|Birth||25 November 1982|
Leighton Walsh, better known by his stage name Walshy Fire, is a Jamaican-American DJ and record producer who is better known as part of the dancehall reggae-influenced group Major Lazer alongside fellow DJs Jillionaire and Diplo. Walshy Fire toured with the Black Chiney sound system beginning in 2004. Black Chiney is cited as a significant influence on the evolution of Major Lazer with its mash ups that blend hip hop or R&B rhythms with reggae & R&B artist vocal tracks and its representation of the Jamaican sound system. The subsequent mix tapes that the Black Chiney collective of DJ's, engineers and MC's would develop were the training ground for Walshy to become a remix producer.
Walsh was born on Molynes Road in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Carol City, Florida in a Chinese-Jamaican family. He attended North Miami Beach High School. He attended Clark Atlanta University for undergraduate studies and Florida A & M for graduate school where he completed a master's degree in communications.
Walshy Fire has been influenced by reggae and dancehall traditions. In 2013, he said: "my sole purpose with this Major Lazer thing is to bring back some glory and international exposure [for] reggae and dancehall." His favorite reggae riddim is "The Answer" by the iconic producer Coxsone Dodd.
Since 2012, Walshy Fire has presided as master of ceremonies for Major Lazer. In 2013, he described his role as follows:
Basically, [Diplo] is the selector and I'm the MC. He's the one that picks the records and mixes the records and I'm the one that's out front and presents the records to people, makes speeches that makes the records make sense, and pulls up the records. I give the crowd humor when it's time to give them humor, emotion when it's time to give them emotion, and just keep the whole vibe intense throughout the whole set.
He's contributed to the production of two Major Lazer releases: APOCALYPSE SOON and Peace is the Mission. In the latter album, he cowrote the Chronixx song “Blaze Up The Fire” and lent his vocals to “Too Original”. Walshy Fire along with Diplo & Jillionaire host the Major Lazer Lazer Sound program on Apple Music's Beats 1. With Major Lazer Walshy Fire has collaborated with artists from a variety of genres maintaining a commitment to cultural authenticity and in particular with regard to Caribbean music subgenres.
On March 6, 2016, Major Lazer made the first appearance by a major American pop group in Cuba since the reinstatement of diplomatic relations.
One year after the release of Peace is the Mission, Major Lazer announced the planned release of a new song with Justin Bieber and MØ entitled "Cold Water" which will be the lead track to the next Major Lazer album. This is a follow up to "Lean On" which featured MØ and has been played 149 million times via Major Lazer’s SoundCloud and its official music video which has received 1.4 billion YouTube views.
Walshy Fire Presents
Walshy Fire launched a label in 2015 with its roots in Jamaica’s sound system culture, and extending into other genres including hip-hop. Work with Caribbean artists and the presentation of the various subgenres of their music styles to wider audiences through live sets, pre-recorded mixes and broadcast music programs has fueled the Walshy Fire Presents label concept.
As a solo DJ, Walshy Fire has held residencies in several Miami clubs over the years and continues to tour globally as a solo DJ performing sets with mashups from multiple genres including reggae dancehall, roots reggae, soca, house, bass, moombahton, Latin, Afrobeat, hip-hop and old school R&B presented by MC commentary that sets up the songs for the listener. Walshy Fire performs sets as part of his Rum & Bass concept which mixes world-influenced dance grooves with carnival culture.
- Hearts In The Sand - Cutting Class & Flipo (Walshy Fire Presents 2016)
- Garmiani featuring Walshy Fire - Voodoo (Dim Mak Records 2016)
- Sanjin, Walshy Fire & Salvatore Ganacci - Nah Tell Them (Good Enuff 2016)
- Wurld featuring Walshy Fire & Shizzi - Show You Off (WeAreGVDS 2016)
- Machet - Naturally (Walshy Fire Presents 2016)
- Raekwon & Kabaka Pyramid - Be Inspired (Walshy Fire Presents 2016)
- Kelissa & Keznamdi - Live For Today (Walshy Fire Presents 2015)
- Peace Is the Mission (2015) (as Major Lazer)
- BE Inspired - Various Artists (Walshy Fire Presents 2016)
- Confessional Riddim EP (Walshy Fire Presents 2015)
- Apocalypse Soon EP (2014) (as Major Lazer)
- Noisey Jamaica II VICE 6 episode documentary, Host & Presenter
- Noisey Season 1 VICE Episode 3 Miami
- Noisey Season 2 VICE Episode 2 São Paulo