He’s one of the DMV’s greatest versatile DJs and is on a quest to share his love of soca and dancehall around the world…this week’s Fete Famalay Focus features DJ Majestic!
Kristoff “DJ Majestic” Ng Wai
Kristoff Ng Wai has always had a passionate love affair with music. He started his budding career as an eager disc jockey among a group of enthusiastic school mates – as a curious pre-teenager hailing from suburbs of Trinidad and Tobago. At the tender age of ten, “Maji” became recognized for his natural ability to compose original songs. His promising talents as a passionate songwriter were further elevated with his excellent command of various musical instruments, which included the piano, drums and other percussion instruments. Most notably, however, was Kristoff’s inherent ability to capture and channel emotion within a range of musical genres- from Soca to R&B.
His career turning point came with a very pivotal, life-changing event – uprooting from his native, closely-knit Caribbean island and subsequent relocation to North America. The young Ng Wai’s migration to a new country – with its own culture of people, history, and values – created a new space for personal development, simply seen by him as a humbling opportunity to “do great things.” Kristoff’s exodus to the United States triggered his deep desire to explore his musical abilities. In this new environment, Kris explains that his “(…) turntables were my instrument of choice– almost like my “trusted confidante” during the difficult times.”
DJ Majestic’s musical legacy was re-born from the shadows of natural talent and undeniable ingenuity. Under the guidance of his brother, Anthony Ng Wai and the widely-respected Sprang International Family, Maji rekindled his affinity for the turntables. Maji is well known for commanding the audience through natural conversation on the mic, alongside his mastered ability to connect with patrons with his musical choices on the turntables. Today, DJ Majestic is signed to the Aifos Agency and fearlessly continues to push the envelope of his talents to master his musical destiny. His resume has afforded him the opportunity to travel as the feature disc jockey at several events throughout the Caribbean and the United States.
Check out our interview below to learn more about DJ Majestic…
When did you get started?
I’m originally from Trinidad & Tobago and I got started while in Trinidad, growing up, maybe around like 12 or 13. I really wasn’t a DJ per se, I thought I was. When I moved up here (the DMV area) at the time, my cousin, who’s DJ Sprang International, he was very prominent. Being around him I realized I really didn’t know how to DJ or what I was doing. I slowly learned. My older brother taught me how to play. From all those years, maybe around 15 or 16, I was starting to venture into playing little parties and stuff. That’s where I got my start.
I started off (DJing professionally) at a spot called Caribbean Styles in Silver Spring, MD…big up to DJ Ghost, that was my partner at the time. We shared that night together. We came up together. But he was more so handling the soca side, I would handle everything else. But when I got to Crossroads I was given the option of if I wanted to stay and be a DJ I had to be versatile in how I played. I couldn’t just go in there and play reggae and dancehall. I had to play a little bit of everything. So that’s where the soca started to come out.
However, I am a versatile DJ. I can play any genre of music. So when I started focusing more on soca it was mainly just to prove that I could play and do anything.
When it comes to doing a set, how do you prepare? What’s your mindset? What’s it like for a DJ? What do you have to do?
I am very eclectic. I don’t really have a routine. When I say eclectic I mean that I approach music differently. Music is a vibe to me. I never really plan. When you go into an event with a plan musically, sometimes it doesn’t go how you expect it to go. Sometimes you might walk in and most of the people might be upset or people might be happy. That energy is what you feed off of and translates into music. I always have to keep a clear head the day I work an event. And I am always listening to what I’m not going to be playing. So if I’m booked for a carnival event I’m not going to listen to soca. The reason for that is sometimes, unconsciously, you might end up planning – because you’re feeding your brain – what you don’t want to plan. So I really force myself to not plan anything ever because you never know what you’re going to walk into.
What advice would you give younger DJs in the soca scene or just DJs period? Or common mistakes that you see them making?
Common mistakes I see a lot of younger DJs making is thinking that the art form is as easy as it looks. I have been at this for almost 20 years. I still learn music every day. You never know it all. That’s something I’d advise most young DJs…learn music. That is what you’re there for, to learn music and know music. If you’re going to be a DJ who’s playing soca music, understand that it’s an art form of being able to entertain people. So you have to learn that entertainment aspect and find your own niche where you can be comfortable being yourself. Always be comfortable being you. That is #1. It’s good to emulate but you have to be yourself. That’s the only way you’ll really stick out.
What is some advice you’d give to a first-timer coming to carnival who has no idea of what to expect, what to do, what to bring, etc.?
First, if you do not love soca don’t even bother. To enjoy carnival you need to be able to enjoy the music even if it’s your first time experiencing what carnival is. Secondly, eat good and get as much energy and rest as possible because carnival is a non-stop kind of vibe. You have to have some type of stamina to endure carnival and actually enjoy it. Thirdly, make sure you love the music cause once you understand the music and enjoy it you’re going to enjoy yourself naturally. Soca is fun music.
What’s one of your favorite soca tunes?
Well funny enough I used to play pan growing up. I played pan for a long time. Pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a steel drum that they created where it plays melodic tones, and they tune it to where you can play it. They have sticks, you have to place rubber on the tips of them (and you hit the drum with them) and it plays melodies. It’s like a portable piano but you play with sticks. But one of the songs that really stood out was a song called “Woman on the Bass” by Scrunter. I played that on pan and was able to, as a DJ still am able to play that song today, which is a very prominent song for both pan and soca.
What is your favorite carnival?
I’ll be honest, my favorite carnivals right now at this present point Jamaica, Bermuda and St. Lucia. I love those three carnivals, especially St. Lucia.
Favorite movie of all time?
Home Alone 1 & 2
Trinidad Sunday food…that’s traditional macaroni pie, callaloo, stewed chicken, potato salad, plantain and whatever else you trickle in but those are the main ingredients for that dish…and a pelau.
Favorite drink, non-alcoholic and alcoholic
Non-alcoholic – water, Alcoholic – I don’t drink as much but if I do take a drink scotch on the rocks (Johnny Walker Black all day) or a beer. And if I’m drinking a beer maybe a Corona, or a Guiness, or an Angry Bird or Angry Orchard.
We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. We always have immense respect for you and wish you well in all of your future endeavors
Find out more about DJ Majestic at www.iammajestic.com; like his Facebook Fan Page and follow his journey on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on his upcoming events.