7 Questions with DC Clash Champ Prince Royal

Popular DC Jugglers Win USA Sound Clash

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18 Karat Reggae Gold 2021 : ONENESS
18 Karat Reggae Gold 2021 : ONENESS

Washington DC’s top jugglers DJ Prince Royal and DJ Polo won the December “DMV Shootout 2021” tag team sound clash, with a dominant, lock off victory over Virginia’s popular DJ Franchyze and DJ Sniper of Sniper Sound. Slated to be a spicy, 4-round dub plate and 45 competition of creativity, clever speech and crowd control, Prince and Polo “swept” their opponents three rounds straight, eliminating the need for a dub for dub round.

Hosted by King Pin of America’s #1 Sound King Addies, the 6th edition of the tri-state civil “war” event was produced by Revolution Sound (DC and Los Angeles’ champion sound) and was also a symbolic win for authentic Jamaican sound clash culture in America.

We caught up with DJ Prince Royal for a quick Q&A about clash culture and a little scoop on whats next for him:

1. When did you begin your career in music?

DJ Prince Royal: I began playing music officially in 1995, but I’ve always been around music before migrating to the US from Jamaica.

2. Sound-clash culture is 60+ years old. Were you inspired by a particular foundation sound?

DJ Prince Royal: Yes. I was born in Christiana, Manchester home of the infamous Black Kat, with Pink Panther.  But I vividly remember my first encounter as a youth, going to a dance in Spauldings where Bass Odyssey was playing Body Guard. And, after watching Glamma G, Lenny and Squingy I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life!  I’ve also played on a few [DC] sounds before going solo as DJ Prince Royal: Upsetter, Zone One, Lexus Superior and Half Krazy.

3. What actively clashing sounds are you a fan of?

DJ Prince Royal: I will always be a fan of Bass Odyssey, but, most recently I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from King Shine Sound’s Jimmy Spliff.

4. Popular jugglers have been indifferent to participating in clashes for years. What inspired you to participate in DMV shootout, after not clashing (as you mentioned on stage) in 15 years?

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DJ Prince Royal:  Soundclash is what inspired me to become a DJ in the first place, so, the love has always been there. Also, I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, and on a lot of stages. So, it’s only natural to want to do something different. About 3 years ago I decided that I was going to be serious about cutting dub plates, and it was only a matter of time before I would want to use them–can’t spend all this money only for it to be gathering dust!

5. What’s your opinion on the current clash climate in DC, versus the bigger clash markets in the culture?

DJ Prince Royal: DC use to be one of the major Caribbean hubs for clash in the entire USA, but it fell off in the early 00’s due to a changing of the guards. Many of the top promoters [and sounds] disappeared from the scene, so, the younger generation seized the moment and created their own version of what was once a dominant market. Sound clash events in DC then faded out, and started the jiggy jiggy themed party era. It has remained that way until right before the pandemic, when we started seeing more interest growing for competitive musical entertainment. Of course we have top sounds repping the area over the years, like: Revolution [DCs most active competitor], Emperor, Destiny, Trinity and Raw Deal, to name a few.

During the pandemic, when we couldn’t go outside, a lot of DJs were practicing online and waiting on the opportunity to showcase their talent (including me). However, over the last year DC has been on edge when it comes to clashing due to the fact that we’ve [DC] taken two losses here at home from out of town sounds. So, DMV Shootout 2021 was personal for me…to come out with a win for the home team.

6. There were a lot of ladies at DMV Shootout 2021, which is not typical in today’s hardcore sound clash arena. What are your thoughts on why the ladies came out to this clash?

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DJ Prince Royal: You said it in your question: that isn’t typical for a hardcore clash. But this wasn’t a hardcore clash.

The hardcore side of the industry considers us “juggling selectors” (aka party DJs). But if you can’t make it interesting for the next generation to want to be apart of it, then it makes no sense–women in any kind of entertainment business is a must! So, the ladies knew that their favorite DJs were in a clash and they wanted to come out and support. Said all that to say, if successful longevity is what the so-called hardcore clash industry is looking for they need to take a page out of the jugglers hand book and incorporate strategies that will cater to women and the younger generation.

7. Was this a one off, or will DJ Prince Royal/Royal Squad continue clashing?

DJ Prince Royal: Endless possibilities. This was a good start. I’m 1-0 in a very competitive sport, but for now I have to take a little time and rebuild the dub box, now that it’s somewhat out there for all these sound killers to hear. I always have to be prepared and if I don’t feel I am, I will not take the date! Just know if you see me on a flyer to clash, I have something up my sleeve and I’m more than prepared because we not in this to lose!

The 2021 DMV Shootout Clash was filmed for an episode of “The Countdown” docu-series. Executive produced by Carib Life Media’s Damon Vanzant, son of Iyanla Vanzant who is also Revolution Sound’s veteran MC, the series will air in February 2022.

Congrats to both DJ Prince Royal and DJ Polo on their big win! Sound off in the comments about Prince Royal’s perspective on international sound clash culture.

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About Christine Coley 14 Articles
Founder/CEO of Impulse Nation. Public Relations, Sales, Marketing & Product Development Rockstar.

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