January 26, 2005 News & Features » Cover Story


Carl "DJ Carlito" Hamm, 28 

Radio show host

Some of his favorite performers, in addition to The Clash, include Baaba Maal from Senegal; the African Brothers from Ghana; Faye Wong, a Chinese pop star; Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, who sings traditional Pakistani music; and Fela, a Nigerian artist who's the James Brown of Africa. "People were surprised I would have any interest in that," he says of his street searches for ethnic music. "But a lot of this music really grabs you, even if you don't understand the language they're speaking. It started snowballing, and I got music from all over the world. Music is always a topic of conversation for me."

For his radio show, Hamm might blend German reggae with Japanese bluegrass and French hip-hop. "I just think Richmond is ready for it," he says. "It's a lot bigger town and a lot more multicultural than people sometimes give it credit for."

What's next: Hamm recently made contact over the Internet with a Malaysian DJ who does a similarly eclectic radio show in Singapore. "It sounded like we were living parallel lives," Hamm says of their mutual interests. He asked the DJ to send a mix CD, and Hamm plans to play it on his show: "We can do something like that on RIR, have virtual guest DJs from the other side of the world." — Deveron Timberlake

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