If it is Thursday night and you need your Caribbean music fix, served with finesse, simply turn your dial to 90.9 KTSU-FM. That is where you will find Deejays Supa Neil and Yellow hosting the long running late night show “Caribbean Vibe”.
DJ Yellow became a DJ because of the love he had for the music since he was young. Born in St. Lucia and raised in the Virgin Islands he came to the United States at 17. What keeps him so drawn to his craft? Well, seeing the crowd dance as he spins, it is its own reward for this DJ. He has been in this game since 1982 and while he has slowed down he has not lost his touch. Fans will be happy to know that he is coming back on the scene again soon.
Pleasing his customers and fans is still his top priority. Having been around as long as he has, he has earned his stripes. He doesn’t talk all over the music or do that big infamous switch as soon as a song gets going. DJ Yellow does not find this type of showboating appropriate and feels that DJ’s should, “Just let the work show for you.” And that he does. I had the opportunity to see him in action last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the music. There was old school Calypso that I had not heard mixed with the more popular newer Soca and Reggae hits. R & B was played between a few new pop mixed Soca songs. I was allowed to get into the music and he even obliged when I yelled, “Wheel and come again!”
I asked his thoughts on the growing popularity of Caribbean culture and music in Texas. And he believes that its popularity is growing all over the world due to the technology available these days. DJ Yellow has been co-hosting Caribbean Vibe for over 15 years and has an appreciation for all Caribbean music – Reggae, Calypso, Soca, and Zouk. His favorite artists include Soca star Baron, who he compares to Marvin Gaye; Reggae legends Bob Marley and Dennis Brown; and new school artist Pressure. To contact DJ Yellow, check out his website www.seriousdjs.comand tune in to Caribbean Vibe.
The other half of this duo is Everad Neil Gill, who’s more widely known as DJ Supa Neil. When I visited the station that late Thursday night during the live broadcast I was met outside by a tall slim man with a serious expression that soon turned into a warm smile. The grimace I remembered seeing when he was in action, I soon found out, was due to his concentration on the music. He is quite pleasant and has an uncanny ability to put a total stranger at ease, as he did with me. An interview he conducted with singer Anthony Cruz was playing and I listened while I watched him work. During the interview he navigated through questions with ease as he and the artist spoke together as if the conversation were simply a private one between two music lovers.
The Trinidadian born Deejay spoke to me about his life, career, and the music as he grooved to the tracks he played for Caribbean Vibe’s listeners. He laughed as he told of his upbringing in Palo Seco Village, Saint Patrick, Trinidad and Tobago. Raised by both his mother and grandmother, he was surrounded throughout those years by women. He takes the ribbing about his weight with ease and probably owes his slim build to his diet. While he does eat some meats, he doesn’t eat pork or seafood. Gill is more of a lentil, peas, and rice kind of guy.
The dialogue continued into a talk on religion. Supa Neil considers himself a spiritual man and explains that his belief in God is not about any kind of organized religion, but an actual relationship with the Father. His other major relationship in his life is with the music. He is a songwriter, producer, and recording artist in his own right with songs like “Lately”, “No Negative Vibes”, “Lady”, and the provocative “My Bedroom”. He has also lent his skills to other artists as a writer, producer, and feature artist.
On a personal level DJ Neil would prefer to play reggae all night. During my visit he moved through the songs he knew would help me to gain a better appreciation for the genre. His enthusiasm is infectious and I suspect he is as knowledgeable as Rodigan himself. He can find pleasure in all genre’s of music and plays a variety of music while he is spinning every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at Kenny T Sports Bar where he mixes in R&B and hip-hop with island sounds.
Gill describes himself as being hard-headed and ultimately wants the freedom to simply record music. He has been pretty busy being a father. For nine years he was a single father raising his children, the youngest of which is now 14. They have played a big role in his life and his motivation for working hard when he was employed full-time with United Healthcare and delivering music to the masses on a part-time basis. As they have gotten older he has dipped back into the dreams he has held for so long. He is certainly a brother on the right track with his priorities in order.
Supa Neil’s favorite Caribbean artists include Reggae artist’s Sanchez and Buju Banton; Godfather of Reggae Soul Beres Hammond; and Soca artist Destra. Other DJ’s that have earned his respect are English DJ David Rodigan, an older gentleman who impressed Gill with his knowledge of the music and DJ Jazzy Jeff because of his unique abilities on the turntable.
The DJ and artist who celebrated his 42nd birthday last week at the Leo Big Birthday Bash at Kenny T’s Sports Bar, was also a member of our Armed Forces serving in Operation Desert Storm. This may have been where he developed his work ethic and the want to give his music his all. “Anything I do I want to be the best.” He feels that he is a great deejay because he understands that, “It’s all about the people. It’s not about me.” He feels the energy from the crowd and feeds that fire by expertly reading them.
As someone who has both answered the call of responsibility and the call to succeed in his dreams, he offers this advice to young adults and others, “You can do anything you want to do in life. If you believe in God, why fear the Devil? Whatever your dream is, do it.” And he walks that talk on a daily basis.
Follow Supa Neil on Twitter, find him on Facebook, and tune in to him Monday nights on Pure Vybez Radio 90.1 at www.kpft.org, Thursday nights on Caribbean Vibe on KTSU FM 90.9, Supa Neil Live on Wednesday nights at www.locallivehouston.com. Get on out and feel the vibes in person On Sunday’s at Azul Lounge on Buffalo Speedway, Club Riddims the second and the third Saturday and last Friday of every month, and Kenny T Sports Bar every Thursday through Sunday. For more information there’s also Anorexic Entertainment’s site, visit to see all of the services this company offers.