Talented and grateful Kirk
Radio host and singer pushing to be at his very best
Every morning from five to ten he is live on the edge and hyping up the airwaves. But there is more than meets the eye –– or ear –– to the jack of all trades that is deejay Kirk Browne.
He is a radio personality, club deejay, singer, producer and entrepreneur. And these are just some of the things he is.
Kirk has gone from “living in” the hospital most of his younger life to being an “energy god” now on a mission: to go forward, not ever looking back.
“I was an inpatient asthmatic. From the time I was born at home until age 16, I suffered from full asthma. Every two days, I [was] in there for two weeks. I had jaundice, Brucella asthma, everything . . . ,” he explained
But it was his determination to get better, and move on from the life in Brittons Hill, St Michael, that propelled Kirk.
“I said, man, no, I have to get tough. So I did some swimming and gradually worked at getting better. I knew I had to!
“Growing up in Brittons Hill was rough. I came from a very poor home: chattel house, pit toilet. But I am very proud of that, because I always knew I wanted more. And, I never forget where I come from.
“My whole life is now filled with doing what I love; interacting with people, singing, deejaying. Anything related to entertainment actually I’m doing. I think it should be all taken away, if I ever take that for granted,” he added.
Now, Kirk is in good health and making strides in the Barbados entertainment industry –– and he is ever thankful for the opportunities afforded him.
“I can’t be anything other than grateful. I know how it feels to be in the hospital; I know what it feels like to have nothing; so I will always be thankful,” the spiritual deejay said.
Kirk is now considered to be one of the hottest, in more ways than one, radio personalities in the island; and his morning show The Edge on 98.1 FM is said to be the best. Just check the ratings –– or ask anybody. For Kirk it is a dream come true.
“Being on radio now feels great, man. Four years ago, I was hosting a lot of shows over all three stations. So, a promoter said, ‘I like your voice . . . . I would like to work with you and put you on some endorsements’; and put me on 98.1 to do a segment.
“At the time, there was an opening at the station, and they asked me if I ever considered doing radio full-time. So I took the opportunity. I started the shift no one wanted: graveyard 12 to five; and then they brought me down to seven to 12.
“Then they wanted to do some restructuring with the morning show, and they said, ‘Hey, you have a lot of energy. What about morning?’ So I said yes, I think I can add something; and this is two years now I have been doing this. And [the show] has come in at the top of the ratings,” Kirk said, exuding pride and delight.
The smooth-sounding radio personality, who has now become a role model to many, enjoys being the voice that gently wakes up Barbadians on mornings.
“The show is very interactive. The show is meticulously planned. There is something for everyone. I wanted a show that was full of everything. I get instant gratification from the show –– having people call in, and come up to you and say they enjoy the show, or say, ‘My son said he wants to be a deejay like you’.
“All of that is great, man. Feels good that you can have that impact on people on The Edge.
“I remember everyone by name. And that is almost life-changing for them, because they are surprised I remember. I have a very good memory,” Kirk said reflectively.
Being a radio personality has also gained Kirk much market share, which he believes is nothing less than phenomenal.
“I get a lot of endorsements because of the fan base. I have the most Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers in the entire Caribbean. I had some artistes message me asking me to repost their music because of the number of followers I have. It’s a nice feeling, man,” he said.
But this fame does not come without its criticism. Kirk knows this, but is unperturbed by it.
“Bajans have a real serious pull down mentality. It’s almost like an adult bullying campaign. People spend a lot of time on crap. I have made up in my mind not to focus on what people think.
“People don’t need a reason to hate you. People just sit down and think of ways to pull you down. I have never posted about people. I don’t get involved in that. I do endorsements, I push brands and I big up people.
“When I first started the morning show, they weren’t kind at all. They were saying things like, ‘They could have picked someone better’. Deejays on other stations were tuning in to me to dig me up, if it wasn’t perfect. And I was like when you see people going to that level, you just have to push harder to be at your best.”
Added Kirk: “I pride myself on being educated and spiritual at the same time; and I find that we as black people forget where we came from. We are now at a position where we can make our own money; we are living a lot better; and rather than celebrating people doing good things, the main focus is beefs and wars, and focusing on the negatives.
“I am not trying to be perfect. I’m just working hard, enjoying my life and trying to help my family,” the radio host said.
With regard to being a singer, while Kirk prefers being a radio personality, he said he was super proud of the progress his band –– The Energy Band –– is making; and he is excited about what is to come.
“We started in 2005. We are a garage band, and we were just practising full time. So it is good to see that dream come true. We put out music year-round. We do the Reggae Festival. We do Christmas jams. We do Crop Over.
“We’ve got Ian Webster with us now. He is reigning [calypso] monarch; so that’s a plus.
“The band is flying out to do a show in Jamaica soon. I don’t publicize a lot, but the band is doing things. I find the band was very underrated two, three years ago . . . . It still is; but we are moving up,” the deejay said.
Apart from being a member of the band, Kirk is also a solo artiste.
“I sing a range of Caribbean music. Reggae, dancehall and soca. I have been singing for ten years. I started with a guest appearance one night with 40 people . . . . That’s when I decided to start a band.”
And Kirk is an actor too.
“I did Payday last year. I just did Vigilante, which is coming out in October; I am the lead actor.”
He offered that if given the opportunity he would pursue a degree in acting.
Kirk Browne, a former St Michael School student, said he believed education was key, he himself having furthered his learning at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Barbados Community College and Ryerson University in Canada.
With all this activity, one may wonder where and when Kirk finds the time to relax. But the down to earth deejay says he is doing what he loves; so it’s not like “working at all”.
“I am never sick; I’ve never taken a day off . . . . It s just [my] way . . . . I think they are a lot of unhappy people out there just doing jobs to make money.
“I’ve done it all: been a technician, a barber, packed groceries; you name it. But I was hired full-time to do what I love; so I give it my all,” Kirk stated.
Showing how dedicated he is, the radio personality explained: “I come to work every morning at four o’clock, after coming from X or Y party, and people ask me if I am crazy. I have never been late. I would never call in sick. It’s just a sense of pride and appreciating what you are allowed to do.
“If you ever sit and realize, all we really have to complain about is a li’l traffic in the morning. If you don’t have money in your pocket, you can go by Mummy for food.
Then they are some people who never get to see the light of day. So we have a lot to be grateful for.”
And while Kirk prides himself on being down to earth, Kirk he confesses “it’s hard . . . to appear humble because I do so much. I have had people talk to me for the first time and say,‘Man, I thought you were so arrogant’. But that’s just the way it is”.
Kirk did admit though that sometimes it was hard doing so much.
“I’m not going to lie; it’s not all rosy here. You often get dejected. You know you’re putting out good music, you try to dress well, and sometimes it feels like you’re not appreciated here. Sometimes it gives you that high when you travel, to see people embrace your music,” he said.
For Kirk Browne, he is in a good place, and he plans to continue on the path to success.
“I am pretty much where I want to be right now. I still want to climb. I have put myself into that market, but I still have to do much more. I will stick to it; I will definitely develop
it. I don’t believe you should be stagnant. I am always looking to see what I can do better.”
The deejay, musician and actor lives by the philosophy Carpe diem (Seize the day), but firmly believes in gratitude.
“If I had to find one word to describe everything it would be that. I am truly grateful for it all. These people are helping me to live my dream,” the former Sunday School teacher said, declaring that “God is good”.