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Ismail Mustafa is humble and grounded but literally transforms into the Demolition man when he manipulates Pioneer CDJ’s and Serato. Truth be told, this exciting DJ has actually been tamed by the technology and has taken his craft to new heights, still conquering audiences after two decades. Always pumped and excited before a gig, his passion for playing and pleasing the crowd resonated onto his turntables. As such in his wake as one of the country’s brightest young deejay’s in the early 90’s Ismail has literally broken records and needles and blown speakers and tweeters. That’s exactly how he earned the reputation as the dreaded Demolition Man.
Ismail, who was born and grew up in the heart of Port of Spain where he still resides continues to raise the bar for Trinidad and Tobago’s DJ elite. His track record does not just include playing from coast to coast in every town and village on his island, but extends to international gigs in the Caribbean, North America and Europe. In between gigs, he produces commercials and jingles for the TT and North American Urban markets, and even dabbles in music production.
As the lone child in the house he acquired the musical tastes of his mother, grandmother and aunt which ranged from Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson to Lionel Richie and Johnny Mathis. Thankfully, his mother recognized his unbridled passion and offered him up to a DJ cousin for whom he still holds a lot of reverence. He credits the legendary Rennie B as his biggest DJ influence. He wanted to be just like Rennie who had a reputation for breaking all the hit songs first.
Now after 20 years Ishmael is nurturing younger talent which he can easily spot having lost little of the enthusiasm of the bright eyed youth who never forgets the first time he saw the cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, in a DJ crate among a stack of records. It was not just the music, but everything about the sound system--even the echo chamber--that set his adrenalin pumping.
In 1990, soon after graduating from San Juan Senior Comprehensive School he joined the hugely popular Downtown Outlaws where he got his big break. Before long he joined the pioneering team of DJs at TnT’s first Urban radio Station 96.1 WEFM which introduced urban music radio in Trinidad and Tobago, taking the sounds of the streets to the airwaves. Working the overnight shift at the radio station is where he honed his skills, Ismail, in a short space of time evolved into a Prime time phenom.
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