Country Deejay

Chanel 7 Sound System, Snake Hill, St Catherine, Jamaica (1992)

This is my most stolen picture on the internet, it’s an image of Joseph Hills sound system playing in the country. We spend 3 days up in the country at one of Joseph’s relatives place. It was an amazing time, from loading up the truck with all the sound gear and the long beautiful drive through the countryside. I had NO idea where we were going or how long we would be there, I was just told by Joseph to be at his place in Constant Spring at 7 a.m.

When I arrived, everyone was still sleeping so I had to make my way through the guard dogs and wake everyone. Once everyone was up and we had eaten we started to load up the truck and were on our way. Once again I had no idea where we were going or how long we would be, because of this I did not bring anything along, just my camera bag, but it was enough for the weekend. We finally reached our destination, deep in the country in the Juan De Bolas Mountains. Once we got settled everyone went to work unloading and setting up equipment. Word must have spread because slowly people were showing up, walking for miles just to hear the music, drink some beers and eat food, the chef “Foody” made a wicked corn soup.

Once the music started it went on non-stop, 24-7 for 2 days, it only stopped when the generator ran out of gas and needed a fill up. I remember the mosquitos were so bad that you kept a small fire of green leaves burning near you to make smoke to keep them away, it worked somewhat but I still got eaten alive. Sleep? Who needs sleep, it was a blast hanging out with the “country people”, some of the nicest people you could meet, was funny cuz some of the children had never seen a white man in person. They would just keep looking at me, feeling the hair on my arms, following me around, was funny.

As the day turned into night more people were showing up till there was a pretty good crowd, some people even came up from Kingston. Josephs son Kenyatta (in white shirt) was the selector and doing the sound. I think he was about 13-14 at the time but was doing a great job mixing the tunes. He and I also share the same birthday, the same day as Bob Marley’s. He has now grown up and taken the torch from his father continuing his legacy by leading Culture and is still touring. Bless up Kenyatta and continue to spread the good works.

Just a side note, just ask if you want to use someones photos, stealing them and giving credit or a link is NOT the same as asking for permission to use someones photos, it’s stealing.

One comment on “Country Deejay”

  1. Great, great photo Brian and I know just how it is when your labour of love gets taken for some kind of commodity. I also loved reading your ‘back story’ about this picture. Love and respect every time. J

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