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L 3 M A G A Z I N E . C O M | M AY 2 0 1 2


L 3 M A G A Z I N E . C O M | M AY 2 0 1 2






























ou may think you don’t know who Taya Marquis is, but we assure you that you do! You know Taya for several reasons: 1. Ke$ha, 2. Britney Spears and 3. President Barack Obama!

Although Taya grew up and went to school in Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto), she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. As a song writer and producer, Taya has worked with some of the most well known talents in the industry which has opened the door for her to

contribute on ‘minor’ projects such as “Make It To The Sun” which was donated to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Not too bad! We caught up with Taya prior to the Toronto International Music Summit in which the singer shared some insight on why she does what she does … so well! Introducing Taya!

L3: We learned that you wrote your first song at the age of 10 and also performed it. It takes a lot of guts to add the performance element. Are you fearless where music is concerned?! T: I used to worry about what people want and what they will think. But as I grew into myself more, I learned you can’t please everyone so yes, I became fearless when it comes to my music. At the same time, like many artists, I am protective of my creations. But when I’m confident in a song I let loose, hold nothing back, and do “me.” All I can do is hope that people accept it and love it because I can’t be anything else. You’re an upcoming performance artist as well as a song writer and producer. Is it ever challenging to balance the three, especially when dealing with other performing artists? It is challenging at times, especially writing songs for myself then writing songs for other artists. These are two very different things that are both equally important to me. But I love it, as they are both my passion so I make it work. One of the blessings to who you are is being able to perform at the Canada’s Walk of Fame ceremony in 2011! Do you appreciate being Canadian more now that you live in LA? I’m not living in LA at the moment. I moved to Toronto because I built a solid team here, but I go back to LA often for musical opportunities. When I’m there, I most definitely miss my Canadians! LA has always been the place to be for musicians and it still is, but I think the spotlight is turning towards Toronto now, especially with the success of Canadian artists like Justin Beiber, Drake and The Weeknd. I’m very proud to be Canadian.

In 2010 you let the Reggae-ish, Dancehall-ish side of you come out with the song One and Only which you co-wrote for Rayvon. How did that project come about? I work very closely with the producer Alikat from ABC Productions/Durrani Bros. He has done work for Snow, RZA, Justin Nozuka to name a few. Ali is an amazing person and producer. So when he asked me to be on the track, I jumped at the opportunity. I co-wrote my parts with Mikal “Mikz” Gonzales. The song was so much fun to write to because of the Reggae vibes. It was even more fun to perform it with Rayvon, who flew up from Jamaica for the show. While you attended Cawthra Park Secondary (Mississauga Performing Arts School), what was your instrument(s) of choice? I was a vocal major. If we gave you multiple fabric to work with, as in wool, yarn, silk, leather etc., based on your music, what would the finished piece of your creation look like, a coat, a blanket or a welcome mat?! Everyone might interpret it differently as some might see it as a welcome mat or blanket perhaps. I guess I see it as a coat ... sometimes a sexy leather or fur coat (not real) you would rock to the club and at other times a cozy cotton robe you wear at home after a hot bubble bath. You were selected as one of the artists to perform at the 2012 Toronto International Music Summit on May 26. Why do you think this is an important platform for you as an independent artist in Canada? The Toronto International Music Summit will be the perfect place for me to showcase the new songs I have been working on. There will be a mix of people, from industry professionals to music lovers alike. Which is why I’m going to perform a killer show (Taya smiles brightly)! What general advice can you give our readers on Life, Love and Lyrics? Live like you have nothing to lose. Take chances, because regrets are the worst (laughs). You know the saying “Love like you’ve never been hurt?!” I live by this, and fully trust in it. I’m a people person, and have never gone wrong by showing love. Most of us have the ability to write our own destiny. But the tools we use to write are different. Mine just happen to be a pen, pad, and a microphone. You have to find your tools and write the lyrics to your life!



remember a few months ago seeing an animated discussion on twitter over Justus and Jus Bus or something like that. Then I remembered, ‘oh yeah, there is a Jus Bus out of Antigua.’ Fast forward a few weeks, I get this song in my inbox titled “Kiss Me Girl” by Them Island Boyz featuring Jah Cure produced Jus Bus and Released by I-Swag Ent / Chosen Sounds / Offshore Music. I thought to myself, ‘here is this Jus Bus dude again.’ It was then that I decided to do some investigations. Some cool things popped up about him so I made the link with him on twitter and here begins the story of Mr. Nation. Yeah you read right, his name is Justin Nation. Here begins a riveting storyline. He and his parents move from Texas to St Croix, USVI when he was a lad, Father ups

and leaves Mom and son, Mom decides after the devastation of Hurricane Hugo and arise in crime to the island that it was time for a move … he floats between the land of a beach for every day of the year and Florida … years later Antigua is the canvas for Jus Bus’s fertile mind. We do the interview via Skype with Jus Bus quite relaxed and smack dab in the middle of a sofa. I wasn’t sure if that was his normal persona or if ethnic fatigue was working its way over his body (after all he did tell me he was going to be late because he had to eat). As we are about to start the interview someone walks in the frame, Jus Bus bawls out, hey Sparkie, this is Drastic one half of Them Island Boyz. You could just feel the camaraderie between them via the fibre optics.

TS: So how did the move from St Croix to Antigua affect you? JB: Well, I was young so I embraced it, life was often hard growing up in the islands. My mom was not very stable so we moved quite frequently. I’ve literally lived in almost every village in Antigua. (He chuckles) you know the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child” (We both laugh, I’m loving his sense of humor).

Nah. Actually the first person I saw really doing that years ago was a friend of mine who is also a part of our whole movement in Antigua by the name of Velvet, who happens to be a fashion enthusiast and upcoming stylist. On the note of fashion, do you have a favorite designer because I recently spoke to someone who told me if the clothes are not name brand they get serious allergies? (He blurts out) “WHAT!” No I actually don’t have a favorite designer. Once it looks good and I like it, I’ll wear it. After all, it’s not the clothes that make you, it’s you who make the clothes.

Somewhere along the lines, I have read that you used to climb mango trees and ride donkeys, man, didn’t people in Antigua wonder if this white boy was mad? Funny you should mention that, but, no yuh know. Actually, they were surprised at my dialect. You know, that’s how I got my name Jus Bus, I was in Villa a village just outside St. Johns City. I had gone to the shop and said to the store keeper “gimme a half bread and peanut butter.” And the guy next to me said “this yute jus bussssss!” Him talk like we” and the name just stayed with me; all my friends used to tease me. Oh I got 2 of your remixes today, the Usher Climax remix is banging, did you build the beat You actually taught yourself music, but you do quite a bit in Entertainment? yourself? Production and graphic design wise, I am firm with that. I only just started Actually, Walshy, Walshy Fire (he repeats for developing myself as an artiste, I would say, about 2 yrs now. I would al- emphasis) helped me. I do a lot of the technical ways write and demo hooks with artists I would produce and some would musical arrangements but his ear for sound and encourage me to sing but I never started taking singing seriously until song is impeccable and his opinions, ideas and I hooked up with Torsten Stenzel , together we produced a song called Creative Input are extremely sharp. So we al‘Sometimes I’ that features Long Time collaborator LogiQ Pryce we leaked it ways end up fusing some great music together. locally for feedback and the response wasn’t bad so we started our project from there. Over the past 3 weeks I have recorded 12 new songs that will How long did it take you? be added to the load of songs we already have recorded while working with It neva tek to long (by now you must realize Jus Adrian Zogortis, a writer from UK who was originally born in Kenya. (At the Bus flows between the English and Antiguan time of this interview, 3rd week in April, 2012). dialect. I laugh to myself and wonder if this is how Jamaicans sound to foreigners. You would So tell me a little about your upcoming album. have to hear him to understand, but it’s a syrupy The album is basically about my life story, what I’ve been through, not sing song sound). flashy tings or a bag ah woman or money and tings I don’t have. I sing about what I feel and what touches me the most. It’s a cross be- So how long have you and Walshy Fire known tween world music, retro, classic rock, some pop and a likkle bit of reggae. each other? I’m actually influenced by a lot of old music including ska, jazz, I love the We’ve known each other for quite a while. We 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s in terms of era’s of music – and my all time favorite did do a mix CD inna 2005 called “Street Bums” artist would be Nina Simone. Her story is amazing, all of what she went that ended up being an underground classic thru … she was very passionate in every song she sang. with reggae/remix collectors. I was doing remixes before I got involved in production (again So, I was looking at a video of you on youtube; ah, has anyone ever told you you hear him chuckling). Hey Sparkie, mi used that you dress like Farnsworth Bentley?! to sleep pan him sofa years ago when I was liv(He laughs hard) Ha ha. Noooo. It’s the bowtie thing right? I no longer wear ing in Miami after late night musical sessions bowtie, cause everybody and dem grandmother in Antigua start wearing so we like family. Anyways, back to the Usher them. remix. You know is 3 different version mi did try and it never connect cause I was using a crappy Did you come up with that? DIY a cappella that had all kinda interferences

nection with Diplo and Major Lazor that I was able to acquire a good clean studio a cappella and then we created something proper. Big up to Diplo as well cause the original was well produced which was done by him. The remix myself and Walshy did came out well and it has a real vintage reggae vibe with a big band feel. (I suddenly remember that for the last few times that I havecorresponded with Jus Bus, he is always near water, so I had to ask)What is it with you and fishing? Mi deh pan a island (I live on an island). You must end up fishing somehow (He laughs); especially, if you enjoy what’s around you. You know most times, I would just go sit on a hilltop. Hey Sparkie, actually you know when Jah Cure did deh ya (when Jah Cure was here), he end up ketch all a di fish dem (He caught all the fish). Di man all ketch a big fish take it up fi me tek a picha and it get weh and fly right back in the water out his hand (he even caught a big fish and was posing to take a picture and it got away [he laughs so hard]). Jah Cure is very down to earth and humble though it was a good fun. Him all extend him stay cause he enjoyed di vibes and di music we had ended up creating together (he even extended his stay because he was enjoying his stay and the music that we were creating here in Antigua so much). Speaking of Jah Cure, was that song with him and Them Island Boys (Drastic and B.V comprised the duo) planned? It neva planned at all (It wasn’t planned), but Jah Cure hear it and say the song wicked (Jah Cure heard it and thought the song was a wicked one) and so he became a part of it (listen to Them Island Boyz and Jah Cure collab and other Jus Bus works here What kind of response have you got to the Them Island Boyz and Jah Cure Song? It’s on Tempo, HYPE TV and a few other Caribbean Broadcasters are airing it. We don’t have a big budget, so we are happy for the good feed-

back and support we have received so far. The concept is sexy. Are Them Island Boys your artistes? They are not signed to me, but they are good friends and I’m one of their main producers. Actually, it’s three labels that cross promote each other that came together for the song; Offshore Music Ltd., ISwag Entertainment and Chosen Sounds Studio. We’re one big musical family at the end of the day. You also do work with Zj Bambino, how did you two meet? We met while I was in Miami, through Walshy Fire and Dolla Cham. I used to work with MPBC a printing and marketing firm and I met him when he came in. I used to do flyers with that company. We ended up doing music and the vibes was just great. We had and have good chemistry. He even opened up his home to me when things got hard for me. When he used to go to Jamaica, he would even make me house sit because there was a mutual respect and trust with each other. So is from dere that we build a natural relationship (it’s from that point that we started building a good relationship). To this day we still do work together. As a matter of fact, we have the GYAL SEASON riddim project coming up. It will be released in 2 parts. The 1st part is Boy Meets Girl and the next part is Gyal Season Extended. 1st set have male and female collaborators such as Trevor-Off-Key and Keida and Etana and Busy Signal and the 2nd set will have on solo artists from Jamaica and Antigua. Oh yeah, he made me hear it in private at his studio. That is a wicked riddim. Yeah, it came together nicely. So, when are you looking at releasing your album? It’s still a work in progress. I am still creating material and about to start some private rehearsals, I have to prepare for when I get LIVE shows and be ready. I am recording a lot of material so that I can have something substantive to shop to the Major Labels. If they don’t show any interest I will go Indie (Independent) but I like to do things right instead of rushing. A lot of people always say they don’t get recognition while at home, but they get it outside, is this the case with you? I am respected as a musician to a certain extent, but memba mi deh round di island long time (remember I have been around for quite a while). It didn’t happen overnight, I grew up on this island for over 17 years it took a while before people started catching on. It’s all apart of the game. I’m still not big yet, I’m growing. Mi nah watch dat still, dat cyan stop mi. (I’m not watching what haters have to say, I’m still grinding, nothing will stop me).

What’s a typical day for you? Music, music and music, but when I’m not doing music I go to the beach, watch movies or hang with friends. Music does bring a lot of things with it, like girls throwing themselves at you, after all you are not bad looking; are you in a committed relationship? No, I’m single because it is complicated when yuh put music first and u apply large amounts of dedication and sacrifice. Mi passionate bout music (I am passionate about music). Mi dedicate endless hours to music (I dedicate endless hours to music) so right now I can’t devote myself fully to a woman unless maybe I find someone in the same line of work or someone understanding enough. Time will tell but for now me jus ah focus pon di career. Tell me something about you that a lot of people don’t know! I love to fish! Ha! Alright you know that already. I love taking pictures. I have an artistic eye and photography has started opening new portals up in my mind in terms of creativity with every new image I capture. You have the look and sound, who would you want to work with? Adele, Joss Stone, Damian Marley. Bwoy, it’s going to be hard to get a chance to work with Damian Marley but hopefully in due time it happens, I met him and Julian Marley at Stephen’s (Stephen Marley) yard and that was through Bambino. Out of respect for Bambino, mi neva really push up the fact seh mi do music (out of respect of Bambino, I didn’t want to be too extra with the fact that I did music). Dem very irie though, was a great experience being there and around great musicians. In terms of producers, I would love to work with Kanye; he has a mad vibe and is very particular about details. A lot of people say Reggae is dead, what is your take on that? People are just frustrated and many people are going too far with crossing the genre and they forget the roots of the music. I don’t have a problem with the new sounds we just need a balance of the selections in di industry. Bambino and I are infusing old school elements with some of the new school. We are trying to keep it fresh. Reggae will be revived its surely isn’t dead. What advice do you have for L3 Magazine Readers on Life, Love and Lyrics? Music is life and life is music. Be true to yourself. If you love something, follow it no matter how hard it is. When you love what you do, not matter how hard it gets LOVE will take you through that process. No matter how hard music get, music heals me so I get through it. Even if I don’t eat or have to sleep on the floor, I do it because I love it. I did a 9 – 5 and made money, but it made me feel like a zombie. Stick to what you love. Eventually you will get somewhere. The interview is ending, but Jus Bus stops me and says “big up LogiQ Pryce aka Paradise Pryce. He is a great writer who is an island Hip Hop artiste that blends his experiences in life with his music. Mi cyan leave him out (I can’t not mention him). He is like my brother. Also Big Up to J. Omari Harrigan Who owns and runs Chosen Sounds Studio and Dolla Cham who has they have been a big help when it comes to development of me as a Producer and promotions as well!” Before we say our final goodbye he gives me a private hearing of some of the things he has been working on and one word to sum them up would be, AWESOME.


Ready to Play Mas! Jennifer Menster Toronto Carnival is one of the most celebrated events on the Carnival Calendar for North America. Attracting over a million visitors to the city each year, Mas, and playing Mas has become a hot ticket item! This year, Designer Martin Sealy has opened the Fantasy in Jewels section, and because of that opening, you can play Mas too! Not new to design, Martin has been involved in Mas since 1998. Some of the projects he’s been involved with include: Masquerade Trinidad 2002-2007 (producer), Cable & Wireless Barbados 2002 ( producer) XS energy St Lucia 2004 – 2007 and Trinidad and Tobago Dream Team Carnival - Safari section (designer). Because of this experience and passion for Carnival, Masqueraders will enjoy playing Fantasy in Jewels! Email Martin direct via:, or visit you can also call 416-948-1583that confidence in myself. Once the confidence is there, it becomes easier and faster to connect with the audience!


Canada's Leading Caribbean-Urban Magazine


Canada's Leading Caribbean-Urban Magazine