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Nicholas Pena (aka DJ Nic Pena), Class of 1998, is one of the premier deejays in Trinidad and Tobago. For the past 15 years, he has been bringing high energy vibes to parties, Carnival bands (Poison, Island People, Tribe, Harts, Fantasy) and corporate functions Regionally and internationally. He is also a producer, brand influencer and Master of Ceremonies.
Facebook – djnicpena
Instagram – @djnicpena
Q. Why did you select Fatima?
I decided on Fatima very early because my dad and one of my brothers went there.
Q. How was your experience at Fatima?
Fatima was a great experience for me. Was a great mix of education, sports and friendships!
Q. Who was your favourite teacher(s) and which teacher(s) was the scariest?
Fr. Gregory was definitely my favorite. Scariest? Ummm, I’d say Mr. Seemungal and Mr. Ramdass in the early years, but when you figure out that once you do what you have to do (schoolwork-wise), you have nothing to worry about! Lol
Q. What academic subjects were you good at?
Geography, French, Business and music (surprise, surprise!)
Q. What sports or extra-curricular activities did you participate in in Fatima?
Basketball! Made the school team in Form 5 & 6. What a great experience!
Q. Have you been able to maintain friendships with your classmates since school? Any class reunions?
Definitely. Made some lifelong friendships at Fatima!
Q. Was being a DJ on your radar when you left Fatima?
To be honest, I had no idea that DJing was going to be a career option for me. I just knew that I had a love for music and when the opportunity came about to make a career of it, I was excited by that! You mean I can get paid to play music and make people dance??? Sign me up!
Q. Tell us about the foundational years of your becoming a professional DJ.
Was a great lesson in believing in your ability. Those were some long nights for not so much pay! Ha, ha. Those days are long gone though! Ha, ha, ha!!
Q. Did you ever DJ at Fatima Mayfair?
I was never good enough?!? Ha…But I organized the Mayfair disco (sourcing and rostering DJs) for a few years after I left.
Q. What is the highlight of your career thus far?
I’m still grateful with every booking that I get––whether it’s a fete, party, sports day or wedding (I’m at wedding #118 currently). So many moments stay with me, but I guess the first time I got an international booking is special––Dane Lewis of Island People took us to Barbados to DJ for a party. Amazing stuff.
Q. In terms of your business, describe what a typical year is like for you (Christmas season, wedding season, Carnivals around the world, Trini Carnival, etc.). Which is your busiest time of year?
Pre-COVID, Trini Carnival is always the busiest for me. A few years ago, I had 38 bookings for Carnival, not the most ever but certainly a packed schedule for me, considering that most of those bookings happened in the last two weeks before Carnival itself. Recent years have been even more rewarding, with my involvement in event promotion both here and abroad.
Q. Have you ever reconsidered your career choice?
Q. Pre-COVID, were you able to maintain a comfortable living solely on the entertainment industry?
Yes I was. There are so many ways to be involved in entertainment, not just DJing.
Q. The COVID pandemic has obviously had a drastic impact on the entertainment industry. How have you adapted and what have you been doing to prepare for your eventual return to the console and events?
I just tried to stay on top of trends. I’ve been working on some new projects that you will hear about very soon. But the one I’m most excited about is my annual BACK TO THE MAYFAIR Event (1st one was done on Fatima’s basketball court) that I can’t wait to do again!
Q. Did you get the opportunity to perform at Miami Carnival? And if so, how was the return to the public arena?
Yes. I was fortunate enough to DJ at Miami Carnival this year. It was a surreal experience, where I often had to check myself to see if it were all real. People with no masks everywhere! What wasn’t surreal though, was the joy of experiencing carnival again. I can’t wait for the return of the world’s #1 carnival, Trinidad & Tobago!
Q. What is your advice to present Fatima students who may be interested in pursuing a career in entertainment?
Follow your dreams, always. You can achieve anything, once you want it bad enough! When it comes to entertainment, prepare for the best but plan for the worst!
Q. Any hobbies? Guilty pleasures?
Sports card collecting! Something I started when I was in Form 1
Q. Any bucket list items (career and non-career)?
Attend a Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge!
Q. Favorite sport(s)/team(s)?
Favorite sport is definitely Basketball. After that would be football and swimming (I used to swim competitively).
Q. Favorite type of roti? With or without pepper?
Can’t beat a Beef Buss-up shut. No pepper!
Q. What does ‘Nitendo Vinces’ mean to you?
To me, it means: Keep moving. If you’re stagnant, you’re as good as dead!
Q. Any closing remarks?
Be true to yourself, always!
Go to the FOBA YouTube channel to see Nic talk about his memories at Fatima and the importance of supporting the school especially during these times.