About DJ TRU-1, Station Originator
I grew up in the suburbs of Boston, but I always felt like an outsider, like I was alone in a room and many people were there and talking, but I felt like I was invisible. My mood would fluctuate wildly, from depression to frenzied excitement and I would do crazy things sometimes like risk my life running up a busy highway with my parents in pursuit. I was alienated from my family and went on some wild adventures that took me from an Indian Reservation in New Mexico to Denver's hood. Everything became clear when I turned 18 though. I lost my mind, hard, and was hospitalized. That's when I learned I was bipolar.
I didn't accept it at first. I couldn't understand how some chemical in my brain could control me and my thoughts and reality. I was more alienated from people than ever and stayed in my apartment alone for 6 months and watched the OJ Simpson trial. I was so depressed I didn't want to see or talk to anyone. I was completely miserable. Later I learned that depressive episodes follow manic ones, especially if you are unmedicated. I tried taking the medication the dr. gave me, but I felt awful and stopped. Eventually I pulled myself together and went back to school the next semester and finished my degree.
I had always loved music, but something changed soon after. I had grown up with early Hiphop and listened to a steady diet of Run DMC and all the Sugar Hill Acts. I would listen to bootleg tapes from my friend's cousin in NYC and we would play them over and over. But after my illness had taken hold, I discovered Prince and funk and that led me back to Hiphop and electronic music. I had a terrible console stereo all-in-one with a crappy turntable on top. But I would spend hours scratching the hell out of records just to hear that sound. Music somehow got me through my difficult years where my illness was out of control. I couldn't build or complete anything; everything would always fall apart. And though I blamed it on the world it was always me.
Music saved me. Music got me through and was with me when I hit rock bottom. Luckily, I found a doctor who I could understand, and he helped me understand my illness and with his help and my family, I slowly got my life together. It was the vibes that sustained me and helped me accept things that I could not change. I started to DJ and got to play with a rapper, in clubs and parties, on the radio, and with a bboy crew in Lynn. It was hiphop that, like so many others, gave me a focus and the discipline to manage my life situation. Knowledge of self has always been a priority in my life and learning about myself and my illness helped me stay on top of it.
I got a job teaching high school, but music continued to be my passion. In the 90's, during the golden age of hiphop, I discovered dancehall through Bobby Konders and Red Alert and just fell in love immediately. I would spend hours downloading the latest riddims to play at night. Through my love for Jamaican music, I began hanging out with Jamaican ex-pats and met the Jamaican woman I would marry but later divorce. Learning more about Jamaican culture and music only fueled my passion for dancehall and reggae music. I continued to try and build my knowledge and continue to work on building it today. So much amazing music has come out of and continues to come out of such a small island there is always something new (or old) to learn about. I continue to manage my illness and though I DJ infrequently in person, I have taken up producing and started an internet radio station dedicated to Dancehall, reggae, and hiphop. I have been lucky to interview Jamaican producers and those interviews can be found on the station's website at www.vibesworldradio.com. I'm not going to lie, some days can be mad difficult with my illness, but overall, it makes you appreciate and savor the good times more than most. And the vibes are always there. Like Bob Marley said: "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain." I want to share that with the world and touch as many lives as I can through the vibes. I know how influential the music has been for me and I want to be there for others who need a helping hand or someone to listen. You may listen to my station, but I want to hear YOU, reach out and speak up. YOUR voice is important and if you need it, help is out there
I've been called the "vibes disciple" because I believe in the vibes and that they can help balance out the scales of the world. My life has been a struggle to keep balanced and I know others suffer with the same situation. Music and the vibes are always there, and the drum is the heartbeat that has been there since Native Americans and Africans up into the present. We all suffer to some degree, some more than others. Those who feel it know. And even though I've suffered I can't deny the privilege I've enjoyed from being white in this country which has been denied to others simply because of the color of their skin. It does not escape me that I am a white man playing music and enjoying the culture that was created and perfected by black men and women. I do so with the utmost respect, and I put that respect into action by donating my time and money to causes which work to mitigate this reality and help in ways that I can, including supporting the Alpha Boys School in Jamaica, where so many great Jamaican artists and musicians have been supported. My actions will never repay the debt that white people in this country have incurred through our terrible violence and arrogance but as the saying goes: “You are not required to finish your work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it.” We all must do the work, as do I. So, I try to wake up my fellow white people from the dream that they have earned their privilege, instead of gotten it through a violence that extends from history through the present. And the present is an unresolved injustice of inequality. Hiphop, Dancehall and Reggae mostly all agree. "No Justice No Peace" is more than a slogan. And that is a message and a music worth broadcasting. We party to forget our troubles but when the party is over, the truth remains.