D.J. Simmons receiving NIFCA Gold Award from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

D.J. Simmons receiving his NIFCA Gold Award from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

 

Do you know Dempstu Simmons Jr? No? Maybe if I’d asked if you knew DJ Simmons many of you would have put up your hand and said ‘Yeah I know him. He’s the spoken word dude, right?’

Demptsu Simmons aka DJ Simmons is a talented poet and spoken word artist whom I had the pleasure of meeting one Sunday afternoon at The Good Life Café where he performed a reading of one of his new short stories for a critique circle made up of his friends and fellow artists. He began by explaining that while he’s known for his poetry and spoken word art form, he was branching out into the realm of prose to broaden his writing chops. But even as he read the piece about the evolving relationship between a young boy and old man, his voice took on a lyrical quality and it was easy to see and get lost in the cadence of his poetic style. He couldn’t hide it. Lol!

DJ is a regular performer at NIFCA and has also entertained the public at Love Poetry and Song as well as at the African Village Market Place held in Bridgetown.

Here he is doing a piece on Balcony TV called Kuumba with friend and musician Simon Pipe.

In this blog I showcase artistes who live in Barbados. Anyone with a creative bent who is courageous enough to share their ‘art’ with the world. They could be writers, musicians, photographers, sculptors or artists. It matters not whether they are using their art to currently make their living. Some of us may not be that fortunate but creativity needs to be celebrated nevertheless.

Q1 How did you get the name DJ Simmons.

My full name is Dempstu Simmons Jr. I was named after my dad so to differentiate I was called D.J. Everyone calls me D.J.

Q2 What pays the bills?

I perform a number of jobs which combine to pay the bills. They include performing as a spoken word artist, producing live events, emceeing for a DJ group called Mayhem Soundz, working part time at a cafe, publishing books for other writers and writing articles for the Dazzle magazine.

Q3 What was your proudest writing moment?

Receiving a Certificate in Writing in 2015 from NIFCA for my piece “Feel I Ainno Wuh Gine On”

Q4 Most surprising comment from a fan/critic?

“I don’t like poetry but I like wuh you does do”

 Q5. Best advice you ever received about your poetry.

“Never apologize and just do you.”

Q6. What’s a typical day in the life of a /DJ Simmons:

5:00 am: Asleep
6:00 am: Asleep
7:00 am: Asleep
8:00 am: Listen to sports news
9:00 am: Listen to music / browse YouTube
10:00 am: Check email / organize daily tasks / Social Media
11:00 am: Household chores / eat
12:00pm: Writing / Rehearsing / Designing and Publishing
1:00pm: Writing / Rehearsing / Designing and Publishing
2:00pm: Writing / Rehearsing / Designing and Publishing
3:00 pm: Nap
4:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Social Media
5:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Social Media
6:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Social Media
7:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Social Media
8:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Rehearsing
9:00pm: Bartend at The Good Life Cafe / Rehearsing
10:00pm: Attend live music event / Socializing

Watch him give back and entertain the students of Cuthbert Moore Primary School

 

Bio for D. J Simmons :

“Whether it is experiencing him on various stages from Iron Sharpen Iron, Love, Poetry & Song, Mahalia’s Corner, NIFCA and more you recognize that style that is distinctly D.J. Producer of two books and an album, this decorated spoken word artist has won awards including Slam Poet and Open Mic titles, and multiple times at NIFCA including Gold in the Performing Arts and the first recipient of the Bruce St John Award.”

D.J. Simmons at The Good Life Cafe at Rockley Christ Church, Barbados

D.J. Simmons reading at The Good Life Cafe, Rockely CH CH

 

Excerpt from “Feel I Ainno Wuh Gine On”:

Feel I ain’t know wuh gine on…
Feel I can’t see…

Catch ZR this morning,
People counting fare carefully cause, can’t miss money,
Concentrating on change coming back from de last twenty,
Sigh silently folding up new bills.
Old door slamming,
Music blaring,
Wheels turning
Everybody moving
But, part we gine…
Outside bright but inside the van dark and split,
Unmannerly morning mourning community spirit,
Alone on social networks we androids drone as we size round to the middle,
Passage way block,
On this drop to work.

Feel I ain’t know wuh gine on…
Feel I can’t see…

Look though a gap I see a garden of children voices as colourful as croton and bougainvillea,
Shoot, sorry that was a memory,
What really in front me,
Is the voice of a video game coming out of a concrete driveway with a Suburu Impreza,
The radio play bashment for de last hour
DJ hype as ever,
Ratio of conscious or slow songs to this aggressive banja, is next to never,
No wonder when I get out the van my face Ben up,
Ben up wid the confusion of why certain tunes in my system
When last month I know I didn’t like dem.
Oh yes!
The studio producer just play all day pun de radio station,
Men pun dem hustle but still I know,
Even if you are known for banging the hits,
If you keep hitting people wid de same stick,
Dem body ain’t gin get conditioned to another branch off de same tree.

Feel I can’t see…
Feel I ain’t know wuh gine on…

Connect with DJ Simmons

Facebook: Dempstu Simmons Jr
Instagram: @dj_simmons
Twitter: @dj_simmons