Contents Issue 9| June 2012
Cat Coore Remembers Dad David Hilton Coore
Portrait of the Artist Kim Nain
Father’s Day Gift Ideas Under & Over $100
drenna Luna: The June Bride
Meet U.S. Virgin Island’s Own Jahman
Top 10 Caribbean Moments in American Music
Mr. Hapilos AKA Johnny Wonder
The Teddy Bears
DJ Paul Michael: Dancehall Ambassador
Hot Summer Vibes Must Have Accessories
Where Have All The Father’s Gone?
I-Octane “When recording for this album, I was in a mind frame to create a master piece. I wanted to create an album that was timeless and would make my fans proud.” COVER PHOTO CREDIT
PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephanie Foxx
Editor’s Note A SENSE OF PLACE It is gloomy today and as I stand on the 36th floor of the UBS building peering out onto Central Park, I can’t help but ponder the direction of the magazine. The other day I sat down at my desk and flipped through every single issue beginning with the first. Gosh, to think three more issues and then we’ll be celebrating our first year. It is quite uncanny that we embarked on this journey and have gained the seal of approval from the very people we created it for. I am quite happy about that – actually the entire team is happy. Well no time to pat ourselves on the back. We have hard work ahead and like the past issues, we try to make the next that much better. Last month we celebrated Mothers and here we are doing the same for the men who have touched our lives, our Dads. One of the things I love the most about the Mag is that we get to celebrate so many milestones with you. It’s our pleasure, really. So let me cut to the chase then. June 2012 – we have my friend and client, I-Octane on the cover. He is a hoot! When I sent an email requesting him for the cover, of course he said yes. He’d better. . .I am milking my business/personal relationship with him for all it’s worth. But very graciously, he did agree though he was entrenched in his European tour. I am grateful! And what started with a simple request has resulted in a very intimate interview that is honest and down-to-earth. I sense he’ll be calling to ask a favor soon and I’ll be happy to oblige. Afterall, he is my friend. While I take the lead on choosing who we feature on the cover, my team tells me who should be featured in the magazine and I don’t mind one bit. So this month Shanz, Jo, Mikelah, Vic, Raine and Malaika have put together features that include, reggae songstress Kim Nain, USVI artist Jahman, Paul Michael, the Teddy Bears and Johnny Wonder of 21st Hapilos. Additionally, we have a featured article entitled, “Top Ten Caribbean Moments in American Music” which is amazing. I never knew Chris Blackwell’ Island Records was credited with the discovery of Grace Jones, U2 and Melissa Etheridge. Wow, thank you Raine Martin. Also, Drenna Luna is back with amazing designs from their collection and then there are our gift ideas for Dad. By this time I hope you are eager to view the publication each month. We are certainly eager to bring it to you. And while we forge ahead, we promise to improve the content and keep you entertained and educated. Until next time, stay focused and Happy Father’s Day to all.
Your Editor-in-Chief Editor@TripleTheFocus.com
A FATHER FOR ALL SEASON Some years ago, my father gave a plaque to my Mom that said, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Then I was a child and didn’t quite understand it. But now I understand completely the importance of that very statement. For 35 years, my Father has loved and provided for my Mother. Growing up to see that love and respect has enriched my life in ways that I don’t think I could adequately describe. Let me be honest, if for some horrible reason my parents separated my world would never be the same. Their togetherness is something that I cherish - it’s part of our family make-up. I take pride in that. At this very moment, my Dad is holding my hand through a very difficult time in my life. This has not always been his role – I typically run to my Mom instead of my Dad. But for some reason, I felt like I needed his strength and so here he is being my Father! My Dad is the disciplinarian. From birth he set the bar really high when he told my Mom I would be the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica. Well considering the fact that my name is not Portia Simpson Miller, I guess Dad and God had differing ideas for my future. Nonetheless, I think I have made him very proud. Willie, as he is affectionately called by friends and family, is the oldest of ten children. His presence is very commanding and intimidating at times – wearing a smile is not common. But below that rough exterior is a gentle, kind, caring and loyal human being. But cross him and you will live to regret it. He is by far the only person that can make me cry with one singular look. And that is not because of fear but because of respect. He is from an era where children are to be seen and not heard and girls should act accordingly. Though a grown woman now, there are certain things I dare not do in the presence of my father. I still have to watch the tone in which I communicate, be seen and not heard and conduct myself in a ladylike manner. That’s not hard because that’s the way I was brought up. But the apple does not fall far from the tree – I have a very low tolerance for foolishness and I pity the fool who crosses me. I am my father’s daughter. I love my Dad as much as any human being can love another and this is why. When I was 10 years old, my Dad left Jamaica to work in Connecticut on a farm picking apples. Through the heat and the cold, he endured a great deal to make a better life for me and my Mom. Calloused hands, split cuticles and weight loss were evidence of his hard work and determination. Before long my Mom and I joined him here in the US and the hard work continued. With two jobs, my Dad put me through college and gave me my first car. I cannot envision a world without my Dad. Both my Mom and Dad are more than my parents - they are the very essence of who I am as a person. They are the ones who pray for my well-being, my going out and coming in. The admiration I have for my Dad as my father is not where it ends. He is a great husband to my Mom. With almost 35 years together, they have weathered some pretty bad storms and are still standing. Theirs is a love that I want to have when I grow up. My father, Hubert Williams is a Man! He is an upstanding citizen, a hard worker, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend and a tremendous father to me. I love him, I respect him, I thank God for him and I live to make him proud. The greatest gift, other than life, that God has given me is my Dad and my Mom! Happy Father’s Day and thank you for being, my Dad! Issue 9 | June 2012 5
STACEY BETHEL Editor in Chief Creative Director: VICTOR E. LEWIS Art & Content Director: MIKELAH ROSE Public Relations: MICHELLE GAYLE Business Relations: NATASHA P. DUNN Photographers: CHAMPION HAMILTON | AJAMU MYRIE Graphic Designer: RUPTION DESIGN STUDIOS Beauty: RENEE BAPTISTE | KRYSTLE KAREE MAKE-UP Contributing Writers
Shantell “Shanz” Hill Jody-Ann Williams Stephen “Cat” Coore Rev. Dr. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine Raine Martin Malaika Lepine
ABOUT TRIPLE THE FOCUS Triple the Focus is a Music, Entertainment and Lifestyle E-Magazine published monthly. Released October 5, 2011, the goal of the E-zine is to provide a platform for industry insiders that will assist in connecting them with their fans on a more personal level. With behind the scenes photos, exclusive interviews, fashion and lifestyle tidbits, Triple the Focus is the brainchild of Triple 7 Entertainment LLC’s, a PR firm, CEO Stacey Bethel (nee Williams), who serves as Editor in Chief of the Magazine. Creative Director, Victor E. Lewis is the CEO of VicRae, Inc. whose clients include Actor, Leon, Third World Band, Jadine – Soca Diva and more. Art & Content Director, Mikelah Rose has worked for JAMROCK Magazine, VP Records, TEMPO Networks and has her own blog, Style & Vibes. For more information, email info@ triplethefocus.com.
Email: Info@triplethefocus.com Phone: 201-981-6960 (US) 876-475-5841 (JA)
Follow us: @TRIPLETHEFOCUS Issue 9 | June 2012
Art & Content Director’s Note GREAT FATHERS ARE OUT THERE All too often you hear about the statistics of dead beat dads in the Black community (yard or abroad), but I see so many great fathers who ARE raising their children, or at the very least attempting to. To them I say “Ignore the stats and keep raising your little ones and continue to be an example so that the next generation will see more fathers actively present.” My parents divorced when I was just a baby. I am the product of great co-parenting! My older sister and I grew up with my mom. Although I have never lived with my dad, he was always there every step of the way; he was notorious for surprised school visits with my teachers. I act like him too. I’m loud, opinionated and have the “I’m always right” attitude; which is why we disagree sometimes, but we have always had a great relationship. Through him I’ve learned about the value of money (When I was 12 my summer reading entailed a Merrill Lynch investment book), the idea of being an entrepreneur (my dad is a computer consultant) and most importantly lessons on how to get back up, when you get knocked down. For my dad, nothing is ever good enough and it pushed me to become better. That drive, passion and fire in me comes from him. Thanks Daddy! With this issue we’re not only paying homage to great fathers, but heating up the Summer with exclusive features that you can’t find anywhere else! Reggae singer I-Octane gives us an in-depth look at his life as a rising musician. I-Octane’s steady journey sets a great example for young artists coming up about being humble and consistently rising to the occasion. I remember hearing the name Johnny Wonder for the first time (sounded like a super hero’s name) back when I did college radio and he sent e-mail blasts with new music. His continuous grind is an interesting story, and he’s all about elevating the dancehall music industry. Raine’s 10 greatest moments in Caribbean – American Music is fitting for Black Music Month & Caribbean Heritage Month. drennaLuna’s bridal fashion feature is a take on traditional wedding gowns with simplistic Caribbean flair. And what do Kim Nain and DJ Paul Michael have in common? Both pursued their dreams in the music industry while continuing to receive their education (Nain is pursuing a law degree, Michael has an MBA in Global Business Leadership) and who are the Teddy Bears? We’re jam packed with great features this month! I’m looking forward to a great summer filled with more exciting exclusives to share.
Your Art & Content Director
THE PLACE TO STAY
S PA N I S H CO U R T H OT E L 926.0000 1 St. Lucia Avenue, Kingston 5, Jamaica www.spanishcourthotel.com
DAVID HILTON COORE
MEMBER OF THE FRAMERS OF THE JAMAICA CONSTITUTION, FIREBRAND ATTORNEY, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, MINISTER OF FINANCE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, LEGAL AFFAIRS AND ATTORNEY GENERAL. A LIFE OF SERVICE TO JAMAICA, THE LAND HE LOVED!
By Stephen “Cat” Coore It is with a sense of honor and pleasure that I have been given the opportunity to write about my parents for Triple the Focus. I must admit it’s not easy given the incredible people they were. This is not a matter of some overzealous son trying to prop up his Dad and Mom. On the contrary, the facts speak for themselves. My father was born in a small town near Montego Bay called Anchovy in 1925. His parents were Ethlin and Clarence Coore. Ethlin was a Hilton hence the middle name and was from a famous farming family of that area. My grandfather was a Reuben officially and Jewish but was adopted by the Coore family of St. James and became Clarence Reuben Coore. From a very early age David showed he was no fool and when time came for him to go to school, Ethlin in particular was adamant that David go to the best prep school that they could send him to. The problem was that the school in question was almost seven miles away and Clarence not owning a motor car at that time or a donkey would have to walk David to school and walk back for him in the evening. This being a mammoth task, Clarence decided to teach David himself. This was a great move on his part as David won the one scholarship awarded to the parish of St. James and won that to attend Jamaica Collage, one of the three most prestigious schools to this present day in Jamaica and a school with quite an alumni such as Norman Manley, his sons Michael and Douglas, Bruce Golding, Dr. Peter Phillips, Haldane Coore - David’s brother and a celebrated professor of medicine - and a plethora of tremendous Jamaicans who have a history at Jamaica College. While there he met his life-long friend and one of the greatest leaders the world has seen, Michael Manley. Not that I feel everything Manley did was right but I do feel however he was a tremendous leader and one
of the great orators of our time. David was a student par excellence and from early in high school showed a brilliance particularly in his competence of the English language and his debating skills. He was no slouch in any subject and in 1942 won the Jamaica scholarship - this would be as prestigious to a Jamaican as the Rhodes scholarship which my uncle Hal would win seven years later. He first set out to McGill in Montreal where he studied economics and started his legal studies, however sensing that law was what his absolute passion was he moved to Oxford in England where he attained his law degrees and Temple Hall where he completed the bar. It was there he and my mother Rita were married and readers will remember in my last article in the May issue of Triple the Focus about my Mom I highlighted those times. David on his return to Jamaica joined the Peoples National Party (“PNP”) and served that party with every drop of mind, body and soul until the day he died. He was highly inspired by another great of our time, Norman Washington Manley, father of Michael Manley. One of, if not, the most brilliant lawyer the Caribbean has ever produced, when one considers that Jamaica has produced lawyers such as David Coore, Ian Ramsey, Frank Phipps, Percival Patterson and so many others, it’s a testament to how great Manley was and what an inspiration he was to not only Jamaica but the entire Caribbean. Manley led the PNP and was one of the most important architects of our independence along with Sir Alexander Bustamante. Busta as he was affectionately called was an incredible personality and a magnanimous leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (“JLP”). David first got into the legislature in 1959 and it was there he served as one of the framers of Jamaica’ constitution, perhaps his most celebrated achievement. All the framers are now gone except the RT Hon Edward Seaga, another mammoth Jamaican patriot and former Prime Minister. David won his
first political seat in 1967, a moment I personally remember as we all gathered around the radio to hear the results and cheered when it was announced he had won. However the PNP did not win, Busta’s JLP handed them a rocking defeat and Busta was returned as Prime Minister - a position he held from 1962 when he became Jamaica’s first PM after independence. During these times David pursued an incredible law career. He won twice at the Privy Council and was defender in many famous cases, the Nasralla murder case being one in which the laws of the country were affected by the outcome of that case. His legal attributes can be seen on line for all those who dare the time to digest. I have even been approached by people who tell me, “I used to go to the courts to listen to your father speak.” This was the mind that David Coore possessed.
In 1972 the PNP were given a landslide mandate and formed the new government under the leadership of Michael Manley. David was given the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. He served with reasonable success for the first five years, a time in which the PNP struggled to define its own house, socialist, democratic socialist - some were not quite sure and due to the radical movement which he was only on the periphery of he came to serious differences with some of his comrades, as they refer to themselves and Manley his dearest friend in 1976 fired him under pressure from radical elements within the PNP. Without an evil word to the press regarding his dismissal, David left quietly and was immediately hired by the IADB in Washington and departed Jamaica. However in 1989 when Michael Manley invited David to return to a far more moderate and sane political playing field, his love for the PNP reared its head again and he returned to serve as leader of the Senate and Minister of Foreign Affairs. There he served with distinction as it was right up his alley and suited his temperament and dignity. Sadly, David lost his dear friend Michael Manley to cancer in the mid-nineties and this was one if not the only show of emotion publicly I ever saw of my Dad outside the death of my Mom and my first Step mother Myrth, who both died very young. He actually shed
a tear while delivering the remembrance, quite a special moment we all remember. He continued to serve under the PJ Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller led administration right up until the time we found out he was suffering with a cancerous condition of the stomach, this however did not bring his demise, but because he was severely weakened by all the treatments he succumbed to pneumonia on November 14, 2011 in Santo Domingo where he was living with his fourth wife Maria. As a family man he was equally wonderful, always a positive way out of every problem and he held you as a family member to a level of responsibility. With just a sharp look at you, you got the point, never mind trying to out argue him if he thought you owed the family one, you gone. His voice lives in my mind and my heart forever. He had a tremendous sense of humor and I will sight two examples. Once I took a friend to seek advice on a family matter regarding a will. After listening he said to me, “well you know Steve where there’s a will, there’s a relative.” Prime Minister Patterson at Dads funeral said, “David one day questioned a boisterous colleague as to when he would be speaking. In his worst patois the colleague replied, TIRD meaning third. Dad said to him I didn’t ask what you would be speaking I asked when you would be speaking.” He nurtured me, my brothers Ivan and Mike to always be kind and courteous, always to have the best values at hand no matter the circumstance and to deal with criticism with humility and not reproach. I rarely heard him raise his voice to any of us especially Rita and never to anyone who worked at the family home. In parliament he was eloquent and non-confrontational. The RT Hon. Edward Seaga spoke on the radio shortly after his passing and this was one of his comments that touched the Coores, “Mr Coore was a man of dignity and said what he had to say without contempt for those he disagreed with. I always found him a worthy opponent.” We will always remember Dad in every way we knew him, sometimes I find it hard to believe he is gone and that won’t change for a long time. Blessup!
Photo Credit: Garvn Gray
Issue 9 | June 2012 11
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST,
KIM NAIN By Jody-Ann Williams Kim Nain is a 23 year old Jamaican singer/songwriter, who is taking strides in the music industry. Her talent is apparent – just listen to her debut single “Angel” on the Heaven Riddim that is sure to captivate and leave you in a musical trance. Her commanding and entertaining stage presence has been described as the new age Toni Braxton fused with Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson with a hint of Rihanna. Her musical background was influenced by her active involvement in the Arts while attending St. Jago High in St. Catherine, Jamaica. She excelled academically and always had the leadership role in any club or society. And while she had her choice of any academia, it is her experience with music and creative mind that sparked her passion. “To me, music is my way out for almost every situation. It’s how I communicate with the world and myself.” Though music is her passion, Kim is not without a back-up plan. She wears many hats - she’s a model, hostess, actress, make-up artist, trained teacher and law student. This multi-threat has no intentions of easing up, which is great for fans and label executives who have their eyes glued on her progression. And while waiting, get to know more about this rising star. Has music always been a part of your life? Ever since birth! My father was a member of the Jamaican Folk singers back in the day and my cousin Jermaine Edwards has paved his way in Jamaican Gospel music. I also have a few other family members who are musically inclined. My family plays a great influence on my love for music and the arts in general. Who are your musical influences and why? I definitely am influenced greatly by the late great Whitney Houston as well as soulful Toni Braxton and Christina Aguilera. I admire the soulful element of each artiste, you can tell they sing from the heart – this is the part of my music I wish to work on the most because I want my listeners to feel exactly what I’m feeling. How do you balance music and being in Law school? I am not the best person when it comes to planning but I think my love for music is the reason I’ve been able to handle both school and my art at the same time. I’ve had days where I’ve stayed up two or three nights in a row to get assignments done so I can make that show or studio time I booked. I’m not sure what my sanity would be like if I ever gave up music. Are you involved in any other aspect of music? With Law School I’m pretty exposed to the legal aspect of the media and entertainment industry as a whole through my studies. Also I used to attend piano classes for a while but I had to give it up after grade 2 so I could have more time to focus on school and my music. I’m interested in learning how to use Protools but I may have to wait a while for some free time to really take it on. Do you have any favorite tracks that you’ve recorded? YES! So far my favorite track to date would be “Love Lockdown” produced by Jus Easy Productions on the Fatal Attraction Riddim (a really hot one
drop). I should release it during the summer and trust me it’s HOT! Also I’m gonna work on doing a video for this track. What projects are you currently working on? Currently the aim is to build up my fan base because I’ve been unable to do so in full because of my hectic schedule with school and all and doing it on my own. I have a new single “Love Lockdown” to be dropped this summer as well as a dancehall track produced by U.I.M productions on the Flirt Riddim. There will be other singles and one in particular is a surprise but I’ll buss you on that one a little later on. Which mainstream/underground artist are you currently listening to? Recently I’ve become hooked on Rihanna, Jessie J, Elle Varner, Melanie Fiona and Bruno Mars. Then again I’ve always been a fan of our very own Damian Marley. What Genre of music is your favorite? I’m an R&B junkie but I also love really good hip hop but I can’t ever leave out my awesome reggae! Ipad or Kindle? I don’t have either I’m still stuck on Mr. Gates’ stuff! I’m not a huge fan of the Ipad because I would prefer to use the Mac Laptop rather than the Ipad. The Kindle I’d definitely have more use for though I don’t usually have time to read books outside of my books for study but It would enable me to get more reading done whenever and wherever. What’s your favorite thing to do outside of music? EAT! Well, haha, eating, partying and going to the beach with friends. Hanging out with family, I also do love outdoor activities sometimes like cycling and hiking and such – maybe If I wasn’t so lazy I’d do more of it. What can’t you live without on a day to day basis? My Blackberry – Hands down! Facebook.com/Kim Nain, Twitter: Kim_Nain, Youtube: Kimnainmuzik MySpace: Music: kimberlynain Issue 9 | June 2012 13
Father’s Day Gift Ideas 10 GIFT IDEAS UNDER & OVER $100 Simply because he is the man you respect, love and admire. Give him something that says, “Dad, thank you for being the best Dad I could ever ask for.” Classic Plaid Silk Tie $49.50 Bananarepublic.com
The Sharper Image – Rechargeable Wine Opener –Stainless Steel $29.99 Bestbuy.com
Crying to the Nation Album by I-Octane, Amazon, $8.99
Bluetooth Handset and Charging Station $99 Neimanmarcus.com
Burberry Twill Enamel Cuff Links, $195, Saks.com
Emporio Armani Chronograph Watch, $445, Saks.com
iPod Touch, From $199, Apple. com
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H90 16.1 Megapixel Digital Camera $217.99
KeyPad Ultra for iPad, $150 neimanmarcus.com
Shawn sunglasses $63.00 Bananarepublic.com
Issue 9 | June 2012 15
FROM STAB VAMPIRE TO CRYING TO THE NATION
IS LARGER THAN LIFE by Stacey Bethel
name is synonymous with hit singles “Lose A Friend,” “My Life,” “Puff It,” “Mine Who Yuh A Diss,” and a laundry list of others. And through his music, he is known around the world but that is just a small portion of who he is and what makes him tick. To get a handle on who he really is, one has to go back to when his stage name was Richie Rich and used to record hardcore dancehall tracks. But if you poke around even further and peel away the musical layer what is revealed is a young man by the name of Byomie Muir, born and raised in Clarendon. Far from Uptown, silver spoons and hoity toity affairs, he has endured hardships that only one who has gone through it themselves can understand. He took on the role of “man of the house,” helping his mother raise his brothers and sister. And though he did so without complaining, his mother saw his potential and encouraged him to work hard at school, teaching him the importance of education. While he did apply himself scholastically, he thought about becoming an architect, it was the call to music that he could not escape. With a few years prep work, like a diamond in the rough, I-Octane emerged and like a much needed breath of fresh air, this musical prophet has catapulted to stardom. With a sense of purpose – if you will – he has stepped up to the musical plate and hasn’t disappointed. I was first introduced to IOctane when I was approached I think in 2009 to do some PR work for him. By that time his music was finally getting the attention it deserved. Along with Ronnie and Dev, I assisted with his New York promo tour. It’s all hazy to be honest, with the exception of my first meeting with Octane. It was October and we had a press conference at Negril Village hosted by Pat McKay of Sirius XM Radio. The impeding snow storm threatened the cancelation of the press conference but we went ahead with it anyway. I remember Octane walking in and just glad and relieved that his fans and media outlets had shown up. With about 50 or so people in attendance, he performed as though there were 1000 people in the
room. He was warm, approachable starry eyed and suspiciously wonderful. Though is talent left an indelible impression on me, it was his humility that has since stayed with me. Two years later, ask him my name and I am not sure he could tell you. To him, I am “publicist.” I don’t mind – I smile every time he says it with that boyish grin. In the simplest of terms, I admire him. He is not difficult to work with – well maybe a little (I am sure I’ll get a call about this little dig). And that’s because he knows exactly what he wants and with him there is very little compromise as it pertains to his career. And that is fine by me – I understand! But this is what I want people to know – this is the important stuff - far beyond the artist, he is what I would call a “good egg.” Not without faults, he has kept his head high amidst personal – Amber debacle – and professional – Khago beef - attack and delivered music fit for airplay on NY’s HOT 97, Sirius XM, WBLS 107.5 among other mainstream stations. Gracing the pages of Billboard Magazine in 2011, IOctane is slowly trodding the path he set for himself and proving why he is credited with being a major contributor of reggae music. Get to know more about the man whose name is on every one’s lips and whose songs are like anthems, my friend, my client and one of my favorite artists, I-Octane. Issue 9 | June 2012
Hi, thanks for taking time out to grant us this interview. You are currently on tour in Europe, how is it going? Europe is going real well. Performed last night in Paris at a venue name Zenith, thousands of people attended the show. On the line up there was Queen Ifrica, Richie Spice, Anthony B, Wayne Wonder, Busy Signal and Bounty Killer. But it has been great so far. What was one of the biggest surprises performing in Europe? Well it’s not my first time in Europe, but I must say one of my biggest surprises so far is the crowd response. I begin to perform and they are singing with me word for word, I really didn’t expect that. What are some of the differences that you have noticed about the European culture verses the Jamaican culture? I look at European culture from the perspective of a reggae artist growing up in Jamaica and there is a difference. European culture embrace reggae music differently. To them it’s more than just the punch line of a song. They love the melodies, the harmony singers, the drums, the bass, the keyboard. They love the music on a whole. They want to hear you perform the song they purchased on iTunes, or the CD they purchased months ago. So more time when in Europe you find yourself sing out the entire song. If you miss a verse in their favorite song they will let you know. When performing in Jamaica, the culture loves the music but for us its “Mi know the song sing the punchline and dash way dat.” We are so used to 20-30 minutes performance from an artist so our culture has become accustomed to the immediate forwards and not too concerned with all the elements of the music.
love. Instead they have 7 and 8 songs they love. There are 16 tracks on the album. What mind frame were you in when you recorded songs like L.O.V.E. Y.O.U., Vanity Will Come and Crying to the Nation? When recording for this album, I was in a mind frame to create a master piece. I wanted to create an album that was timeless and would make my fans proud. I lived in the studio for about 3 to 4 weeks straight - nothing was of more importance than this album. Did you write all of the lyrics for the each single? 80% of the album I wrote myself. Tarrus Riley, Alborosie and Agent Sasco are featured on the album. How did that come about? Well as a newcomer in the business and with a debut album, myself and Robert Livingston, wanted to have some veterans and well established artist be a part of this project. And for me working with Tarrus, Sasco and Alberosie was great. Tarrus is my boss I opened up for him on my first European Tour. Sasco now is another general of mine and he is a talented DJ. The song we chose to have Sasco voice on was a popular song ‘Missing You’ and he was one of the DJs we felt would revamp the song. Alberosie is another big artist and huge in Europe so we felt he was great to help put this album on a global scale. What other reggae artists would you love to collaborate with? I really don’t have a list but I look forward to working with any artist who love music and want to take it to another level. Sometimes, you can do a collabo with an artist and he or she is not willing to put in a 110% to push the song or the music so it doesn’t reach anywhere. Another time the collabo shot. So I am open to work with anyone as long as they ready to give 110%. Speaking of Reggae artists, Konshens, Mr. Vegas and Gramps Morgan have albums out now as well. Have you had a chance to listen to their albums? And if so, what are your thoughts? With this schedule Destine Media has put forth I am so busy I have not had the opportunity to listen to each album fully. But I have heard songs from each artist off their recent album and I must say each one of the artist you have mentioned seemed to have taken an oath to save Reggae. Now I don’t know if they literally said that or taken that oath, but from some of the songs I’ve heard it’s refreshing for the business. Another two albums are Romain Virgo and Busy Signal both have tapped into reggae and give the fans of reggae more variety to listen to.
How receptive has your fans been to your current album, “Crying to the Nation?” The fans have been real receptive. The album was debuted at #6 on the Reggae Billboard Charts and number #1 in over 23 countries worldwide. So I must give thanks to my fans for those accomplishments. I received phone calls, emails, facebook messages stating how they love the album from beginning to end. I haven’t met one person who said they have one or two songs alone they
Other than touring and recording, what are your plans for the remainder of 2012 and beyond? For 2012 one of my main goals besides touring new territories and recording is bringing I-Octane to a wider audience. I want to increase the brand I-Octane globally. I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL BECAUSE OF OUR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP. AND I PERSONALLY THINK FAR ABOVE THE MUSIC YOU ARE EXTRAORDINARY HUMAN BEING AND LIKE EVERYONE ELSE YOU HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS, STRUGGLES AND LIFE ISSUES. SO LET’S TAKE A DETOUR AND ALLOW THE FANS TO KNOW WHO BYOMIE MUIR REALLY IS.
I always put the Almighty first and that is really how I am able to persevere. When I feel like giving up, he reminds me that I was born for this - many are called but few are chosen. So no matter how hard things get, I’m always reminded that everything happens for a reason and I just have to continue to trust God. All the hardships and struggle help to purify me and make me better.
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES:
When not on the road, how do you spend your time? When not on the road I sleep, spend time with my daughter, take in a movie, but more time studio mi always deh
I hate when. . .I’m lied to
Have you seen the movie Avengers? If you have, which superhero from that movie do you identify with and why? No I haven’t
A woman is sexy when she is wearing. . .A woman can wear some things that look sexy and still no sexy. Another woman can have on no clothes and still no sexy. So is a special woman who makes the clothes and no matter what she is wearing she personifies sexy.
I get angry when. . .Well I prefer upset... But I get upset when my DJ play the wrong track during performance or wrong tempo. I get upset when my band misses a transition. I take my performance serious.
LET’S HAVE A LITTLE FUN:
I am happy the most when. . .I fulfill my promises. My word is all I have so when I am able to do what I say and do it in a timely manner I feel good.
Do you drink? No I don’t drink
When I am feeling down, I. . .Chant a Psalms
Do you like to dine out? Sometimes - if time allows it. I prefer to go where there is not a large crowd
LASTLY, TALK ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS:
Favorite food? Steam fish Favorite Movie? I like historical movies like Troy and Gladiator. Boxers or brief? Boxer Brief Are you romantic? Well don’t know if a I am the right person to answer that question lol A romantic night consists of? A romantic night can be anywhere from going to the movies or the beach to staying home and watching TV. It’s just about spending the time to enjoy each other’s company. Favorite album of all time? Sizzla’ “Da Real Ting” Favorite singer? Celine Dion
A son: As a son I still have to play the father role because my own father was never there so I always had to look after by siblings. Even now I look out for my mother. I am the eldest son so I’ve always had to play a leadership role. A businessman: I micromanage a lot. I like to ensure that everything runs right and I pay close attention to everything. I make sure that I know about each aspect of my business so that if anything should happen I can always fill in. A Father: I try to be a role model. It is my responsibility to provide that my child is taken care of financially and goes to a good school. I try to set a good example. An artist: I try to be a positive role model, stay current and make songs that have substance. I try my best to make sure that the message comes across the right way. Issue 9 | June 2012
The June Bride Photographer: Marc Evans, marcevansimages.com Make-up: Angelie Martin-Spencer Stylist: Arlene L. Martin Clothing: drennaLUNA
Look: Classic In a classic silhouette and fabric, the twist to this simply elegant design is the justvisible layers of lace mixed in between the three layers of chiffon.
Look: Contemporary For the bride of today who wants to be totally contemporary. This A-line tent silhouette has detailing at the bust, but is otherwise pure simplicity. Perfect for the day, particularly morning wedding, or the wedding by the beach, this dress give a freedom you may not get in many of the traditional styles.
Look: Romantic Bride It doesnâ€™t get more romantic than being a bride, and this soft dress with lace bodice, drop-waist with lace detailing accenting the hip and straps is perfect for the young woman who wants to feel just that way.
Look: Traditional, but of the moment The most traditional of the looks, this dress of bridal satin features tucks and pleats in a mermaid silhouette. Definitely a combination of some ofthe-moment bridal styles â€“ including the apple white colour.
artist and brand management
“the architects of entertainment”
LEON & The Peoples JADINE ~ THIRD WORLD Mobile: +1.347.216.6885 / JA#: 1.876.582.3970 International #: +1.347.627.0330 / Skype: VicRaeInc www.vicraeinc.com ~ twitter.com@vicraeinc facebook.com/vicraeinc
MEET U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS OWN
JAHMAN One of the most prominent and sought after voices of reggae music in the U.S. Virgin Islands is the raspy vocal stylings of Jabari “Jahman” Carrington. At an early age, he realized that he wanted to be a positive influence despite the many obstacles and negative stereotypes he endured from many. As a means of achieving this goal, he began to explore the depths of reggae music and sought faith in Rastafari, a controversial decision that went against his Christian upbringing. Jahman has been writing and performing for over a decade, and credits Steel Pulse, Bob Marley, Shabba Ranks, and more recently, Mad Cobra, Sizzla Kalonji, Buju Banton and Notch (formerly of Born Jamericans) as his influences. He has represented the U.S. Virgin Islands at countless reggae concerts and festivals throughout the Caribbean and the United States. In recent years, he toured the East Coast for six weeks with Richie Spice, opened for Morgan Heritage at the Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas, and performed at the star-studded Tempo Turns 2 event in St. Croix.
Since his musical career began, Jahman has released four studio albums—Poverty Struggle, Reggae International, Life As An Artist, and most recently Rasta Endure. His albums are laced with tracks featuring poignant lyrics, enticing vocals and catchy hooks that uplift the youth, celebrate women, embrace Rasta Livity, and encourage righteous living. He is currently working on his fifth project, which is due to be released sometime this Fall. Jahman is always reinventing his image and his sound, and continues to demonstrate his versatility with this upcoming album, which will feature some of his latest singles, including The Rain, Just For You, and Dead And Gone. Coupling his robust involvement in reggae music with a higher meditation has kept Jahman grounded; helping him to overcome many challenges and acquire a resilient spirit on and off the mic. Jahman has the voice of a lion and a style all his own, that guarantees this humble soldier of Jah many more blessed years of success. His music is available on iTunes, Napster, and Amazonmp3. Issue 9 | June 2012 27
TOP 10 CARIBBEAN MOMENTS IN AMERICAN MUSIC By Raine Martin For Americans, the month of June is a time to celebrate Black music and the contribution of Caribbean and Caribbean-American people to our melting pot of popular culture. In honor of Black Music Month, and Caribbean – American Heritage Month, let’s reflect on ten of the biggest Caribbean moments in American music. 1. Harry Belafonte’s Calypso becomes the first album ever to sell one million copies in the United States Born in Harlem to a Jamaican mother and Martiniquan father, Harry Belafonte transformed the native sounds of the islands into America’s very first platinum selling album with Calypso in 1956. Featuring now classic tunes like “The Banana Boat Song (Day-O),” “Jump in the Line,” and “Jamaica Farewell,” Calypso spent 31 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, 58 weeks in the Top Ten, and a total of 99 weeks on the U.S. Charts. Billboard lists Calypso as No. 4 on their Top 100 Albums of all time. 2. Chris Blackwell Launches Island Records In 1959, twenty-two year old British-born Jamaican-raised entrepreneur Chris Blackwell started a small record label in Jamaica, and was among the first to record local Jamaican music known as Ska. Moving back to England in the early 1960s, Blackwell sold Ska records out of his car in London’s Jamaican communities. Today, Island Records is recognized as the most successful independent record label in history, and is credited with bringing Reggae icons such as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff to international prominence, particularly in Europe and America. According the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blackwell is the person most responsible for turning the world on to Reggae. Famous Jamaican model, actress, and singer Grace Jones, iconic Rock band U2, and folksy Rock singer Melissa Etheridge are among the lengthy list of artists discovered by Island Records. 3. Millie Small’s “My Boy Lollipop” Hits #2 on the U.S. Billboard Charts Island Records’ first big international hit was the 1964 remake of “My Boy Lollipop.” Originally released by American singer Barbie Gaye in 1956, Chris Blackwell re-recorded the single on a Ska melody arranged by legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin and featuring 17-year-old Jamaican singer Millie Small. Small’s version of “My Boy Lollipop” would hit #2 on both the U.S. Billboard Charts and the UK Charts, and initially sold over 600,000 copies. Today “My Boy Lollipop” has sold over 6 million copies. 4. Dave & Ansell Collins’ “Double Barrel” Cracks the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100 “Double Barrel,” released by Reggae singer David Barker and keyboardist Ansell Collins in 1971, is the first actual Reggae single to crack the top 30 of the Billboard Top 100. “Double Barrel” was produced by Winston Riley for the Techniques label, and peaked at #22 on the Billboard charts. 5. Kool Herc Creates Hip Hop in the South Bronx As a young child in Kingston, Clive Campbell was surrounded by sound systems blaring Reggae instrumentals with deejays toasting or rhyming over the ‘version’ at local street dances. After moving to the Bronx as a teenager, Campbell created the very first American sound system and recreated the Jamaican street music vibe with American soul and disco records in the mid 1970s. By isolating the ‘break’ beat on an album and using two turntables to play it over and over in what he called a ‘merry go round’ style, he became the chief architect and pioneer in one of America’s most popular and profitable urban music movements. To keep the crowd going, Campbell, nicknamed Kool Herc, would rhyme in sync with the rhythm of the music - “B-boys, b-girls, are you ready? Keep on rock steady, this is the joint! Herc beat on the point.” - Kool Herc is credited as the originator of Hip Hop music.
6. Music Youth Gets Heavy MTV Rotation When MTV launched in August 1981, the 24hour music channel was dedicated to mostly Rock & Roll and pop music bands. In 1982, British Reggae band Musical Youth, became one of the first black artists to be put into heavy rotation on MTV with their single “Pass the Dutchie.” In an interview with Designer Magazine, the band claims that they were actually the first black artists to do a live on-air interview in the MTV studios. “Pass the Dutchie” would hit the top ten of Billboard Hot 100, and earn Musical Youth a Grammy nomination and spots on popular American shows like Saturday Night Live. Donna Summer’s “Unconditional Love” featuring Musical Youth would also be among the earliest black music videos to be put in heavy rotation at MTV. 7. Black Uhuru Wins the 1st Reggae Grammy The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in America officially instated the ‘Best Reggae Recording’ (now Best Reggae Album) as a Grammy Award category in 1984. At the 1984 Grammy Awards, Michael Rose, Duckie Simpson, Puma Jones, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare - collectively Black Uhuru - were awarded the golden gramophone for the album Anthem. Reggae is one of only three non-American music categories recognized by the Academy during the Grammys, and was recognized four years before the Academy recognized American Hip Hop. 8. Snow’s “Informer” Becomes the Best Selling and Highest Charting Reggae Single in American Music History Canadian Dancehall deejay Snow made American music history, and the Guinness Book of World Records in 1993 when his single “Informer” became the first Dancehall single to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 - it stayed at #1 for seven consecutive weeks. “Informer” also went down in history as the very first Dancehall single to sell more than one million copies in the United States. His album 12 Inches of Snow sold more than 8 million copies worldwide in 1994, and ranked #28 on the Billboard’s End of Decade Chart (1990-1999). 9. Bob Marley is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Bob Marley’s impact on Reggae music is immeasurable. The most internationally known and revered Reggae artist, Bob Marley’s name and image have become universal symbols for Reggae, Jamaica, and Rastafari. In 1994, over a decade after his passing, U2 frontman Bono described Marley as a “prophet and soul-rebel” in Cleveland Ohio, as Marley became the first Reggae inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Five years later, Time Magazine named Marley’s Exodus as the Album of the 20th Century, and in 2001, Marley was the first Reggae artist to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 10. The Baha Men Let the Dogs Out In 2000, Bahamian band The Baha Men rerecorded Trinidadian singer Anselm Douglas’ 1998 Soca favorite “Doggie” for the children’s film Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. Renamed “Who Let the Dogs Out”, the song’s call-and-response style, and catchy lyrics – which include barking – became a staple at large-scale sporting events throughout America, with the New York Mets claiming the song as their adopted anthem. “Who Let the Dogs Out” would become one of the highest selling singles of the decade and earned the Baha Men a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording in 2001. Unfortunately “Who Let the Dogs Out” would eventually join Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Humps” at the top of Rolling Stone’s list of ‘the 20 Most Annoying Songs.” Until Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” hit #4 in 2003, “Who Let the Dogs Out” was the highest charting Soca single in the United States at #40 on the Top 100.
Issue 9 | June 2012 29
MR. HAPILOS AKA JOHNNY WONDER A STAPLE IN DANCEHALL AND REGGAE MUSIC By Malaika Lepine Often misunderstood and criticize, the name Johnny Wonder is a staple in Dancehall and Reggae music. To understand Johnny you must look past the sarcasm and bluntness and understand his love of music, his love of Reggae. Johnny Wonder in his own words was a “rolling stone” born and raised in the heavily Caribbean populated Brooklyn, his love of reggae goes back to the early 80’s and the famous New York Washington Square park. Surrounded by N.Y.U (New York University), “back in the days” Washington Square Park was the hub and melting pot for starving musicians and artists. Johnny remembers fondly how he used to play soccer with the likes of Dirty Harry and Natty Garfield, while finishing the night at the Reggae Lounge. The music spoke to his soul and grabbed him right away and before you know it he was spinning vinyl records of Black Uhuru and Dennis Brown alongside legendary DJ Rupert and DJ Roger. “DJ Rupert and DJ Roger, these are the two DJs that inspired me to do what I did, they were my foundation when I became a DJ when I first started in this” states Johnny. It’s around that time that he and a partner opened up their first retail store and a mobile sound system. “I wanted to sell records, I wanted to be involved. I remember playing out at legendary places like the Reggae Lounge and Sticky Mikes, I remember giving Pat McKay records down at WBLS, but people don’t know all that about me, well the new generation doesn’t know, they don’t want to know or care.” Looking to purchase more music, he ventured all over, that road eventually led him to King Jammy and VP records. “I use to go to VP to buy records and one time I ended up in Jersey because they had CDs from King Jammy that I wanted, and who happened to be there that day, Bunny Striker Lee (legendary producer). We started talking and became friends.” Johnny had always respected and admired Jammys’ work, so he was elated when Bunny made the phone introductions. “That’s how I met Jammy and then went to Jamaica, made an album with Simon Templar, did some things, me and Jammy were made for each other. He was the producer, I was the man in between the producer and the record company. I use to go to Jamaica, take what I thought could sell, get it mixed, then go to NY to sell it to VP, or sell it myself. Jammy and I formed a relationship and worked together for years.” It was a natural progression that led him to work with VP. “I was the only one working with VP, making compilations, that became my Forté. I had the knowledge, basically like I do now but it was often a conflict of interest so I continued on my own.”
aire “Johnny if everybody likes you then you are doing something wrong.” His story in the music business is full of anecdotes and rumors, from alleged beating at the hands of a dancehall artist to a fist fight with one of NY’s top FM radio reggae/ dancehall DJ. “No fight with no dancehall artist. I have a good relationship with radio in New York, it’s a mutual respect.” Johnny has worked with everyone that is anyone, back stabbed by so called friends, used by artists and producers and taken advantage of by labels. But like it or not, like a phoenix he rose each time from the ashes. Johnny Wonder’s name is cemented in dancehall and reggae history. A NEW ERA After all his work in the business and the new era of internet and social media, Johnny decided to take it to another level. He wanted to continue in his tradition of bridging the artist and producers to the radio and sales. Digital distribution was the next logical step, although many outlets were available, Johnny wanted to offer more than a digital store, partnering with the right person and 21st Hapilos Digital was born. 21st Hapilos Digital Distribution Inc. was established to render administrative, distribution and marketing services to the entertainment industry. “Since I was approached daily to send out music blasts, it made sense to instead of giving the music, to sell it like all the other rap or pop. I still give music to the radio and DJ’s for promotions. But now I give artists and producers earning potential. A lot of people get mad at me when I see them give free music away, especially the pirate blogs, they are quick to say that I use to do it, and yes I did, but I don’t because the business has changed, grown and we want reggae to sell like rap sells.” “Look sales are not only in CDs anymore. We don’t see platinum reggae sellers anymore but we could, dancehall charts on billboard, so it should translate in sales. If artists and producers make money, that same money can be used to feed everyone, engineers, musicians, writers etc and their family. If they make more money, they will spend more money in the stores, restaurants, etc it just makes sense, so why fight we?” “I love reggae, I love music, I respect who respects me, I support who support me.”
One must understand that the Johnny Wonder we know today, evolved from that era. He basically still does the same thing, but now in a digital world. The road to success often leads to controversy and hate. Although hate is a strong word Johnny states that “the ones who hate me are the ones not doing anything for the business. I don’t beg friends. This is a business, no place for feelings. I’ve been doing this on my own, I’ve spent 25 years in this business trying to make my money and make sure everyone makes theirs too. I did the hype thing back in the day, so now I’m strictly business but some people still want me to romance them.” Johnny remembers the advice from a behind the scenes millionIssue 8 | May 2012 31
THE TEDDY BEARS ROCK!
By Shantell ‘Shanz’ Hill The first time in any new geographical strat can be mild, shocking, pleasant or simply amazing. To get the perspective of Swedish international musicians, writers and producers, “The Teddy Bears” may be a mix of all the above on any given day. The Band consists of three extremely talented young men whose taste in music is as refined as the bottles of wines they frequently request. Although no strangers to the exterior Jamaican culture (in-terms of research and association), being in and around the home of a music culture they have admired and revered for years is no less an amazing achievement for them, as it is for the number of local acts who were set to have the in studio Teddy Bear experience. I was informed a month before their arrival via our local interface Claire Osman (one of Jamaica’s leading International Entertainment Head Hunter and Productions Manager), that they were due to lock down the studio, and it was my job to schedule and assist her to make sure their stay was not only productive, but enjoyable. On meeting them on the first day of their arrival at Scikron Entertainment (Bigyard Music Studio) and having the opportunity to meet the men behind masks was as interesting as meeting the men in the masks. HISTORY OF THE TEDDY BEARS The Teddy Bears comprised originally of a five members in 1991, and in the past fifteen years to present, they produce and perform as a trio. The band members started to wear large bear masks in album art and promotional photographs some time after 2006, but before that, they appeared in concerts and photos with disguises. The group released its debut album, “You Are Teddybears,” in 1993 and its sophomore project titled, “I Can’t Believe It’s Teddybears, STHLM,” in 1996. It was then succeeded by a third album dubbed “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” in 2000, which consisted of electronic elements, that was a step outside the box from the band’s previous familiar sound. “Fresh,” a fourth album, was released in 2005 and included the singles Cobrastyle, with Jamaican dancehall artiste Mad Cobra and Hey Boy, which was the culmination of the love child moment for reggae and dancehall via The TeddyBears with Jamaica. The productions and lyrical contents of their work is heavily intertwined with reggae, electronic, punk and hip hop among other genres. They have worked with musical greats such as Rihanna, Britney Spears, Swedish House Mafia, as well as Usher for his upcoming album and many others. They have also done box office projects such as sound tracks for movies Juno, Benchwarmers, and Date Night, to name a few. The Teddy Bears signature attire involves tailored black suites, white dress shirts and black pencil ties accompa-
nied by Bear Heads, beaming Red laser eyes. Yes you read right, this outfit is what The Teddy Bears are always outfitted in and is the costume for performances, press and social events. The group never appears unmasked for press features, as this not only intrigues press and media everywhere they go but also fans as well. THE REGGAE CONNECTION The mega hit production featuring Mad Cobra - Cobra Style was their first production with a Jamaican artist and even today they are still reaping the benefits of the project with countless sound tracks and maybe a few games, etc. The track is still very active in local and international dancehall scenes even to this day. However, the groundwork for their trip to Jamaica was not only to repeat that musical chemistry but to continue the amazing musical fusion among cultures. Throughout their visit, they had the opportunity to work with countless Dancehall Stars namely, Mr. Lex, TIFA, Ward 21 (Suku & Mean Dawg), Beenie Man, Busy Signal, Cutty Ranks, Natalee Storm, Ninja Man and a new Dancehall Star Baby Trish who is only nine years old. The Teddy Bears are quite excited and pleased with the quality of projects they where able to record and constantly commended each artist on the job they did. For each track, yes the beats they provided where amazing, but each artist brought new life and energy to them. The Teddy Bears also managed to venture out of studio for a bit to see what our unique Jamaican culture had to offer in terms of sights which landed them in Buff Bay, Downtown, Trench Town, Tivoli, Hellshire Beach and Golden Eye. They also had a brief taste of the social climate when they ventured into the renowned “Weddy Weddy” on a Wednesday night hosted by the International Immortal sound, STONE LOVE,” a night I am sure they will never forget. Another raving point of their trip was culinary delights offered by Jamaica. They raved each day about the awesome food they had here mentioning a few notable spots to chow down such as the Vegan spot at the Courtyard in Marketplace, Kingston, ‘Five stars for the Raw pizza’ echoed the bears, also UBTR - Usain Bolt Tracks and records was a hit for the team, Scotchies (Jerk Heaven for Carnivores and Vegans alike), White Bones Cafe and Spanish Court. A BEAR CONNECTION In between traveling the world, performing on huge and small stages alike, sitting for hours and days in studios across the globe, writing new music and composing beats, or having coffee or glasses of wine, they may or may not consider themselves social bears. However, the world is becoming such and for sure it’s the fastest and most viable means to keep tabs on our favorite Swedish Bears so connect with The Teddy Bears via Facebook: Teddybearsmusic and Twitter: Teddybearrock. Issue 9 | June 2012 33
DJ PAUL MICHAEL By Shantell “Shanz” Hill
I refer to him as my twitter ‘voice of reason.’ Not only is he experienced in his craft but passionate about expressing the effects of reggae music, DJ’s and industry players. His rants are informative and often hilarious with shocking truths regarding the do’s and don’ts. I read the tweets and agreed with the words representing the voice, but then came a face... the face of DJ Paul Michael. Though not Jamaican by birth, marriage or naturalization, Paul Michael’s heart and soul is Jamaican. But one cannot help but wonder, how and why should he care so much about a culture that he is not obligated to care for or respect? The answer, only the language of music can explain such a desire. He is what I would refer to as an Ambassador, yes an international representative of our culture - a forerunner in the education and transmission of our musical palate and offerings, to a culture and generation who has seemingly given up on the genre. Over the years I have come to firmly believe that ones love for any one thing can be so much greater than the ones who are supposed to show this love. I say this without bias because often times the faces that we least expect to fight for and represent our music are the ones on the frontline such as DJ Paul Michael. He holds firm the ideals that our music is a treasure and guardians of it “DJ’s” should act as if they are the knights of the round table, doing so with honor and pride. Listening to Paul Michael’s work and observing his dedication toward the genre, his live and pre-mixes only tells a story of true love and immense admiration for the music he offers to his fans. He has been overly active lately and vows, with academia out the way, to push the envelope as it where for an air of change in the way Dancehall and Reggae is represented in the U.S.A and by extension the world. I can only be motivated to share his work every chance I get. But enough about how I feel about this awesome DJ and let us both get to know him better through his words. DJ Name: Paul Michael City /Country of Birth: Providence, RI Education: MBA: Global Business Leadership | BS: Finance | BA: Economics Major/Minor: Double majored in Finance and Economics When did you fall in love with music? Or the moment you realized music had become your career? I was first introduced to reggae and dancehall music at the very young age of 12 or 13. I immediately fell in love with the music. The first stage show I ever attended was Shabba Ranks and Richie Stephens. Growing up, my best friend was a DJ. When I was in high school, I started playing on the college radio station he was affiliated with. I kind of fell into it and just stuck with it.
The Journey and Its Rewards: I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time and the journey actually never ends. Not to sound cliché, but part of the reward is looking back and seeing how far along I’ve come. I’ve had the opportunity to perform and do shows with a lot of the artists and sound systems who I looked up to early in my career. Also, later on this year I will have the opportunity to play overseas which I’m really excited about. What is life outside of music?: I live a pretty ordinary life. In my free time, I love hanging out and socializing with friends, checking out movies, participating in sports etc… I am a junk food junkie. I love cartoons, especially American Dad & Family Guy. I am currently addicted to the Game of Thrones series. What does PAUL MICHAEL do when Team No Sleep is actually sleeping? TWEET!!! Just kidding, actually not. Ha! Actually, I tend to have the most energy at odd hours of the night. That’s when I get the most of my work done on projects and mixtapes. The Ladies are asking... Is he on or off the market? Ha! I am currently on the market. lol Your best and worst DJ experience to date? My best experience had to be the first time I played on a big outdoor stage show in CT back in the day. There were so many artists on it. There had to be 7,000-10,000 people in the crowd. It was the first time I had ever been in front of that many people. The rush was incredible! My worst experience had to be when someone vomited on my equipment in the middle of a party and we had to stop the party. The promoter had to bring us Q-tips and napkins to try and clean it up. Your most extreme yet awesome fan moment. I don’t think I have experienced an awesome and extreme fan moment yet… but I need to! Help! Lol Any important projects we can look forward to DJ/ Productions: In addition to the new mixtape I am currently working on, I am also working on launching a podcast and developing a website. It’s looking like I may also return to the airwaves 2012. Popularity vs. Productivity! Where do we find PAUL MICHAEL? Probably somewhere right in the middle at this point. I’ve been working harder in 2012 than ever before. I think it’s starting to pay off. Hey look, I’m being interviewed by Triple The Focus magazine! The Secret is ours to share. Tell us 1 thing that fans don’t know about you: When I was about ten years old I aspired to move to Japan and train to become a ninja but I had to put that on hold to pursue my music career. Connection- Tell us how to reach you: bookpaulmichael@gmail. com, http://twitter.com/djpaulmichael, http://soundcloud.com/ paul-michael-3 Issue 9 | June 2012
HOT SUMMER VIBE
SIZZLE THIS SUMMER IN MUST HAVE ACCESSORIES By Farah Nerette My name is Farah Nerette and while I am not a stylist by trade my friends, including your Editor-in-Chief, often seek my advice as it pertains to accessories. So, I was very excited when Stacey asked me to join Triple the Focus as an accessories stylist. As such, here is the first of many features where I will explore all things that shine and sparkle. Along the way, you will get a glimpse of my personal accessories collection and I hope you are inspired to walk on the sparkly side. This is the perfect time to define your summer vibe. This season is all about bold jewelry, bright colors and eye-catching metals. Try one or try them all. What’s your VIBE? MY STYLE: …reflects my emotions or mood: joyful, sexy, sad, and sometimes angry - justified. …is pretty casual. I stay on trend but not trendy. I believe in always wearing one statement piece. Whether casual or dressed up, accessories keep an outfit fun and interesting - I love accessories: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches, hair clips, scarves, bags and much more. Stay tuned. …is a mix of feminine, sexy, and sometimes edgy. HERE IS A LOOK OF WHATS IN MY CLOSET:
Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses (green) , $145 www.saksfifthavenue.com
Michael Kors Gold and Swarovski Crystal Watch, 39mm $250.00 www.bloomingdales.com
Rebecca Norman Gold Plated Oval Earrings, $85 www.lespommettes.com
House of Harlow 1960 Metal Fringe Statement Pendant, $135 www.Nordstrom.com (sorry lovies this item is sold out)
IF YOU’RE …GOING OUT AFTER DARK – add a piece or two that will shine
East Lake Earrings $100 amritasingh.com
Yves Saint Laurent Arty goldplated glass ring $290 www.net-a-porte.com
Hinged Snake-Plate Bracelet $118.00 www.Bcbg.com
IF YOU’RE …RUNNING ERRANDS – add something fun and funky that can transition well for an impromptu movie or drinks
Bardot Spiral Bangle $49.00 www.stelladot.com
Goddess Teardrop Earring - Gold $34.00 www.stelladot.com
House of Harlow 1960 Double Sunburst Pendant Necklace $88 www.shopbop.com
IF YOU’RE …GOING TO THE BEACH/POOL – try something colorful and lightweight.
House of Harlow 1960 Star Stud Earrings $55.00 www.Shopbop.com
Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry Heart Anklet $121.00 www.Shopbop.com
Mixed Shape Bangle Pack $30.00 us.topshop.com Issue 9 | June 2012
REVISITING THE CHRONIC QUESTION… WHERE HAVE ALL THE FATHERS GONE? Rev. Dr. M. Frances Manning-Fontaine
Sometimes it’s refreshing not to have to reinvent the wheel especially when it comes to answering recurring questions for which there often seem to be no answers. FATHER’S DAY provides the perfect back drop for revisiting and asking one of those chronic questions, “where are the black fathers?” They’re missing in churches, missing from their families, missing from college campuses, and absent from work. Black women can’t find a man to marry. Black children don’t know where to find their fathers. Where are those guys? Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow attempted to answer this question as late as June 2009 in a stirring article entitled “Where Have All The Black Men Gone?” I submit it this month for your consideration. Last FATHER’S DAY, presidential candidate Barack Obama wagged a finger at all the missing black fathers. At the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago he stepped to the podium and said: “If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers are missing -- missing from too many lives and too many homes. Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. They have abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it. You and I know this is true everywhere, but nowhere is this more true than in the African American community.” The next day, social critic and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson published a critique of Obama’s speech in Time magazine. He pointed out that the stereotype of black men being poor fathers may well be false. Research shows that black fathers not living at home are actually more likely to keep in contact with their children than fathers of any other ethnic or racial group. Dyson chided Obama for evoking a black stereotype for political gain, noting that “Obama’s words may have been spoken to black folk, but they were aimed at those whites still on the fence about whom to send to the White House.” Dyson’s critique was a fair one, but like other media commentators, he remained silent about where all the absent black fathers could be found. Here’s a hint for all those still scratching their heads about those missing black fathers: Look in prison. The mass incarceration of people of color through the War on Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black
child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites. Most people seem to imagine that the drug war - which has swept millions of poor people of color behind bars - has been aimed at rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders. Nothing could be further from the truth. This war has been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses, like marijuana possession - the very crimes that happen with equal frequency in middle class white communities. In 2005, for example, 4 out 5 drug arrests were for possession and only 1 out of 5 were for sales. Most people in state prison for drug offenses have no history of violence or significant selling activity. Nearly 80 percent of the increase in drug arrests in the 1990s - the period of the most dramatic expansion of the drug war - was for marijuana possession, a drug less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. In some states, though, African Americans have comprised 80 to 90 percent of all drug convictions. This is The New Jim Crow. People of color are rounded up, frequently at young ages, for relatively minor drug offenses, branded felons, and then relegated to a permanent second-class status in which they may be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and subjected to legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits. Those who are lucky enough to get a job upon release from prison find that up to 100 percent of their wages may be garnished to pay fees, fines, and court costs as well as the costs of their imprisonment and accumulated child support. What, realistically, do we expect these folks to do? When those labeled felons fail under this system to make it on the outside, not surprisingly, about 70 percent fail within 3 years, we throw up our hands and wonder where they all went. Or we chastise them for being poor fathers and for failing to contribute to their families. It’s a set up. This system isn’t about crime control; it about racial control. Yes, even in the age of Obama.
On FATHER’S DAY, when Barack Obama assailed absent fathers as a critical source of suffering for black communities, he sought two political advantages for the price of one. He embraced a thorny tradition of social thought that says black families are largely responsible for their own troubles. And he was seen in a black church not railing at racism but rebuking his own race. Obama’s words may have been spoken to black folk, but they were also aimed at those whites still on the fence about whom to send to the White House.
“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” The notion that black families are mired in self-imposed trauma stems from Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report, in which Moynihan argued that the black family was a “tangle of pathology” whose destruction by slavery had produced female-headed households, absent fathers and high illegitimacy. Interestingly, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the few Negro leaders who refused to condemn the future New York Senator’s report. “The shattering blows on the Negro family have made it fragile, deprived and often psychopathic,” King said at the time. “Nothing is so much needed as a secure family life for a people to pull themselves out of poverty and backwardness.” But King also insisted that Moynihan’s report offered both “dangers and opportunities.” The danger was that “problems will be attributed to innate Negro weaknesses and used to justify neglect and rationalize oppression.” The opportunity was the chance that the report would galvanize support and resources for the black family. Four decades later, King’s misgivings have been realized more than his hopes. Stereotypes about negligent black fathers persist, promoted most vehemently by Bill Cosby, who has embarked on a national crusade against the alleged misbehavior of poor black families. And yet such stereotypes may have little basis in reality. Research by Boston College social psychologist Rebekah Levine Coley found that black fathers not living at home are more likely to keep in contact with their children than fathers of any other ethnic or racial group. Coley offers a more complex view of the causes of absenteeism among black fathers: the failure to live up to expectations to provide for their families, owing to stunted economic and educational opportunities, drives poor black men into despair and away from their families. Such findings undermine the arguments about black fathers’ inherent pathology or moral lassitude. These men need jobs, not jabs.
direction: he noted the need for more cops and more money for teachers, for more after-school programs and fewer guns. But he laid most of the blame on black families and fathers, in blunt and occasionally belittling terms. He said many of them acted “like boys instead of men.” He also said, “Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” The trouble is that the problems Obama identified won’t be solved solely through tough talk in black churches. We’ve heard these themes before. In the 1970s, Jesse Jackson said, “You are not a man because you can make a baby. You’re only a man if you can raise a baby, protect a baby and provide for a baby.” But like King before him, Jackson understood that one must beat back the barriers that stand in the way of individual initiative. Obama brilliantly cited a Chris Rock routine about black men expecting praise for things they were supposed to do, like stay out of jail and take care of their children. But Rock’s humor is so effective because he is just as hard on whites as on blacks. That’s a part of the routine Obama has not yet adopted. Obama’s rebuff of black fathers and his firm insistence on personal responsibility were calculated to win over socially conservative whites who were turned off by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s tirades against persistent racism. But in his desire to appeal to such voters, Obama may have missed the balance that King maintained. Personal responsibility is a crucial, but only partial, answer to what ails black families. Huge unemployment, racist mortgage practices, weakened child-care support, stunted training programs for blue-collar workers who’ve been made obsolete by technology, and the gutting of early-childhood learning programs are all forces that must be combated. If we rightly expect more black fathers to stick around to raise their children, we’ve got to give them a greater opportunity to stay home. Hear Hear Michelle!
Obama’s FATHER’S DAY speech did tilt gently in that Issue 9 | June 2012 39
Creative Director’s Note CELEBRATING MILESTONES “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty….” The Month of June we celebrate Father’s Day, Caribbean Heritage Month and the release of Triple The Focus’ 9th issue. But first and foremost, along with the Triple The Focus Team, I would like to say much respect to the many fathers that read our magazine and that are active fathers in their children’s lives. It’s another month – our 9th to be exact and celebrating with us is our cover star reggae artist I-Octane. With the tremendous success of his album, “Crying to the Nation,” of which he is busy promoting, we were able to get a one-on-one interview that we hope will give you some insight into who he is. This is along the lines of what we want to provide, an insight into the lives of some of the talented individuals such as Arlene Martin (DrennaLuna), Kim Nain, Paul Michael, Johnny Wonder and The Teddy Bears, also in this issue. We also celebrate Caribbean Heritage month, see article entitled “Top Ten Caribbean Moments in American Music,” which is now official. President Obama proclaimed, “NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2012 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” During Caribbean Heritage Month, New York City comes alive with events organized by Caribbean Tourist Organization (CTO) over the course of a week and we will be on hand to bring you highlights in our next issue. Another major event forthcoming is “Groovin In The Park” on Sunday, July 1, 2012. A night of Reggae and R&B, the concert will feature legendary artists Jimmy Cliff and Beres Hamond, Beenie Man, Boyz II Men and Grammy winner, Hall of Fame inductee and dancing with stars contestant, Gladys Knight, at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, NY. LEON will appear as one of the many special guests. We understand that there is a lot of time that goes by between issues. To remedy that, we update our website www.triplethefocus. com on a weekly basis so that you don’t have to wait to find out all the great things that is happening. So be sure to log on and check out where we’ve been and who we’re talking to. We appreciate your support and feedback. Please continue to write and share your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next month, “T-Focus and think creative.”
Your Creative Director
Issue 9 | June 2012
Triple the Focus June 2012 Issue with I-Octane