Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 15th 2013 Contents He may have been born in
England but his heart is all
Trini. This aptly defines
Martin Abraham, popularly known
in the UK as DJ Martin Jay.
Jay has been playing music since
his early teens, the age of 13, in the
80s, with his older cousin, then 19.
He recalls, "At 19, I got into the DJ
business in a big way, my mentors
then were men like (Caribbean pro-
moters) Sonny Blacks, Smokey Joe,
and (Notting Hill band) Cocoyea
bandleader Dexter Kahn. I remember
departed entertainer Odion
"Skunkie" Cyrus telling me that if
I really wanted to get into this thing
seriously I had to go to Trinidad to
get baptised. I had to go to the
source of soca music."
Jay continues, "back then when
I started, the popular music was reg-
gae, R&B and soul. But, there was
a gap in the market for soca music
to be played on the airwaves. At the
age 19, I thought it was good rep-
resentation in the UK for a young
DJ like myself to play the music
enjoyed by mothers and my aunts.
It gave a new edge to the music land-
Choice FM, a new radio station
(the first black-owned "legal" radio
station in London, playing primarily
R&B, soul and Hip Hop), was Jay s
first port of call.
"I sent them demo tape, after
demo tape, after demo tape, without
much positive feedback. Then in
1990, Choice struck a deal with Daily
Mirror, a major tabloid, to sponsor
for Notting Hill Carnival. But, they
needed to put a Carnival package
together, and they remembered me,
called me, and asked me to help. At
the time, I was working as legal clerk
in a solicitor s office. I got the call
evening I d brought to the station a
catalogue of soca records and a
schedule of interviews, which includ-
ed Baron, Chris Herbert and Burning
"The station manager asked me
how much he owed me. I said I
didn t do this for money, I just want
my show. A month after carnival,
September 30, 1990, I started on
the air doing The Caribbean Affair.
This is a weekly soca programme,
which was aired on a Sunday. It last-
ed 23 years."
In 2004, Choice was bought out
by London-based radio group Capital
Radio and this October, after
rebranding as Capital Xtra and
changing the music format, Jay s
Sunday evening programme,
Caribbean Affair was dropped.
It wasn t difficult for Jay to find
an alternative avenue for the pro-
gramme: "Almost three years ago, I
started an Internet TV station with
my stepdaughter called Socavision.
This is one of my projects that was
in the pipeline. We ve already done
one programme (Sak Passe?--- what s
happening ). All my years on the
radio, interviewing so many Trini
artistes, like Black Stalin, Singing
Sandra, Denyse Plumnmer, Baron,
Crazy, Sugar Aloes, was like an edu-
cation to the masses in London who
listen to soca music but did not
understand the music."
Jay is actually a walking encyclo-
pedia of T&T music and culture,
knowledge he gleaned at the feet of
several iconic calypsonians and
"Two of the most important peo-
ple that I have met in my 23 years
on radio have been Roaring Lion and
"Roaring Lion came to England
a radio interview with him and Pre-
tender. The trip takes an hour each
way. With Pretender in the back seat,
Lion spoke for 58 minutes of the
hour. He spoke and I listened and
the stories he told me about calypso,
calypsonians and his career, and how
he composed calypsoes, was like a
school lesson. It is amazing how
much I learned in just under an hour.
"As for Blakie, when David Rudder
produced Raw Calypso, with Zan-
dolee, Black Prince and Blakie, I was
researching old records. I went by
an old guy in London researching
UK DJ Martin Jay seen here at Choice FM studios where he broadcast the Caribbean Affair programme for 23 years.
An Andy Warhol painting has sold
for US$105million in the US, breaking
the artist s record by more than
Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)
depicts the aftermath of an accident,
with a twisted body sprawled across the
mangled interior of a vehicle.
It is one of four double-panel car crash
paintings that Warhol created in 1963.
The others are all in museums.
His previous auction record was set
in 2007, when US$71.7million was paid
for Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car
I).Silver Car Crash has previously been
owned by collectors such as Charles Saatchi,
Thomas Ammann, as well as German
multi-millionaire playboy Gunter Sachs.
Five bidders went as high as
US$80million, said auctioneer Tobias
Meyer. Sotheby s did not identify the
winner, who placed their bid by tele-
Andy Warhol auction record shattered
PETER RAY BLOOD
• Continues on Page B2
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
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