She’s not your everyday Jill! And she’s definitely not like any other deejay you’ll come across as you flip through the zillion and one radio stations that crowd the airwaves.
A “nature girl”, she hates being boxed in, gets bored easily, has a crazy love for animals, and has been described as wacky, crazy and everything in between and even had her parents worried at one stage she had ADHD. I guess you could say that explains where the names ‘Wild Child’ and ‘Sparks’ came from.
A name that Dancehall and radio land have been locked in to, ZJ Sparks is one of ZIP FM’s and Jamaica’s hottest, hypest-and-happening disc jocks. Her style is off-the-chain crazy and will have you hooked in seconds as she blazes the turntables and spews lyrics of all kinds at one of the wild beach parties at home or some other part of the Caribbean, or on her regular jam at party station ZIP FM.
The frizzy, often unkept-hair and free-spirited ZJ explained that the name Sparks sums up her personality in this her second stint at the station. “I’m full of fyah! I will burn yuh! I love to live in the fyah! I’m full of provocation,” she screamed in one of her crazy on-air voices.
Obviously comfortable in her skin, ZJ Sparks whose real name is Trecia Spence, knows she’s treading on ‘sacred’ ground, for indeed, this is a man’s world.
But that has never stopped her from pursuing what she loves best – the music. And she can be proud that she has dabbled in it at all levels – from doing her own version of ‘Kitty Kat’ in 2013 to mixing it up at the turntables.
The first female disc jock to hit afternoon radio’s coveted slot, her catapult in 2013 as Disc Jock of the Year is testament to the hardworking genius of this queen of the turntables.
Wild Child, as she was called back in her early days at RJR, the deejay whose name was hardly recognizable then had already got her early baptism at sister station FAME FM in a setting that seems to cater to her freespiritedness.
Here’s how the deejay, then a visual arts student at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts after returning home from Canada, says it got started:
“One day I went to work and I got a message to call Francois.”
“I said, ‘Who is Francois?”
The riotous ZJ lets out a squeal of ear-splitting decibels before returning to her composed, respectable self as she recalled the awkward moment of not knowing FAME FM’s poster guy.
A slot had opened up at the station. But it was much different from the fast-talking, fast-paced music mixing she gets up to these days. Still, she credits the time spent at FAME as a great platform.
It was at FAME, too, that she was nicknamed Wild Child by Claudette ‘CP’ Powell because, “di hair did just always wild, sparking Claudette to ask, ‘Why your hair always look soh wild?’ At FAME the ZJ worked out on Friday mornings playing EZ format; a groovy mix of alternative music. While she knew the art of mixing, she did very little of that or talked on the mic until RJR. It was all about playing the songs out to the end; a far cry from the high-energy juggling the deejay gets up to today.