Fresh-Men Feature: DJ @SelectaJigga
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my name is Jephord English also known as @SelectaJigga, I was raised in the beautiful island of Antigua and Barbuda. I have been a disk jockey for a little over twelve years. DJing has taken me all over the US, and a few international locations such as Spain, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Antigua just to name a few. I started off as a music collector, then began learning on an old school Denon cd mixer (Before the sync button existed and before cues could be saved). This was important for the fundamentals and gave me a firm foundation, as technology advanced I moved to Atomix and virtual DJ platforms then to Serato, and the rest is history.
College was the defining moment for my DJ career. I teamed up with Tony Clarke (Co Owner of Digital Den Records in Boston) and invested in our own equipment, our own speakers and supporting gear. As a team we were able to create a large fan base and double our networking thus yielding a great number of bookings. Our collegiate years really catapulted us into traveling to other states to DJ parties, step shows, clubs, and events while forcing me to constantly practice and get better to meet the demand.
Fast forward to today, I am focused on being bigger and better than my previous years. Events in Dubai along with finalizing a few other international events are some of the cool things I have in store for 2018.
How did you get into DJing?
DJing has been a passion for me from a young age, during secondary school in Antigua, I began collecting music while messing around on DJ software such as Atomix and virtual DJ. As time progressed and I refined my craft, I began taking the act of actually djing more seriously by going out and actually playing out building a small fanbase, recording mixes and sharing them with the public.
Who are your musical influences?
My musical influences stem from a wide range of genres. As a young child, the old jazz and blues of the great Sam Cooke would play throughout the house in the Caribbean coupled with the greats of Bob Marley and the older generation of rhythm and blues. As I established myself as a DJ, my influences was based on the 90's reggae and dance-hall flow as well as the 90's hip hop and r&b era. These were the songs that told a story, these were the songs that were catchy and easy to memorize and sing along to. This was the era where artist placed so much into their music and the quality of that one song.
How is your DJing style a reflection of you and your cultural identity?
My DJ style is very unique. Being raised in the Caribbean, I try my best to bring that vibe that feel into every set. Even if its a little flavor or a little taste, I ensure that my cultural identity is represented in some little way in the segment/set I play when I'm at a gig.
What do you think are the makings of a perfect turn up?
Good liquor, Good group of patrons, ON POINT TRANSITIONS BY THE DJ AND ON POINT SELECTION OF MUSIC! Music has to flow and work with the crowd in the room.
How do you find balance between your day job, side hustle(s), and self care?
Self care is always important, and it is effectively the number one thing that allows for my day job and side hustle to actually get 100% of my being. I take self care very seriously. If it calls for taking a step back and resting my body for a day to reset regroup and refocus, I take that opportunity gladly. My day job's purpose is to simply pay the major bills. Having that steady income is always a blessing. Side hustle funds the extra curricular activities and places play money in my pocket. The more lucrative the side hustle becomes, the happier my pockets are for the play money. These three sources defined my balance shifts based on the needs and requirements of that week. The main takeaway for me is, I never allow one thing to take more than 50% of my being. Self care takes a solid 40% and side hustle and day job battle for the remaining 60%. Some days side hustle gets 40% and day job gets 20%, or vise versa respectively.
What advice would you give our readers having a hard time trying to find that balance?
Simply asking yourself " What do you want from life?" "What is your main goal?" By achieving this answer, a reader can then tailor how much of their day job needs to be a priority, how much of the side hustle needs to be a priority. Self care is always number one! I stress the importance of this for a simple reason; if your sick or injured, your side hustle and your day job is greatly affected. This now becomes a physiological burden that could have been avoided had self care been your number one priority.
These questions also place life into perspective. They allow the reader to analyze their current day job to see if it meets their respective needs. If not, a revamp of their resume is needed and its time to jump back into the job search for an opportunity that complements their talents, work history, and educational background. Never be afraid, never settle, aspire to be great, and success will follow.