A question often asked, but rarely answered. As the man himself will tell you, he is different things, to different people, but one thing everyone agrees on, is that he has created a serious brand.
Born in London and schooled in Jamaica, Conrad Gray aka G Money describes himself as “a part time trouble maker” at school. A kid who was always fighting, yet always reading at the same time. Attending high school in the UK and Jamaica gave him exposure to music across genres, something that continues today. “I hated reggae music before I went to Jamaica” he is often quoted as saying.
Over the last 20 years G Money has used his touring experience to excite crowds. From Dubai to Dublin, Ayia Napa to Abu Dhabi and everywhere in between, there are few DJs who understand the dynamic of “moving the crowd” like G Money. G has DJ’ed for Ja Rule, Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef and many other massive names, yet despite all this; radio is where he has established himself as a powerhouse.
On his return to the UK in the mid-90s, G set up the South London pirate station – Bassline FM because no one would give him a job in radio, “You had this kid, all he wanted to do was broadcast and people just kept telling me no!”
Bassline FM went on to change the face of pirate radio in London, because for once the people behind a station were in their teens and therefore the station had a young, fresh sound. His show “The Bassment” was a legendary fixture on the station. The station went on to become one of the major players on the pirate scene in the UK. “I never really made any money from Bassline FM” he says, “but I wouldn’t change one day of the 9 years I spent there, I learnt radio with no rules.”
In 2002 – The BBC – eager to expand their output, and with the digital broadcast revolution in full swing – launched 1Xtra, a network dedicated to the best in Black Music and it was no surprise that G Money got that phone call. “So Ray Paul called me from the BBC, in my mind I was like, ‘no way, this is a hoax’ – but it wasn’t and I joined the BBC in 2002.”
Within the BBC, G Money really strived and quickly established himself as a versatile broadcaster. Whether it was a report from a riot in Birmingham or covering a carnival in Trinidad or even reporting from the World Cup, G Money took to it like a fish to water and quickly honed his broadcast skills. Even after leaving the BBC, he is still a regular contributor to 5 Live and other BBC networks. His well-received reports for the Sony Award Winning Today Programme on Radio 4 provided an incisive perspective on gun crime. G has also presented with the BBC World Service and has, on occasion, presented their global phone in “World Have Your Say” which broadcasts worldwide to an audience of 30 million. No stranger to TV, G has also popped up on numerous occasions in BBC News on programmes like Global with John Sopel, not bad for a man who began his broadcasting career scaling tower blocks and squeezing through lift shafts!
In Kenya – G Money has continued to flourish as a brand. When he’s not creating mayhem on HBR 103.5 FM breakfast show, he’s tearing up clubs with people like DJ Drama, Robbo Ranx, Talib Kweli and other top international DJs. G is in demand at the most exclusive venues in town and around the region. Sometimes called the “Dancehall Ambassador” G created a thriving dancehall industry in Kenya. Through a series of concerts, organised with Homeboyz Entertainment and his club nights, Artists like Beenie Man, Alaine, Cecile, Christopher Martin, Darrio, D Major, Chronixx and Konshens have all performed in Nairobi. Using his near 20-year experience in the music industry, G Money has managed to establish himself as a firm force in the East Africa region. The only way is up.