DJ Fire: “I know what to play at the right moment”
Taylor Richards – Copy Editor
After immigrating from Jamaica over four years ago, Tafari Turner, or DJ Fire, immediately thrust himself into the Connecticut party scene. He said that his equipment wasn’t too fancy, but his dedication is what pushed his career to where it is today, which is multiple paid shows a week, every week.
“When I came to America, I was still using CDs and a Toshiba with half a broken screen. I got a scholarship after I graduated high school and spent all of it on a new computer,” said Turner.
Since then, Turner has been able to save up to buy up-to-date equipment like a mixer, speakers, a turntable, multiple lights and a brand-new Mac computer.
Turner said that DJing in Jamaica is pretty similar to DJing here in Connecticut; the only big difference being that people in Jamaica seem to like pop music more, he said. Once in America, he made a name for himself working parties around Bridgeport. Although he was already making money, he wanted to become known around his new college campus. When Turner made it to Southern the beginning of his freshman year, he wasted no time in getting his name out to DJs already working here.
“Right when I got to Southern for Welcome Weekend, I went up to the DJ working at one of the events. I told him my name and asked how I could get involved,” said Turner.
In the beginning, Turner offered a lot of free shows to SCSU as a means of obtaining more recognition. By his sophomore year here, he realized he was investing a lot of his valuable time to working events at Southern and decided he was ready to start getting paid for all of his hard work.
“Since I’m a desk attendant as well, Southern was legally only able to offer me so much,” said Turner. “But it’s okay, I’ll use that amount on books and more equipment. It’s not about the money for me, really.”
Turner insists that DJing is more of a passion for him than a career. He’s a senior and a communication major and wants to work at a radio station after he graduates. Turner said that he doesn’t care how much he gets paid, as long as he’s enjoying himself. He plays shows around the Greater New Haven area and gets gigs all the time in varying price ranges. Many of his bookings come from people finding him through past events or through his Instagram, where Turner regularly posts fliers for his upcoming events.
Although DJing is a good source of income for him while he finishes his degree, Turner said that his love for music is what keeps pushing him forward. He said that he likes all genres of music and tries to keep a good variety at all of his parties.
“I work off of what the crowd is feeling. I never use playlists. People think that’s weird, but that’s just how I work,” said Turner. “Playlists make people lazy. It’s too easy. I know what I like and I know what to play at the right moment.”
Photo Credit: Benjamin Bowen