JaBig embodies the quintessential modern-day artist and adventurer who has leveraged his unique blend of talents to make an impact on the world in his own way, breaking barriers and inspiring countless individuals as he spins along seamlessly.
JaBig has captivated millions worldwide with his DJ mixes and intrepid cycling escapades. His Swiss conception, Rwandan birth and Kenyan and South African upbringing have bequeathed him a unique worldview, which has manifested in a captivating journey as an artist, adventurer and advocate.
Early Life and the Genesis of a DJ Career
Born Jean-Aimé Bigirimana on the 25th of August, 1979, in Kigali, Rwanda, the young shy introvert relocated with his family to Kenya at the tender age of nine. It was here that the seeds of his future career as a DJ were sown. In 1994, during his time back in Kenya after a brief return to Rwanda, the teenager discovered his passion for DJing, a pursuit that would later shape his professional life. In 1997, the family set out for South Africa, where his ardour for music continued to flourish.
In 2002, JaBig moved to Canada, a decision that would leave an indelible mark on his life, career and philanthropic endeavours. As a DJ, JaBig garnered a substantial following, attracting millions of listeners on platforms such as YouTube, SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Spotify. His signature DEEP & DOPE mixes resonated with fans worldwide, carving out a distinct niche in the electronic music scene.
A Record-Breaking Ride Across Canada
His entrance into the world of long-distance cycling was also nothing short of spectacular.
In 2016, JaBig embarked on a daring 15-month cycling adventure across Canada on a fixed-gear bicycle, covering nearly 18,000 km and visiting all three of the nation’s oceans. Fuelled by a burnout and a desire to etch his name in the annals of the Guinness World Records, the journey took him through various terrains and weather conditions, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and up to the Arctic.
Throughout this remarkable trip, JaBig captured the attention of the media which further catapulted him into the limelight, with extensive coverage from media outlets such as CBC, CTV News and Radio-Canada. An award-winning documentary short screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, “Escape,” chronicled his odyssey and furthermore he documented his experiences on social media, sharing his exploits with a growing audience of skeptics and admirers.
The First DJ World Tour by Bicycle in History
His passion for cycling extends to humanitarian efforts, working closely with World Bicycle Relief—an organisation dedicated to providing bicycles to people affected by the lack of transportation in rural Africa, especially school children.
Despite the acclaim garnered from his extraordinary Canadian adventure, the Montréal-based DJ longed for more as he missed the freedom of life on the road.
In 2019, upon reaching the milestone of his 40th birthday, JaBig embarked on a more ambitious journey, a 5-year cycling odyssey spanning five continents. His goal was to cycle 100,000 kilometres, visiting 100 countries along the way. This incredible feat aimed to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief, fellowship with his friends and fans, promote cycle travel, showcase the beauty of the world, inspire others to embrace adventure and personal growth and perform for music lovers, essentially the first DJ tour by bicycle in history.
His big journey began in Montréal, Canada and his meticulously planned route zigzagged across continents to ensure an immersive and diverse experience. In March 2020, six months into his journey, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to return to Canada after cycling through four US states (New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts) and five European countries (the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Switzerland).
A Sophomore Odyssey Across Canada
In the face of a global lockdown, JaBig remained steadfast in his support of World Bicycle Relief, launching upon his second transcontinental ride across Canada from August to October 2020. His objective for this expedition was to raise $12,000 for the organization by retracing his prior route in the reverse direction. Alas, the continuing pandemic compelled him to adapt his plans, resulting in the completion of 5,000 km of the intended 12,000 km.
Throughout his journey, JaBig confronted a myriad of challenges, including shuttered cafés, restricted accommodations and increasingly congested roads as Canadians turned to domestic travel in lieu of international excursions. Nevertheless, he relished the splendour of the Canadian landscape during the warmer months, observing the verdant forests morph into radiant shades of orange as autumn made its entrance.
As the pandemic unfolded, JaBig exhibited remarkable adaptability, revising his route to accommodate the legal restrictions in place. He tackled the Rocky Mountains with swiftness, thanks to his geared bicycle, but also contended with unique obstacles brought about by the crisis such as scarce accommodation and increased holiday road traffic caused by closed international borders.
While his fundraising ride did not progress entirely as envisioned, JaBig maintained a sense of pride in his accomplishments. By cycling the full extent of legally accessible Canada during these unparalleled times, he showcased his resilience and unwavering dedication to his philanthropic endeavour.
Moving to Vancouver for the Mountains
After his second trip across Canada, JaBig moved to Vancouver in early 2021, having spent almost 20 years of living in Montréal, where he spent the year in his now-favourite city and province cycling up and down British Columbia’s mountain ranges. He quickly became the talk of town due to his casual bi-monthly ride of the Triple Crown, one of the region’s most infamous challenges, all the way to doing a triple Triple Crown in June to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.
The 231.43 km epic with 6,339 m of elevation lasted 22 hours, where the Montréal artist/adventurer and his companions rode up and down Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour and Cypress Mountain three times each as opposed to once each as the normal challenge goes.
The Ride Around The United States of America
In 2022, eager to continue his philanthropic pursuits and sensing the pandemic’s waning grip, he embarked upon a six-month, projected 16,000-kilometre cycling adventure around the United States. With an entertainment industry revival imminent, he aimed to complete this circuit before resuming his DJ career. His counter-clockwise journey, initiated in Seattle, was designed to capitalize on favorable weather conditions across the vast and diverse nation.
Though concerns about road and personal safety lingered, JaBig was delighted to discover the majority of the journey filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, from Arizona’s sandy deserts and Louisiana’s tropical regions to California and Florida’s idyllic beaches. While he largely stuck to interstates for safety and efficiency, he did encounter some hostility in two particular states. However, the overarching warmth and generosity of the American people far outweighed these life-threatening incidents, resulting in lifelong friendships and cherished memories.
Despite being occasionally marred by treacherous winds and a persistent race against the clock, his epic journey around continental United States was ultimately a resounding success, raising $20,000 for World Bicycle Relief and gaining considerable coverage in cycling media giants such as GCN and Bicycling, long-form guest articles in the prestigious magazines Adventure Cyclist & Canada Cycling and a number of podcasts and social media channels.
His experience serves as an encouragement to other cyclists to explore the U.S. safely and take the time to appreciate its abundant beauty and the kindness of its inhabitants.
The Return to a Homeland
In October 2022, the Rwandan-native travelled to Kenya, the country of his formative years, to witness firsthand the impact of his fundraising efforts. Visiting a rural school, he observed the provision of bicycles to children, thanks to the USD $20,000 raised during his previous expeditions.
While in Kenya, JaBig indulged in a unique cycling safari in the Maasai Mara, marveling at the majestic wildlife and captivating landscapes, all while documenting his experiences for his enthralled online audience.
Present Projects & Prospects
JaBig continues to spin enchanting House Music sets, captivating fans around the globe with his musical prowess. As a passionate cyclist, he remains dedicated to his charitable contributions, planning further cycling expeditions to raise funds and awareness for World Bicycle Relief and other causes close to his heart such as United Nations World Food Programme’s School Meals initiatives.
As his reputation as an international DJ, adventurer and fundraiser grew, so too did the opportunities for him to share his experiences and expertise. JaBig has since become a sought-after speaker and consultant on topics such as adventure and mindset, providing guidance to a wide range of individuals and professionals, including corporate CEOs, athletes, secondary school pupils, artists, entrepreneurs and senior management and leadership.
Summer 2023 Epic Cycling Charity Challenge
His dedication to his charity challenges shows no signs of slowing down. In early 2023, the Canadian globetrotter announced plans to embark on another momentous adventure, cycling across Europe from North Cape, Norway – the continent’s northernmost point – to Tarifa, Spain – its southernmost tip – in aid of World Bicycle Relief.
This expedition, which took take place between July and September 2023, saw see him traverse 12 countries and make stops in over 50 cities and towns.
Having gained a significant following on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, JaBig used his influence to bring attention to the importance of bicycles as a tool for empowerment in rural African regions.
As he cycled across Western Europe raising awareness about the power of bicycles in transforming lives while documenting his journey, sharing his experiences and the stories of the people he met with his online audience. This not only served to entertain and inform his followers but also helped to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.
JaBig: artist, adventurer and advocate
Through his dedication to both his music and cycling, JaBig has broken barriers and inspired countless individuals worldwide. His tale of passion, perseverance and pedals serves as a shining testament to the extraordinary heights one can reach when fueled by love for adventure, personal growth and a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
In his remarkable career, he has leveraged his unique blend of talents to make an impact on the world in his own way. His work with World Bicycle Relief has not only helped provide much-needed transportation to underserved communities but has also inspired others to pursue their passions and embrace adventure.
JaBig’s tale of passion, perseverance, professionalism and pedalling serves as a shining testament to the extraordinary heights one can reach when fueled by love for adventure, personal growth and a desire to make a positive impact on the world.