Darrio Prescod: More than a killer smile
Darrio Prescod loves to talk. As corny as it may sound, it’s a fact. He loves it and he does it well. He has one of the most captivating voices around and he’s using it to his advantage.
He’s an emcee for many different companies, including the National Cultural Foundation during Crop Over, tour guide and brand ambassador at Mount Gay Distilleries. In addition to that he’s often called upon to voice many ads.
But this love for speaking is no fly-by-night passion. It’s one that he has fostered from the time he was just three years old.
“I’ve been talking for as long as I can remember. I have a picture in my grandmother’s house at the age of three at Richard Stoute’s singing Goosey Goosey Gander. Talking was always a thing for me. You would always find me at the forefront with a mic in my hand or having to do a presentation. From that, to being at church, my grandmother would always have me up the night before reading The Bible lessons over and over so I would be ready for the next day,” he said.
From there, it continued right into secondary school.
“Then going to Alexandra, I was the president of the Students Council, so more talking again. While there, I attended Toastmasters and I graduated Most Outstanding Toastmaster . . . had the most humorous speech. While at Alexandra I realised it was something that I could get into,” he added.
And one thing was constant on all of Darrio’s report cards through school, which he said was a clear indication that he either had something special or was simply a troublemaker.
“I always used to get put out of class for talking. My report cards would always say “works well, but too talkative, good student but too talkative”,” he said with a chuckle.
In a relaxing interview at Mount Gay Visitor’s Centre after his shift, Darrio took Easy magazine on his journey that led to where he is today.
He said when he realised he loved talking and being at the forefront, he sought the advice of his mother on what were the next steps.
“I had asked my mother if there was anything I could pursue that would lead me into reading the news, and she told me I would have to do mass communication. So that is what I did. Ms Cox was leading the programme at the time. And during that programme [at Barbados Community College], it opened up my eyes to a lot and what the industry is all about. It’s not always glitz and glamour, what people really think it is. A tutor there told me, if you’re doing it you have to be doing it for the love of it; and that’s something I’ll always remember,” he said.
While at BCC, Darrio was given the opportunity to do an internship at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) which he said opened his eyes to a lot, and thus allowed him to decide what career path he wanted to take . . . or not take.
“In second year, you have to do an internship, and I was lucky enough to go to CBC and while there I was able to really get into things. On July 4, 2010 [I would never forget that date], I got to host a youth event alongside Cassandra Crawford, and that was pretty awesome. Everyone told me they could always see me doing it . . . . But I realised that it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t really about it. To this day people would still ask me if I’m still at CBC and I let them know it was just an internship,” he added.
So with a career in news now in Darrio’s rear view mirror, emceeing, however, was still in his direct focus. On a point of reflection, Darrio told EASY his not being serious about it was simply his immaturity at the time showing up.
“Emcee work was something I really loved. Carl Padmore was my drama teacher at Alexandra and he got me into it. He told me at the time NCF was looking for some fresh faces for the stage and asked me if I would be interested. And I would be very honest with you, I did not go the first Sunday.
“I was riding about with my friends. I told him I couldn’t make it. I went the next Sunday, though, and pretty much the rest is history. That was at age 17. I’m 26 now. That’s my love. I would always say when I retire I would still love to have a talk show on the radio of some sorts. The fact that I still get to emcee keeps me close to something that I’m good at,” he said with a broad smile.
In addition to his calm demeanour, Darrio has a personality that draws people to him.
“I guess you could say that in some spheres I would be considered a class clown. I’m pretty much the guy that gets along with most people, so that helped with this whole emceeing thing. You have to know how to keep the crowd entertained; you have to be likeable to a certain extent. So I believe how I am as a person, always looking to make a little sport, always looking to make someone laugh, helped in developing that craft,” he added.
But Darrio holds a full-time job as a tour guide and brand ambassador at Mount Gay Distilleries.
“I started working there as a tour guide in 2011. I was home breezing an evening on the bridge and a lady who works there passed and asked me what I was doing with myself and I told her I was just chilling. She told me do up a CV and a cover letter and send it to her by the morning. So I did it and that same evening I got a call for an interview. I had already planned a trip to New York and when I came back there was a vacant position and they offered it to me.
“Then the position of brand ambassador came up like three years ago as they were looking for a replacement for the then brand ambassador who was doing it for 15 years and he was ready to move on to another role. They asked me if I would be interested. June is going to be three years that I was in the role and it’s been great. I’ve definitely grown as a person and developed a greater appreciation for rum,” Darrio said.
During all this, Darrio has been pursing studies at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill, in management studies with concentration on marketing. He said it had not been an easy road. He has two courses to complete before graduation in October.
“It hasn’t been easy, but if you really want it, you have to push through and make it happen. As it stands right now, the sky is the limit. I would love to move into sales and marketing.
“I love what I do . . . . I’m a firm believer in going with the flow. I believe nothing happens before its time. My goal is to finish my last two courses get my degree, and see what other doors open up,” he added.
He says he lives by the philosophy “life is the art of drawing without an eraser. That’s basically saying you have to live with the mistakes that you make. That’s life. Only from you making mistakes would you learn and move forward and better yourself and you become a lot wiser”.
The fun-loving Darrio said though, with so much on his plate, he finds it hard sometimes to spend time with his friends. However, he makes the time because he believes that quality time is important.
“I just like to chill with my friends. We call it men’s fellowship, and most Friday nights you could find us liming in the Turning. You would find us playing cricket, football or just sitting talking some foolishness. Outside of that I’m always sleeping. My friends call me Mr Busy because I always have something to do. Sometimes I would get a bit upset because I would be sitting with them and fall asleep because I’m tired. But I’m really just a cool, relaxed, down-to-earth guy that’s always looking for a little laugh . . . nothing too fancy,” he said.
Darrio offered some advice to youngsters who were now looking to chart their paths in this life, and stressed that a strong support system was key.
“Believe in yourself. A support system is really important that can see you excelling in anything that you put your mind to. I believe that’s something that’s lacking nowadays. Parents hear their children say they want to be a plumber, and they try to force them to do something else. If your child has a certain love for something, you shouldn’t deter them, you should let them know that they could still make a living without being a doctor, lawyer or bank manager.
“And keep the right people around you and understand that the right energies can help to motivate you,” he added. (DB)