Toronto is on the list as one of my favourite places to play/DJ because the way Torontonians embrace soca music. There’s just something about T-Dot vibe that I love. Respected DJs like Dr. Jay, Jester, D Bandit, Marxman, Soca Sweetness and D Enforcas have helped grow the artform to higher heights out there. That being said, there’s an upcoming generation of DJs that you need to pay attention to.
Disclaimer: This list includes DJs that we heard play LIVE in an event. It is also in no particular order.-DSA disclaimer
Flexx Got Next
He’s one of the major Team Soca DJs that is representing the power of soca in Toronto. Flexx has rocked stages and moved crowds in places around the world like NYC, Miami, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and more.
Brandan Duke The DJ
Formerly known as Dexterous One, Brandan Duke is one of the youngest talents in Toronto who has been making waves for the past two years. I had the pleasure of meeting him this past summer and hearing him live. His skills brought the attention of many folks worldwide. As a result, Brandan earned numerous awards including the Guinness World Record for the World’s Youngest Professional DJ. I thoroughly believe that his skills and talent will propel him into the global DJ scene, where he will use his background and culture to represent Caribbean music on a bigger level.
DJ FLIP- The Vibes Machine
Flip has created a whole new world when it comes to alternative fetes and events in Toronto. Flip’s Licks events are popular with the youths in the GTA. I commend Flip’s approach in taking the risks and doing his own events.
In terms of creativity, I appreciate Flip’s approach to the “smaller islands” and making sure that they are represented in his live sets and in mixes.
DJ Buzz B
Two years ago, I was looking for a way to clean up my Serato DJ Library. In doing so, I came across a popular YouTube Channel titled “The DJ Network.” Little did I know that the channel was created by someone of Trinbagonian descent. This was the first time I came across DJ Buzz B. I didn’t know it at the time but, Buzz B was doing a service to DJs all around the world.
Fast forward to 2019, my twitter followers and friends in Toronto were talking about a must-attend fete Carnival Sunday. This fete was so popular that tickets were sold out when I touched down in Toronto. This fete was Sunshower fete, this popular wet fete is hosted by Buzz B and draws hundreds each year.
Buzz B’s online presence and on the ground marketing makes him a force in Toronto. In a few years, I predict that he will elevate Caribbean and West-Indian Culture.
Kevin is the definition of hard work and consistency. As a result, he’s one of the few young DJs out there that is ALWAYS putting out content. Whether it’s event recaps, DJ intros, mixes, scratching routines, you can always watch them on his Instagram channel. I am impressed with his level of marketing, creativity and grit.
Kevin has toured major urban cities like Ottawa, Orlando, Miami, Washington, New York, Trinidad & Tobago & much more. Personally, I feel he is a notable international DJ in his city.
You can check out DJ Kevin on Vibe 105.5 FM Saturays from 8-10 PM EST.
Smartiez is another DJ who pays attention to marketing. He is one of the few out there who is where his audience lives. His mixes are unique and most importantly available on multiple platforms. From iTunes to Spotify, Smartiez understands that his audience is everywhere, so he makes it his mission to be there. It also helps that he includes track lists in his mixes.
His passion and drive to push his culture landed him a spot as the Music Director on VIBE 105.5 FM, a popular urban station in Toronto. You can thank him for the soca and dancehall on heavy rotation.
One of the major reasons why I respect Smartiez is the fact that he will introduce new chunes in his live sets as opposed to replaying the same 15 songs.