Ken "Mr. Perfect" Hook gives us insight into his world in this week's Hot Seat.
Who is Ken "Mr. Perfect" Hook?
I am a deejay, promoter, marketing representative and event planner, who is very passionate about what I do. I am also a very competitive person who enjoys seeing results when I put in hard work into something.
How would you describe yourself?
I am someone who is outgoing only when it is time to be a deejay and perform; otherwise, I like to just chill and enjoy my quiet surroundings. I enjoy the simple things in life such as eating good local food, watching television shows, sports, travelling whenever I can and working on my music library. You really can't trust people when you are working in this industry so I can be a little standoffish which can be misconstrued as being cocky or having an attitude, but I am more moody and quiet.
How did the name Mr. Perfect come about and what does it mean?
I wanted to choose a name that would make heads turn, but really I'm just a perfectionist so that's why I chose that name. Nobody is perfect.
Where were you born and how did you end up in St. Maarten?
I was born in Curaçao and I had been coming here to St. Marten since I was a baby to visit my mother, who lives here because she had a better job. I eventually moved here.
Where were you educated, and what did you study?
I attended Milton Peters College in St Maarten. I also took online courses in marketing, because I wanted to be educated in an area where, whenever I promote an event or party, it would turn out to be a success, even if it might not be the very best. I believe that you learn from your mistakes and you can get a chance to get it right the next time. I also like being one step ahead of everyone else.
When and how did you discover your love for this industry?
I used to be a member of Definition Dancers – one of the best dance groups in St. Maarten – so I have always been around music. Also my first cousin, Party Dude Jason, was one of the best deejays and hosts in St Maarten back then and I used to watch what he did. One night, he couldn't make it to host an event and the client asked me to host it. This was basically the start of my career of being St. Maarten's first club master of ceremonies. I have always had the best deejays around me growing up (Deejay Chef, Nachum Frank, Wilson, etc.). And when it comes to marketing, I have always had great ideas about how to promote events. This came naturally.
How do you juggle your different hats?
It might sound like it's difficult to juggle many different things, but everything becomes easier if you are organised. Of course, you have to work with or around the S. Maarten mentality, which means, everything happens on island time or people don't answer their phone or wait until the last minute to do everything.
What differentiates you from other deejays?
I grew up around some of the best deejays on the island, so I learned music selection from them and I mix it with current stuff. Everyone can just play all the popular songs, or play for a packed place (usually), but not many can build a vibe from start to finish, or play to any kind of crowd. I take pride in the fact that I can play for everyone.
What is it about deejaying that you like?
Seeing people dance to your music and seeing them react like where did he get that song from, or play their request. Sometimes it can be annoying when people request songs, but at the end of the day, you are playing for them, not yourself.
How do you think you contribute to a better society as a deejay?
By making people dance and be happy via music. It's a very good stress reliever.
What are some of the challenges that you encounter?
One challenge lately has been venue management. Some persons don't want to pay what you are worth as a veteran deejay. They would rather pay less for someone who can't mix two songs together or they use a synch button for a computer to do most of the job. If it's a special event and you have to bring your equipment, they want to underpay you, even though they know that the equipment is very, very expensive. One good CD player is about US $2,000. Another challenge is some deejays who try to undercut everyone, so basically they mess up the entire market.
What is your favourite type of music and who are your all-time favourite artistes?
My favourite type of music is classic hip hop (Jay Z, Wu Tang Clan) and reggae (Buju Banton) and soca (Onyan and Machel Montano).
What do you like best about the job?
It pays pretty well, compared to working a 9:00-5:00 job for minimum wage (laughs).
Where can fans find you playing?
At Sunset Grill and Bar where I am the resident deejay playing on Saturdays and Sundays from 3:00pm to midnight. I also play at Palm D'or in Orient Bay on Sundays from midnight to 5:00am. I will also be playing at the just opened Sheesha Lounge (next to Sunset). The dates and time will be announced later.
What is your dream holiday venue?
Vegas rehab pool party.
How do you think the climate can be improved for deejays like yourself?
If we get paid what we deserve and when persons stop trying to underpay us.
What is your advice for persons who want to follow in your footsteps?
Learn the basics. Learn how and where things began.
What else are you involved in outside of deejaying?
Sales for different businesses and social media promo for a few businesses.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, God's willing, I would like to be healthy and owning my own marketing/promo business.
Cycling and jogging.
Dishonest people, people who wish bad for others.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question, than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
If you could ask any three persons (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and what would you cook for them?
Probably Michael Jackson. I wouldn't have to cook. I would just order KFC because that was one of his favourite meals and it is one of mine as well.