Producer turns studio-record store into smoothie shop
Used to mixing music and remixing sounds, popular Portland disc jockey and producer Sheppy was forced to pivot during the pandemic when bookings were limited.
That led him to start Sheppy's Smoozic, a chill spot offering something smoothies, which is a different type of offering than the traditional jerk shacks of Boston Jerk Centre.
"I'm a disc jockey first, that was my main income, but that stopped and even music production was being done on a low scale. The record shop which was converted into a studio space was just sitting there for most of the time, I needed to change that," said Sheppy, whose given name is Nigel Shepherd.
He continued, "Smoothies is something people showed an interest in, at least that I saw getting popular around the island, as people were getting interested in getting into a healthier lifestyle. Call it seh me remix it, by merging the word smoothies and music." Sheppy combines fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds, and for some mixes, molasses and oatmeal.
He said, "I grew up where there was a club, literally in my yard ... from 13 years old, I get to love the music and everything start from there. It was always fun to create remixes, now I'm remixing flavours and textures of foods and some come with alcohol, all of which makes whoever drinks them get a vibe."
Some of the popular smoothies are 'Gangalee', made of pineapple, watermelon, papaya and banana, 'Put It Back', a version of 'Strong Back' with peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana, molasses and vanilla soy, and 'Blue Lagoon', that is a pineapple and coconut combination with Blue Curacao. Customers can also choose 'Freestyle' to create their own smoothie or shake.
'Gangalee' is a tribute to reggae-dancehall legend Louie Culture, who was also raised in Portland, and resides in the Windsor Forest community. He scored with the single of the same title, which was recorded and produced by Stone Love and is an icon and role model for many disc jockeys, according to Sheppy.
"He was one of the few artistes, who was a former DJ, that came into my studio throughout the pandemic to record dubplates for sound systems. We get fi reason about the smoothie idea and we agreed on using the name, around the same time Dexta Daps' Call Me If exploded as a song that sampled Louie Culture's big song," he said.
Sheppy said that in five years, he sees himself launching a mobile smoothie bus equipped with music.
"I continue to produce music but for now most of the tracks are underground. The smoothies are my focus," Sheppy continued.