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L3MAGAZINE.COM IS NOT JUST A MUSIC MAGAZINE IT’S LIFE, LOVE & LYRICS

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WELCOME

REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMERS

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L3DESIGNS@HOTMAIL.COM | 1.289.217.2800

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06 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

ART

RESPONSIBLY Toronto Youth Art On Subway Platforms Pattison Onestop in partnership with Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) present Art Responsibly, a series of hand-painted subway posters created by children and youth from Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods, on select subway platforms across Toronto. Art Responsibly posters share these youths’ thoughts and feelings about “being responsible by being artful.” The young participants reused expired subway posters provided by Pattison, completely painting over the old advertising to create original new artworks under the guidance of a professional artist and an emerging AFCY youth artist at AFCY’s free outreach community-based visual arts workshops. Art Responsibly is an innovative AFCY initiative that intersects the notions of community arts education, arts advocacy, media literacy, civic engagement and leadership. “As creative public springboards, the posters will be used by youth to visually convey social messages and ideas that are important to them. Their hope is also to prompt public inquiry, reflection and action. This poster project represents more chances for youth to mobilize and to use their creativity, knowledge and art making to inspire and inform members of the public, and to take leadership aimed at affecting and advancing Toronto’s art scene,” explains Julie Frost, AFCY’s Artistic and Executive Director.


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07 Pattison Onestop will continue to strategically add and place the Art Responsibly posters across the network of subway platforms until the end of 2013, insuring this important programme can be viewed by as many subway commuters as possible. The public is invited to respond to the artful subway posters via Twitter @AFCYtoronto Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) is a registered charitable organization. We ally with high priority communities and empower marginalized children and youth by engaging them in hands on, community and school-based arts education programs that respect existing cultural and community activity, resulting in participatory action and social awareness.

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“We are pleased to be able to support the artistic and cultural growth of our city’s youth. Art Responsibly uses art as a catalyst and inspiration for change, and encourages a society in which imagination is valued,” said Sharon Switzer, Arts Programmer and Curator, Pattison Onestop. The unique subway poster artworks were created at 6 locations around Toronto, and have been located on subway platforms in close proximity where they were made. Locations include: Art Gallery of Ontario’s Free After Three program (St. Patrick Station), Covenant House Toronto (College Station), Our Lady of Victory Catholic School (Eglinton West Station), St. Barnabas Catholic School (Kennedy Station), St. Dorothy Catholic School (Wilson Station) and Rockcliffe Middle School (Runnymede Station).


October 2013 | NO. 25 CEO and Editor-in-Chief Natasha Von Castle Creative Director Junior Rodigan Marketing Director Rohan Beckford Publisher L3 Group of Companies Editorial Managing Editor and Lifestyle Editor Allie Duker Contributing Editor and Caribbean Affairs Editor Tricia ‘ZJ Sparks’ Spence Contributing Editor and Music Editor Tre Carn Travel Editor Stacia Von Castle Music Review Editor Jennifer Menster Contributing Writers Heike Dempster Marcus Weller Portia Clarke Mimi Mamichula Ayeola George Mark Saltzman Zakada Milton Jimmy Tambou Pia Jordine Rico Vibes


WELCOME

REMEMBERING DONNA SUMMERS

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L3DESIGNS@HOTMAIL.COM | 1.289.217.2800

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR LIFE

Greetings! The one thing I don’t like to experience is change, and worse I don’t like to experience any change personally or professionally without my support system. The month of September I experienced major change and I experienced that change with a new support system which is not what I am used to.

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L3 Magazine has grown incredibly in the past 2 years, in fact, it outgrew itself.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

We went from a very small magazine based in Toronto, covering the Life, Love and Lyrics of a few people in the Caribbean entertainment industry, to now being the #1 Caribbean Urban magazine demanded by our readers, as well as the cream of the crop in our world of entertainment. Things have become so serious that the people who manage artists careers consult and include L3 Magazine when planning strategic moves on behalf of their clients. Whoa! With those kinds of decisions being made, L3 Magazine had to spend more time in New York. More time in New York means more time away from my right hand, Dominique Raphael, who decided that Toronto is her city, and there goes the support system I had grown accustomed to and had come to rely on for the past 9 years. As life would have it, the change I and L3 is currently experiencing is not all bad. Junior Rodigan and Rohan Beckford have become my new support system. This new support means a slight change in the visual element to L3 Magazine (same quality), and a lot more presence in the US and Jamaica as far as the L3 brand is concerned; the rest of the team, Sparkie, Heike, Portia, Tre, Marcus, Jennifer and all others remain the same. Just as our readership and industry demand is growing, so too are we as a team. L3 Radio (a division of L3 Magazine) is now syndicated to 18 FM, AM and online radio stations around the world, More Life Music Group just signed a distribution deal with Universal Music Group and L3 TV is set to begin broadcasting in March, 2014. Whoa times two! Thank you Dom for a great ride, thank you team for keeping us at #1 and thank you world for supporting us unconditionally! The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. Quote from John C. Maxwell and my personal mantra as we move forward! Connect with me on Twitter with your comments and feedback >>> @NatashaVonC


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LIFE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR TECHNOLOGY FASHION LOVE CHARTS LYRICS


TECHNOLOGY


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MAXWELL AIR STASH 14 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

An ideal smartphone or tablet accessory, the Maxell AirStash ($179.95) looks like a USB thumbdrive but it has a trick up its sleeve: It emits a Wi-Fi signal allowing multiple devices to stream content at the same time. And you don’t need an Internet connection for this pocket-sized wireless flash drive and media streamer to operate — therefore it’s ideal to keep kids entertained on long car rides as they can each watch, listen to or read what they like, on their own device, simultaneously. A 16GB microSD card is included, but you can swap it out for one with more memory.


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TECHNOLOGY TICKER

MARK SALTZMAN

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Write or sketch on special paper with tiny dots (Starter Notebook included) and all your notes are recorded by the pen’s miniscule camera at its tip, which can then be wirelessly uploaded to your secure Evernote account on a smartphone, tablet or PC. Alternatively, you can connect the Livescribe smartpen to your PC or Mac via USB cable. A built-in microphone and 2GB of memory means it can hold up to 200 hours of audio and thousands of pages of notes before you need to delete files to free up memory.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

If you still prefer to take notes the “old school” way, the Livescribe Sky WIfi smartpen ($169.95) is a digital pen than records everything it writes or hears.

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LIVESCRIBE SKY WIFI SMARTPEN


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This small FOB clamps onto your keychain, purse, luggage or whatever else you don’t want to lose. Simply open the free iPhone app, tap the screen and you’ll hear a loud chirping noise to help you locate your stuff. Or press the button on the Proximo FOB and your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet will chime or play as song from your collection.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

Keep losing your keys or misplacing your smartphone? Perhaps you need the Kensington Proximo ($59.99).

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KENSINGTON PROXIMO


F A S H I O N

While the every day fashionista may aspire to strut on fashion’s front row; New York fashion designer, Franklin Rowe’s concepts are “keepin’ it real” with distinguished new looks for the style row


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WORDS & PHOTOS by MAC SMITH

Franklin Rowe is a twenty year, veteran conceptualist of fashion and style. He attended the LaGuardia high school of music and arts and was awarded a full scholarship to New York’s prestigious Traphagen School of Design. Franklin’s first break came as a Wardrobe Stylist for the broadcast studios of “One Life to Live” soap opera series. This opportunity started his celebrity affiliations to celebrities such as Taye Diggs, Dionne Warwick, Grace Jones, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and the sweetest reality show villainess, Ms. Omorosa Manigault. Franklin’s work has been presented during the Ebony Fashion Fair runway events and the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

FRANKILIN ROWE

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STYLE ROW


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“ I really try to apply innovation to my creations because I see too much design copying happening amongst the American fashion designers. What they all are producing ends up looking like the same thing...�


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“I really try to apply innovation to my creations because I see too much design copying happening amongst the American fashion designers. What they all are producing ends up looking like the same thing. My designs are stylish and practical garments that people can wear throughout their everyday lives. Not just for holiday or red carpet affairs. For me the Klio dress is an evolution in fashion design. This look can be styled in various ways and is quite easy to get in and out of” states Franklin Rowe. For now, Franklin offers us a tease for what is to come. Style enthisiasts can expect unique adaptations to the Klio concept during coming seasons. Franklin Rowe is poised for a new era in conceptual apparel design; where form and function is justified.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

Franklin’s couture fashions reflect classic 1940’s glamour with a touch of modern chic that is influenced by European design. His creations can be found in a few New York City boutiques as well as in Atlanta, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Detroit. The fashions are also available online at the F.R.I. website. He plans to roll-out exciting new design creations that apply his Klio concept to holiday dresses, outerwear and lingerie. The full-figured woman has always held a place in Franklin’s fashion portfolio. Now Franklin has plans to produce a collection of Klio inspired jersey-knit dresses for the full-figured customer.

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For 2013 Franklin Rowe has introduced a new look to the New York fashion scene that offers women a distinguished style that accentuates femininity. Franklin has always had a fascination with dress sleeves that accentuate a woman’s shape. His collections are commonly created using fine leather fabrics, silks, natural fibers, and jersey-knits. Franklin’s choice in fabric is inspired by nature, and often include earth-tones and animal prints. The use of mixed fabric textures is also a signature application by Franklin that adds a touch of contrast to his creations. For this season Franklin has introduced a unique style look which he affectionately titles “Klio”. The Klio design look has the sleeves attached to the body of the dress and offers a dramatic visual impact that is undoubtedly avante-guard. The Klio dress was created for the accomplished woman whose mere presence is influential. In 2012, Franklin first introduced his Klio dress which is a yellow and grey colored, open shouldered jumpsuit, with one sleeve that connects the wrist to the ankle. Franklin received high accolades during that event as onlookers associated the Klio dress to the legendary, block-buster movie Mahogany; staring Diana Ross and Billy D. Williams.


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27 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013


LATOYA JEFFREY | AZY BANKS MODELS OF THE MONTH


In this urban tale of two models, photographer Champion Hamilton of www.championeyemedia.com photographs Latoya Jeffrey and Azy Banks as they take their love for a night on the town. Both models have been styled by Alain Moore. Collections are available for order. For information contact AlainMooreDesigns@gmail.com


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ELITE DJ STEPHAN MERCURY

32 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

In one word, Stephan Mercury can only be described as Elite when it comes to his skills as a DJ. Known for being from a different dimension, Stephan captures the purest elements of music and creates sounds of musical wonder. The average DJ will play what they think you want to hear, but Stephan is above average in that he will play music that you never even knew you wanted to listen to, thus captivating your musical senses as the sounds emerge from your speakers. Taking time to craft a careful blend of different genres of music, most of his selections are considered classics. Being able to effectively manipulate this musical art, Stephan has grown and developed a high level of preeminence in his short career. These include playing at some of the largest venues and corporate events in Toronto, as well as collaborations with major blogs, such as hiphopdx; his accolades don’t stop there. Stephan Mercury’s ambitious and tenacious spirit has driven him to collaborate with industry veteran artists, such as Audio Two and Three Six Mafia, just to name a few. Currently he is a member of the legendary Coast2Coast DJ fraternity, as well as a member of one of the premier and most versatile sounds worldwide, the Immortal Vybz Sound. Timeless is what he would describe his musical mixes to be. Give a listen and be transported into another musical realm.


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DJ WORLD MAP

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Connect with Stephen on Twitter >>> www.twitter.com/stephanmercury


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MIX TAPE FEATURES


L3 ENDORSED


MIX TAPE NEW RELEASES FEATURES


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ERIC BENET - RUNNIN’

40 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

The release of Eric Benet’s new single, or maybe we should say the re-release of Eric Benet’s R&B ballad “Runnin” is one that takes us back to the days when singers really sang from their heart, and emphasis was placed on musicians and the making of great music. Believe us when we say, we are ‘runnin’ with Eric! Beginning with an 8 bar intro of Guitar, Bass, drums and horns, the foundation is laid for lovers to enjoy the age old theme of a man running from commitment. Singing about men who find themselves stuck in the ‘run’ cycle, Eric paints such a picture that listeners either say ‘I’m glad that’s not me,’ or they say ‘that was me and now I’ve changed!’ With an original release date of May, 2012, it’s a little curious as to why the song is being re-released now. If we have to hazard a guess, we would say it’s because first & foremost Eric’s voice is needed in today’s R&B marketplace to join the croons of Jahiem, TGT and Robin Thicke. Secondly, it educates the younger generation as to how REAL R&B is supposed to sound and (most importantly), fans want Eric’s voice on their radio, on their iPhones and iPads! This is classic R&B soul that is timeless, regardless of release date. L3’s rating : 3.8 / 5


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This chune is serious as it speaks to what has been happening at home for years, but the people didn’t know. Politicians, who may be in the same practice as their predecessors, are following in the footsteps made before them. The only difference is now in the day and age of transparency, we can call them out for what they’re doing. Riddim wise, true lovers of Reggae will like what Nicko has done musically which is to use a standard bass line, add an organ skank and drive home Fantan’s point with backing vocals. This is a ting called simplicity and we like it! L3’s rating : 3.4 / 5

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

Teaming with Nicko Rebel of Nicko Rebel Music, Fantan provokes thought when he sing-jays: “Mr. Prime Minister take the money go bank it in a next man country / dem ah rob dih people blind / and ah treat poor people like swine / sell out yuh birthright / when you ah talk pon phone / dem bug yuh line / who sign dih paper fih extradite / dem been selling out Jamaican right / know my people stand up and fight / tired ah dark / worse fih dih light / whoa whoa / slackness ah gwaan from long time….” Ka-Boom!

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Without apology, and with conviction, Fantan Mojah delivers a P.S.A. (public service announcement) for all Jamaicans to hear. Whether on Jamaican soil, born in foreign lands to Jamaican parents, or ex-pats who are living abroad, Fanton wants to make sure everyone knows that certain types of ‘slackness’ has been going on from long time.

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FANTAN MOJAH - P.S.A


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45 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

Connect with Ahkee and Sojournah on Facebook >>> https://www.facebook.com/AhkeeSojournah


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Sojournah & Ahkee - So Sweet

Keeping the moral and spiritual balance, Sojournah and Ahkee flow on the riddim making sure that we don’t lose sight of what is important. Sojournah sings “I see the land / your word is my seed / cultivating / new life within me / the fruit so sweet so sweet / the milk it flows / land of promises / I just can’t wait to go….” Ahkee adds to Sojournah’s words when he DJ’ing: “twelve tribes / we must realize / righteous blessings monopolize / milk and honey won’t be denied / stand firm / won’t compromise / hear the fowls and the widows cry / grab my sword / bring Babylon down ….” For the generation that appreciated the lyrics and flow of Public Enemy, you will appreciate the flow of Ahkee! Produced by Reggae Fever All-Stars, Sojournah and Ahkee are joined by Anthony B, Jah Mason, Luciano, Turbulence and more who deliver righteous lyrics. Also to note Sojournah is the only female voice we hear on this riddim! We should note that this song was released as a promotional copy and is not a part of the official release as recorded by Reggae Fever All-Stars. That being said, the music is still good, and definitely a must add for all listeners near and far! L3’s rating : 3.2 / 5

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

This month, we feature the duo again on the same vibration of consciousness, only this time they are on the Milk and Honey riddim with the chune “So Sweet.”

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Last month we did a feature on Sojournah and Ahkee recognizing their talent, and recognizing their deep passion to feed the people uplifting music. We first heard them with the chune “Understand Dis” on Seanizzle’s Psalms 37 riddim. That song basically let the world know that understanding is the key to changing circumstanstes, especially if you don’t like where you are today.


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LOVE LOVE

ADRIAN DANIEL AND THE MEMOIRS OF A STONER CONTRIBUTED

49 The success of his EP also caused the artist to have to deal with the real struggles some independent artists face when it comes to bringing the music he’s written forward. Thankful that his music has been so well received by his peers, Adrian chooses to continue to tell his story of his challenges growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn. By the choice of the artist, these challenges unfold in his stories told through his music. “Having to deal with the stories about my life being publicized in my music is not easy, but to me it’s cleansing to get them out.” /_\drian shared that he has always been a person whose feelings seem to affect his judgment which at times plays out as he grows and through his experiences in life. In May 2012 to critical acclaim, Adrian toured the state of New York to promote his debut EP and was subsequently invited as a featured guest on several college and hip hop radios shows including Deal With No Deal and outside of New York on Washington DC’s WLVS radio ‘The L00king Glass‘ . /_\drian released his first official video for the single ‘Out of Gas’ in September 2012. Shortly thereafter he caught the attention of music blogger ‘Okayplayer’ as a featured artist on their ‘First Look Fridays’ in November 2012, who described him as ‘fresh because of his originality...defies labels” and gives an unabashed live performance. In February 2013 /_\drian’s released his second EP ‘NATIVE’ for listeners to experience the continuation of his stories. During this time ‘Memoirs of a Stoner’ took the #2 spot among TCMA’s Top 12 Best of 2012 Independent Singer/Songwriter releases and ‘Out of Gas’ peaked at #1 on the Our Stage R&B charts. The single subsequently held on to the #10 spot for two consecutive months in the Spring of 2013. Following the release of NATIVE, /_\drian continued to tour performing at the Brooklyn Museum, City College, and The Bitter End with HOT97 Who’s next 2013 East Coast Winner MC Radamiz.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

This past year has been an experience for Brooklyn native indie urban contemporary punk-rock and soul artist /_\drian Daniel since his debut EP ‘Memoirs of a Stoner’ which was released in May 2012, and caught him and everyone by surprise.


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In May 2012 to critical acclaim, Adrian toured the state of New York to promote his debut EP and was subsequently invited as a featured guest on several college and hip hop radios shows including Deal With No Deal and outside of New York on Washington DC’s WLVS radio ‘The L00king Glass‘ . /_\drian released his first official video for the single ‘Out of Gas’ in September 2012. Shortly thereafter he caught the attention of music blogger ‘Okayplayer’ as a featured artist on their ‘First Look Fridays’ in November 2012, who described him as ‘fresh because of his originality...defies labels” and gives an unabashed live performance.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

In February 2013 /_\drian’s released his second EP ‘NATIVE’ for listeners to experience the continuation of his stories. During this time ‘Memoirs of a Stoner’ took the #2 spot among TCMA’s Top 12 Best of 2012 Independent Singer/Songwriter releases and ‘Out of Gas’ peaked at #1 on the Our Stage R&B charts. The single subsequently held on to the #10 spot for two consecutive months in the Spring of 2013. Following the release of NATIVE, /_\drian continued to tour performing at the Brooklyn Museum, City College, and The Bitter End with HOT97 Who’s next 2013 East Coast Winner MC Radamiz.

Connect with /_\drian on Twitter >>> @ADTheStoner


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BASS DROP

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J WILL CONTRIBUTED

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At an early age he was exposed to the performing arts and participated in school competitions for singing and performing. In his teenage years he moved to Granville, Montego Bay, Jamaica where he saw the struggles of poverty on a daily basis and learned how to adapt and survive. This experience was enlightening because he began to understand the profound effect that music, more so, Reggae music, had in uplifting the spirit of the people. Migrating to Miami at the age of 18., his musical talents were uncovered by the Vengeance Sound, Anthony ‘Ras T’ Tadal and Jahmahwi Williams. He began his journey by recording ‘drops and dubs’ for local sound systems and DJ’s. After being in Miami for a few years, he met a young aspiring producer Stephen’ Purpose’ Chung who was starting a record label ‘Jahgydeyah Records’. At that time ‘Purpose’ was already working with artists such as G.Cole, Jahyut, Bones, Sharate and fortunately J.WILL fit right into the movement and later recorded over twenty songs for the label. J.WILL and Purpose co-wrote the song ‘Rise Up’ for the legendary Reggae band Third World for their album ‘Black, Gold and Green’ which received a Grammy nomination.

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

There is no other voice like that of J. Will! The multi-genre and multi faceted talent formally known as Joseph ‘J.WILL’ Williams was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and was raised in Galina, St. Mary, Jamaica.


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J.WILL is also an active stage actor and has toured throughout the Caribbean and the USA with the New Artist Movement playing the lead male character Romeo in the play Love Knows No Boundary, which is a modern day adaptation of Romeo & Juliet with a Caribbean twist.

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J.WILL recently released his music video for his hot song Bass Drop which was co-written and co-produced with Vinni Hamilton Productions. This later lead to a partnership for a house/dance version of ‘Bass Drop’ with Ice Down Productions from Fort Lauderdale, and Kitsch 2.0 from Marseille, France. J.Will continues to tour, with the Wraps and Kush band doing shows throughout the Caribbean, the USA and Europe. J.WILL has performed on the stage with Sizzla, the Marley Family (Bob Marley Annual Music Festival), Buju Banton, Barrington Levi, Jill Scott (Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival) and many others. J.WILL is the new eclectic sensation with an impressive collection of songs; a fusion of Reggae, Roots Rock, Lover’s Rock, Hip Hop, Dancehall, R&B and Rock music.


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Jah Defender is a Trinidadian Reggae singer / songwriter) and many regard his music as positive;his soothing voice and comforting lyrics have made him a much liked and admired artist on the rise. LOVE

The conscious element of Rastafari through Reggae attracted Ricardo to this genre. Music is an avenue to teach ‘truths and rights’, heritage, and culture, all of which is skillfully delivered through Jah Defender. His lyrical vibration encompasses depth and soul to remind the people of their treasured tradition. Embracing the teachings of Rastafari has allowed him to stay humble and trod with faith and courage, becoming the voice of many.

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His love for music started from a young age, as he heard the sweet sounds of his Mother’s vocals daily. He then bravely began singing for his classmates in Primary and Secondary schools.

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Since 1994, a time when Reggae became popular in Trinidad through artists like Capleton, Sizzla, Anthony B, Luciano, Norris Man, and Garnet Silk which also helped in shaping his musical talent. In 2004 Ricardo entered the professional Reggae scene as Jah Fyah, later changing to ‘Jah Defender.’ In his words “Jah Defender stood for a deeper mission.” His blessed talent, creative musical melodies, distinctive sound, and powerful lyrics creates timeless music. Writing his own songs, the artist has over 300 songs in his catalog. He has shared the stage with numerous popular artists such as Morgan Heritage, Jr. Reid, and Chezidek, in addition he has collaborated with other artists, such as Chuck Fender in the song entitled “I Love it So”. While Jah Defender remains an independent artist, he has allied with independent record labels: IsRoyal Records (Canada), 7 Seals Records (France), and Backyard Studios (Trinidad). This diligent, hard working artist is currently working on two upcoming albums simultaneously of which will be internationally received. Songs like “Watch dem inna Babylon”, and “No feel no way” have already received exceptional reviews. Listening to music from Whitney Houston, Freddie Jackson, Gregory Isaacs, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson was part of his musical arsenal growing up, and with a talent that is known worldwide, Jah Defender is supported by many people in the music industry. His fans are credited as the ones who fuel his desire to continuously thrive in music. Jah Defender has proven to be in a higher musical caliber that will ‘take the world by storm’ – so stay in tune and look out for upcoming projects.


JAH DEFENDER

LOVE LOVE

FROM TRINIDAD & TOBAGO TO THE WORLD

CONTRIBUTED

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VICKYSOLA?!

LOVE LOVE

VickySola, birth name ‘Victoria Ekundayo’ is a genuine product of artists such as Fantasia, Asha, India Arie, Omawumi, and Jasmine Sullivan all mixed in one pot to serve a delight of surprise to any listener; to her friends, VickySola is known for being hyper, funny, loud, and energetic. It is safe to say that VickySola’s style of music is a fusion of RnB soul, pop, Afrobeat, and contemporary Jazz with a strong ballad emphasis.

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WHO IS

CONTRIBUTED

She started singing at the age of 11 in church and in her school choir. At 13 years Victoria took up dancing and has not stopped since. Not only is music a talent in which Victoria grasps, she also knows how to shake a leg and we are not talking ‘two step.’ Whether it is Street dance, contemporary, break dance even Jazz Victoria is not afraid to pull it off. Dancing at Venues such as the wonder Sadler’s Wells theatre, Royal Festival Hall, Brixton Academy and O2 indigo her great talents are really put to show and speak a lot for themselves. Getting as far as boot camp in the Popular ‘X Factor’ competition 2010 and winning the ‘B Supreme Dare to dance’ Competition 2008 with her then dance group ‘Stylinquents’with a sponsorship from ‘Nike ID’ Victoria is without question extremely skilled at what she does be it singing or dancing. Performing at Britain’s biggest event, London 2012 Olympic Opening ceremony, with seats filled with 80,000 people. Singing is clearly second nature to Vicky as she has shared her beautiful voice at performances in the amazing Royal Festival Hall and astounding Royal Albert Hall. Audiences and big venues come to no surprise to this dime. After graduating from University with a degree in Dance, Vicky began to pursue her music career vigorously, constantly recording in the studio with some of the most talented and relevant producers today within the music industry. She is currently signed to independent record label ‘6060Music.’ Victoria has new material which is ready to knock off the usual chart toppers and bring back that dissimilar vibe to music.

Connect with Vicky on Twitter >>> @ThisIsVickySola

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

This meek yet vibrant lady brings a diverse feel to the music industry, with her own style of what she calls “Afro Brit;” Victoria brings newness to the entertainment industry with eager ears waiting to be hit by her creative melodies.


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61 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zCoCa6b6cU

Charts based on most active DJ downloads via the L3 Music Distribution Network

L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

Major Lazer & Busy Signal - Bumaye


L Y R I C S


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FULL FREQUENCY WITH

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SEAN PAUL NATASHA VON CASTLE PHOTOGRAPHY : CHRIS PHELPS

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ooking out from the back patio of Sean Paul’s house in Jamaica, the sun greets you in the morning, and the moon greets you in the evening; the active word is ‘greeting.’ Sean is just that, he is a greeting. He will greet you, and if you let him, will take you on a journey. Sometimes the journey will be through music, but if you jump on his frequency, his full frequency, you will see that his greeting is about life. Being thankful for life every day, Sean sees things that most people either take for granted, or they overlook. He sees life in everything and in every situation; nothing is insignificant. In Sean’s world, even the sun that greets him every morning has meaning beyond its warm rays … In Sean’s world, everything operates at Full Frequency … >>>


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L3: When people do a Google search of Sean Paul, a definition comes up that describes you as a ‘Jamaican Grammy winning Dancehall and Reggae artist.’ How much more is there to you than that definition?!

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SP: There’s definitely a lot more if we’re going to talk about those little accolades, but other than that I’m a full rounded human being, ot trying to be at least; I was a sports kid growing up, I used to represent my country for swimming and water polo; I look into the reality side of things a lot more than people think I do. I did things like study hotel management in school; there’s a lot of things that are not there, but how much more can you say in one little statement about yourself that tells you what or who a person is other than becoming narcissistic … you know what I mean?!

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Not until people get to know an artist will they really know the person. People should know that media will portray the artist as being one thing, but the person is another. I’ve been fortunate enough that my media presence is such that it is something that really intrigues people and makes people want to check me out a lot more, and when they do, I can surprise them a little bit more! L3: When you were younger, you were surrounded by sports. Leaving that for music has obviously been a great decision; is there a competitive element in music that you connect with, similar to sports? SP: Yes … that’s actually a very true statement and question. I never really just left sports in the first place. I grew to a certain level where I said I need to take the next step but I couldn’t afford to go to college abroad at the time , so I went to college in Jamaica. The swimming years finished at age 19, and most of the great swimmers go abroad after the age of 19. At that age you’re considered a senior, and you swim seniors events. I didn’t want to swim against people who were twice my age and beat them. I moved more in to water polo and during those years there was a bit of a lull in my social life so to speak; and growing up with swimmers all around me, it was in me to go to training 5 days a week and have evening training so that took over my life. When I went out on the weekends, it was with my swim team bredrins and sistrens … it really was a team. When they started to go away on scholarships, my focus started to change into doing things like music. I started with trying to be a producer and writing rhymes. I began to think that maybe I’m an artist more than a producer at this point in time. I made the decision because of that burning feeling inside of me, and yes because of that competitive spirit. I would always go to the major stage shows like Sting and look up on to the stage and say ‘damn one year I want to do that … to be able to do that; to say something to make people react in such a way.’ I felt that burning feeling inside of me. Then I started to record, and I was not content or comfortable with just one hit song, I wanted more and more. So that’s another example of the competitive side of me.


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When Japanese people come to Jamaica as an example, you’ll see them in the recording studio, and they’ll talk to you and tell you they want Dubplate and they’re talking broad patois and you will speak an English word to them and they’ll ask you what you mean! It proves that the genre is a very strong one even though we are very underground and we’ve influenced a lot in Pop and Hip Hop culture and so when I made that statement, it was more in terms of working with anyone who wants to gravitate towards and work with Reggae and Dancehall.

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When Rihanna first came to international circles, it was on a Dancehall based track. When I finally met her, she said ‘you don’t understand. People in Barbados, my friends and me, look up to the genre and looked uo to wanting to come to Jamaica and spend some time.’ So it’s clear that we are embedded in a lot of people’s consciousness. There’s a main barrier between what we can do and what the world can digest and that is our language. Patois. Most of our Dancehall songs is kind of a difficult thing for a lot of people to understand but there are millions who gravitate towards it and actually learn more patois than they do English.

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SP: Well actually there are some songs that just come to me and I just like the song. I work and I do music and I think about the genre, such as the Blu Cantrell song that came to me was just a very hip hop oriented riddim. I know that it was something that Eminem had done something with before and Dr. Dre had produced and I was a fan of their music. I wanted to do it. Maybe Blu didn’t have a love for Dancehall, or didn’t have a total interest in helping Dancehall, but everyone I have worked with, including Blu Cantrell (I don’t want anyone to get it misconstrued), has always said ‘Oh I love Dancehall and Reggae!’ Even Beyonce said it to me, she said ‘I’ve loved it since I was a kid.’ That was surprising to me that such major Pop stars love it.

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L3: You are quoted as saying “I would like to work with anyone in the business who wants to give respect back to the Jamaican vibe.” Some of the Superstars you’ve worked with (outside of Jamaica) include 2Chainz, Pitbull, Kelly Rowland, The Saturday’s and others. What was your initial reasoning with these artists before beginning your work together to let you know they respect the Jamaican vibe?!


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The other day Snoop Dogg did the album Reincarnation; he worked on a Reggae album quote unquote. There are some Reggae tracks that are authentic, and there are some that sound new rave and Reggae-ish. Some people misquoted me the other day by saying I said ‘it’s not authentic and that it’s bad.’ That’s not what I said. What I’m saying is that it’s a new age type of sound. Other people have done it such as Sting. Sting is a very highly acclaimed artist who grew up in Liverpool and he says that Reggae music helped him develop his sound, and his sound is being used today by people like Bruno Mars, especially in the song “Locked Out of Heaven.” That sounds like a very Sting oriented track to me, and to the point that Bruno and Sting came on stage at the Grammy’s (2013) and performed together.

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Nowadays music is about blending things together. Miley Cyrus is a originally a county and western artist who came up as a nickelodeon kid and now she’s breaking out of that mole and doing trap music, Taylor Swift did a Dancehall oriented track the other day called “Trouble;” when you listen to the chorus, that’s definitely Dancehall. Over the years people like R. Kelly have done it, I mentioned Beyonce before, so to me I have to wave the flag and point out that such and such a song sounds like Dancehall or Reggae and it’s something that we’ve influenced. The reason being is we have so much talent that I have a great amount of respect for in Jamaica who don’t get enough shine. I don’t even think we support ourselves enough but I love it, it’s in the roots and the ground of our hearts and minds and souls. Big up all the people who wants to see things from our country. This is something from our vibe. It is one of the, if not the most dominant culture from the Caribbean. Carnival is pretty big but there’s Carnival in Brazil that I think the Soca music follows. Our vibe is very strong from Haiti to people loving it in Cuba to Barbados to Trinidad. Our Dancehall music plays year round. There are some artists who can travel from Jamaica to those places. I want to see it grow from those places to bigger places too. Europe has been a huge support as well as Japan. I want to see it become the music it really is. I want to see it on the playlist in the United States. I posed a question to certain big radio stations last year and the question was ‘why is it that Dancehall music can only have 1 song on a playlist? Why can’t a Sean Paul, Baby Cham Jr. Gong, Mavado or Elephant Man come out with an album at the same time and have them on the playlists?’ I think there are enough numbers, enough people who support the genre to put all of it on the playlist. Hip Hop grew; many acts from New York grew and became popular around the world, that grew to down south in places like Miami, Alabama and Atlanta etc. It grew so much that you have Hip Hop groups in Germany and places like that so why not for Dancehall. Mind you, we do have Dancehall acts in Europe such as Gentleman from Italy who is very authentic sounding, Patrice from Germany, artists from the US and the UK. My point is we are like Hip Hop in terms of growth but we have not translated in terms of getting major support for these acts who are worthy of receiving that major support.


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Monetarily, that tour and working with Beyonce weren’t that significant, BUT I saw a future in it and I saw something that I could learn from and I saw that I could gain fans from it and so when fighting a war, you have to be strategically. When fighting for my music, that’s a war in itself and to do it strategically, that is a great asset to myself in terms of helping to bring me forward. Sometimes people in our genre that don’t see a future in it unless it is financially viable or more set in that way. Our country has a lot of problems when it comes to the economy so I cannot wrong the artist when they say ‘I need to feed my family so if it don’t make money it don’t make sense.’ A lot of the times producers, and promoters and people in the circle (industry) get deterred from artists because of that attitude. I am one to be here to say I wish it doesn’t happen but it does and it’s been a major asset to me to be able to see the future and not look to the finances so much. The song I did with Beyonce is #8 on the all time list of favorite collaborations according to Billboard magazine which is a big accomplishment and a big accolade and up to this day I still perform that song in my set and up to this day I have performed the song twice with Beyonce live and so it’s funny that through those years I could have been disgruntled by certain things (finances) but I saw it as an opportunity and I took advantage of it.

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After all those years there is a lot of learning and on different levels. On that Mariah Carey tour, my show was my show that I developed up until that point in time. After I cam from that tour, I saw she did things that helped her to be more effective to her audience. I learned about presentation and I think me learning from them helps me to have a great advantage. I can now perform to that audience, and I know how to deliver a great Dancehall show with raw energy and do it in a way that that audience will understand and enjoy.

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SP: Yes (Sean has a big smile thinking back to that tour)! With every performance you do learn and with every tour you do learn, even different productions and producers cause you to learn as well as artists you work with. That learning helps me to remain relevant. I started with writing rhymes in 1996 and 1997 and I’ve been relevant all those years and up until this point.

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L3: When I first saw you perform, it was at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto while you were on tour with Mariah Carey. You mashed up the stage. Out of curiosity, was there anything you learned while you were on that tour that you have been able to apply to your career post that tour?


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L3: You have had great success with your 5 studio albums to date, and #6 is coming soon. What were you more conscious of when putting the album together? Were you focused on your fusion sound (which is loved by so many), or balancing Dancehall with Dance etc.?

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SP: Well the album is called Full Frequency and the last album was called Tomahawk Technique so I think you can call this the TTFF period / era. I’m doing the same thing in the two albums in the sense of I am broadening my horizons musically working with other producers.

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I am now a guru in the Dancehall game in the sense that I know what’s hot and I know what riddim can break internationally and I know what type of song to make for the streets here and I know what type of song to make internationally so I think I’ve cornered that and what I I wanted to do is learn more. As I said before, I learn from each experience so with this TTFF I can say that I wanted to pinpoint producers whose sound I like and I like what they do. When I approach them, I say ‘let’s make some music; either you’re going to make your type of groove, or you’re going to make my type of groove and we’re going to collaborate to make a new sounding type of Dancehall music. Songs like “Got To Luv U” people see as Pop oriented whereas I see it as a blending of the genres. As I said before, if Miley Cyrus can do it, then I pretty much feel the freedom to go ahead and do it. I’ve proven myself in the Dancehall world and internationally that I can deliver, and that I can perform for people and that I can make hit songs. Now my goal is to bring Dancehall to that forum. I think that in 2006 I was one of the most popular artists. I won an American Music Award for being Pop Male Vocal of the Year and I wanted to remain in those people’s eyes. While Dancehall is much bigger than it was 10 years ago, it also fell on charts; not only myself but it’s harder for certain Dancehall artists to get on certain charts and get airplay in the United States. I saw that problem arising and said to myself ‘well now I need to take the opportunities that have been presented all this time, and try to come up with something that sounds authentic Dancehall and also sounds Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Trap oriented as well everything out there that’s hitting. I have to remain relevant in the eyes of whoever basically is listening; reason being is I want to fly my flag for Jamaica, I want to fly my flag for Dancehall and Reggae and I want to fly it in people’s faces and that’s a good way to do it.


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I’m still doing Dancehall with prominent producers in Jamaica, and some of those chunes ended up on this new album, I have to big up Gutty Bling who recently produced the chune with me and Beenie Man called “Greatest Gallis,” Jordan (Jordan McClure from Chimney Records) has a chune called “Do Di Ting,” I’m still working with Don Corleone, as well as Stephen Di Genius, Leftside (Dr. Evil), I’m doing my own productions under my label Dutty Rock Productions. We’re working!

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I also want to mention my song “The Other Side of Love” is slightly Dancehall oriented but Pop in a general sense, that one is just getting a lot of attention as the first release. There’s also “Entertainment” featuring 2Chainz and Nicki Minaj which is getting a lot of Love in the United States and we’re looking for it to get bigger and we’ll be shooting a video for it. That song again is another flavor that people have gravitated towards more so before the Dancehall songs; another great track is a song called “Riot” which features Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley which in itself is a fusion of many types of things so this album is a fusion and is called Full Frequency because it’s all kinds of frequencies turned way up! Big up to Konshens he is on the album too, Nylah from Brick and Lace is on the album as well on a song called “Pornstar,” Iggy Izalia is a new Hip Hop artist (a white girl that raps) from Australia who has a big buzz around her … so the album are different things I’m musically feeling right now while I represent and wave the flag for Reggae, Dancehall and for Jamaica! L3: Some of our favorite releases from you this year are “Other Side of Love,” “What About Us” featuring the Saturday’s, and “Do Di Ting” just to name 3 titles. Each record is different but great in its’ own right! Your song “Riot” which features Damian ‘Jr. Gong” Marley is powerful in part because of the lyrics but one of our favorite collaborations is the one between you and Leftside Dr. Evil. When we spoke to him in June of this year he spoke very highly of you and working with you. Do the two of you click so well because of a similar work ethic? SP: Yes! Big up my boy Leftside (Sean is smiling with pride and admiration)! He’s another person who has done so much for Reggae and Dancehall and has done so behind the scenes, but he is the reason why you hear certain riddims … he produced them. He’s very talented and is someone I look up to. He’s younger than me and I rate him to the max. Leftside started out as my DJ in terms of my relationship with him. He used to play for a sound system called syndicate and at the time I was getting gigs but I had no band so I needed a DJ to go on the road with me. He looked at me and said ‘yo I’m ready … let’s do it,’ which was in 2001. I was always confident in his mixing abilities but I didn’t know his producing abilities until a little while after that.


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Actually, Leftside produced on my first album and it was a song called “She Want It” and there are a few other tracks that he produced and that’s how I got to know him. Over the years, he became more of a producer to me in so I said ‘no, you’re not a DJ you’re my producer!’ The vibe of this dude … he’s a comedian and a lot of people get confused about the artist name as in who is Leftside, who’s Dr. Evil and when they hear it they don’t understand so you have to tell them the story of this dude for them to understand. He is a major talent, someone who is my friend to this day and big up to him.We didn’t work on this album, but we did tracks recently “Want Yuh Body” and we’ve done so many tracks with him and looking forward to doing more tracks in the future! L3: You have a very close relationship with your fans! The RRR nation is plenteous and worldwide but what I’d like to know is do any of them remind you of milestones in your career you may have forgotten, or do they inspire you to achieve new ones (milestones). SP: Well milestones are things that I always remember, and milestones are things that are known to me and not really to the general public. The major milestone for me, and funny I just spoke about it not too long ago, was back in 1996 or 1997, I wanted to get in to a Stone Love dance. I had 1 or 2 songs that were really hot out there, and Stone Love was playing the dubs and I wanted to get on stage to sing, and the line outside the venue was very long and I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to get on stage to perform before the bigger artists because if they did perform before me, I wouldn’t really get the chance to shine. I knew I would be more effective if I went on first and before a bigger artist so I jumped over the fence. A security guard caught me and held me by my shirt and was going to beat me with his baton, so I had to say ‘no, no, no, it’s me Sean Paul,’ then my crew (it was a group of us) said ‘it’s the artist Sean Paul … we couldn’t wait in that long line,’ and so the guard pushed me through to get to the stage. Once I did get to the stage it was a major thing.


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L3: There is one country that loves, supports and honors you. As a matter of fact, if they could, there would be a national ‘Sean Paul’ day, and that’s your fans in Canada! Why have they taken to you as much as they have?! SP: You know what, it’s amazing to me as to how that happened! I do have family in Canada which I think allowed my name to spread. My Grandfather left Jamaica and went over there with some of my Moms brothers and sisters and they started families there. I do have some cousins there but beside that point, I got my first break in international circles through places like Toronto. People like Kardinal Official who is half Jamaican he wants to bridge the gap too came to me with a chune called “Money Jane” and asked if I wanted to get on it and I said ‘definitely!’ It was a different kind of concept where money is my girl, but she treats me badly because she keeps leaving my pocket. The video that was produced was one of the first video’s I ever did, and from there, there was a big following from Canada! The song blew up in Toronto, then London, then New York and then Miami, and then it went boom everywhere in the world. Toronto had some of the first vibes for me for sure! Big up Canada!

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Things like that are big parts of my story and sometimes won’t get told, and then there’s my brother who is a major part of this to me; he writes with me and is a producer for me and he sometimes reminds me of things and I remind him of things as does my management. It’s great to be reminded. One day I’ll write my memoires of things that happened over the years. There are things that have happened that I want to share!

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On the other side, fans sometimes send pictures and I say ‘I do remember that’ or it brings back memories of things that has happened over the years both good and bad such as the “Get Busy” video shoot. This was crazy but basically the song at the time was the biggest song, #1 on the Billboard chart and a kid dies at the video shoot. They shot him right outside the video shoot and that was tragic to me. I kept saying ‘what the F&^% I’m making music for people to get together and feel good about themselves,’ and I walked past the dude fighting for his life and put a blanket over him. I don’t know him, but RIP to him. It was a tragic thing to me.

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There were no pictures taken, but it was a major thing. Back in the day there was no camera phones, Instagram, Twitter etc or even Facebook, but that was a major milestone because it proved to me that I want this … that proved to me that I was die hard to become known and I wanted the people to know who I was and who I am. Up until that time, a lot of people knew the songs, but they didn’t know who I was. Things like that, and for sure, no one on Twit-verse knows or has documentation of like that, but yet that was major.


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L3: The name of our magazine is L3 and each ‘L’ has a meaning. The first L is for Life, the second L is for Love and the third L is for Lyrics. What general advice can you give us about Life, Love and Lyrics?

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SP: Ok … something I say on Twitter everyday is give thanks for Life. I really mean it. Not because I don’t have anything to say, but when I’m Tweeting that, I’m going through the worst time. I’m cussing in my mind, I’m swearing; I want something to go the other way and it’s not happening and I’m pissed and vex. Then I bring myself to thinking I’m wasting my life by being pissed and upset. Let me go out and ride my bicycle and take a picture of the sun and Tweet it. It’s not only in the good times, not only when I’m bussing champagne do I give thanks. You have to remember that when you’re in situations that make you feel depressed, make your heart rate go up, not in a healthy position, saying ‘F&^%’ you to everything, I’m letting you know I’m going through some ish right now, and I tweet it OUT that you’re wasting your life if you stay in that place. Once you have life, you have you’re living. Before this you didn’t exist. There was nothing for you but God gave you the gift to come to this plane to experience and that is what life is about … the good and the bad. What I’m most reminded about is when I’m going through the bad and I realize don’t be pissed about going through the bad and see how you can make it better and give thanks for life. That’s the first one. Love is a very strong world; it’s a word that we use a lot which we shouldn’t. For example, ‘I love that or I love this’ when that is not the real meaning of what Love is supposed to mean. Love is giving, it’s never selfish … as in the verse in the bible (Corinthians) and I reflect back about it and say to myself we use that word too frequently right now and it doesn’t have that meaning … the overuse almost diffuses the string meaning of the word. Love is to be giving of yourself and unselfish. Lyrics now! Lyrics is a reflection of Life and Love and that’s how I see my lyrics … it’s not just rhyming. It’s a reflection of true situations and true experiences and that’s what it means to me to give lyrics. Sometimes when people give me lyrics and want me to say this and say that, I reply by saying I don’t want to because I don’t live it and I don’t love it … so it’s all related to me!

Connect with Sean Paul on Twitter >>> @duttypaul


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IN COMES THE SMALL AXE LLYY RR II CC SS

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JESSE ROYAL TRICIA ‘ ZJ SPARKS ‘ SPENCE

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s he approached me, one could almost see a halo around his body. Jesse Royal aka Small Axe (born Jesse David Leroi Grey) steps with a rude boy kinda swagga, but with purpose. The man who spent his early years in Maroon Town and Orange in St James (Western Jamaica) before heading to Kingston to join his father was here flashing a smile so wide and bright it was contagious. In school, Royal bonded with Daniel ‘Bambaata’ Marley (son of Ziggy Marley); that friendship deepened through their common passions of music and football. A close friend, Curt ‘Quban’ White proved to be of influence in the composition and creation of their own music; thus began their journey. When he returned to Jamaica, Jesse rekindled a relationship with high school friend and young producer Kareem ‘Remus’ Burrell (son of the late Xterminator label producer Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell); in no time, the two began to create and compose music as they had parallel views on the social state of


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TS: It’s such a pleasure watching you perform. First song I actually heard and played for you was ‘Light Like A Feather’, what was the inspiration behind that song? JR: Thank you. I appreciluv your love on a different level. It’s a humble people anthem. Sometimes, when you step through humbly and you use love as your shield and weapon, sometimes people take you light. I was trying to show people that though we are light, we are heavy. You know what people say, do not wake a sleeping lion. He might look at peace, but the moment you get him riled up, then that is where your problems begin. Bragadocious people won’t get it; it’s a humble people anthem. Humble people must also come to know their power. The minority is the majority, it sound funny eeh. They might call the poor the minority, yet we are so plentiful. We must know our powers. Look at it, elections are over and we, the minority are still facing a drought. I won’t call anybody’s name, but everybody have their eyes on the prize and not on the nation’s prize. TS: It’s such a pleasure watching you perform. First song I actually heard and played for you was ‘Light Like A Feather’, what was the inspiration behind that song? JR: Thank you. I appreciluv your love on a different level. It’s a humble people anthem. Sometimes, when you step through humbly and you use love as your shield and weapon, sometimes people take you light. I was trying to show people that though we are light, we are heavy. You know what people say, do not wake a sleeping lion. He might look at peace, but the moment you get him riled up, then that is where your problems begin. Bragadocious people won’t get it; it’s a humble people anthem. Humble people must also come to know their power. The minority is the majority, it sound funny eeh. They might call the poor the minority, yet we are so plentiful. We must know our powers. Look at it, elections are over and we, the minority are still facing a drought. I won’t call anybody’s name, but everybody have their eyes on the prize and not on the nation’s prize. TS: What I realize in speaking with you Reggae Warriors, who are a part of the Reggae Revival movement, is that you are all well spoken. Once upon a time when you ask a Rasta artiste a question they would give you an off-beat answer and you would ask yourself ‘what did he just say?’ I find that you Reggae Warriors are all pointed. JR: On a real basis you cannot speak about something that you do not know. We have to research if we want to teach.


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TS: Jamaica has a crab in a barrel mentality, yet you Reggae Warriors come together there is a sense of unity. Why do you suppose we cannot see more of this in Jamaica, when you as a subset make it happen? JR: Pride and ego get in the way. We the children, you can say we are young and naive (The Reggae Warriors) but we have seen that it makes no sense in fighting your brother. At the end of the day is a mission not a competition. If we don’t do what we are supposed to do, then it all goes in vain. It is not about exalting any man’s name, it’s not about me the individual, it’s about Jah works. We cannot see and act like we don’t see. If we see that the elders before us fought and it didn’t get them anywhere, then how can we sit and play the fool.

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TS: In listening to you, you seem not to be judgmental. You just assess situations and see it for what it is. Were you always like this or was it since you became involved in Rastafarianism that you started looking at life through this lens? JR: To me, no disrespect , but it’s not really an ‘ism’. That is one of my first overstanding as to why I got called to Rastafari. It’s because everyone kept saying that they are right. Everyone was saying they were right, but Rasta came and said we are the light. Is not like you are going to try and find every reason why everyone else is wrong, but rather to emanate why you are right; living in accordance with the laws of Nature and the Creator, whatever name you want to call him. The Creator knows what he is doing. If you check all the prophets, the mission is all the same, for example, love your brother like you love yourself, have no other God but the Almighty one, flee from sin, hate gets you nowhere, don’t touch your brother’s wife … they are just basic principles, whether your God is Mohammed, Buddha, Christ or whomever. If you ask me, even in Jamaican here, a lot of these Christians embarrass Christ, likewise a lot of youths who say they are Rasta Children embarrass Rastafari. Rastafari is about the light. Man was made to serve Jah while doing his earthly duties.

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TS: You mentioned hype earlier on and Jamaica is now seeing more glamour Ras than real Rastas, why do you think that is? JR: Because glittering things attract people. You can’t wrong someone for doing what they want to do. Everyone check life how they want to check it; when you take yourself out of the loop you will realize that that man is writing his story and he is what he is and will be what he is. Some people use the Reggae as a guinea pig, for whatever reason, when they really are using themselves. You must stand for what you stand for before you lay down.


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TS: How are you mapping or planning out your career. You don’t seem to be taking your career spontaneously? JR: I work on myself; my mentality, spirituality and physicality. It is all a oneness. From that comes everything else. You can plant a seed, anyone can plant a seed and it has the potential to grow, but oh what a joy when you mulch up the soil and water it and prune it. Care is important. I am not running down anything. I am just planting seeds and taking care. I am not running down anything, it is more about my message. My key message is getting my generation aware of themselves and knowing their power to the point where we can hold our Government accountable in the same way they hold us accountable. I am just trying to kick start consciousness in our generation. If I could draw, I would draw some things all over the place, but my skill is music and so music is the message. All inspiration for me comes from what I can’t see. My music is a mission.

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TS: JR:

You mentioned your physicality, do you exercise? Yes man regular, you have to be fit like a fiddle, I Jog, run, swim, play ball, table tennis,

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whatever you can do. Just like how you read a book to exercise your mind; you have to jog a couple miles to exercise your body and you have to read a couple Psalms to exercise your spirituality. Life is really a oneness, a consciousness. Not to stray, all it takes is consciousness. If every time my belly (stomach) growl I know that someone else’s belly (stomach) is growling, then I would know that even though I might see 10 ackee (a fruit that is a part of the Jamaican National Dish) on the tree, I could take 6 and leave four for that next person. Think about it, if the person before me didn’t leave any ackee on the tree, I would not have had any, but nowadays people are selfish and want everything for themselves. I don’t know if it is deliberate or not. You know though, we live in a world where neglect is prevalent so sometimes the little that some see sometimes make them run it down. TS: At the moment, Jesse Royal is working on? JR: The I Upful, I don’t like to call anything Bum. I gonna keep on creating music. I wish I could give you a specific date, but I can’t. Look at it this way, I couldn’t even tell you when I was going to be born so it is not a problem, it is just a reality. When it comes it comes and you won’t be able to run from it because when it comes it is going to slap you in your face. TS: What do you have to leave with the readers of L3 Magazine. JR: Love everyone else as much as you love yourself. Give a little, take a little, share a little. Life all comes down to fitting in the puzzle and knowing how you fit in. No puzzle piece by itself makes the puzzle so find out your role in the puzzle; your purpose. A purposeful life is necessary, bigger than sitting around on a corner side, drinking rum every day, smoking everyday or trying to make a next man rich. Find your purpose and you will see how beautiful you are, how beautiful you are. The purpose makes you beautiful, so find yours.

Connect with Jesse on Twitter >>> @JesseRoyal1


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NICHOLAI KHAN AND THE RED STAR MOVEMENT NATASHA VON CASTLE

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n the world of Nicholai Khan, ‘RED’ means ‘Realize Every Dream,’ and that’s exactly what Nicholai is doing with his life in Art. Going beyond the obvious realm of the physical, Khan brings spirituality, ancient ages and a better humanity to every piece he creates, and the people; art critics and art lovers alike can’t get enough of what he does. Speaking to Nicholai in his native Brooklyn, the artist walks us through his journey to canvass which in a way is more about spiritual awakening than about art … art has become the story board through which the awakening is told. If you are not a spiritualist, you would be hard pressed to pass on one of Nicholai’s pieces. Introducing Nicholai Khan…


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L3:

You are color! You are every color! When was color first introduced to you, and how did all of this; all of this art, come out?

NK:

I’ve always seen in color, even as a kid, but I always saw the world differently, even as a kid. My cousin Ryan can attest to that. He always called me a weird kid but I think the ‘weirdness’ is starting to work out right now.

L3:

One of the murals that most impressed me is the Bob Marley picture with the Lion. It’s almost like mouth to mouth resuscitation, but what really touched me about that picture is that Bob’s ear is so close to the water! Were you trying to say that that is the vibration he was bringing out to the world via the ripples?

NK:

The whole piece is about Bob Marley’s vibration and the balance between your negative and your positive. The Lion symbolizes your power and strength and aggression, and Bob is looking up at it like ‘I can’t be bothered with it [the power]’ and his hair has rain, and the rain does not touch the island that is just beneath his hair. The rain can’t even affect the beautiful sunset. Bob’s consciousness is based on these two polarities. He sees all the trouble in the world, but what he feels inside he needs to spread it. The energy in our body needs to last forever, and we’ve been transferring that energy for centuries.


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NK:

I believe in something so big, and I believe we are all included in that. The fact of the matter is that even though we are separate, we get to share our universes with each other. We’re all in our own little worlds, and then we get to share that. There is definitely something special about that. I studied with Monks in India, I’ve been to India, Egypt, Japan, I’ve been to ancient countries and what I found is that even though there is wisdom in all these different cultures, it’s really about your heart, and what you feel inside that matters. It doesn’t mean that anybody is right or wrong; in ultimate spirituality it doesn’t matter about right and wrong, all that matters is we know what we are doing in ourselves, and our soul will meet us half way. If you don’t see your soul then there’s nothing to see. You have to notice it first because it is already seeing you. Once you let go long enough, you can feel the reality and reality is vast, beautiful and magnificent. We’re living in it, and swimming in it.

L3:

Your art is a magnet, and the more people who feel that pull are the more people who are sucked in to you.

NK:

Many people have been doing this for centuries. They’re using their gift as voice to speak and to voice their opinions. I feel that there is a whole generation of great people who may not be heard and they are straight from the islands. As a Trinidadian artist, and I don’t know many Trinidadian artists, but I’ve never met a Trinidadian artist / painter, so I want all Trinidadians and all people to know that it’s not like how we thought it was as in ‘how are we going to make a living doing that.’ You can definitely make a living doing what you love to do, BUT! Your heart has to be in it and you have to be a Lion yourself and know in yourself that this is what you’re supposed to do and this is your destiny .

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Your spirituality, just looking at your art, seems to come out in your pieces. How does your spirituality influence your work?

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L3:


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L3: When did your fearless moment come to you? NK: Even as a quiet little boy, this was always in me. Even painting as a two year old little boy, I always knew this was and is my destiny to come to New York and be in the art world and make an impact. The road to that understanding is a lot longer, a lot scarier and a lot more tedious than anything but let me tell you, it’s worth the fight! It’s so worth it and it’s so good. I’m standing here with great people in my own culture. What’s ironic is the very place where we’re doing this interview is where I grew up … Avenue K! My Mother and aunts, my cousins … all of us were in a apartment trying to do right. The same family who supported me as in they kne I was weird but interesting are the same ones who say ‘oh this makes a lot of sense now!’ I’m so in love with the world, and I know the world is a crazy place, but if you delusion is positive, then what’s to say your delusion is not positive to a child looking at you! L3: Mediums! You can convert a brick wall, as easily as you can convert canvass, as you can convert a napkin into art! NK: I want to create on different things! It’s almost like we’re primal, and I saw that brocade, and I have to leave my mark on that; like there has to be a history here, like look at this and how it turned out. I want to express my different take on things and I want to share my reality with people. L3: Spray cans and paint, crayons, even pencil crayons … all those and more?! NK: Yeah! I am not afraid! We have a thing called ‘smash fear, learn anything!’ Literally we have to understand that fear is a hindrance and everything is possible. Fear is not a problem. It’s an understanding that ‘I can’t do things that way, so how can I do it?!’ It’s a drive and motivation and understanding that no matter what they say, it don’t matter!


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L3: You mentioned visiting some of the ancient cities and places; let’s take Japan as an example. What was the first art piece that came out of you after that visit? NK: It was a whole slew of pieces and they are a part of the Iconic art collection. After my pilgrimage, I started creating, and have to say that I have always been reading about Icons and studying spirituality. Spirituality was one way for me to get it, but I wanted to see how people lived it, and the reality is if you can balance living in this world and living in your spirituality like they did, it’s impressive and that’s what I wanted to touch on in the Icon collection. These are individuals coming from nowhere most of the time and they had a small inkling of a dream, and that dream built and built and built and they had people around who motivated them just like in my case. This collection is my way of saying thank you. Thank you guys for all the support; I feed off the love and I feed off the hate too (don’t even sweat it), but I give it back in a way.

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L3: Have you ever seen anything and said ‘no I have to put the Nicholai touch on this!’ NK: That’s a good questions and yes I have. There is a lot of things I want to put the Nicholai touch on. As a humanity, not even just as a people but as a humanity, it’s the things we create and the version of the world we create. I want to leave this version of the world cleaner than how it was when I came in to it.

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L3: Growing up, did you look at comic books? NK: Definitely! I looked at comic books, anime, everything. My aunt found a He-Man thing I drew when I was 4 years old, and he has 70 muscles that don’t exist but it shows you, even from then that I was learning and absorbing from my environment and was influenced by what I saw. I was like a sponge and learned at a rapid rate because I don’t have a fear of learning.


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Some people think I’m competing with them but I’m not and here’s the thing: even the person I’m competing with, or supposedly cause it’s creative competition, it’s actually not negative, it’s positive. It makes the other person fight hard, real hard, because they want that. We’re in New York so let’s face it, competition is everywhere, but what I get out of it is a genuine understanding of ‘I’m going to bring other people up too.’ It’s not a matter of this person is competing with me, it’s a matter that this person is in the same ring as me and we’re all in this arena. It’s the eye of the storm and where the chaos is which is what the red star represents. We’re in the eye of the storm, but we’re so centered, we see the chaos and sometimes we react to it, but the heart of the chaos is not in our hearts. I’ll take that and bring it out in positive energy. L3: After your trip to Egypt, what art pieces came? NK: Ouuu! I got chills when you asked that! Icon angels were created. I felt there were anges around us and things that we could not fully explain. There are things in Egypt that you can’t explain. Egypt is its own beautiful world and you find out things about Nefertiti and Hetsetsu and in that period of time, And a woman who had to disguise herself as a man, and rule the country better than any man could … that’s fire! That’s how we have to be in this world, so big that everything that’s supposed to not be you, becomes your motivation. You have to say ‘ok I’m not suppose to do this, but I’m going to figure this out.’ L3: You’ve done your pilgrimage and it comes out in your artwork. People are beginning to wake up and get on to your vibrational level and essence. Tell us about your first exhibit! NK: My first exhibit, when I decided to take my art career seriously, was in 2007 and it was called ‘Words can change a life, but a picture is worth a thousand words.’ It was held at the prestigious National Arts Club, and the gentleman who discovered me was Olden James, and he was one of the Fathers of the people who created the 80’s art movement, which was Andy Warhol, etc, and I was his last discovery. The things he taught me in that room when we first met I still hold with me. My first art show ever was very prestigious. Mother Theresa said she only found God once in her whole period of time. She said her whole life was dedicated to that one moment, and I get a lot from the moment that I had. I want to bring that moment to the Ashram, or the Market, or the City or the studio and spread Love.


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L3: Is there any genre that influences you more than the other? NK: If you listen to my playlist you would hear “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, and Buju Banton, and Eric Clapton and House Music etc. I’m a schizophrenic listening to music … I have just about everything and I love just about everything! L3: Future art exhibits?! NK: We have a huge thing in Philadelphia coming up and a I have a lot of solo shows. I’ll keep you posted! We also have a major event coming up with French Montana for Halloween so we’ll keep you posted!

Stay connected with Nicholai via www.nicholaikhan.com

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L3: Ok so we know about the energy you get from people, but tell us about the energy from music! NK: Oh gosh … my art can’t exist without good music! Marley says when the music hits you feel no pain and that’s so true!

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L3: As you meet more people, do you ever get energy from a person to the point that you begin to see art in that person? NK: Unfortunately all the time! I say unfortunately because sometimes my mind is flooded with all these different images. I have a photographic memory so sometimes I’m thinking about people when I should be doing something else so it’s a crazy distraction, but I see colors when I see people, I see flows and things like that.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH 106 L3 MAGAZINE | OCTOBER 2013

MOTIVE

HEIKIE DEMPSTER

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t doesn’t happen often, but once in a while an artist moves from Jamaica, to the Bahamas, and Reggae artist MOTIVE is one such artist. For those who are not familiar, I sit down with the artist on how he came by his name, how he’s living, and movements in the music…


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HD: M:

Where are you from and where do you live now? I am from the beautiful city of Kingston in Jamaica. I am from a little community called Denham Town, in western Kingston. Right now I live in Nassau, Bahamas, where I have made home.

HD: M:

What do you miss most about Jamaica? What I miss most about Jamaica, I would say, are the rivers. Jamaica has a lot of rivers and I can remember going to the riverside in St Mary where I spent a short period of my life and just stand under a waterfall while the water just beat down on me from above. I truly enjoyed that.

HD: Who is Motive? M: Growing up I have always been humble, respectful and had a slight touch of innocence. I would say Motive is a quiet and humble guy who loves music and uses music as a way to express himself. HD: How would you describe your music? M: Meaningful is the word I would use to describe my music. I believe in doing real music that people can understand and relate to as much as possible. HD: Tell us about your latest release please M: My latest release is called “Who Will it Be.” It is a song asking “will it be me or your friends?” In some relationships people are always trying to cause a rift between the partners. One is left to make a decision between the partner and the friends’ opinion, hence, the question “Who Will it Be?” HD: Are you currently working on an album? M: Yes. I am working on my very first album, which will be entitled “Motivation.” It will have all of my well known songs as well as never before heard new material. I am also working on collaborations with artists like Mdeez, Jaydak, 3C and S’voyce. HD: You have teamed up with Julio Hall of Sagini. How did the link come about? M: S’voyce and I crossed paths a few years ago at a studio session. We were introduced and since then he and I have kept the link tight and just started working together to bring forth good music.

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HD: What do you love about the Bahamas? M: I love that, just like Jamaica, the Bahamas is a beautiful country. I feel at home here and the Bahamas has become my home away from home.

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How did you come by the name Motive? The name Motive came about after going through a battle of the names. A good friend of mine pointed out my motivation, strength and passion I have for the music during a conversation a few years ago. The name Motive just stuck. LLYY RR II CC SS

HD: M:


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HD: Are you currently working on an album? M: Yes. I am working on my very first album, which will be entitled “Motivation.” It will have all of my well known songs as well as never before heard new material. I am also working on collaborations with artists like Mdeez, Jaydak, 3C and S’voyce.

HD: What are the obstacles you have to overcome as a young Jamaican artiste based outside of Jamaica? M: Getting the chance to record on some of the big riddims that are being released by the top producers from Jamaica. I am not there to make the direct link with them which affects my opportunities. It has gotten a bit better now through social networking. HD: Who would you want to collaborate with? M: It would be my greatest honor if I could get to work with Taurus Riley on a song. He is one of my inspirations in music. HD: What qualities do you value the most in people? M: Respect. I was raised by my mother and that is one thing she instilled in me, to always give respect and you shall get it in return. HD: What do you do in your free time? M: Family time is very important to me, so when I am not in the studio recording a song or writing a song I am spending time with my one and only son Shaquan. I play some video games with him or tickle his side. He enjoys that . HD: What do you have planned for the rest of the year? M: Just a crazy amount of work really. I hope to lock in a few performance gigs while producing new songs for release on a constant basis. I don’t believe in wasting time so I will be pushing out new songs on a regular.

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HD: How do you feel about the music industry in the Bahamas? M: I would say the music industry in the Bahamas is slowly growing. There is a lot of talent in the Bahamas but we need the opportunity to be recognized on an international level.

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HD: You enjoy making music for the ladies. Do you have a special lady in your life? M: That’s an on the spot question! (laughs) I am going to answer by saying that I am embracing the possibilities of life as they come.

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HD: You have teamed up with Julio Hall of Sagini. How did the link come about? M: S’voyce and I crossed paths a few years ago at a studio session. We were introduced and since then he and I have kept the link tight and just started working together to bring forth good music.


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L3 Magazine October 2013 No 025