Who is JaBig?

JaBig is a Canadian DJ and adventurer who gained global recognition from his 500+ DEEP & DOPE mixes which have been streamed for over 7 billion hours on YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music and Mixcloud and for being the first and only person in history to cycle across Canada coast-to-coast-to-coast in Winter on a fixed-gear bicycle to break the Guinness World Records of “The Longest Journey by Bicycle in a Single Country”.

Born Jean-Aimé Bigirimana in Rwanda in 1979 but emigrated to Kenya and South Africa at a young age before permanently settling in Montréal, Canada his now hometown at the turn of the millenium.

Such an exodus that saw him attending international primary and secondary institutions where he was exposed to diverse international cultures heavily influenced his musical knowledge and he was the designated music supervisor at birthday parties and youth events in Nairobi, Kenya all the way into his university years in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa.

Upon moving to Canada, JaBig very quickly became a favourite fixture in the local Montréal, Canadian and then North American scene as a now full-fledged professional DJ and found himself performing in the most venerable venues and at the hottest events in towns across the continent.

Massive international recognition happened thanks to YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website but also the number one music streaming service in the world when in 2011, JaBig uploaded a back catalogue of his live DJ set recordings and mixed compilations.

Within six months these DEEP & DOPE DJ mixes had been streamed by music lovers in every single country on the planet and accumulated millions of streams and fans along the way.

In July 2015, after taking up cycling on a whim and becoming an avid cyclist, JaBig decided to explore the different landscapes across Canada, coast to coast to coast, on two wheels.

In January 2016, in desperate need for a sabbatical to avoid a professional and personal burnout, the Montréal DJ set out to ride across Canada all the way to the Arctic Ocean and while at it to set to break the Guinness World Record for “The Longest journey by bicycle in a single country” on a fixed gear bicycle (fixie).

His successful epic 15-month, 17 000 km journey is chronicled in the short film Escape directed by Anjali Nayar (Silas, Gun Runners) and presented by MEC, Canada’s largest outdoor gear retailer.

Escape directed by Anjali Nayar featuring Jean-AImé Bigirimana a.k.a DJ JaBig and presented by MEC

Released in 2018, Escape became a hit in over 50 festivals around the world such as Trento Film Festival in Trento, Italy – the oldest international film festival dedicated to the mountains, adventure and exploration, Mountainfilm – one of America’s longest-running film festivals, Banff, Canada’s leading outdoor film festival or Rocky Spirit Festival, Brazil’s largest outdoor film festival where it won the Audience Choice Award for Best International Short Film.

“An adventure to escape expectations and in the process exceeding them.” –Claire Carter Writer, Film Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, ‘Creative Consultant’.

A select list of awards won by Escape, a film by Anjali Nayar.

On August 25th 2019, on his 40th birthday, the need for adventure struck again and JaBig embarked on the first DJ world tour by bicycle, a 5-year 100 000 km quest to circumnavigate the globe and DJ for his millions of fans across the planet while raising funds for World Bicycle Relief, a charity that provides bicycles to children in rural Africa so that they may get to school, get an education and escape a life of poverty.

This journey of a lifetime was paused within six months in March 2020 as he returned to Canada at the behest of the Canadian government due the COVID-19 global health crisis after rides in New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States followed by the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Switzerland on the European leg of his epic expedition.

In Summer 2020 between the first and second wave of the pandemic after spending months in lockdown streaming live DJ sets over the Internet for his millions of fans worldwide, JaBig embarked on his second ride across Canada, on a road bike with gears this time!, in aid of World Bicycle Relief.

The traverse which took two months started in Victoria, British Columbia and ended in Rivière-du-Loup, Québec and raised USD $10 000 that went towards providing bicycles to health care workers combatting COVID-19 in African countries .

As of Spring 2021, JaBig is based in Vancouver where he is sitting out the pandemic as he awaits for the planet to reopen for him to resume his international DJ touring and eventually his bicycle journey around the world. His time in British Columbia is spent honing his climbing skills and every week he aims to ride a Triple Crown, the region’s most notorious bicycle challenge.

Email: jabig@jabig.com

Listen to JaBig: YouTube, SoundCloud or Mixcloud.

Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Strava.