Goodridge aka, DJ 2Risky is a 2011 recipient of the Liberia Best DJ Award presented by the Liberian Entertainment Awards; he can also be heard on Radio LIB. Goodridge is studying paralegal affairs in Toronto Canada, in addition to being a professional security officer. He also has a busy timetable playing music for his clients at birthdays, graduations, and wedding parties etc. He recently took time off his busy schedule and granted the Listener this interview.
1. How long have you been in the music business?
I have been in the music business for a while now. I would say around the time I was attending the Isaac A. David Memorial School in 1997. It is now a high school, but back then, it was still a junior high. We had a popular male chorus at the school of which I was a member; we also had Prince Sherman who is now the lead singer for the Glorious Lamps Male Chorus. I also sang in the church choir too. You also have to take into account a little history here: by 1997 you had acts like R. Kelly, Dru Hill, Blackstreet Boys, Boys ll Man, Lucky Dube hitting the charts, and of course there was always Bob Marley who will always be around. These artists gave me a little sense of peace during the time of our civil crisis, when we had nowhere to go but sit around all day. I think my sense of appreciation for music grew even more because of this. Music was like another way of escaping the trauma of war, but that era particularly drew me to music.
2. What attracted you to the industry?
I would rather say who attracted me to the industry. It will have to be R. Kelly, no doubt about that. I slept, ate and drank R. Kelly growing up. Growing up under the guardianship of my parents, it was church on Sunday and seeing the choir sang some of those good old church hymnals and watching soloist performances on stage, all of that got me singing and loving music even more and the next thing I knew I started following that trend. I have few tracks of my own out there that are not so popular. Growing up also, I started hanging out during the weekend nights, sometimes at clubs or parties, and sometimes at d-jay booths watching them spin and make magic with their turntables. That also got me involved in the industry, and then I started my own experiments at playing, and before I knew it, I was getting invitations to play music at events.
3. Who normally would you play for? Who are your clients?
Honestly, right now I am not d-jaying at the moment, I had to put that aside for the time being, for personal reasons…[Laughing] but usually I will play for clients that contract and contact me to play for them. I play for a diverse group of people, and depending on who I am playing for, so will the genre of music be selected.
4. African music is growing and is becoming widely accepted globally, and so is Nigerian music coming on strong in recent times.
No doubt, much love to Nigeria and their artists. They are doing well as you stated. A few of their artist recently got signed to Konvict Muzik through of course the efforts of Akon, the Senegalese born hip hop artist. Akon must be commended for signing Wizkid, P-Square, and 2face. African music has gone mainstream and it is in demand internationally. To tell you the truth, right now a lot of African musicians are also doing great, but I do agree that Nigerians are popping the charts. My favorite Nigerian artists though are Banky W and May D, These guys know how to create and make it happen in the studio. I also like P- Square.
5. Who are the Liberian artists out there today?
There are many. I must say first of all, Liberian artists despite not having a lot of support are doing well, they are doing pretty good, especially with their artistry, but they need support if Liberian music must compete with others genre of music out there. Some of my favorites are F.A, Jodi, Takun J, David Mell, Kay Z and I will say my man Rawpeking. But all in all, they are all doing so well and I am proud of the efforts they are putting in to entertained us and elevate our music. You know as much as me, that the music industry is a tough business. And also, it is a blessing that Liberian hipco has emerged of late, which has given Liberian musicians a unique style from which to draw inspiration. It is a style that cannot be duplicated, because it is uniquely Liberian, and that’s what I love about Liberian music today. Shout out to all the hipco artists and those working behind the scenes to make sure hipco go places.
6. Lewis Arthur Wiles Jr is considered one of Liberia’s finest disc jockeys of his time, do you know anything about him?
I heard a lot about Lewis Wiles Jr, growing up, but I must confess that I am not that familiar with him. Most definitely, his influence is still around, and I think it is a good thing that personalities like Wiles be studied by the younger generation who are into the disc jockey and music business in an effort to understand an exceptional era that potentially had one of Liberia’s most celebrated on air personalities. Rip Lewis Wiles Junior, his legend is still around.
7. Who’s your role model in the business?
I will tell you this; Martin Brown was the man of our decade, [the 80s]. He is one of Liberia’s finest disc jockeys. Martin Browne and his Martin Brown Production was a huge hit! The MB Production as it was called on ELBC Radio in my opinion was what everyone wanted to hear. You had people rushing to their radios to hear the MB production, when it was time for him to seize the mic in the studio. His voice was so infectious it commanded the microphone and filled the radio as you listened! His commercial voice is the finest Liberians have heard yet. Martin Brown is my man; he had Liberians glued to the ELBC Radio. Those were the days though!
8. You play on Radio LIB, how has the experience been?
Wow! Playing live on www.radiolib.com has been big for me! Radio LIB has given me a unique opportunity to reach a new fan base. Once, someone even called my show from Vietnam, just think about that for a moment all the way from Southeast Asia; the internet has given us reach…I like being on the air, I have fun doing that and since Lib Radio is an internet based media entity, our contacts has been expansive; truly we live in a global village. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had with the radio station.
9. It is common for Liberian d-jays to prefer other African and world music over Liberian music, why is that?
First and foremost Liberians have that diversified image of accepting all others no matter their race. I think we love a good beat and if my ears is hearing a good beat and I know it is what folks wants to hear at a particular time, then I am going to play it. But Liberian music is coming on pretty strong too. Well, as I said earlier, if you look at our artists today, many are doing extremely well. You also have to give it up for disc Jockeys like DJ Blue and the other Liberian d-jays that are promoting Liberian artists. We have to do that in an effort to raise the profile of our music, and I think this is a unique generation of Liberian artists, taking off where Miatta Fahnbulleh, Zack and Gebah, Harry Ee, T. Kpan Nimely, Robert Toe, Morris Dorley etc left off. Personally as a D-jay I will play my country music any day, anywhere at any time only if the beat and song is going to move my crowd. I therefore urge all Liberian musicians to work hard and compete. Having said that, on the flip side, Liberians travel extensively during the civil war, so the influence form other countries is still there with them, I think that’s why other genre of music dominate sometimes in our listening habits, but Liberian music must always occupy the top of our air/parties play.
10. You are also a father.
Yes I am, and thanks for mentioning. Love my little girl; I am a lucky and proud daddy. She has been a blessing to me and I thank God every day. On March 21st 2006 my life changed forever when she came into this world. It was the happiest day of my life, I will never forget that day. She is also an honor roll student, she is so smart, but also I wouldn’t be here without my mother, may her blessed soul rest in everlasting peace.
11. Any final thoughts, especially for your fans Mr. D-jay 2Risky?
Yes to all my good and loyal fans out there including the staff and members of www.radiolib.com, I would like to say thank you for all your support these many years. I also want to say let us all rally around Liberian musicians and let us support them. It is good thing to listen to Jamaican, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Congolese, Ivorian, South African and American music, but Liberian music must always be at the top of our listening list, in my opinion. If we do not appreciate our own music, and support our musicians, who do we expect to support them? Let us all stay steadfast and strong and with that willpower we will always succeed. Jah bless, and thank you very much.
Thank you Sir.
I want to express my gratitude again to the Liberian Listener for this opportunity.
File photo: Mac Goodridge