Hard work pays off; so we’ve been told a million times, however when we actually put in the work, we (most times) realize the importance of it, and see how gratifying, and just how sweet victory is. Just ask any successful individual. In fact, you can take a page or two from the newly crowned Green Synergy champions, who did not rely solely on talent, but who made many sacrifices to get to where they are today.
Mervin George Eli, 27, and Oran-Eli Parkinson, 29, (an excellent pair), are the winners of this year’s competition. Mervin, (stage name “TiBoog”) and Oran-Eli (stage name “Sly Eli”) go way back. The two have been friends for years now, are immensely talented and share a great love for music, thus, a collaboration between the two only made sense.
The champs sat down with me earlier this week for an in-depth interview; the disc jockey and emcee discussed the competition and recent victory amongst other things.
“Being an emcee for DJ TiBoog felt normal as it wasn’t my first time in the Green Synergy arena,” emcee Eli said.
He continued, “I’ve participated in the competition more than once in the past as a DJ; the last time I participated I came in fifth; in 2011 if I recall correctly. I’m not afraid of the stage—it was trying to get him (DJ Ti Boog) to adapt to it because he was nervous—it was a different environment; when you’re standing in front of a crowd you get the fight down, the hard stares, etcetera, so you know it was kind of difficult for him.”
The DJ then chipped in, admitting, “I was afraid, I won’t lie about it but I’m really grateful for my friends, family and team; they always kept me up.When I really thought I couldn’t make it those guys really helped me and pushed me forward.”
“Up to this day I still can’t believe we are the Green Synergy Champions,” the disc jockey said with sincerity.
But although they are a force to be reckoned with, the pair admitted that the DJs all brought their A game at the finals. The competition was close; the defending Champion (Ecstatic Entertainment) lost to DJ Ti Boog by three points—the new champion won with 315 points.
But though the competition was close, the duo was always one step ahead and always stood out from the rest. Perhaps it’s because of their insatiable hunger for success, and their willingness to learn; not excluding their talent of course.
But like many success stories, theirs came with a few challenges. For starters, their opening song (Voice’s ‘Cheers to Life’) was played by the previous DJ a few times but although that was somewhat disappointing for DJ Ti Boog especially, he was reminded that it’s not how many times a song is played—it’s how you play it.
“The difference between it was the intro we had,” the Jamaican emcee said, with the Saint Lucian DJ adding, “I did a remix; I added another beat to it.”
But there were more things ahead; the duo’s dancers never showed up and one of their devices failed them. However, they ignored those setbacks and were determined to conquer it all.
“I told Ti Boog to forget all of that—let’s do it the way we practiced it at home,” the emcee said.
The pair who both participated in the competition in the past (on their own however, and years apart from each other), described the Green Synergy experience as an exciting one.
“We didn’t perform like everybody else where you have an emcee who stands up by the DJ watching the laptop and just before the DJ gets ready to mix he moves; I was upfront and he was on the other side doing his thing. Why? Because we rehearsed, we spoke,” Eli said.
And now that they’re winners, they’re hoping that they can step up the game a lot more; the disc jockey again emphasized on the importance of broadening one’s knowledge.
“I really got my tips and tricks from the Redbull Freestyle Competition. A lot ofmy skills (not the music though), just the scratching and the mixing, I got that from different DJs from the competition,” he explained, stating that he wanted to become better at what he did.
He added: “Though we’re champions now, I still practice, I still watch videos and learn—that’s important.”
Eli offered some words of wisdom as well: “You must be able to take criticism; never feel like you’re bigger than the rest.”
Presently, Mervin works at Johnson’s Hardware Store; he is also a sound engineer; Eli works at Kairi FM and is also a DJ for Just4Fun Carnival Band.
But on Friday nights, you can find the DJs playing at the Gros Islet Street Party so if you’re looking for real entertainment, just know that it’s the place to be. (You should know that already!)