"THE INSPIRING JOURNEY OF DJ GRAND MASTER FLASH" - PHOTOJOURNALIST : RON MORALES "HOW A POOR BOY BECAME A LEGEND OF HIP HOP" DJ EDITORIAL: GRANDMASTER FLASH: CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Joseph Saddler a.k.a. Grand Master Flash is a name that needs no introduction. On Saturday Oct.6, 2019 he performed at the California Center for the Arts. B- Boys and B-Girls warmed up the crowd taking turns showcasing their unique acrobatic breakdancing moves. For the fans of hip hop, DJ Grand Master is like a role model and source of inspiration.
The unparalleled energy he brings every time he gets on stage is a unique sight no one gets to see every other day. However, this charismatic personality hasn’t got to this position easily; it has taken blood, sweat, and unimaginable level of hard work.
He is one of the pioneers of this genre of music having great talent to turn a humble record deck into an instrument as potent as other musical instruments like a piano. The Barbados-born artist was an electronics student with a dream to turn the music of his heroes Pete DJ Jones and Kool Herc into an art form. His story is quite inspirational for aspiring artists looking to make it big in the industry.
Back when there were no facilities for musicians; no technological support, no PCs, no Macs, no internet, no social media and above all, no acceptance for such type of music. But not only has he made this genre popular, he has done it in grand fashion with just two records, one mixer, and a table.
His drive to dive deep into the music genre and find that drum beat, that drum solo in all other genres including rock, pop, country and others where the drummer had a solo. The reason why he was looking for that drum solo because for him, it were the drummers that make people move their bodies with the song and feel a connection with the song.
Watch Grand Master Flash Perform: here
DJ Grand Master is the epitome of staying focused and determination. In his journey, when he got the first song, he only wanted to hear it first himself before anyone else. Just like adults play Peek a Boo with kids, he named his system, Peek a Boo system. This system was a single pole double throw switch. This simple switch allowed him to hear a particular sound in the direction the switch was turned to i.e. left or right.
What that switch did was that it didn’t allow the listeners to listen what was playing in his either ears and with a simple invention, he could do great things. Here’s a lesson for young musicians as well; if you want to achieve great things in life, you can start simple and things will work in your favor.
Born in a poor family didn’t stop him and he found his love in the backyard where people would leave their useless stereo systems and other electronics and Flash used to bring them to his home and experiment with the cables and wire networking.
As the man Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake”. This would set the tone, how anyone can derive inspiration from Grand Master Flash and make a career out of nowhere with pure conviction and hard work.