I observe him and listen enthralled as he prepares one of his mixes.
Behind the compelling smile and affable manner this twenty-something- year old native of Trinidad and Tobago has a very incisive mind and a steely determination to succeed. He is secure in the knowledge of his competence and capacity to deliver the versatile sound for which he has gained prominence.
"I've been doing this since I was seven years old" he says, " I grew up in an environment where my father was always playing music from his record collection. I listened and watched, and at a very tender age I was confident enough to touch the spinning records to see how the sound would vary. I was fascinated by this and thus began my love affair with djing." Ryan Alexander aka Dj Private Ryan.
Since age sixteen Private Ryan was djing at the top clubs in his country at the time, The Base nightclub and Club Coconuts among others.
By the time he entered St Mary's college high school, he had a small record collection, and while still a student he would cut and splice songs and produce his own cassettes which he eagerly distributed to his classmates.
As time progressed he continued honing his skills and started his own dj group named "Detrimental Sound System" whose members were all high school friends. " We played at all the top high school parties and the Great Race in Tobago. Our appearance at the latter was the opportunity which launched us on the local scene."
At eighteen he embarked onto the airwaves being scheduled at a primetime spot on the nation's then number one Saturday morning primetime programme on 96.1 WEFM.
In 2005 he started his international foray as a college undergrad at Florida International University (FIU). He soon realized that there was a dearth of new soca releases available to Caribbean students and was determined to address this void. This provided him with the opportunity to introduce his own brand, Dj Private Ryan.
As a consequence of overload, the initial website was unable to handle the traffic, which led him to register www.djprivateryan.libsyn.com facilitating multiple free downloads simultaneously. Dj Private Ryan was on his way to achieving international recognition and status.
Being an international dj meant knowing versatile music genres, understanding the preference of divergent crowds, age groups and party goers. As a result, versatility became the cornerstone of his mixes and play style. His focus, skill and aspiration to perfection soon placed him in high on demand on various college campuses and major events across the United States including Miami, New York City, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston and New Orleans.
In 2009 after graduating from college with a degree in Business Administration and certification in Marketing Accounting and Financial Analysis he combined his marketing knowledge with his enhanced practical experience and focused on expanding his appeal and marketing his unique brand.
Private Ryan's music caters to different moods and events, be it corporate, weddings, birthdays, club events and carnivals. His approach is multi- faceted and cross-generational. He is truly a man for all occasions.
Renowned for his blazing speed on the ones and twos Private Ryan admits to experiencing a "rush" when he sees the exhilarating response to his mixes at parties and clubs, in particular during carnival celebrations from atop his music truck looking down on the sea of pulsating revellers. "This experience" he says is "mind-boggling." That overwhelming crowd response never ceases to fascinate him.
"I like to deliver total happiness through my musical mixes."
He now averages almost one million total downloads on his podcast site. His popularity continues to increase and he proposes to further enhance his ascendancy through ongoing research, practice and skill perfection. " I aim to nip at the toes of the biggest international djs to further improve my profile and market penetration globally."
"My true love is playing at public (live) gatherings. " I feed off the energy of the crowd, I love to feel the vitality, read the responses and take them along a musical journey. It is indeed an indescribable feeling."
Dj Private Ryan has travelled extensively throughout the local Trinidad landscape, regionally and internationally. He has been engaged by top named promoters and worked with other highly rated dj's. He has appeared locally at most major events in Trinidad and Tobago, regionally in Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, St Vincent, Antigua and internationally in London, Miami, New Your City, Washington DC, Toronto and Texas.
"I am passionate about my professional work and thankful that I am fully engaged in an artform expression that I love, surrounded by a very supportive and close knit family and loyal, long standing friends. I consider this my greatest blessing".
When asked about his undisputed versatility he says, " there is a connection between sound and interpretation and I listen with my inner ear, plan, fine tune and execute in accordance with my interpretation."
A veteran in his field, Private Ryan currently holds a spot on one of the leading urban radio stations in Trinidad, RED96.7fm. He can be heard from 12 noon to 3pm Friday and Saturday playing his brand of versatile music.
His next objective is to get into production and develop another aspect of his creativity. " I am very committed to becoming the best in my craft for the ultimate pleasure and enjoyment of my listening audience."