Entertainment

DJ Gallas selects to be happy

BY KEDIESHA PERRY
Observer writer

Friday, October 11, 2019

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DJ Gallas is not confined by his situation. Nineteen years after losing the use of his legs due to injuries received from gunshot wounds, he still bills himself the “Happy Selector”.

“Mi love give jokes when mi a play and mi always happy. A dat people know mi as, the 'Happy Selector'. A dat a my ting, my personal style,” said DJ Gallas, principal of the four-year-old Happy Sound.

The 38-year-old, whose given name in Damion Thomas, was driving home in Old Harbour Glades in St Catherine on December 3, 2000, when a vehicle blocked his path and its occupants began opening fire. One of his friends who was with him escaped.

He, however, was shot in the elbow and chest. The bullet travelled to the spinal cord, damaging it severely. There was no motive for the shooting and no arrests were made in the matter.

After spending two weeks in the Spanish Town Hospital, he said he was determined to continue his career in music.

“After mi come out (of the hospital) inna December, and the Christmas pass, mi decide seh January mi did a guh continue do music. So, 'bout the 5th of January mi start sell CDs. Mi build the riddims and put dem pon CD and mi realise seh people love dem and dem woulda buy dem from mi,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

Before returning to the dancehall, Gallas spent three months at the Mona Rehabilitation Foundation in St Andrew where he underwent therapy on his legs. He said the experience gave him the self-confidence and boost he needed.

“It terrible enuh 'cause mi realise seh nuff other disabled people shame a demself. Maybe if mi neva go rehab, mi woulda shame a myself too 'cause during that time mi a fret seh mi girlfriend and everybody a guh leave mi. But when mi go, mi see people without hand an dem still a smile so that mek mi feel better bout myself,” he added.

In 2014, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen approved the Disabilities Act which states in part that disabled personnel must have “access to premises, freedom to enter in, approach, communicate with, make use of or manoeuvre within any premises”.

DJ Gallas said only few places that he has played have begun making provisions for persons with disabilities. “When mi a go a one party and dem nuh have no elevator or stairs, dem haffi lift mi up and mi nuh like that. A just few places actually start put things into place for people like me,” he said.

The deejay has a designated driver who transports him to his events, and he has managed to buy a power wheelchair to keep mobile. His disability has not dampened how he is received by his audiences.

“Di people dem love mi…mi mostly play like dancehall for the girls but mi can play everything... souls, gospel, R&B, everything,” he said. He added that disability should not hinder anyone from pursuing their dreams.

“People just need fi believe inna demself, no matter what. It rough yes, but once you love something just put in the work and you can do it,” he said


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