Ryerson University issued the following announcement on Aug. 10.
In high school (circa 1979), I set up a makeshift radio station. The school let me hook up speakers in the cafeteria and wire them through a main operations room – two turntables, a mixer and a microphone. I started programming and had people who were really cool play music before and after school and at lunch. When I did my interview with Ryerson, I think they were really impressed.
The very first day at Ryerson, before my first class, I applied for a job at CKLN, the campus radio station. That was as real as it could be.
I was very into the RTA course. I discovered editing with a razor blade and editing tape, reel-to-reel recorders, I was in my glory! I rented a recorder from Ryerson pretty well every day and took it on the TTC all the way up to Brimley and Steeles. I would be recording at home and practising my editing and splicing. I was obsessed.
At CKLN I hosted the Fantastic Voyage program. Later it was credited with being Canada’s first hip-hop radio show. At the time, there was no infrastructure, no promoters, no TV shows, no record labels or other radio shows, but when people started loving this music, they wanted to see these artists live in concert. I guess I had promotional skills, because I began promoting concerts featuring these artists, not knowing I was pioneering a movement. Eventually I became not just a credible radio broadcaster but the leading concert promoter for hip hop in the city. I used to get up in the morning and my bedroom would be my office. The Concert Hall at Yonge Street and Davenport Road became my home.
People like Maestro Fresh Wes and Michie Mee were amongst the first wave of listeners who were falling in love with rap and learning how to do it. They came down to my show at CKLN and performed live, or they hung around if they weren’t performing. It was a place where Torontonians who had something in common could get a sense of identity and confidence going forward. The radio show made it all possible.
My favourite memory was when I went to interview Run-DMC. It was their first time outside America and I was such a young enthusiastic radio host with my reel-to-reel recorder and microphone. I remember they were both just chillin’ on the bed and I was sitting on the floor and we had a talk for an hour and it was such a beautiful conversation. At the end of it they gave me the best compliment. They said that was the best radio interview that they’ve ever had. That still lingers to this day because you know DMC are gods in this business.
I was swept away by hip hop. I invested in a recording studio for years. I made beats for people every day from morning to night. I went to New York, where I got to see a lot of things, meet a lot of people, bring up a lot of artists.
I’ve never had a 9-to-5 job. My life changed because of my passion for music and my experience at Ryerson.
I'm now the proprietor ofwww.ReggaeMania.com, external link and I’m active promoting Reggae Sound Clash in Canada.
Original source: https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2018/08/hip-hop-radio-pioneer/