DJ Spotlight: The Grand Yoni of The IMPACT! Sound

Every now and again here on the XRAY blog, we’re going to put the spotlight on one of our incredible roster of DJs with a quick questionnaire and some info about their show. We give you…the DJ Spotlight! 

For this first edition of the DJ Spotlight, we talk to Yonatan Schultz, aka DJ Yoni, host/producer of The IMPACT! Sound, which airs on XRAY every Sunday morning from 9-10am.

How would you describe your show?
The IMPACT! Sound is a celebration of Jamaican music, that’s how I would describe it. You’re going to hear a lot of rocksteady, a lot of roots, a lot of boss sounds. And along with that you’re going to hear new reggae sounds. You’re going to hear Laurel Aitken along with Protoje. The Gaylads, the Frightnrs and Chronixx. We’re bringing the best in Jamaican music the way it was meant to be heard: on 45s. Along with the music, we bring on musicians to talk about their careers, their music and the philosophy behind them. It’s a joyful thing.

Who/what influences The IMPACT! Sound?
I’ve been listening to and collecting Jamaican music since I was 16. Through all the changes in my life, it’s been one of the few constants. I absolutely love it. The IMPACT! Sound is definitely influenced by those early sounds that I first heard. The ska, the rocksteady. Artists like Desmond Dekker, the Pioneers, John Holt, the Upsetters. That really classic sound. I’m also very much influenced by roots reggae. I think roots gave us a whole new language for describing our struggles. The fight against the Babylonian system, trying to reach Zion. All of that we owe to roots reggae. It has a raw spirituality about it that just shines through in tracks like “None Shall Escape the Judgement,” “Beat Down Babylon” or “Natty Become a Hurricane.”

Why do you DJ on XRAY?
I love DJing. I absolutely love it. I really love broadcasting in particular. Being able to play these songs, share the stories behind them, put them into some context. Jamaican music is such a rich vein. You can mine it forever and it never runs dry. The people that make this music; their stories are fascinating. Being able to bring these stories to people along with the music, it fills me with joy. I really can’t explain it. It’s my church. It’s wonderful.

What’s your favorite show on XRAY?
XRAY has brought together an amazing bunch of people. People whose passion for music cuts across all genres and all divisions. It shines like a diamond, this passion. I hear it in every show. And not just music. You can hear it in the news, the talk radio too. People really, really care. That doesn’t answer the question, though, does it? Give me that Big City Radio Show. I love punk and post-punk almost as much as I love reggae. Almost.

What are you listening to right now?
The Temple of I & I, the new Thievery Corporation album has really been driving me nuts. They flow between this really great dub and roots into pop and back again. It’s an incredible album. Everyone should be listening to Unconqerebel by Hempress Sativa. She has this amazing DJ style that is extremely conscious and sounds like Lady Ann or Sister Carol. The great female MCs. For radio, if you like the IMPACT! Sound, definitely check out the Ska Beat Soul radio show. A couple of really knowledgeable guys from England playing incredible boss reggae.