Since 1999, Ian Grocher ’99, a.k.a. DJ Irie, has been pumping up crowds for the Miami Heat and at clubs around the world, never forgetting that home is where his Panther heart lives.
By Martin Haro ’05
As DJ Irie, the official DJ for the Miami Heat, producer/entertainer Ian Grocher ’99 was made to be in the spotlight.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication grad and winner of the 2012 Charles E. Perry Young Alumni Visionary Award thrives as a party starter.
The guy is equally at ease commanding the decks at some of South Beach’s hottest clubs as he is taking the stage for an FIU fundraiser to the tune of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” – complete with all the right dance moves.
“Irie…Ian’s energy is infectious. He is a tremendous entertainer and he has amazing passion and love for what he does and FIU,” said Lourdes Balepogi ’00, the chair of the FIU President’s Council’s First Generation Task Force, which hired him to serve as master of ceremonies for a recent event. “Everywhere he goes he brings what is needed to pump up a room and get them excited for the occasion.
“It’s so great to see him doing his thing both at home, at the clubs and at FIU and all around the world.”
Ian Grocher is a natural born entertainer, a Miami boy through and through. Born in St. Croix, he was raised in the Magic City and Jamaica.
“I was what my mom called the ‘wash baby’ – the last one – and I was outgoing, the life of the party. I always spoke my mind,” he said. “My parents get all the credit [for my getting into music]. Growing up we had a music room, and my dad had this big sound system and vinyl everywhere. I used to sneak in there and play his Stevie Wonder records and his Marvin Gaye records. Bob Marley….”
He was completely hooked. “Next thing you know, I’m off to school and I’m using my lunch money to buy records,” he said. “I was like, ‘Who needs food, man – give me the latest singles.’”