Major Lazer's Walshy Fire on Boring EDM Shows: "People Really Appreciate 'Different'"

Photo by Theo Cottle
Major Lazer's Jillionaire, Diplo, and Walshy Fire.
Ultra Music Festival has never offered much homegrown local flavor. Even as the globally minded EDM fest has broadened its musical scope to include rappers, R&B stars, and indie bands, the other sounds -- reggae, salsa, merengue, authentic Miami Bass -- that keep much of the 305 dancing the rest of the year are rarely represented.

When Major Lazer performs on Ultra's Live Stage, though, audiences are sure to receive an education in dancehall from Miami's own ambassador of the culture, Walshy Fire.

A product of Carol City by way of Kingston, Jamaica, Walshy is currently the live MC (or hype man, if you prefer) for DJ, producer, and and onetime Broward denizen Diplo's dancehall-inspired EDM outfit.

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Locally, though, Walshy is best known for his role in the area's top-ranking reggae DJ crew Black Chiney Sound as well as his long-standing gig at local underground station 96 Mixx, positions he continues to hold down on the rare occasions he's in town.

Since joining Diplo and crew full time last year, he's been the onstage ringleader of a circus that's among the most unique things running on the EDM circuit. As MC, he orchestrates a chaos of confetti-spraying machine guns, man-mauling female dancers, and genre-bending beats, all while periodically bolting over the crowd in a human-sized hamster ball.


"If you've gone to any EDM show, it's nothing like that, but it takes some parts of that;" Walshy explains. "If you've been to a hardcore dancehall show, it's nothing like that, but it takes some parts of that.

"You go to these EDM shows that we play on, and it's one guy up there, lots of lights, his whole set is pre-mixed, and he's just finger-pointing and working some knob ... People hear our music and go, 'Thank you,' for just doing something different at these shows. No disrespect to anybody, but people really do appreciate 'different.' Some people hate it. But for everyone else, it's love beyond love."

Location Info


Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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