VIO Biography

VIO Biography

The Band
In 1988, Wendell Parris formed The Violators, a band with his son and other young relatives, along with other young people from Frederiksted. The members of the band changed in the years that followed, and by 1997, The Violators consisted of five members: Al Baptiste, Jr. on keyboards, Sean Stevens on guitar, Toby Derima on drums, Tony Soto on vocals, and “Junie” Willock on bass. This formed the basis of the group V.I.O. International.

As The Violators, the band was already making an impact on the V.I. music scene. Vio, as the band was commonly called, had already won the Crucian Festival Road March Title in 1993 with “Blow Your Whistle” (with Baptiste and Stevens in the group), in 1994 with “Bend Back” (with Baptiste, Stevens and Derima in the group), in 1995 with “Fever” and 1996 with “Hands Up” (with Baptiste, Stevens, Derima and Soto in the group), and in 1997 with “Houla” (with all five aforementioned members in the group at this point), along with the Tortola Road March title in 1996 with “Jungle.”

After a dispute, the members of the band decided to part ways with the band’s management and form V.I.O. International. V.I.O. was an acronym that stood for Virgin Islands Onstage. The band went on to collect more Crucian Road March titles as V.I.O. International; in 1999 with “Bend Down,” in 2000 with “Bounce To De Ounce,” and in 2001 with “Cumbaya.”

The Members
Al “Daddy Jones” Baptiste, Jr. started his musical career as a member of Generation. He showed early on that he was not only a great keyboardist, he was a great musical arranger. He joined Vio in 1989, and was promoted to bandleader. After V.I.O., he joined Jam Band in 2003, arranged, produced and co-wrote VI Carnival’s Roadmarch in 2002 with the song “Happy Birthday”, and is now the bandleader of his own group, Daddy Jones & the Crew.

Sean “I-Shondy” Stevens started playing music with the Police Athletic League (PAL) music program, run by Rookie Jackson, along with other young people from Frederiksted who went on to start the original Violators lineup. He then joined the Castle Crew, a band that eventually became China Dan. Sean joined the Violators in 1989. He then went on to join Jam Band in 2006, and is presently a member of Daddy Jones & the Crew. He was in a reggae group with the Star Lion Family label, and was featured on the single “Wine On Me,” recorded by Harella and Onyan. He also does music production.

Toby “Dee” Derima started his professional musical career in 1987, as a member of The Enforcements. He left The Enforcements in 1991. After a brief stint with the Xpress Band on his summer and winter breaks from college, Toby joined Vio in 1993. In 2003, he joined the World Famous Xpress Band, where he is currently the band’s drummer. He also is the two-time reigning Crucian Festival Party Monarch.

Tony “Mac Daddy” Soto started with The Enforcements in 1987. After The Enforcements, he joined Vio in 1995. He presently does lead vocals for tracks on Daddy Jones’ albums.

Henry “Junie” Willock, Jr. started his musical career as the drummer of Reflex in 1988. He then joined Heatwave, playing bass, in 1992, winning the Road March Title that year. He then went back to drums when he joined local reggae group Midnite in 1993, and then to Umojah in 1995. Junie joined the Bringles Band as bassist in 1995, then joining Vio in 1996. He moved on to Jam Band in 2001, and is presently a member of the Red Hot Flames of Antigua.

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