Antonio Ocasio grew up in the South Bronx where the neighborhoods were booming with a rich sound in music that included both, the African American and Puerto Rican culture. The combination and sometimes integration of both cultures made an excellent arena for Antonio to have a broad and wonderful musical experience.
At a very early age, his older brother exposed Antonio to the music of Carlos SANTANA. I was instantly hooked on his music. Santana has been a major musical influence in my life."
In 1972 Antonio met a neighborhood DJ by the name of Rookie. "He basically took me under his wing and not only was he teaching me the art of mixing but also allowing me to play with him at parties." We also played music at public parks. "This is a very important aspect of the underground music scene that is rarely mentioned, but it was an integral part of the movement."
During his upbringing in the South Bronx, Antonio was exposed to several genre of music especially the old boleros, Latin, Latin Jazz, African rhythms (due to religion), Soul, Funk, Disco, Gospel and Rap. As a teenager Antonio started to drift towards the disco/funk/soulful & jazz sound,. but he especially remembers getting into rap music as it was being developed right in the neighborhood he grew up in. "We would hang out in the project hallways and while we banged on the walls with our hands or whatever we had to make music the fellas would just make up rhymes." "The first records I bought was with a friend of mine Louie Cosme, it was around 1972. I have not stopped buying records since. Antonio is the proud owner of an extensive record collection that thoroughly consist of: Latin, Latin Jazz, All eras of Jazz, Disco, Soul, Funk, Dance & World Sounds. "Today I am at a point musically whereas I am open and seeking all kinds of music." "The main thing that I focus on is how does the music make me FEEL." "I listen to the message in the music and the story the music presents, especially in instrumental songs." I don’t believe that a song has to have words to tell a story!"
About this same time (1974-75), although he recalis being under-age, he managed to get into many of the New York Clubs (Bonds Int’l, Latin Times, Starship Enterprise, etc.) but for the most part he dedicatedly & religiously went to "The Loft," "The Garaget" and "The Funhouse" on a weekly basis, for years. I did not go to either one of those clubs to hang out with David Mancuso, Larry Levan or Jellybean Benitez. I went to listen to some dope music and , DANCE. "When I first went to "The Loft" it cost $3.99 (1974)." "I practically grew up in "The Loft" and much of my dance/music roots & experiences are based there." "When I play music, I am very much into playing jams that other people, for whatever reasons, do not play." Antonio credits his courage to present different music, although not popular or mainstream, to his love for music. "Yeah, it takes courage to play from your heart and truly believe that the music lover & dancer appreciate what you’re playing and not worry about clearing a floor.
In January of 1998, Antonio Ocasio developed his own label so as NOT to have to COMPROMISE producing the music that was in his heart - hence TRIBAL WINDS. In addition to his label, his love and dedication to the music has given him the oppurtinity to DJ worldwide.