King Taj a graduate of the sound system college
Fame 95FM’s Taj Graham, better known as King Taj, spoke to the value of the education and access to information that a young apprentice can earn on a sound system. Between 2010 and 2015, Taj was one of the youngest disc jockeys to be an official member of Renaissance Disco.
“The five years spent on the sound system was worth it. At the time of joining the Renaissance team of disc jockeys, I was not looking at it as a stepping stone but a place of residence where I could be what I wanted to be,” King Taj revealed in his interview with The Gleaner.
He added, “Some of the members who were with the sound before I joined are still there and have built successful careers as pioneers in the industry.”
King Taj noted that in the latter part of his tenure, sound systems were under pressure, which further affected disc jockeys.
He said, “They (sound systems) were being phased out. Times were getting hard, in a sense, and I was kind of forced to do my own thing – to basically take my career in my own hands. That is where the knowledge I acquired in regards to the ins and outs of the industry and relationships built with event promoters and corporate Jamaica came in handy.
“Adding to the development of my engineering skills, being a part of a team that was heavily involved in sound and lighting set-ups exposed me not only to partygoers, but allowed for me to engage promoters, who became familiar with the face, as well as the name. I was gifted with a sort of icebreaker to say, ‘I am so-and-so from that sound,’” he continued.
He noted that with social media, there is a platform to develop a brand with a significant following. Popular among the soca community, the disc jockey, who is one of the featured personalities on FAME FM’s ‘Daydream’ segment from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Friday and ‘Kick Start’ from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on a Saturday, can assertively declare that he is now a recognised brand.
“The sound played a major role, even though it can be rough at first, similar to any student transitioning from secondary school to the tertiary level of education. It is a business where the livelihoods of all the members of the team can be based off one person’s performance in front of a crowd, and, as a newcomer, the primary responsibility is to gain the trust of everyone and work towards earning respect. It is important to add that a group’s following does not necessarily add to your own, but with access to people, depending on an individual’s personality, it can work to their advantage,” he said.