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DJ scratches itch

A Juno-nominated musician from North Vancouver found his way to Prince George last year and he's going to stay for a while.

A Juno-nominated musician from North Vancouver found his way to Prince George last year and he's going to stay for a while.

DJ Itchy Ron, also known as Ron Mejia, is a member of Sweatshop Union, a hip hop collective of individual artists who come together to make music.

"When I first came up here I was DJing mostly underground hip hop and wrap and I guess there wasn't much of a machine for that, so when I started playing the clubs I had to conform and played more top 40 music and a bit more techno and electro and things have evolved from there."

Prince George has been really welcoming, he added.

"Some people say the music scene here is a little late compared to other cities, but I think it's just the job of the DJ to bring everybody up to speed and I think we're doing that," said Mejia.

People can check him out at the Rum Jungle on Feb. 26. and every other Friday at the Publik.

"I grew up around music, my parents were really into the Commodores, Lionel Richie and a lot of Motown stuff," said Itchy Ron, who works as a graphic designer. "As I grew up, hip hop started to get a little more play in my life and I guess you could call it my foundation."

There were no music lessons, he just fell in love with music, he added.

Making music has always had meaning, and one song in particular is dear to Itchy Ron.

In 2006 Sweatshop Union lost a dear friend, Mike Moose Joss, a fellow musician who committed suicide. The song is called Moose.

"One of the tracks that really hits home is the song about a friend we lost," said Mejia. "I do scratches over it and a couple of the guys wrap on it. It's really a personal kind of track."

For Sweatshop Union there are solo albums coming out for each artist and Itchy Ron is contributing.

"I'm doing scratches on all the albums coming out," said Mejia.

There will be another Sweatshop Union album, but Itchy Ron said it won't be any time soon. In the meantime to keep busy he has branched out in his graphic design to make record labels for DJs. He started with his own, and now he sells customized record labels and laptop skins. Check them out at his website www.fakemake.ca.

cskorepa@pgcitizen.ca