(Oranjestad)—He is a young man whose talent in the last few months surpassed expectations when he made both young and old dance to the phrase “Feeling good…feeling nice”. Our reporter sat down with Jair Dijkhof ‘Casper’, the king of Aruba Caiso and Soca Monarch 2023, Winner of Roadjam 2023 and artist of the year according to several media outlets.
Jair Dijkhof, better known as Casper, is a young man raised in several neighborhoods in Tanki Leendert, Noord, Madiki and Dakota. From a very young age, Casper started his singing career. Then he played baseball and by the age of 13 or 14, he joined the brass band, which became a part of his life to this day. At 20 years old, he volunteered in different activities in order to build a base to do many things. He currently works at WEB in the Receipt Department.
He further told our reporter that he joined the radio industry, where he hosts a radio program called “Jaigoo’s Groovyhour” from 5pm to 7pm every day. In 2022, he decided to participate in the biggest a music event on the island, which was the “Caiso and Soca Monarch”. It is here that his origin story in the soca world started. This year, he won the honorary titles of Rookie of the year and Radio Jam Artist of Carnaval at Roadjam.
“I always loved soca and it’s one of my favorite music genre, and this crazy idea became a reality thanks to my Mighty Campo ta helped me: Sergio Barros, Jeronim Lampe, Hubert Thiel,” he said.
When he got up on stage for the first time to perform the song that everyone now asks radios to play, Jair expressed that he felt very nervous: “My heart was beating out of my chest, but once I got on stage and saw the audience, my nerves went away and I got real excited.”
When Jair won the winning title at the Caiso and Soca Monarch, there were certain opinions that noted that Caiso and Soca is a genre of San Nicolas. This caused uproar online and certain people in media even addressed this.
About this topic, Jair had this to say: “I got a lot of criticism from big-named people known at San Nicolas that see me winning as bad, but everyone has their opinions. I respect everyone and I will keep the same charisma and love for everyone, as well as the respect for different opinions. They have the right to make their own decisions and to express themselves, and it doesn’t faze me, because I don’t focus on the negative, but the positive.”
Moreover, he affirmed that young people have more of a chance now to “expand our carnaval and Caiso and Soca Monarch. I don’t think we should tear each other down, but Aruba needs to unite in music; we can accomplish bigger things instead of criticizing each other.”
Now that the carnaval season has passed, Jair informs that he will be pursuing other projects in mind and that people will be hearing from him again this year: “We will be releasing two or three new songs this year God willing.”
To finalize, Jair would like to relay his message: “In order to keep supporting each other, show respect, show love—not to just expand our carnaval, but our culture too, I hope to see more young people willing to achieve their dreams in life, or to chase any crazy idea they may have. I hope to see a united and blessed Aruba, with many successes in the future for everyone.”