What’s up beautiful British Columbia it’s Kenny O’Neil, aka DJ K.O., aka “The Beast from the East” bringing his best to his new home, the beautiful west!
I’m a 35 year old father, musician and bodybuilder who went against everything that was taught to me as a child. I chose to believe things I deemed believable and chose what I want in life and that includes what I want to do for a living. I’m a laid back, creative and artistic Leo who attacks everyday as the gift it is. I do what I want in this life because we only get one shot at it. I was brought up to be a doctor but I chose my talent and passion and that’s music. I started playing guitar at age 7 and never looked back. I sang in the school choirs, got picked on; played bass clarinet, got picked on; played guitar, bass, drums and sang in rock bands and had groupies then became a DJ by absolute fluke and went international in my first 4 years. I’ve opened for Black Eyed Peas, Pussy Cat Dolls, Lloyd Banks, Benny Benassi, the world’s best female DJ “Dayhota”, Grandmaster Flash and many other huge acts. Music is my number 1 passion and always will be. I own a business called “Major League Entertainment” that sets up private functions/events/ or parties with the best sound and lighting systems you’ve ever seen and I bring my 13 years as a DJ to perform and make your event memorable. I do quite well so to get to play music and make a living is a blessing. I left an incredibly high paying job in the oil and gas industry to make my business successful. Now I have more time to focus on living everyday with passion. I get to train when I want and let me tell you being a bodybuilder that time you can free up on your own is precious!
So enough about the music; I’m also a passionate bodybuilder. My Mom and Dad hate it, a lot of my family do not get it but guess what I’m good at it and I love it. Why question something somebody loves when it’s clear and obvious? Too many people are caught up in believing everything they are taught, to go be doctors, lawyers and engineers when you can be whatever you want to be in life. I knew I was going to be a bodybuilder at age 4; yes 4! Mr. Newfoundland and a God in my eyes, Tony Angel, used to wash his car in his jean shorts with no shirt on in 1984 and I just stopped and admired what I saw. I saw a God. I saw a body that I knew I wanted to have one day. I was 4 years old and let me tell you I knew right then and there one day I would look like Tony. At age 8 I picked up the my brother Paul’s brand new Flex magazine he had just bought and the cover featured Vince Taylor, a legend, doing a version of hammer curl with cables. That was the 2nd and final moment where I knew one day I was going to body build. I didn’t know when but I knew I would.
I grew up a good athlete excelling at hockey and baseball. At age 12 I used the gym and bodybuilding to make myself bigger and stronger for sport. I was actually scouted by the Atlanta Braves in 1996 as a pitching prospect at the Midget Selects National Baseball tournament in Brandon, Manitoba. At age 17 disaster struck as I get hit from behind into the boards playing hockey. I had a 3rd degree dislocation of the shoulder and my young hockey and baseball career seemed doomed. Many dislocations later I need surgery and my sporting career was done. With a vigorous recovery and a hungry mentality I recovered quickly only to be told by many around me I have become a bodybuilder during the process. Everyone around was telling me to compete in bodybuilding. At 18 I discovered what I wanted at 4 years old was coming true. I was 220 pounds at 18 with very little body fat. My desire to get better and stronger than ever had developed my body.
In 2002, at 22 years of age, I competed for the first time at 195 pounds. Not knowing anything about the politics in bodybuilding I came 2nd in my division of 8 men. When I was called second the 800 in attendance booed in unison so loud I felt bad for the guy who had beaten me. What a crazy rude awakening to the sport I’ve become to love so fast. I felt I was easily good enough to win overall let alone my division but I can’t score a goal in bodybuilding to win the game so the learning process began. In 2004 I weighed in 212.5 not quite as sharp and lost to a guy who I feel had some of the best potential I’ve ever seen. His name is Tommy Brewin, an amazing person, friend and phenomenal bodybuilder. I had lost because he was just better. I accepted defeat with open arms. I felt that to lose to my friend, training partner and bodybuilding legend from my hometown St. John’s, Newfoundland was a win to me. In 2006 I came in at 208.5 pounds absolutely shredded to the bone and massive at 26 years old. To keep a long story short I won the heavyweight division only to lose in the overall to a guy an inch taller than me and weighed in at 167 pounds. Oh yea I forgot he just happened to be the association’s president as well but with that said he’s a great guy and had a great look. I learned at that very moment getting where I wanted to go in the sport would be tough. As strange as it sounds every time I came 2nd I felt a burning desire to just get better and come back and try again.
In 2008 a real life reality check that was far more important than bodybuilding took place as I was in a car accident that left me fighting for my life. A broken skull, with a 3rd degree concussion, all ribs on my left side broken, torn muscle and deep tissue bruising from head to toe and a right forearm and wrist shattered in over 60 pieces. I’m right handed, a bodybuilder, a musician and a DJ so when I saw the state of my right arm I knew all my my career choices were in jeopardy. Doctor’s said that a man of average size would have had 2 broken femurs as well, among many more breaks and most likely would have died. My size and years of training looked to had saved my life. Before my 1st emergency surgery the nurse on the way to the operating room told me I may wake up an amputee. With incredible luck the surgeon on duty was one of my older brother’s best friend’s, a well respected orthopedic surgeon who assured me I’d wake up with an arm but wasn’t sure if it would be much to work with. 80% of the bone from my forearm and wrist was replaced with brand new titanium skeletal technology and it took just as well or better than my bone would have. 5 surgeries and 3 months later a bone density scan was done on both arms and the remaining 20% of the human bone remaining in my right arm was stronger than my left. The doctor said he’s never seen anything like this in his professional career. A day after my scan I did a personal best bench press while being told after my surgeries I’ll be lucky to lift a coffee cup or write my name with a pen again. I wasn’t going through life with a gimp right arm and I certainly wasn’t being told I couldn’t body build or DJ again so after 6 months of intense therapy and training my arm was deemed 100% which apparently hasn’t been seen by of the professional people who worked on me. A medical miracle some called it. Whatever it was I felt blessed to be given a 2nd chance at life and the 2 careers I set out to do. At this point I knew I had a chance not many would ever get and would try to be become better at all things in life.
In 2013 I tried competing again but this time the situation wasn’t ideal. It’s been 7 years away from the stage and many changes to place over those years including the horrific accident in 2008. I had a failing marriage, I was working 12-15 hour shifts all nights, 2 weeks on 1 week off in the oil field and was under a lot of stress. I used competing in 2013 as a way to deal with my problems rather than to improve myself as a bodybuilder. I came 3rd in heavyweight and I was honestly very happy with my physique but I knew I had so much more to offer and display. One day I would have an ideal situation where I could show the world what I could bring to the stage.
In early November 2013 I decided to move to Northern BC to finish out my oil and gas days. On my long weeks off I would go home to St. John’s to see my beautiful daughter who I missed dearly. On my weekends off I would go to Vancouver and just admire the beauty of such an amazing city. During my stints in Vancouver I realized I belonged there. A city with such opportunity for a music and fitness nerd like myself and being completely unknown was a draw for me. So one day at work I told my boss
I’m done in oil and gas, he gave me his blessing and I got in my truck and drove to Vancouver which is now my home and will be for the rest of my life. Vancouver is invigorating, energetic and beyond gorgeous; everyday I wake up I’m motivated to kick ass in my professional and personal life. I’ve grown my music business quickly and I met people who told me I need to compete in 2015. Two of my greatest passions were the forefront of my life for the first time ever. This situation was ideal; a beautiful city, my own hours, amazing sponsorship, lots of support and an overall positive vibe in the fitness community brought out my very best.
14 weeks out from the Northern Classic I decided to compete, qualify for provincials and compete in consecutive weeks for the first time in my life. I set the bar high for me because this is the first prep I’ve had with an ideal training schedule. Coming in at 224.2 pounds in by far the best shape of my life ever, I won the heavyweight class at Northern’s and then the very next week won the heavyweight class at BCs! My entire life I knew how good I was but moving to BC changed my outlook on opportunity in all aspects of life including bodybuilding. I feel very welcome in Vancouver; I’ve met some of the best people of my life here. I feel at home here and I’m here to stay. I’m actually so excited to see how all the competitors have accepted me and respect me the same way I respect them. I’ve never been to any part of Canada where the comradery is as awesome as BC! I competed against some amazing athletes here and to be the #1 heavyweight in BC means 23 years of hard dedicated training complete with ups and downs have paid off. I firmly believe if you put in the work over the years you will achieve what you set out to do! I have my music and my sport in my city of Vancouver and I’m also pleased to say I will have my little girl Kennedy here with me all Summer as well. Now you tell me that doing what you are told to be is the right way to approach life.
I’m Kenny O’Neil, the proudest Daddy, privileged citizen of British Columbia, music nerd and 2015 British Columbia Heavyweight Champion. Do what you heart tells you and attack everyday as the gift it is
For more information you can follow Kenny on:
Facebook: Kenneth Edward O’Neil
Instragram: Kenny O’Neil
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