Putting on a show
The music is loud and there is electricity in the air.
Just a few feet away, a sea of people bounce and sway in rhythm to the beat. The bass pounds your chest and smoke envelops the dance floor. Beams of light of all colors blast into the night sky and then disappear into the darkness. The music stops for just a moment and the crowd screams a familiar lyric.
For the next few moments, the music starts to build. Horns and synth kick in. Then drums and a piano rhythm intensify as the crowd begins to get louder. The ever-increasing sounds build to a fury, creating a palpable tension in the air. Suddenly the beat drops and the crowd goes wild, jumping and thrashing about with their hands waving in the air.
While this may seem like a scene straight out of one of the hottest nightclubs in L.A., New York, or Miami, it is a daily occurrence for one man who lives life behind the sound board creating the music that energizes thousands each year.
Sean Ferguson, better known as DJ iGnite in his home country of The Bahamas, is a professional disc jockey and music producer. He is the very well known and established resident DJ at the world renowned Albany, a luxury resort community on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas. Opened in 2010 by Tiger Woods and other PGA professionals, Albany sits on approximately 600 acres of oceanfront property on the southwestern end of the island and is considered one of the most exclusive resorts in the world.
Every year, celebrities, professional athletes, business leaders, and the world’s elite travel to the resort island to enjoy time in the sun and a world-class experience. And that is buoyed by DJ iGnite, who provides the sound that serves as the backdrop for that experience.
“To be a successful DJ, it starts like any other sport. It takes years and years of practice and repetition,” Ferguson said. “Once the fundamentals are mastered, then you can purely add your style and flavor, but of course with one goal in mind: make people happy.”
Ferguson was born and raised in Nassau in The Bahamas. He attended Marshall University in the early 2000s, briefly serving as a member of the Thundering Herd men’s soccer team as a walk-on. In fact, it was soccer that brought him to Marshall in the first place.
When former head coach Bob Gray and The Herd traveled to the Bahamas in 2002 and held training and exhibition matches against the Bahamas National Team, it wasn’t long after that Ferguson began scrambling to find out exactly where Huntington, West Virginia, was located.
“Soccer brought me here. I had no clue how big the school was, no clue there was a football team or other sports. I did a Google search of D1 soccer universities and said, ‘ok, this one. Let’s go,” Ferguson said. “I applied to Marshall University and was accepted solely as a student and had no clue how to be recruited. I ended up doing a bit of research and made the contacts I needed to give it a shot.”
“I didn’t get to play in any games freshman year, but was recognized as an academic all American. The experience and the training was very beneficial for myself when I returned home,” Ferguson said. “I thought that was a great accomplishment for myself.”
While at the university, Ferguson said that music kept him company during long weekends and holiday breaks as a trip home was not feasible at the time.
“I had absolutely no clue I would become a DJ one day,” Ferguson said. “I learned and collected tons of music due to the fact that I could not come home from West Virginia to The Bahamas. I just couldn’t afford it. Music was my comfort and helped me stay connected.”
Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control led to Ferguson being unable to complete his degree at Marshall and soon it was back home to The Bahamas. While he was not able to graduate from Marshall, Ferguson said he will always be a son of Marshall and considers his time in Huntington and at the university as one of the driving forces behind his success today.
“Huntington was amazing and warm and welcoming. At the time, I was probably the only Bahamian at the university,” Ferguson said. “I clearly remember one lady that did everything she could for me, Mrs. Peggy and her assistant Michelle. I hope one day to reach out to them again and would like to thank them for all that they did to help me. Life is great and I have no complaints.”
Soon after leaving Huntington, Ferguson returned to his home in The Bahamas and not long after was afforded an opportunity to work at a golf course. There, he had his first opportunity to meet Tiger Woods.
“Upon returning home from Marshall, I had to figure out life. A great friend of mine set me up with a job at a golf course and that is where I met Tiger Woods. He played awesome music from his mobile and I sang along and engaged in a small conversation,” Ferguson said. “I told him one day I wanted to be a DJ. And that I did.”
Not long after, Ferguson had his first opportunity to perform at Albany’s grand opening event and the rest is history.
“I entered into the music industry simply by heading to nightclubs and learning how music is played,” Ferguson said. “It sparked an interest for me and I said, ‘I can do this and make people happy.’”
In the eight years since he began headlining the Albany, Ferguson has opened for numerous acts including Nelly, T.I., DJ Jazzy Jeff, Justin Timberlake, Boyz II Men, and many more. In addition to being the resident DJ at the Albany Resort, he is also the exclusive sound for the PGA Tour Hero World Challenge and the headliner DJ for Albany’s famous New Year’s Eve Party.
Additionally, Ferguson has done major shows around the world including an NBA Draft after-party for Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, the Versace Mansion Super Bowl Party in 2019, Justin Rose Olympic Gold Medal celebration party and much more in The Bahamas.
“Music is my life. I honestly hope to make some amazing tracks and one day be on the big stage like other awesome DJs like DJ Snake and DJ Khaled,” Ferguson said. “Being a DJ is all about consistency. Constant practice, and of course, social media and networking are by far the most dominating and powerful tools to get your music out to the world.”
Away from the glitz and glamor of the resort, Ferguson said that he is a pretty down-to-earth guy who loves making people happy with his music.
“I am pretty quiet away from the DJ system. I own two dogs and enjoy traveling as music always has me on the move,” Ferguson said. “My hobbies are music, music and more music. But, if you can believe it, it is actually a pretty quiet lifestyle.”
While Ferguson admits that he wished he could have spent more time at Marshall, he will return to complete another degree. He has no regrets about his time in Huntington and said that he hopes to return to campus one day. And, after watching his old team defeat Indiana earlier this year to win their first national championship in soccer, he said that itch to return to Marshall only grew stronger.
“Watching the Herd win was amazing! A few of my friends were on social media contacting me and on Zoom so we could watch the unthinkable happen,” Ferguson said. “Hopefully one day I can return to Marshall and perform for events, and maybe even a football game.
“Marshall will always remain a home for me.”
You can follow DJ iGnite on Facebook and Twitter at TheRealDJiGnite and on Instagram at @DJiGnite.