23 | THE VOICE JUNE 28 - JULY 4, 2012
David Ajala lands US TV role
Kerry Washington pregnant?
COVER DRIVE Bajan style
24 ! THE VOICE NOVEMBER 7 - 13, 2013
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS The rich and famous weren’t always that way. Here, we take a look back at their very early and modest CVs
GINA YASHERE Before she made a living making people laugh, the UK comedian was a lift maintenance worker. Glamourous!
WHOOPI GOLDBERG The American actress picked up cheques from her job as a mortuary beautician and bank teller before finding fame
KANYE WEST The outspoken rapper could be found in a US Gap store folding jumpers and serving customers. Can you imagine?
BARACK OBAMA The US President has come a long way since his days scooping ice cream at the popular Baskin Robbins chain
LEONA LEWIS Before rising to fame on TV talent show The X Factor, the UK singer made a living as a receptionist in a mortgage company
JENNIFER HUDSON The former American Idol contestant spent her days flipping patties at Burger King before an audition on the popular show changed her life
RICK ROSS The larger than life US rapper made money from behind bars - as a prison officer - before rising to stardom
BEYONCE Queen Bey wasn’t always so royal, before landing fame, the former Destiny’s Child star swept hair at her mum’s salon
KEVIN LYTTLE The Vincentian soca artist, who had a worldwide hit with Turn Me On in 2004, worked at the airport of his native island
P DIDDY The music mogul didn’t always spend his time in music studios; he spent his earlier years cleaning toilets in a Mexican restaurant
IAN WRIGHT The Arsenal goal legend wasn’t always the apple of football’s eye; he made his income by working in a factory
NICK CANNON The entertainment mogul spent his early years serving food at American fast food chain Wienerschnitzel
CHRIS TUCKER Much like P Diddy, the Rush Hour actor cleaned toilets for a living before landing worldwide stardom
Andile Justice Mkonto ANGELA BASSETT Bassett was a photo researcher at US News and World before becoming one of the world’s leading black actresses
JAY Z The music mogul has made no secret that before landing fame he was a New York street hustler
ANDILE JUSTICE Mkonto, 21, was raised in an impoverished South African township where gun crime and robbery was commonplace. The son of a single mother, Mkonto witnessed the death of his mother from HIV when he was just 13. Forced to drop out of school and start working to look after his younger brother, Mkonto defeated the odds and gained a place at the African Leadership Academy in 2009 – a top pan-African boarding school. Ever since, he has set focus on devel-
oping social projects to help the South African community. As the co-founder of the South African construction business called Get Active Construction and Projects, Mkonto employs and trains disadvantaged workers on how to build houses in the country. Mkonto, who studies at Hult International Business School, said: “Never fear failure. More than that, never define failure as the absence of success, for even in the greatest of failures lies an even greater success. One just has to realise it.”
ALESHA DIXON The Britain’s Got Talent judge worked in Ladbrokes, a British based gaming company, before quitting to pursue music
EVA MENDES The actress served hot dogs to passing customers at the popular Hot Dog on a Stick chain before becoming a screen siren
NOVEMBER 7 - 13, 2013 THE VOICE ! 25
Bajan quartet Cover Drive talk to YV’s Hazelann Williams about flying the flag for their hometown, growing up and why soca music is better than dance
USIC FROM t h e Caribbean has taken quite a battering from UK mainstream radio recently, who for one reason or another seek to limit its platform. However, one group refusing to be silenced is Bajan band Cover Drive. Consisting of four friends; Barry ‘Bar-Man’ Hill, Amanda Reifer, Jamar Harding and T-Ray Armstrong, the group have garnered substantial success in the UK with their number one hit Twilight and debut album Bajan Style. After a year-long break ‘back home’ in Barbados, Cover Drive are back in the UK for their nationwide tour and to prepare for the release of their anticipated EP Limin in Limbo. Very much full of West Indian passion, the band say they will always choose soca and reggae over dance music. “We get the pressure to do dance music a lot,” says lead
singer Amanda. “But that’s something we won’t compromise on. We are who we are, our stuff is about being real and reggae music is probably the most popular music around the world. Caribbean music will always find a way, even if you change stations or you try to shut things down it’s still going to find a way because it always has. It’s something you can’t get rid of.” Band member T-Ray, the group’s drummer, agrees saying although dance music has an ever-growing fanbase, he doesn’t believe Caribbeans can connect with the the popular genre. “Ultimately, we [Caribbeans] dance differently, we can appreciate dance music and its place in the clubs, but we can’t connect with that music or the jump up and down, fist in the air thing. We move with our hips.” When asked about other wellknown West Indian artists who have taken a more European approach to their music, the
Lick Ya Down hitmakers all agree that experimenting with other sounds is part and parcel of the music business, especially when trying to reach a larger fan base. “I don’t think it’s wrong for any artist to experiment and try different things,” Amanda explains. “But it has to be connected in some way to your previous sound. We have some songs that are more pop than they are reggae or soca but you have the influences somehow and that’s what’s important, especially if you want to reach a new generation with your music. You have to come to them with what they know, without going too far out. [Dancehall artist] Sean Paul does it very well, his voice is his brand, he is doing dance tracks but his delivery is still full on Jamaican.” Laughing, T-Ray adds: “I don’t think he could ever sing anything in full-on English.” It is easy to forget that Cover
Drive consists of four young 20 somethings, considering their mature persona. And yet, according to the group, they have done a lot of growing up in the last year, which is reflected in their up-coming release. “We’ve experienced a lot of things,” says T-Ray. We were just kids from Barbados when we first came to the UK.” Amanda adds: “We were island kids, we hadn’t experienced city life, we hadn’t a care in the world. That life was carefree and our album represented that. The songs we’re writing now still have that feel-good element, because that’s what makes Cover Drive, but we have been through things like heartbreak and other stuff. We’ve incorporated it into the music in a more mature way.” A part of growing up is moving away from home and spending a lot of their time touring the world. The group admit that they often get homesick and often miss their muchloved Bajan lemonade. But they are forced to draw comfort in the fact that unlike many solo stars travelling the world alone, they have each other. Right? Well, according to Amanda, one of the hardest things to deal with when you are in a band is the arguments. She reveals that the quartet argue like all flat mates about regular things like the dishes and laundry, but she also says that being friends has kept them together.
“We do everything together, it’s weird when we’re not together,” Amanda explains. “It first started with us spending everyday at T-Ray’s house, where the band rehearsals were and then when we came to London we lived together and we’ve been together every day since. But we do fight every day, in little ways.” “I was quarrelling with them this morning because I’ve cooked every day since we’ve been here but there are dishes in the sink and they argue over who’s going to do the dishes, and I’m like, ‘are you kidding me? You can’t just wash the dishes?’” T-Ray interjects: “Yesterday I found out the socks I had been looking for, for three weeks were on Jamar’s feet, my 20 dollar socks! But we’ve been
living together for the past three years and it’s brought us closer together.” Like their favourite band, No Doubt, Cover Drive say they won’t split up. There will, however, be times when they pursue solo projects but the band will always be a base they come back to. “We see ourselves as friends forever,” says Amanda. “We see the band forever, we do, but we know that at some point someone is going to want to do different things. I know the guys are into production but despite the solo things we might do, the band is still the core of whatever we do, it will always exist.” Limin in Limbo will be released on November 11. For more information visit: www.wearecoverdrive.tumblr.com
The British actor has landed a role in upcoming US TV series The Black Box, set to hit screens next year
The US actress is reportedly four months pregnant with her first child
BUFF OR BUSTED?
I’ve been seeing this boy for a few months now, but I recently found out that he has been seeing my friend behind my back. My friend ‘came clean’ to me a few days ago because she felt bad and said she didn’t want to deceive me any more. She has proof on her phone about their relationship and showed me everything – pictures, text messages and Whatsapp messages. I no longer talk to her, but haven’t confronted my man about it. I love him so much and don’t want to lose him, but I fear he’ll continue to cheat. What should I do? Anon
I’m sorry to hear this. You have every right not to talk to your friend in light of her revelation, but is it fair not to treat your man with the same contempt? After all, he deceived you too. I find that with a lot of women, they tend to blame the other woman when their man cheats and rarely call the man to question. He did wrong too! My advice to you would be to ask your man whether the claims are true. Even though you are armed with an abundance of proof, let him admit his indiscretion. If he denies it, you’ll find another unfavourable trait – he’s a liar too! I know you love him, but do you want to spend the rest of your relationship looking over your shoulder? If he feels the same way about you, he will work hard to win back your trust. In a nutshell, my advice would be to confront him.
BUFF JENNIFER H Hot Hudson
The Luther star reportedly suffered an asthma attack on board a plane ahead of a red carpet appearance
The US rapper was forced to postpone his Yeezus tour in North America following serious damage to stage equipment
TWEET OF THE WEEK Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong took to Twitter to claim that club boss Arsene Wenger would only put him in the starting line-up if he were “white and English”. He later deleted his post.
MARIAH CA REY: Just no!
"Sometimes I wish I was white and English #realtalk." Frimpong
26 ! THE VOICE NOVEMBER 7 - 13, 2013
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