The sudden passing of multi-hyphenated Jamaican entertainment practitioner, and FAME FM disc jock, Arif Cooper has plunged the entertainment community into mourning. He collapsed while playing at a party at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in the early hours of Sunday morning, March 5.
Despite attempts to resuscitate him, he was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Arif’s musical journey began in 1991 when he started DJing at house parties, local dances, and nightclubs. He eventually made his way to international festivals and major dancehall events. In 1998, he founded Fresh Ear Productions and worked on the development of 2 Hard Records. That same year, he joined FAME FM as a radio disc jockey and held the position until his sudden passing.
Arif’s father, Michael “Ibo” Cooper from Third World, introduced him to the music industry from a young age, putting him through piano lessons and exposing him to an extensive record collection. He also allowed Arif to watch greats like Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting in various studio and show settings. When Arif came of age, Ibo brought him on tour to work with Third World as a road crew member.
Arif made a name for himself internationally, DJing at clubs, parties, and shows worldwide. He held residencies at Club Mirage in Jamaica and Club Soul in Atlanta and toured with artists like Sean Paul, Voice Mail, and Alaine. He played a crucial role in the development and careers of numerous artists, including Vybz Kartel, Sean Paul, Tami Chynn, Jah Cure, Alaine, Elephant Man, Baby Cham, Demarco, Aidonia, Konshens, Wayne Marshall, Christopher Martin, and Charly Black. He also created hit singles in a wide variety of genres, such as Sean Paul’s “Hold My Hand,” Tami Chynn’s “Over and Over,” and Demarco’s “True Friend.”
Arif Cooper’s sudden passing has left a void in the Jamaican music industry, and he will be genuinely missed.