Yaniq Walford is part of the second generation in the family's sound system business, Bass Odyssey, based in Alexandria, St Ann ("From waaay out in the country!" as Bounty Killer says on many a dubplate). She was central to the trans-formation of Bass Odyssey's annual anniversary celebration into the Jamaica Sound Fest. This year's staging is on August 11 at Grizzly's Plantation Cove, Priory, St Ann, with Bounty Killer as the guest performer. Naturally, her memories of Bass Odyssey go a long way back into the 29 years the sound system marks this year.
"I remember being in primary school, and we used to have clashes, where we would beat the desk. They would pick if they were Bounty or Beenie, and I was always Bass Odyssey. This boy decided he was going to be Bass Odyssey, and I was supposed to choose another sound, and I said I would not play. I was in about first or second grade, it was about 1994/1995. That is when it got real, apart from seeing my father (Keith Walford) over speaker boxes. I would go look for him, and whenever I went, he would be working on a black speaker box," Walford said.
She has been through the ranks on the sound system and says now, "Even though I spend half the time in Jamaica and half the time in the US, I pretty much manage it with my brother, although he is in the main seat. I basically do the international, the online, anything to do with the marketing, the promotion, the administration. The technical stuff is much more my older brother, Dwayne."
Still, she remembers the days of being on phone duty, getting an education in Jamaican popular culture. Walford said, "I started studying marketing and communications in New York. I went to the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, and did public relations with a minor in cultural studies. I did an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in marketing. By 18, 19 years old studying in high school, I started to answer the phone and so on. I use to get a likkle ting - pocket money."