside DJ Gringo regularly. That same year, DJ Gringo NYC began a collaboration with Hot97's Radio Host ShaniKulture, including packing the Reggae Room at the monthly Freedom Party.
There are no signs of slowing down in the near future - 2016 saw DJ Gringo, (in addition to his various weeklies, several monthlies and guest spots) playing at Trinidad’s Twelve Tribes of Israel’s ‘7 Days’ event, opening for Ky-Mani Marley’s “Maestro” album release party Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), playing for Meta & the Cornerstones’ show at SOB’s (NYC), and behind the scenes cultivating projects in the pipeline for 2017 and beyond.
Still pushing, this busy DJ can't stop, won't stop!!! Summers find him at the Coney Island Amphitheater as the opening DJ for acts like Beres Hammond, Third World and Ziggy Marley, in winter keeping his international fans dancing on the high seas when he was brought on board as a DJ for Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise.
Catch him every Sunday from 1pm – 7pm on SirusXM 42 The Joint, playing the best in Reggae and interviewing top artists like Damien 'Jr Gong' Marley, Fortunate Youth, Common Kings, Dre Island, Protoje, & Chronixx.
You can dance the night away on the hottest dancefloor in the city, at his multiple weeklies, across NYC - every Saturday at Harlem's Solomon & Kuff (NYC) for Cane & Drum; and, of course, Sattama Reggae Sundays at Bar 13 (NYC) in partnership with LadyTiaReggae, going strong since 2003; and after 8 years, his iconic Tune in Tuesdays - NYC's longest running afro-caribbean Tuesday weekly - outgrew Bembe’s and has moved to the larger Kinfolk.
“That day we woke at 5 in the morning for a drive in my uncle's old Mustang with no plates, up to Cane River to literally wash my dreads......lol. Later that evening, we drove to Port Kaiser Sports Complex, in a legal vehicle of course, set up on stage, and I played vinyl sets between the artists the whole night, over 12 hours. Looking out over 30 thousand people in a frenzy, looking on in awe as we leveled the place, nothing compares to that… I was high the whole week from that energy, won’t ever forget it.”