Published Jan 01, 2006Toronto's DJ Dopey, aka Jon Santiago, placed third in the solo category at this year's DMC World Final turntable competition in September. First place went to Japan's DJ Kentaro, while second went to the UK's Skully. Santiago is the first Canadian to place in that category since Montreal's DJ A-Trak in 1997. "It's been a while since Canadians placed," he says. "But judging is always questionable. I think there were definitely a couple of times where other Canadians should have placed." Santiago is no stranger to the DMC Worlds. He's appeared there in the team category, with his crew the Turntable Monkz, and in the head-to-head battle category, where he tied for third place last year. "The solo category is the more prestigious one," he says. "Placing in the DMCs got me worldwide recognition and now I can get a show pretty much anywhere outside the U.S. The U.S. is still hard because they obviously have most of the world champions there. I have shows coming up in Amsterdam and Japan."
The growing international turntablist community means that being one of the best in North America doesn't necessarily mean you're one of the best in the world anymore. "The world is catching up pretty fast. Before it was dominated by the UK and North America, and now I've learned that you can't really relax and you have to keep working." Future plans for DJ Dopey include a mix tape with the Turntable Monkz, which is now down to just Dopey and J-Tek, and his own breaks record, which he hopes to have out before next year's DMCs. Santiago also appears on the new Saukrates album, and will be touring with him when it comes out early next year.