Disc jock and broadcaster Arif Cooper has died
broadcaster and disc jockey Arif “Supa Coop” Cooper has died.
Cooper — the son of a musician, musical educator, and founding member of the iconic group Third World, Michael “Ibo” Cooper — collapsed while playing at an event at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre early Sunday morning. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Cooper, who worked at Fame FM for close to 25 years, began playing at parties in the early 1990s. He started his production label Fresh Ear Productions in 1998 and scored a huge success in 2007 with the Guardian Angel rhythm.
The Guardian Angel rhythm spawned the hit singles Hold My Hand by Sean Paul, Rise in Love by Alaine, Best Days of My Life by Voice Mail, Over and Over by Tami Chynn, Man of My Word by Sanjay, World is a Cycle by Richie Spice, and Take My Love by Christopher Martin.
Voice Mail’s Kevyn Blair remembers working with Cooper.
“As a producer and person, he was one and the same; super cool and super creative as his name says. He was a great individual and a great producer,” said Blair.
“Arif was a musical genius. His contribution to music will always be remembered. The passion in which he played stuck out like a sore thumb,” said deejay Mr G aka Goofy.
Cooper produced the song True Friend which was a hit for Demarco in 2010. Demarco commented on his passing.
“So sad to hear this news. Arif gave me one of the biggest songs in my catalogue True Friend, and we worked on a couple other projects. He was a very hard-working person and a legend in the dancehall/reggae community,” said Demarco.
Promoter of the retro party series Yesterday – Best of the 90s, Gyete Ghartey, remembered Cooper as someone who was easy to work with.
“Arif worked on Yesterday and he was always a crowd favourite. He was easy to work with and his playing skills as a DJ were a notch above the rest,” said Ghartey.
Aside from the Guardian Angel rhythm, Cooper also released Relationships, Worldwide and New Money rhythms.
Colleague DJ Sanjay poured out his thoughts in a Instagram post: “This isn’t the post I envisioned making… To my friend and mentor who became a big brother, you’ve transitioned to the music studio in the heavens…”
He went on to hark back to an initial meeting in early 2000s, and reminisced of the many times they have worked together along with he cherished life conversations.
Minister of Entertainment Olivia “Babsy” Grange, in tribute, said: “It is so sad that another of our outstanding personalities in the music industry has left us suddenly and at such a relatively young age… [after] making his own name here in Jamaica and on the international scene where he entertained audiences in a number of US cities and in Japan.
“Arif’s versatility was one of the huge features of the man and was greatly admired by his colleagues in the music industry, especially those whose careers benefited from his talent, and by his fans. He will be sorely missed,” she continued.
Cooper is survived by a son and a daughter.