DJ Irie Talks His New Jewelry Line, the Heat, and Heat-Haters

When you hear the occupation "DJ" come out of anyone's mouth, it's very hard to take that person seriously. It seems everyone in this town with a MacBook and speakers is trying so very badly to make it in the music game. Well, they should take a look at Miami's music man DJ Irie for help on how to turn your love for music into a full-blown empire. He has been the Miami Heat's DJ for over a decade, recently announced he is bringing an Ultra-like showcase to South Floria, and is now designing jewelry -- which is pretty stylish if we must say so ourselves. So when we got a chance to sit down with one the nicest people we have ever met, we asked him about everything from his new line of jewels to the Heat and their oh-so-terrible season so far.

New Times: So tell us, DJ to jewelry designer? How did this switch come about?

Irie: It's a natural progression, right? I kid. Life is unpredictable.

So full of surprises. My passion has always been with music. Music has

been a guide to everything I have done with my life. It also led me to

this opportunity.

What was the inspiration behind your line?

What really got me was the process. Spinning records is very different

from sitting down and creating a collection. Thank God I was able to

work along side Robin Levinson (of Levinson Jewelers). She is a veteran

in the jewelry business. She was able to walk me through the process

and give me an input to where I felt comfortable in trying to put my

musical inspiration into a piece of jewelry. It was an amazing

experience. To see the final product honestly makes me all warm and

fuzzy inside.

What can expect from the collection?

One is a leather strap necklace with a "Peace Thru Music" pendant, which

is actually a record. The other piece is beaded bracelet set. The biggest challenge

was to have something that embodied music, but I didn't want a musical

note. The whole record idea just jumped out at me. Once we had the record

down, it was thrown together from there. It all kind of came natural.

You have a pretty great piece of jewelry: the Miami Heat Championship ring. Are you big fan of bling?

The biggest piece of jewelry I own is the championship ring. But, I

definitely have a deep appreciation for jewelry. Not over the top

jewelry -- no earrings or tons of chains. I like the clean, classy look --

maybe a bracelet and a dog tag. Every now and then I pop on the

championship ring. It looks good with anything.

Do people ask to see your championship ring all the time?

Absolutely. All the time! People always want to see it. I keep it in a

safe, I don't wear it much. Maybe once every two months. If I do go

out, everyone asks, "Where's the ring?" When I do wear it, it's a big

conversation piece.  And I mean, I understand. It's not everyday you get

to see one in person.

You had to know this one was coming: Bro, what's up with the Miami Heat?

I knew that was coming! I'll give you my perspective: I have to be

logical. I, along with everyone else, is super excited to have all the

guys. Especially with all the sacrifices they made to be here and play

together. And not for one second did I think this was going to be

perfection from inception. You have three leaders that have come from

different organizations. They all have different leadership styles, and

basketball styles. They still are getting down just the day to day of

the organization.

Not only are they in different roles, it's different

everything. There are new players, especially for Dwayne. I knew it was

going to take some time to see the full potential of what the team has

to offer. You really have to look at it like a work in progress, which

is what it is. The team that are out there right now doing extremely

well have been together for a few seasons, unlike us that are brand


So, will we ever as a team get our shit together?

I'm not passing any judgment on this team till they have some real time

to be together. What we have seen so far is only a drop in the bucket

in what the season has in store.  This might be a development season

for the guys. I think we are going to see a whole different team come

All-Star. It's going to be a good game to show what they really have.

No one ever said, "We're going to win every game!" But they are going to

work hard, that is what I know.

What about the rumor that the guys aren't getting along?

So not true--that is ridiculous. Those guys have been great friends

before coming together and they are even better friends now. Especially

after the sacrifices each of them were willing to make to make this

thing happen. They couldn't be tighter.

So don't loose faith in the "Dream Team?"

We're a brand new team! It's pretty ridiculous. We're going to be playing

basketball till April and that's only our regular season. There is a

lot more basketball to take place. It's a huge learning curve for the


DJ Irie's jewelry line will be sold exclusively through Levinson Jewelers, with proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Dade. The pieces include a limited edition "Peace thru Music" pendant necklace on a leather cord and a signature "Peace thru Music" bracelet set.  Both items sell for $395.

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Stacey Russell
Contact: Stacey Russell