DJ Irie – born in St. Croix, Virgin Islands as Ian Grocher – got his start in DJing really early. Raised in Miami after his family moved from St. Croix, he made his first beat machine by hand out of a Walkman and a pair of speakers. Since then, he’s upgraded his equipment and kept his love and zeal for electronic music high. In many ways, Irie is still a little kid playing with his music toys.
From playing with toys to playing serious crowds, Irie has never lost his sense of wonder and joy in music. When he played Robert Downey, Jr.’s birthday party, remixing The Police’s “Roxanne” and Sting jumped up on stage to sing with it, Irie couldn’t believe it was true. “I was thinking, wow, this is really happening… I couldn’t believe that the same music-loving boy from Miami was actually spinning while Sting rocked out to his mix.”
Since those first days with that beat machine – which he made while at a private boarding school in Jamaica, rooming with future Grammy winner Sean Paul – Irie has made music his entire life. He was the official DJ for the ’06 NBA World Champions, the Miami HEAT.
When Irie talks about the HEAT, you know just how much he loves his lot in life and music. He’s a huge basketball fan and loves that he’s gotten to add his music to the mix when his favorite team played.
In addition to DJing, Irie is branching out into music consultation, with his company Artist Related, working with artists like DJ Knowledge, DJ Sandman, and DJ Erok, among others. And if you didn’t think he could get bigger or better than that, Irie is a philanthropist, too.
Every year, he puts on IRIE WEEKEND, and all the proceeds go to the Miami HEAT’s charity fund. He also works regularly with United Way and other charitable organizations.