For Garry McLaughlin, music is at the heart of everything. Hailing from the parish of Manchester in Jamaica, Garry believes that music can be a universal invitation for togetherness. No matter what language you speak or where you reside, music touches us all. We know Garry well from his work as a member of our dedicated Maintenance team; outside of School, he is the self-proclaimed “Metal Man” – his stage name and persona – and we sat down with him to learn a bit about his passion for music.
Does music run in your family?
I was definitely fascinated by music from a young age. My father was a selector — more commonly known as a disc jockey or “DJ” — and I was always surrounded and inspired by music.
Is music your spark of genius?
Yes! The other is performing. When I’m creating music, I feel like I am flying high above the clouds. It’s a feeling of bliss. Unfortunately, I never learned to play any instruments growing up, but I do take on the role of leading man, singer, and producer during the creative process and when performing. In Jamaica, I used to sing on stage and in dance halls – whenever and wherever we could find the space!
What inspired you to begin creating your own music?
Right after I left high school, I began working at the Alcan Jamaica Company making alumina powder, which is a ceramic material used mainly in construction materials. I still had a passion to pursue music and began to write my own lyrics.
Eventually, I ended up gathering together some fellow musicians and my mentor, Correll Hewitt, putting forth all I had to create my demo single, which was not my own song, but an adaptation of the classic “My Girl,” with Culture Park Recording Studios. I began touring locally to promote the song, hoping that it would find more of an audience than it ultimately did, but I love performing, so it was still enjoyable.
What’s your personal style of music?
Unapologetically reggae, with a touch of funk — and most of all — fun!
What do you enjoy most about being a part of Dwight?
I think it’s our sense of community, and I want to extend a special shout out to Vice Chancellor Spahn. He sets a great example and always has time for everyone. This had a strong impact on me. It's not about who you are, it's about how you treat your community.
We couldn’t agree more! We’re grateful that Garry is part of the Dwight community.