HE IS THE BIG Daddy of them all – the man they call “Jon Doe”. The Canadian-born, Barbadian-bred Warren Forte has been burning up the airwaves on the island’s number one station HOTT 95.3 FM for the last sixteen years.
An accountant by training, he fell in love with music at the age of 11 after entering his alma mater Harrison College, while there he started dee-jaying and investing in equipment, honing his skills in the dancehall arena with noted DJ from the east, King Yellow. “I am really grateful to King Yellow for teaching me the art of selecting; good selecting is no easy task and he was like a mentor to me.”
While in Halifax, he worked the club and party scene, winning the Atlantic Canada DMC DJ Competition in 1994 and hosting The Baseline Reggae Show – CKDU FM, broadcasting in 1992-96. This was his first taste of radio and he relished it.
On his return to Barbados, he entered banking but yearned for a career in music. “In August 1997 we formed Renegade Sound. It was a close-knit group of friends - Quincy, Rudy, Triple XXX and I. We were interested in being creative and versatile, we thought that was sorely lacking in the dancehalls and on the radio waves at that time.”
By September 1999, Jon Doe was making his foray into local radio as HOTT 95.3 FM was establishing itself as the radio station for the youth, and he did it the good old fashion way - he applied. “I had to prove myself - nothing was handed to me on a platter and I worked very hard to get to where I am.”
Now the number one DJ on the number one station in the land, he is taking his success in stride. “I don’t consider myself popular or even famous,” he said. “I’m just a regular guy without complications - I didn’t get into this business for recognition, I’m here because I love what I do.”
No matter his perception, a fete is not a fete unless Jon Doe is on the cards. “I know I have an effect on people, but it didn’t really hit home to me until Reggae on the Hill in 2008. “When I was introduced the response I got from people was crazy. I felt love that day. I just took it in stride, realizing that I can make a difference, so I am reaching out to people more and being more positive in what I do.”
That reach has gone beyond Barbados’ shores and has put him in touch with some of the more recognisable names in the local, regional and international music industry - Alison Hinds, Edwin Yearwood, Rupee, Machel Montano, Iwer George, Kevin Lyttle, Stone Love, Tony Matterhorn, Swatch, Mighty Crown, Bass Odyssey, Elephant Man, Morgan Heritage, Mad Cobra, Buju Banton, Hawkeye, Half Pint, Courtney Melody, Freddie McGregor and Vybz Kartel; as well as DJ Kid Capri of mix-tape fame and the now-defunct HBO´s Def Comedy Jam. The list goes on.
With his training in accounting and management, he has revamped and restructured Renegade Sound, becoming CEO and setting up another active branch in Canada headed by Andrew Newton). He is also seeking to expand the company’s portfolio by adding production to the list. “I am working with some very talented artists and we’re putting out quality music, trying to take things to a new level.”
Further to this, true greatness in any art form is achieved when you mix a blend of music, people, cultures and style and such was the case when an alliance was forged in 2009 between the island’s number one DJ and the world’s number one cognac, Hennessy. With Jon Doe on board as the official Hennessy DJ, his work with the famed global music campaign “Hennessy Artistry,” promoting the art of mixing various genres and blending the talents of the world’s top artists, allows him to be a part of offering Barbados “the cohesion of Music, Culture, People and Premium Cognac “Hennessy Artistry the Global Art of Mixing.”
Renegade International Sound…Warren “Jon Doe” Forte - unstoppable forces in entertainment…
Half-man/Half-Music...all Passion. Period.
Jon Deesy’s tracks