DJ at WDNA Radio 88.9 FM in Miami
“Reggae the way it ought to be, and music you don’t hear on the average station – if ever.” That’s the Reggae Ride, and that’s the philosophy from one of the industry’s most knowledgeable personalities – Howard “Flagga” Duperly.
Born in Jamaica and bred on his country’s music – reggae - since he was a boy during the 1960’s, Flagga brings a wealth of first-hand experiences to his audience. He’s from the ‘old school’ and believes firmly that to effectively promote reggae it must be presented in all its forms – ska, rock steady, roots, lovers rock, etc. What he tends to ignore are the quick profit fluffs that use rehashed rhythms, and lewd or violent elements as a ploy.
Flagga is a graduate of the University of Miami, and has spent his career in sales and marketing as an account executive for multiple South Florida stations whose formats included big band, classical, jazz, news, rhythm & blues, and adult contemporary.
He’s also worked as a journalist, contributing to several international publications including Caribbean Today, where he served as Music and Entertainment Editor. He’s traveled extensively, and has covered major music festivals and industry-related events throughout the Caribbean. Although he’s interviewed and interacted with plenty of major reggae artists - from Bob Marley to some of today’s rising stars - he maintains a humble approach and declares “The music is the star, I’m just the purveyor.”
Flagga prides himself on having an honest approach to the business. “I receive and listen to music from all over the world and I make a diligent and objective effort to share the very best with my audience. I don’t believe artists should have to succumb to games or offer favors to get their music played. If the music is good and fits the Reggae Ride format I will play it! I’m not influenced by anyone or anything, except the music, he says.”
Among Flagga’s core artists are the Skatalites, John Holt, Heptones, Gaylads, Dennis Brown, Abyssinians, Burning Spear, Culture, Mighty Diamonds, Black Uhuru, Augustus Pablo, and Bob Marley. “They’re immortal masters, teachers, and true melody makers whose works will endure, he proclaims.” He refers to artists such as Ras Shiloh, Jahmali, Anthony B, Jah Cure, Lutan Fyah, and Taurus Riley, as “Young Lions” who he believes will take reggae into the future.
The Reggae Ride is a musical journey - from the 1960’s to the present – and Flagga confesses that among his thrills is the satisfaction of knowing that, for the most part, he’s turning his audience onto music that they aren’t likely to hear anywhere else but on the Reggae Ride.