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Junior Demus – DJ LT all set for Saturday

JAMAICA / ENGLAND – Join DT LT – The Lucian Touch and Junior Demus, this Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 3:30 pm Jamaican time or 8:30 UK time on RFI Radio 102.1FM.

By Meg Majors

Junior Demus (b. Conrad McNish, 1960) hails from St Mary, Jamaica. Known for his distinct voice and “talk and stop” lyrical style, he got his start in reggae music at the youthful age of 14.

Demus got into the world of reggae by being exposed to the music through family members who were aspiring DJs and by attending parties at the Marley residence during the 1970s. Originally known on the scene as Papa Keeble, his mentor and main influence, Nicodemus, dubbed him Junior Demus in the early ’80s.

Voicing on sound systems across the island of Jamaica, his reputation spread like wildfire as an artist who speaks about what he sees – real talk, street talk.  Working with sounds and artists like Echo Vibration, Jack Ruby Sound, Peter Ranking, Sammy Dread, General Trees, and Brigadier Jerry, eventually landed him a spot at DJ Roll Call (hosted by radio personality, Super Don) in 1987 in Kingston. It was there, that a promoter called Leng (Supreme Promotions) recruited him for the international stage. During that show, Nicodemus joined him for two songs and then Junior Demus took the show to the next level with a solo set. He states, “that show, everything starts, then I just keep going and never look back”. In the late ’80s, the aspiring artist got his chance to bring his music to the international market on tour with pioneer artists like Super Cat, Marcia Griffiths, Yellowman, and Mutabaruka.

When he returned to Jamaica fresh off a tour, he performed at Sting in 1988 and started recording with Leng in the studio. He found that people were really relating to his lyrics and “you just have to talk what you see” philosophy. During his career, Demus has shared the stage with reggae legends ranging from Beres Hammond to Buju Banton. In the early ’90s, he played a showcase in Trinidad with Capleton and Garnett Silk, which would be Silk’s final live appearance outside of Jamaica.

Through his endless dedication to his work and staying true to his Jamaican roots, Demus’ unmistakable sound brought him the acclaimed albums, Cabin Stabbin (VP Records, 1991) alongside Super Cat and Nicodemus, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, & The Crazy (Sony, 1994) featuring Nicodemus, Super Cat, and Junior Cat, and a handful of singles including: “Rough Neck Chicken”, “Babylon Culture”, and a spot on soundtracks including “Dancehall Queen” (1997). When Super Cat signed with Columbia Records in 1992, Demus was blessed with the opportunity to join him and Nicodemus on a world tour. Junior Cat and Junior Demus remain good friends to this day.

In the ’80s and ’90s, reggae took a different approach than today. Instead of the majority of work being done in a cut and paste studio style, artists were expected to voice or play their instruments in one take. Demus developed his style by voicing as often as possible on live sounds and adapting to his audience, always giving them what they want while keeping his lyrical style fresh.

“It was a totally different thing than how it is now, but we still be grateful for technology for making things even easier for the people at the moment, y’know where music is and little young youths go through the computer, stop and fix back the part. In our time you couldn’t fix the part, you had to just DJ straight – download it outta your head to the riddim track. Mixtapes were the way to get noticed: they hear you, find you, book you.”

Junior Demus’ mission is – was – and always will be – to entertain his audience to the maximum. By freestyling and ad-libbing, he connects with each audience individually. He draws them in and makes them part of the performance. He is known for chatting directly to audience members, always the man who speaks what he sees.

Demus is a family man who is a nurturing and involved father. He is also a supporter and advocate for emerging reggae artists who face the same industry struggles he once had to conquer in the early stages of his career.

Currently, Demus is working on various musical projects, including an anthology of his life’s work, plus a new E.P. He recently released a new song “WOP DEM”, with Cosmic6 Records, from the highly anticipated e.p.

He is also featured on the popular single “Well Excellent” by Williamz (reggae artist in the UK). Now a New Yorker, Demus performs live weekly, still finding inspiration from the world around him. Though he says Jamaica will always be his home, Brooklyn has its own lyrical offerings to inspire, intrigue and entertain a diverse audience. Alongside his management team, he is facing the struggle of reclaiming royalties from his intellectual properties in which his music or character was used without his consent, knowledge or compensation throughout the years and reclaiming control over his online presence.

Junior Demus may be imitated but never duplicated. He is working hard to preserve his legacy because “music never dies, even when you’re dead and gone”.



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