Jermaine ‘Ruffi Bantan’ Topping was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica, in a district called Haddo, about 30 minutes from Sav-La-Mar and 40 minutes from tourist town of Montego Bay.
He attended Haddo primary school until the age of 12 then attended Knockalva Technical High school for six successful years. Ruffi Bantan’s love for music started in primary school. In class his friends create beats using their hands to pound the desks, and he would make up songs to go along with it.
When Ruffi Bantan was in high school he would always hang out where the local artistes were performing and like many Jamaica youth, would hang around sound systems. But Ruffi Bantan was a little more fortunate than many of the other youths, because he got a chance to work the mic on one of the biggest sound systems around at the time, Phoenix Supreme.
After high school, Ruffi remained enthusiastic about music and this only increased when he moved to Kingston, where his stepfather had a sound system called German High Power.
“I thought this would be a good opportunity for me with the music, because Kingston was where everything was happening. A lot of artistes like Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks were produced in Kingston, so I thought it would be a good place to hang around,” Bantan said.
This only served to make Ruffi Bantan more determined to pursue his career as a deejay. Through the years, Ruffi Bantan has been perfecting his skills and although he relocated to South Florida, is still holding on to the dream and making music.
Now he has a number of tunes circulating, including Gal Dem, Pretty Cars and Bikes, Shorty and Letter to Merciless. He also has a group called Turn-It-Up-Entertainment, which he features when he performs.
After turning up the heat on the stage for about 20 minutes Bantan calls in his group to do their thing. “I tell them all the time keep doing your thing because every man has their day and if my day comes before theirs I would not leave anyone behind.”
And it seems as if he is positioned now to break into the market in a bigger way. Bantan said “Right now I am working with some big producers like Pay Day Music group, and the Alliance. I am in the studio everyday playing around with the keyboard and coming up with new patterns to make new beats.” For many up and coming artiste, this is as good as it gets, and Ruffi Bantan is taking the time capitalize on it.
The future looks bright for Ruffi Bantan and the fans are growing.