DJ Experience - BPM Supreme - July 5, 2024
Exclusive Interview: DJ Outkast is Making History on St. Martin

Born and raised on the vibrant island of Sint Maarten (St. Martin), DJ Outkast’s journey to the turntables wasn’t your typical one. Originally dreaming of becoming a WWE superstar, his path shifted thanks to a chance encounter with the art of DJing. Now a staple in the Caribbean music scene and a proud member of the Shadyville DJ crew, DJ Outkast shares his story – from early inspirations to craziest gigs and the unique underwater museum project he’s a part of. Keep reading for more.

Tell us about your background and where you call home. 

Sure, born and raised on the 37 square mile island of Sint Maarten Island in the Caribbean. The island is small but with a lot of history. It is the smallest country in the world governed by two different countries. Half of the island is Dutch (where I’m from), and the other half is French. So basically, we have two of everything. Two governments, two police forces, two elections, two carnivals, three education systems. It’s really crazy when you think about it, but to me it’s home. My mom is also from Sint Maarten with a Guyanese background and my dad is originally from Aruba.

Growing up, did you always want to DJ? How did you get into music?

Actually no, my lifelong dream was to be a WWE superstar [laughs]. I know it sounds cheesy! But it was always my dream. I grew up watching people like Bret “The Hitman” Hart (who was a huge inspiration and role model to me) and wanted to be like him so much, that was truly my calling at first. I had no interest in music at the time. But my dad had such a musical background as he owned a record store here on the island, and so many stars like Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, and Bob Marley passed through his store. The music was basically calling to me from a very young age, and that’s how I was exposed to it.

But the real moment that changed it all for me was a day watching television and a program came on BET (I honestly cannot remember the name of the show) but it was set as a party where everyone was dancing and there was a DJ on screen. He was cutting and scratching in crazy patterns and I became obsessed with it from there. And that was the changing point for me. I fell in love with the art form from there and decided “This is what I want to do.” 

How did you learn to DJ?

It was basically a watch-and-learn scenario for me. In those times we didn’t have YouTube or tutorials to learn from. So I went to all the house parties and learned from the top guys in my region at the time such as Mix Master Pauly, DJ Sheff, Night Hawk Sound, Dave Nice, DJ Menace, and so many others. Basically watching and learning from them then going home and trying what I saw and adapting it in my own way and style!

Where did the name Outkast come from?

There are two versions of that story. First, being how big of a fan I am of the group Outkast. Big Boi and André 3000 hands down changed and innovated the sound of hip hop so much that it was hard not to be influenced by them and not want to follow that trend. The other half of that story is pretty simple. I was not the most popular kid growing up in school, and I was always considered and treated as an outcast. So I always had to go the extra mile to prove my worth and show what I was capable of, so the name really just made sense.

Other than Outkast, is there an artist who has influenced or inspired you most?

Outkast for sure. But if I have to break it down, my all-time favorite hip hop artist is Ludacris. His delivery and work ethic is phenomenal and I will forever be a fan. In the world of dancehall and reggae, as that genre of music is where it all started for me, it has to be Beenie Man! But if we want to start talking about DJs who were very influential to me, three names, to be exact! Kid Capri, Jazzy Jeff, and Qbert! All were innovators and pioneers in what they do, and I feel those three names are who represent me and what I do the most!

CDJs or turntables?

I started on turntables. As great as technology is today, that feeling of turntables can never be duplicated in my book. So I will always say turntables. But most setups in clubs and festivals, are always difficult to get, especially in my region. So I’ve been blessed to be able to work on both quite comfortably.

What’s your usual DJ setup like?

I’ve always prided myself on being able to work with whatever is placed in front of me. But if I can always have my way, my ideal setup is a Pioneer DJ S11 mixer with Technics 1200s using Phase. But if that is not available, I can easily work with an S9 with CDJs. I can also get the job done with a 1000SRT controller [laughs].

What’s the craziest gig you’ve ever played?

Man, there are so many! But two really stand out the most! The first was a show I did on the island of Guadeloupe some years back with Young Thug! What a disaster that was. Long story short! Let’s just say it didn’t end well! Gunfire happened! Panic! Chaos! All that and more.

The second was in Edmonton, Canada. Also was doing an afterparty for a CFL game and some guy in the club punched a girl and the players saw what happened and the entire team started trashing the guy! The security lost complete control of the situation and tossed three cans of teargas into the club! Total chaos! First time and hopefully the last time I experience tear gas!

Dang, that’s crazy! We hope so too!

Yea, it was horrible!

For those who don’t know, what is a Shadyville DJ and how did you become a part of the crew?

That’s a story all on its own! For those who don’t know, Shadyville is the DJ fraternity organized and put together by DJ Whoo Kid! Whoo Kid was actually booked for a show on an island near to us called St Barths. I got a call from the manager of the club that I was a resident of at the time asking if I was willing to give up my paying night for Whoo Kid to have, as he was overnighting in St. Martin. I agreed and also attended the night as I wanted the opportunity to meet him! He and his management were very grateful for what I did for them and we exchanged contacts.

In my years, I’ve met a lot of major names in the industry and it was always, “Yea bro, we gonna do some work,” or, “For sure, we gonna keep in touch,” and you never hear from them again. Which is normal in our line of work. So I thought nothing of it again. Until a few months later I got a call from Whoo Kid’s manager saying, “We didn’t forget you. We are forming a Caribbean brand of the fraternity and we would like to have you be a part of it.” At first, I honestly thought it was a prank call until they really made it official! That was so many years ago and I’m truly proud to be a part of it!

We have to talk about St Maarten’s first underwater museum! Tell us about this cool project you are a part of.

Yes! I am so humbled to be a part of the island’s history forever for our first underwater museum. Basically it’s where divers and snorkelers can take a tour of different areas of a dive site dedicated to the island’s rich history with over 300 different sculptures and castings from local St. Martin people and influential figures. When I was first approached about this project I found the idea to be amazing! But due to my hectic schedule, we just couldn’t get the opportunity to get the actual casting down. It almost didn’t happen!

But thankfully the good people at Under SXM didn’t give up and insisted on having me be a part of it and we finally did get a date arranged for them to take a molding and casting of my face and body. I consider it to be a huge honor to be a part of this experience and encourage anyone who visits the island to see it firsthand!

Anything else you want to let our readers know about or upcoming projects to look out for?

At the moment, my focus is putting out great content. Whether that be visuals, mixes, etc. But I really want to get more into production. I have put out some projects before, but I wish I knew what I know now when I put those projects out. I’ve learned from my mistakes and know what I have to do now. 

I am also scheduled to be a part of some nearby island carnivals which is always great. I am returning to Amsterdam in August for The Dance Valley Music Festival. I always look forward to doing big stages and festivals as I can really let loose and just be me! 

Follow DJ Outkast on Instagram to stay updated on his projects and tour dates.

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