At Neudorf vineyard the other night we were dance struck with the invigorating sounds of DJ Norman Jay MBE, supporting act for Fat Freddy’s Drop NZ summer tour. A legend in his own right, DJ Norman Jay MBE hales from the far shores of London town and has dedicated his life to the art of bringing great music to dance-loving crowds. He certainly bought the goods when it came to reading the crowd and getting them amped up for a night of Fat Freddy’s fun. Through our Fat Freddy’s Drop whanau, we were lucky enough to be invited to gift a taonga to this man, one of the most well-respected DJs in the world of music today and a taonga in his own right.
A little back story to DJ Norman Jay MBE
DJ Norman Jay’s MBE musical story is an interesting journey through some of the most socially challenging and musically creatives times in England’s recent history. I won’t go into details here, but go ahead and google him if you want to know more about his musical heritage, contribution to music and why he is so deserving of his MBE(an honour rarely bestowed on DJs). The magic of this little story is that we here at Taonga by Timoti have been listening to DJ Norman Jays Good Times albums since Morganne was introduced to his sounds at Nottinghill Carnival in England some 20 years ago. His tunes have graced many a summer evening with friends around the fire, suffice to say we never thought we would have the opportunity to actually meet the man and his wife, in person, right here in little old Nelson.
Meeting of minds
While Tim’s meeting with DJ Norman Jays was brief, its impact on Tim was indelible. For starters, Norman and Jane Jay are just so gosh darn nice! And, for someone whose works have been honoured with an MBE, Tim was taken aback with DJ Norman’s humble manner and obvious spiritual connection with Māori. DJ Norman Jay MBE spoke of how Māori are respected by indigenous cultures around the world for their efforts to achieve recompense and equality. He spoke of his own personal journey to trace his whakapapa back to his Jamaican and Ghanaian tupuna and he recognised the treasure Maori have of knowing who they are because they know their tupuna, they know who they come from. Norman and Jane both honoured the gifting of our pounamu pendants by acknowledging and accepting the taonga for what it is, a sacred treasure.
We want to say a massive “Thank you” to our Fat Freddy’s Drop whanau for bringing this man to our shores and giving us the opportunity to meet him and his wife. And to DJ Norman Jay MBE, it was an absolute nostalgic trip for Tim, to meet the man and relive the sounds that made him get up and boogie till he dropped in his youth. Meeting you was like meeting whanau, knowing that you are wearing taonga he found and carved, well it’s a whanau thing now.
It really is a wonderful thing that we are able to make something from our creative soul and gift it to another in recognition of the mahi from their creative soul.