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Fatima alumni, Ryan Pankar and Patrick Anthony, both grew up in homes that loved music. They were well exposed to diverse selections of and immersed in the collecting of of records and cassettes spanning many eras. Ryan, a St. James boy, got into the DJ game early in 2009 with the “Platinum Sound System” comprising other Fatima boys, playing the party circuit, especially around UWI. Over the years, he would traverse different groups and brandings with his reputation growing, becoming a regular at nightclub 510 and at Carnival parties. Finally, in 2011 Ryan’s path would cross and merge with Patrick Anthony’s, forming the big brand “Nuphoric” (“Life one beat at a time”). Patrick Anthony, also sharing a similar history of DJ-ing at University parties, but in Canada, toted his PC around, not being able to afford a laptop. Nuphoric was memorable, not just for their brilliance on the turn-tables, but for also giving birth to the “Hypeman”. Patrick Anthony’s voice could be heard from a mile away as the team brought the vibe and energy to many parties, fetes, weddings and corporate events, locally and internationally. In 2017, after 6 years of bringing the hype to the brand Nuphoric, Patrick Anthony announced his departure. “Change is inevitable. The hype does not stop. It simply evolves.” Now, onto the next phase of their careers!
Interview with Ryan Pankar Q: What years did you attend Fatima? A: 1993 – 2000 Q: Which teachers inspired you? A: Straight out of the blocks in Form 1, Mr. Ramdass injected fear in most, as the Dean, And that in itself inspired me to do well in my school work. But the main teacher than inspired me over the course of my seven years at Fatima was my Form 6 Physics teacher, Mr. Garcia aka Frico. Q: Mr. Moore would have been the Principal during your time at Fatima. Share some fond memories of interactions with him if you can. A: Not only was Mr. Moore Principal during my time at Fatima, he was also my Form 4 Religion teacher. He always had an interesting story to share with us about his many life experiences. Q: Did you participate in Sports or extra-curricular activities in Fatima? A: I represented the school in Cricket at Under 14 level in Forms 1 & 2. I also played a lot of football during my time at Fatima but never represented the school. Q: Tell us about the foundational years of you becoming a professional DJ. A: In 1999 in Form 6 a group of us decided to start a DJ group, aka Sound System, initially called Platinum and then changed to Titan Sound System. We pooled up whatever money we could to buy equipment and we would constantly have to purchase records to build our crates. I never took any DJ courses or had any professional training but instead was self-taught through hours of practice behind the scenes. We would DJ mostly at house parties at that time, for free or minimal payment. As we left Fatima, the brand started to grow and we began getting gigs at clubs such as Base, Pier 1, Anchorage, Tsunami, Liquid and even throwing our own parties. In 2004, Nicholas Peña and I branched off to form a new entity called XTC, which would go on to secure contracts with 51 Degrees, TRIBE, Jamboree and Island People to name a few. Q: What is the genesis of the name “Nuphoric”? A: Nuphoric is not an actual word but was created as a portmanteau of the words New and Euphoric. Coming on the heels of the DJ group XTC, we wanted to encapsulate the same level of intense excitement and happiness in the name. Q: Did Nuphoric or a previous incarnation of it ever DJ at Fatima Mayfair? A: Titan played at Mayfair in 2001 and 2002. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get the opportunity to play while still attending Fatima. Q: Are you able to maintain a living solely on entertainment? A: I worked as an Electrical Engineer from 2005 – 2016 while also DJing professionally. In 2016 I was forced with the difficult decision to choose one, as my travel schedule picked up in the DJ career. Since that time to now I have been comfortably maintaining a living solely on entertainment. Q: Have you ever reconsidered your career choice? A: There have been times when I considered giving up DJing to be a full time engineer, but it always boils down to sticking with your passion. As the saying goes “Follow your passion and you will never work a day in your life” Q: Nuphoric is popular in all seasons, for example, Carnival, wedding, Christmas. Is there an industry more financially sustainable for you than Carnival? A: Christmas period tends to be busy with corporate events and parties. However, there is no greater financially sustainable period than Carnival, just based on the sheer volume of events there are in such a short period. Q: How has the Nuphoric brand evolved since you started? A: Nuphoric was launched as a new entity after XTC was ended in 2011. The aim at that time was to launch a new brand with a fresh new face on the mic (Patrick Alexis) and to revolutionize the way music was delivered to the patrons at an event. From that time to now the Nuphoric brand has definitely evolved to being a household name not only in Trinidad but in other parts of the world for various Carnivals and Caribbean rooted events. Q: What are your future plans for your business? A: My hope is that the Nuphoric brand will continue to evolve and build in Trinidad (especially with the younger crowds), while also continuing to build outside of Trinidad. It is also my goal to seriously dive into music production this year and hopefully gain some momentum in the music industry going into Carnival 2020. Q: What is your advice to present Fatima students who may be interested in pursuing a career in entertainment? A: I would say: always push for a foundation in academics as a backbone. That being said, if you have a dream of pursuing a career in entertainment don’t be afraid to go after it – especially if it is your passion. Always have patience, especially in the entertainment industry as it may take a while to climb the ladder to success.
Interview with Patrick Anthony Alexis Q: What years did you attend Fatima? A: 1993-2001 Q: What academic subjects were you good at? A: Spanish, Business, English literature. Q: Were you active on the house party scene back in Fatima days? A: Lol! Not at all. I had strict parents. No liming, no parties, just school. Q: Were you a hype man in Fatima? A: Lol! Most definitely not. Because of my parents it was work, more work, then lessons, then some more work before bed… and no TV during the week, unless Michael Jordan was playing. Q: What does it take to be a professional Hype Man? A: Same thing it takes for any profession: belief in oneself when others do not, persistence, dedication to one’s craft, desire to become better at what you do, and commitment as a key to succeed. Q: Do you practice your craft or does it come naturally? A: To be honest, at the beginning it was pure love, fun and energy. No structure, purely impromptu…just pumping on the stage to bring happiness to others. It started basically as just a hobby that became a professional hobby that evolved into a career. As you get older in your field, you will want to improve on your craft to evolve, to become better, learn new techniques. So now I say I must continuously learn if I want to stay competitive in my field Q: Are you able to maintain a comfortable living solely on the entertainment industry? A: Yes, yes and yes. I have been blessed to be good enough at my job that I have been able to fly the world to do it. I do radio, television, endorsements such as Heineken. There is money to be made if you willing to work hard at your craft . Q: Describe a challenge you’ve faced in the entertainment industry? A: The first challenge was definitely being accepted into the DJ fraternity. I had no experience, but just pure desire to do the job. It was a hard first year. No one liked my voice, they could not understand why I was so excitable and hype. But I stuck with it and remained true to my style and eventually I was accepted into the fraternity. 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.). A: The year starts with Trinidad Carnival which is crucial for the international bookings that will follow. Just like an artiste trying to have a hit for Carnival so that they can be booked internationally after Carnival, it works the same for DJs and MCs. This year I’m doing Guyana, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, St Lucia, Jamaica, London, New York, Miami. I will do weddings when I am available but it’s hard to lock down weddings with a busy travel schedule. December is definitely corporate month for Christmas office parties which are very important to a MC’s calendar year. And, of course the parties in between. This year I am heading back to Dubai and Australia for the first time. Q: Why did you leave Nuphoric? A: Nuphoric was my first job, the first DJ company I worked for. Just with any other job, I reached a point where I felt it was time for me to walk my own line and discover my own potential. And so I did. I travelled the world, honing my craft, learning how to work with DJs from all over the world. And now in 2019, we both grew in our different directions and bring more value to our mutual efforts. Q: How has your brand evolved since you started in Nuphoric? A: When I first started with Nuphoric eight years ago, I had no experience, never spoke on a mic, never been in front of thousands of people in a public speaking forum. Today, with years of experience and always pushing the edges of my potential, I am able to perform my job at the highest level, with the confidence and capability to entertain thousands. Q: During seasons like Carnival, when you have scores of events across a couple weeks, how do you maintain your energy level? A: Lol! Nothing can beat sleep to keep one’s voice and energy. Taking care of my voice by drinking tea, honey, staying hydrated . And trying my best to keep physically fit (but truth be told, I hate exercising!). Q: What are your future plans? A: To continue to push my craft to the limit, discover new crowds to entertain across the world; to continue to be an ambassador of Soca and also to also discover new hobbies to keep my life balanced, interesting and fun.