Monday, January 30, 2012


There’s always a valid excuse to appreciate a rare find.When it comes to musical exceptions, 
nurturing ones craft and executing it with a passion, NightHawk Int'l  Rupert "Singing P" Edwards and Jermaine "Junior Vibes" Mcfarlane, have set the bar pretty high. Fresh off their recent championship win at the "45 clash of champions", we caught up with them to discuss their musical journey.

How did you two come together as a group?
Singing P and I are first cousins, so I’ve basically known him since I was a little child. I got into the music on my own and inquired with him a few times on how much it would cost to get me turntables, but he didn’t take me seriously at the time. A couple years later, when he heard me dj’ing a house party one New Year’s Eve, he realized that I knew what I was doing and called me a few days after that and we spoke and basically came to an arrangement to work together. My official debut with Nighthawk was in June of 2001 at Rainbow.

How would you describe your sound?
Nighthawk is a party sound first and foremost. When I started dj’ing, I was initially playing Hip Hop & R&B, and only afterwards I gravitated more towards the reggae music which was always there in my Jamaican culture. However, I never forgot where I came from musically as a DJ and can represent just as well for a hip hop crowd as I can for a reggae crowd. Whatever the occasion calls for, we can provide it and provide it pretty well. Not many “sounds” in the city or even in the country can do that.

Who are some of your musical influences? 
I have to big up DJ Blacksmurf who was the reason that I started dj’ing back in 1997 – he basically taught me the art form and then I just mastered the basics and used different influences to develop and build my own style. Those early influences were mainly: Stone Love, Renaissance. As a young DJ back in the mid-late 90s, I was listening to a lot of live Stone Love and Renaissance party’s and paid very close attention to the songs that were being played, the order they were played in, the way (timing) they were mixed and the speech that the MC was using for the particular songs. Another major influence on trying to perfect my craft as much as possible was by watching DJ Starting From Scratch throughout the years.

A lot of people say that Reggae/Dancehall isn’t what it used to be. With you being a DJ, how do you feel about that?
It’s absolutely true. I would say since about 2003 the business began to completely change and was more centered on dancing for quite a while. Good culture music became less frequent and we started hearing less big hits from artists such as Sizzla, Capleton, Luciano, Sanchez, Beres etc…As the music was more centered on dancing, the speed of it obviously picked up and became very fast. After the dancing craze calmed down, the riddims became more and more hip hop influenced which still continues to this day. A lot of it also has to do with the political climate of the way things were in the 80s and 90s and a lot of what the artists were singing about then was being mentioned for the first time so it had more of an impact. Those songs can’t really be done over again in that won’t have the same effect. There are still several songs that come out nowadays addressing those issues and they’re still very effective…but they can never be as effective as the controversial lyrics from Bounty, Buju, Spragga etc..from the 90s. I can say much more about this issue, but we’d have to have a full discussion on it.

What unique qualities do each of you bring to the table that makes NightHawk International the movement it is now?
Singing P is the charismatic mouth piece that can keep people entertained in the parties and I feel that I’m very strong as selecting the music and then delivering it effectively, through good, clean mixes that keep a constant flow.

How did your affiliation with CJLO come about?
While studying at Concordia I found out about the show in January 2006, approached the program director and pitched him the idea for the show (in a formal document). He accepted and we were live to air within a couple weeks. We officially started the More Fyah radio show on the last Thursday of January 2006…whichever date that was…

You recently did and interview with the producer Russian discussing Reggae artist looking to other countries to find success. What’s your opinion regarding the issue?
I personally prefer original riddims, the music that made reggae what it is to the world. I love hip hop too and will admit that there are good reggae songs out there that have the hip hop snare in them, but overall…this is not what we’re trying to promote and I don’t think it’s wise to continue on that path. Hip hop music originally came from reggae so for the reggae to be transforming itself into hip hop doesn’t seem to right to me. And it has nothing to do with the evolution of the music, it just has to do with certain individuals wanting to make a different kind of music and that’s all good, but they shouldn’t be producing hip hop instrumentals and add a couple air horns and put a Jamaican chanting over it and claim it as new dancehall. That’s like taking bad medicine.

People are unaware that Junior Vibes you are a Concordia University graduate and Singing P is a successful entrepreneur co-owner of Mango Bay Restaurant. What is the importance of having a Plan B in the industry?
It’s very important because Dj’s don’t have a pension. So unless you can become great enough in this business to have money put aside in different investments so that cash is constantly turning, it’s important to have another reliable source of income. If a promoter’s event get cancelled or a club owners club closes down, as a Dj…you’re out of a job, just like that. I’ve seen it happen to my friends who are full time Dj’s and when things are going good, it’s great, but when they lose a night during the week that represented a good portion of their income, it can become very serious if they can’t find another replacement gig soon.

What’s the standout track from an artist that will bring up the most emotion when people hear it?
Reggae-wise…it really depends. A lot of different issues will bring out very huge emotions from people where reggae music is concerned…I honestly feel that is the reason why it’s the most powerful music in the world, just based on it’s lyrical content. A song from Sizzla (ie. Thank you mama) addressing his mother and the biggest hip hop song talking about mother’s (ie. Tupac –Dear mama) don’t compare in crowd response. That being said, a lot of it has to do with the musical production of the song and of course content, but content can be discussing many different issues.

You’ve been in the game for years now. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment and what’s the most important thing that you’ve learned about the music industry?
I think my personal biggest accomplishment was when I realized within myself that I’m capable of making people enjoy themselves the majority of the time whenever I’m dj’ing. I guess it’s that added confidence that I had been lacking as a DJ. So this happened carnival jump up weekend, I think 2005 or 2006…

You’ve recently won the 45 Sound Clash Championship, what is your vision of Reggae/Dancehall in the future?
I think the future is looking bright especially through some big commercial deals recently taking place (ig. Mavado signing with DJ Khaled). Dancehall being given that kind of platform will only be uplift it and Khaled is a true lover of reggae music and has been coming to Jamaica for years, so I know he means the culture well and isn’t looking to just quickly capitalize off of Mavado’s hard work for the past 5 years. Other dancehall artists are also looking promising too, despite Kartel’s incarceration. On the vocalist side of things, Christopher Martin is doing great things right now, Romain Virgo is also another young superstar, Daville is back after a couple years off and has a couple nice singles on the road..hopefully the vocalists can build back up to 2007 which was the last year singers really dominated the charts (Tarrus Riley, Pressure, Jah Cure, Daville, etc..)

What advice would you give to those currently trying to get into the industry?
I’ve actually been preaching this on my radio show over the past 3 weeks…I’d just urge all up and coming Dj’s to focus on the basics. 1) learn to effectively select music  and 2) learn to deliver it well  through good clean mixing and keep a constant flowing vibe so that people can enjoy themselves. Until a DJ seriously feels that he/she has accomplished those two things, I’d urge them to remain in their bedroom and practice till they got it, just like I did and a lot of other dj’s before me.

Is there anyone that you would love to work with?
I would love to interview Assassin (Agent Sasco). I’ve been a personal fan of his since he came out in 2001, I’ve heard him speak in interviews and find him to be brilliant and it shows through his music. Think we’d have a great convo.

Who are you currently listening to on your iPod? Who are your favourite artists?
I’m unfortunately a little behind on the music right now (about 4 weeks or so), but my favorite songs right now are (not in order): Popcaan – Smudge, Christopher Martin – Cheater’s prayer, Christopher Martin – Paper love, Christopher Martin – Mama, Baby Cham – Drop it, there’s a whole lotta good music out there..big respect to Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo who are two young singers really bringing back a good vibe in the business. Much needed vocalists

Listen to Singing P, Junior Vibes and DJ Star-Q Saturdays from 4-6pm on More Fyah radio Mango Bay Restaurant is located at 1201 Bishop

By Ms.Lois
Images by Brian Kotler


  1. GREAT Interview. Nighthawk has the right mix of experience, conscious musical insight and purpose in delivering their craft as DJs. Congratulations on their recent championship win at the "=45 clash of champions!

  2. Junior Vibes had a lot of real things to say about the sound. I liked that he used actual music examples and is not afraid to say it like it is, all the while respectful and confident. Good article.


  4. Congratulations to Nighthawk Int. This Team of Artists/DJs makes me enjoy going to events again! I am soo proud to know these well educated gentlemen of Reggae Music and all other music! When you see these Artists/Djs say "hello" they are the nicest people ever!
    Congratulations once again on the 45 Clash win!
    More Blessings from & The Mad Vibez Media Inc. family.

  5. them youth ya come from good back ground you can tell always humble and taking notes of there surroundings i watch them when them at parties keep up the good work and congrats keep the vibes pumping nuff blessings and respect hope you guys can represent us well which i have no doubt

  6. big up the nighthawk family everytime, elders in the business, nuff respect