Walshy Fire has found success in just about every position he has placed himself in. Starting as a dj, the multi-talented Walshy Fire has played the biggest stages across the world. He has produced for hit records for himself and smash records for other artists, all while being a member of some of the most influential collectives in music over the last couple of decades, Black Chiney and Major Lazer.
If a room full of music industry hopefuls got together and created vision boards, I image that’s what the Walshy Fire story would look like!
We were lucky enough to get some time with the Grammy Award winning Creative Titan to talk about his start in music, his successes and his new venture, a vinyl bar in Miami. Still feels like we barely scratched the surface with this man. Check out our full Walshy Fire interview here…
Parlé Mag: Tell me about your youth.
Walshy Fire: Yeah. Grew up in halfway through Kingston and then moved to Carol City, Miami. Okay. Grow there. Finished high school in North Miami Beach.
Parlé Mag: What factors led to you finding your passion for music?
Walshy Fire: Well, if you know anything about halfway through Kingston, that’s where music lives. It’s a big music hub between record shops and buses and cars, but then, of course, after that, and then in Miami, in my teenage years, beginning to go out and experience block parties and stuff like that. And all of that made me fall in love with music, to the point where I wanted to take it to the next level.
When I got to Clark Atlanta university, I got an internship at the jazz station and that really opened my mind up to music that I wasn’t familiar with and really like, kind of sealed up my love for music.
Parlé Mag: You grew up in a multicultural family in Miami. How did that exposure help or hurt you early on in your music pursuits?
Walshy Fire: Yeah, I don’t think it would hurt. I don’t even know why it would seem like it would hurt. It’s probably hurting people who don’t get a chance to be in a multicultural city or a community. There’s nothing but advantages of seeing different people do things differently than you do. And I’m blessed to have been able to have had that.
Parlé Mag: You’re an incredibly successful producer and DJ, but I know you went to Clark Atlanta and you have a master’s degree in journalism. Coming up, what were your career goals?
Walshy Fire: Well, you know, first-generation first person in my family to go to college. So obviously the pressures to be a part of the popular fields. And I was into that. I was, I wanted to be an architect, still want to be an architect, but I ended up going into technical computer stuff with my first corporate job ever. And so, yeah, the goal was to fund the families needs with a big corporate job.
Parlé Mag: How did you discover your talent for music and what was the first step in getting into your career?
Walshy Fire: I started deejaying on the side, started emceeing on the side, my sophomore, no, my freshman year in college. And it was kind of like an accident, but people started to say, yo, you’re really good. You’re really good. And that’s when I think I started to get the courage to eventually start to buy my own records. I entered a DJ battle. Also. I went to set up turntables and that’s what really started to make me take it serious those years at Clark Atlanta University.
That was it just going and putting myself in the proximity of what I realized I started to want to do.
Parlé Mag: What was the first big break for you that made you realize this was really what you were supposed to be doing?
Walshy Fire: I would say it was, joining Black Chiney. That was the first time I was like, okay, yeah, this makes sense.
Parlé Mag: You are a member of the Grammy nominated group Major Lazer with Diplo and Ape Drums. How did you link up with Diplo initially and how did Major Lazer collaboration come together?
Walshy Fire: He’s from Florida. I’m from Florida. We had mutual friends. He asked me, did I want to do it? I said, yes, there you go.
Parlé Mag: You’ve been blessed with success on many levels in your career, but for you, what are a couple of your most memorable highlights?
Walshy Fire: So many, too many. It’s like, there’s too many. I’ve been blessed to be able to tour the world and do amazing things. I would say Cuba, Cuba with 400,000 people was the best.
Parlé Mag: You and Izybeats teamed up for a couple hit tracks recently for Koffee. Clearly there is great chemistry there. How did that develop with Koffee?
Walshy Fire: So basically there was a guy named Khadija Palmer and he introduced me to her. And he brought her to my house and we started writing songs in my house. And eventually we did a whole EP with the songs we put, “Toast” was one of those songs. We knew it was good. It blew up. It was amazing. And it’s still one of the favorite things I’ve ever done.
Parlé Mag: For those that don’t know, Creative Titans is a is a full-service management and boutique publishing company, founded in 2017 by Ron André Elvis Telford. So how did the partnership with Creative Titans come about for you?
Walshy Fire: Okay. So that was, I think out of “Toast,” like Izzy has been producing for a long time and I got the beat from Izzy and was able to get Koffee on it. And we were able to make it a big hit. And so I think, yeah, Ron had already been working with Izzy. And so Ron is the one who actually sent me the beat from Izzy. So Ron was pretty much like, yo, we should all work together on some stuff and I was down with it. And so that’s how it really started. Now that I’m thinking about it, it really isn’t a story. Like it wasn’t a thing that happened.
Not that I can remember, at least, maybe Ronald would tell it differently, but it was just like, yo, I love what you do. Everybody did. So we just started working together and then after “Toast,” we were like, yo, we should make this an official thing.
Parlé Mag: How would you describe working with Ron Telford?
Walshy Fire: Amazing, he’s so intelligent. He’s very professional and understands the nuances of the business. This business is not black and white. It’s extremely grey. And he’s extremely, extremely good at that. And so it’s probably the best thing that happened to me in the last couple of years.
Parlé Mag: You opened up a vinyl bar in Miami. Tell me about that and why you wanted to do that.
Walshy Fire: Okay. So the vinyl bar was something that I had experienced throughout the years. I’d gone to Japan, Paris, had gone to a New York and I’d seen vinyl bars. Japan has the most. It’s really a Japanese concept. And I saw the vinyl bars and was like, yo, this is such a great idea. I had been a vinyl collector, obviously from the nineties when I started to DJ. So when I saw this thing, it was already in me. And I had been a part of Coyo Tacos since the beginning, which is a pretty popular taco place here in Miami.
So it was just almost like a universal thing where they were like, yo man, with that, this idea for this vinyl bar. And I was like, that’s crazy. I’ve been looking at my vision board. So it was like one of them kinds of things, the way it’s just like, yo, this is so amazing to be able to have put so much years into the music and now actually own a space where I can gather a bunch of people together and say, Hey, look, this is where we’re gonna, you know, experience music. And I’m going to be the person that’s leading this, driving this car.
So, you know, I appreciate where people have gone already. It’s gotten rave reviews. It’s an amazing place. And it’s also just an amazing thing to see how much young people have not experienced vinyl and are wowed. When they see vinyl, they really are.
Parlé Mag: What’s next for you?
Walshy Fire: I am working on several albums. I’m working on my personal album, Abeng. The second one, I’m also working on an all Florida album. I’m working with Ricky Blaze on a project. I’m working on doing more events, my big carnival event. And then The Shrine every Saturday here in Miami, Rum and Bass on Tuesdays and growing those to be the size of festivals because I believe they can be. And yeah, my goal is to work on things. Also, I’m going to buy a farm soon. So that’s me putting that in the universe. So next we talk. I will own a farm for sure.
Image Credit: Chad Andreo
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