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Spring 2013 / ISSUE 03/18
WINNING IS NOT ALL THAT MATTERS Talent show contestant JAH BOUKS proves what matters is content - and his lyrics have enough of it >> page 7 The ‘Top Model’ reality series has finally arrived in the Caribbean >> page 11
Mixed emotions at the ‘World Rub-A-Dub Masters’ concert >> page 5 Advertisement
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JAMAICA’S FINEST OVERPROOF RUM
Vision/ Spring 2013
The Caribbean Jamaican Dollar on historic low
The Jamaican Dollar is on course to approach the 100 marker, being valued at JA$99.78 to US$1, some traders are already paying as much as JA$101 for one US dollar.
For some economies the devaluation of its currency has had a positive effect. It ensures an increase in exports, due to the relatively low price of its goods. Although Jamaica’s exports into other countries have increased by over 5%, the import of goods such as construction materials, gas and petroleum have increased by over 2%. The increased costs of imported goods will be handed down to consumer who in turn have to pay more for purchasing those goods. It is feared that it will have a negative impact on Jamaica’s economy. Analysts say the dollar will continue to lose value because of the lack of confidence in the economic programmes, and the delays in getting an IMF agreement. Subsequently, the Jamaican government will be required to pay out more to service its foreign debt. With an estimated inflation rate of 10.2%, budget cuts by the government, and increased taxes, for Jamaicans the word jugging gets a whole new meaning.
Shanique Myrie demands high compensation and new regulations
Lawyers representing Shanique Myrie, the 25-year old Jamaican who claimed that she was discriminated against and cavity searched while travelling to Barbados in 2011, are demanding approximately US$500,000 in punitive damages for the treatment she received. Myrie told the CCJ that it was one thing to refuse her entry, but it was quite another to detain her. As a result she feels she should be awarded moral and punitive damages. Myrie claims that she was discriminated against because of her nationality and hopes that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) agree on a minimum standard treatment for CARICOM citizens moving within the region. This would involve putting guidelines in order to prevent a similar case from happening again.
Jamaica could be hit by major earthquake
Authorities in Jamaica have been urged by an American seismic expert to start long-term efforts to prepare for another major earthquake. Scientists agree that Jamaica will most likely be exposed to an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or 7.5 on the Richter scale. An earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale is considered “major” and is capable of widespread destruction. Kingston was destroyed, with some 1,000 resultant deaths, in a 6.5-magnitude quake in 1907. While it is impossible to predict whether the next big quake will strike in days or decades, the advice is particularly noteworthy given that in March 2008 a group of scientists warned officials in Haiti that their country was ripe for a major earthquake after detecting signs of growing stresses in a fault (extended break in a body of rock). Just two years later, that fault unleashed the deadly 7.0 quake that devastated the Frenchspeaking Caribbean nation, killing some 316,000 people and leaving many more homeless.
The Caribbean under the shadow of the Dragon benefactor but questioning at the same time what the country wants in exchange. At first sight the Caribbean countries and The Caribbean is not a major producer China have very few in common. The total of raw materials or food. Tourism is almost population of the 39 islands is about 40 million, universally the economic driver. The Caribbean, which is no more than 3 percent of China’s with relatively little buying power, will not be a population. The economic relations between major importer of China’s goods. ‘China has no China and the CARICOM however have interest in competing with other world powers in expanded dramatically in the recent years. the Caribbean’, stated the Chinese ambassador In 2013, for a second time in just over three to Barbados, Wei Qiang, in the past years. That years, Jamaica has secured a multibillion- is why the huge financial support by China dollar infrastructure raises assumptions development of potential programme with threat of placing China. “Let me put the vulnerable it this way, my trip to Caribbean into China achieved all a long-term I went for and a bit dependence. more” said Works China also funds Minister Dr Omar many projects in Davies after his visit to African countries, China last month. including regimes The long-standing that violate human network of economic rights. Critics also © Department of American and Oceanian relations between Affairs , Ministry of Commerce point out that China the Caribbean and cornerstone laying ceremony in Barbuda for a gains political hold on China is based on community project contracted by Chinese enterprise the continent through continuous cash flow these economic ties. support provided by The policies and the Asian giant. The Chinese government’s attitudes by the Chinese corporations which Export-Import Bank put $2.4 billion toward the tent to neglect worker welfare, crowd out construction of the 3,800-room resort in the local employment through the use of a mainly Bahamas that boasted the largest casino in the Chinese workforce are fostering grassroots Caribbean. Another example is the construction resentment against the Asian superpower. of Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister’s official Chinese flow of cheap goods into those residence and the National Academy for countries is highly needed to support their the Performing Arts build by the Shanghai economies but at what price? This beneficial Construction or a US$340 million loan for the partnership with China might appear to hold Jamaica Infrastructure Programme. delayed effect to the Caribbean islands The Beijing government and private and Africa in a long-term prospect. China Chinese corporations are spending billions undermines the local industries whilst placing in the Caribbean, building major tourism those countries into economic dependence. projects, financing roads and ports and buying Profit of the bilateral co-operation with China companies — all of which are helping open new only could be gained if the trade of raw is markets for Chinese products. The onslaught reduced and this union re-orientate to work has cash-strapped Caribbean governments towards developing the full potential of African simultaneously praising China as a welcome and Caribbean resources. by Gabriela Radeva
Check This Rohan Marley has been appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador Rohan Marley, Chairman of the Marley Coffee, the House of Marley and of course son of the legendary Bob Marley, has been appointed the Goodwill Ambassador of Culture and Music for the United Nations Association-Brazil (UNAB). UNAB is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1998 by the Brazilian entrepreneur Mario Garnero. Its main goal is to serve as a bridge between the United Nations (UN) and the Brazilian society by developing projects that carry out the ideals and principles of the UN in Brazil. The Marley family is recognised throughout the world as pioneers in music, peace and business. Rohan’s contribution to that legacy has been in the form of responsible entrepreneurship. Marley Coffee, a gourmet beverage brand, and The House Of Marley, a personal electronics brand, are both rooted in the Marley family ethic of sustainability. Marley has made protection of our planet, the foundation for global improvement.
Goodwill Ambassadors are chosen based on her compassion and involvement in global issues.
Around the world Dog feeds on dollar notes
USA - A man returned from a meal with his daughter to find his hungry dog had chewed away 500 dollars of his cash. Wayne Klinkel left his 12-year-old golden retriever Sundance alone in the car with his wallet. Klinkel is now hoping to be reimbursed by the federal government. All he needs is proof that his dog has eaten the cash. Klinkel says after Sundance did his “business” he carefully picked through the dog’s droppings, washed the remnants of the bills, taped them together and sent them to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing with an explanation of what had happened. The bureau’s website says “an experienced, mutilated currency examiner” will determine if at least 51 % of a bill is present and eligible for reimbursement. The process can take up to two years.
Harlem Shake on higher heights
USA - It’s not over yet. The Gangnam Style dance craze is long out of fashion so creator Psy, has had to follow up with a new dance to follow the trend, unlike the ever popular Harlem Shake which is still up to date. As per usual though, Harlem Shaking is still getting people into trouble. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking into a case of high-altitude-dancing, initiated by a group of students. After the plane landed, they posted the video online which promptly went viral. The FAA is investigating the case, on the grounds that: shaking in high-altitude might be too dangerous and that the airline did not follow safety regulations. The airline officials took the incident relatively calmly, after all, the fasten your seats belt signs were off at the time the video was taken!
Hope for chocolate over-eaters
UK - British scientists have found a way to halve the fat content of chocolate without compromising on texture or taste. To create the chocolate, fruit juice is added in the form of micro-bubbles, which keep the texture firm but allow the chocolate to maintain its melt-in-your-mouth feel. The technology works with dark, milk and white chocolate. Traditional chocolate’s high fat and sugar level is a big downside, compared to its high levels of healthy plant-based antioxidants or flavonoids.
Bloody murder or wet dog?
Other famous Goodwill Ambassadors are: (Jamaica) Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce (UK) David Beckham (USA) Whoopy Goldberg (Columbia) Shakira
Rohan Marley and Mario Garnero (United Nations Association-Brazil)
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A Google map picture has sparked speculation and animated conversation of wanna-be detectives who are debating whether the picture shows a bloody murder or a trail left by a wet dog. At first glance the marks on the wooden platform look like a pool of blood. After some consideration however, the red marks could simply be wet wood left by a dog that swam in the lake. Smart observers spotted bike drivers, which also can be seen not too far away and concluded that this would not be the ideal location for a murder, considering it was in broad daylight as well.
Chief Editor: Francesca Quaas(firstname.lastname@example.org) Correspondent in Trinidad & Tobago: Nadia Akram (+1868 739 1185), Correspondent in Jamaica: Deana Meyers ( + 1876 848 1304)/ Contributors: Gabriela Radeva, Basil Linx, Queen Kalefa, Nadine White, Fiona Small, Vision Canada: Alwin Squire , Samantha Deschamps , Kelly Deschamps VISION is an independent newspaper published by Vision C.U. Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales.
BigX for Safer Sex
Vision/ Spring 2013
Chuck Fenda does not forget where he comes from
Singer Ding Dong advocates use of condoms Remember the dancehall moves like Bad Man Forward or Skip To Ma Lou? Dancer-turned-DJ Ding Dong has now adapted a serious note with his new song 'Protect Your Life'. In the song, which aims to raise awareness of HIV/ AIDS and STD, as well as unwanted pregnancy, he puts out a message not too often heard by his contemporaries. He appeals to the parents :
"Wrap it up, zip it up, bag it up/
Anything yuh haffi do Student abstain your mind from sex/ Dat a nah fi yuh Practice safe sex anytime yuh feel like you ah go do/ Protect your life" According to Ding Dong: “This is not just another song, it’s something that’s personal to me as an entertainer and a father to emit positive messages to the youngsters.
For years various Government agencies and corporate entities have chided local entertainers about the lack of positive messages in their music so I want to be one of those to help with that change. The youths are the future and they listen to us more than even their parents sometimes, so as role models we do have a duty in helping to mold them, but it’s not only us; everyone in society has to do their part including the parents.” For the song, the entertainer joined forces with award winning producer Markus Myrie of Markus Records. Kenyan DJ, VJ One, now based in America, directed the video for Ding Dong's new song which features cameos from some of the industry’s biggest and upcoming stars, namely: Mavado, Popcaan, I-Octane, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man, Nicky B, Versatile, Voicemail, Denyque, D’Angel and Vybrant, and producers Jamie Roberts and of course Markus Myrie.
Adults and Children living with HIV/Aids *
0.5% (1 in every 200)
0.2% (1 in every 500)
0.8% (1 in every 125)
1.0% (1 in every 100)
Trinidad & Tobago
1.1% (1 in every 91)
0.1% (1 in every 1.000)
1 300 000
0.4% (1 in every 250)
Adults and Children living with HIV/Aids *
Big support for Ding Dong’s new single by: Mavado, Elephant Man, Versatile & Popcaan
Jamaican singer Chuck Fenda, aka 'The Living Fire', has set up his own charity: 'The Poor People Defender Foundation'. Known for his collaboration with Cherine Anderson, 'Coming Over Tonight', and songs such as 'I Swear' and 'Poor People Cry', the artist says that he wants to put action behind his lyrics. He is convinced that writing a song doesn’t give the completeness that physically helping will give. The Poor People Defender Foundation has set out to cater to the over 200 homeless in and around the corporate area in Kingston, Jamaica, and then gradually expand to other parts of the island. Having had his own fare share of hardship before his break as an artist, Chuck Fenda knows how it feels to endure harsh situations.
Singer sets up charity for the homeless
Middle East and North Africa
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* source: WHO (World Health Organisation), global summary of 2011, all data are estimates based on the best available information
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Symptoms: Many people living with HIV often have no signs or symptoms at all. People who have recently been infected with HIV sometimes experience a short, flu-like illness two to six weeks after infection. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, and body rash. Remember though - the only way you can be certain you do not have HIV is by doing an HIV test!
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Useful site: www.toronto.ca/health/sexualhealth/
Vision/ Spring 2013
Basil Linx’s CommUnity Column Welcome to my column designed to be thought provoking, challenging and even uncomfortable for some. However as an uncompromising PanAfrican I make no apology.
down over many generations by my ancestors. I have my personal favourites and have tried to share them with my own children (and grand children) with varying degrees of success but understanding that ‘Nothing is ever done before the time’ allows me to rest assured that when they need to remember the lesson they will.
When I was a young man my father taught me some valuables lessons, many of which have stayed with me and proved time and time again to be worth their weight in gold as I have negotiated my way through life’s challenges. Often I never really appreciated the meaning or the value of the words of wisdom at the time, however with age and experience I have come to recognise the significance of those traditional sayings and stories which, although I have no idea exactly where they originate from, I’m sure have been handed
Most of us have our own stories to tell and proverbs that we live by that help us to approach all manner of issues and allow us to consistently resolve people problems. I believe that we should hold on to them and continue to pass on the lessons that our forefathers and mothers wanted us to learn. The oral tradition of scholars passing on historical information as well as the use of story telling in teaching has been an essential part of our culture for thousands of years and proves to be as relevant today as it has always been.
Ten of my favourite sayings: • Weh sweet nanny goat a go run him belly • Wha bad a morning cannt good a evening • The humblest calf suck the most milk • The fool speaks a wise man listens • Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand • Unity is strength & division is weakness • Too much ants no dig good hole • One hand can’t clap • Children are the reward of life • Your enemy can’t hurt you because only your friends know your secrets
In this age of social networking, mobile phones and instant messaging, so much has been lost in terms of the handing down and the interpretation of these useful proverbs of life. Also, with so much focus on
What’s On Flying Lotus
Fabolous and Pusha T
Venue: Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. Toronto ON May 15, 2013 at 8 PM Get tickets at: www.concertboom.com
Venue: Club Famous, Mississagua ON May 31, 2013 at 11 PM Get tickets at: www.ticketmaster.com
Venue: Luxy Nightclub, 60 Interchange, Toronto May 17, 2013 at 10 PM Get tickets at: www.luxyclub.ca
Venue: Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. Toronto ON June 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM Get tickets at: www.ticketmaster.com
Dave Matthew’s Band
Pitbull & Ke$ha
Venue: Molson Amphitheater, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W, Toronto ON May 28, 2013 at 3:30PM Get tickets at: www.concertboom.com
D'Angelo Venue: Sound Academy, 11 Polson St. Toronto ON May 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM Get tickets at: www. ticketmaster.com
Venue: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W, Toronto ON June 5, 2013 at 8:00PM Get tickets at: www.concertboom.com
education and qualifications there is a distinct lack of attention to learning good old fashion common sense. In order to maintain these traditional ways of passing down knowledge and culture we need to keep in touch with these proverbs and make a determined effort to keep our culture alive. Given that there is a distinct lack of an institutional community framework or system that we can rely on to maintain our culture, it is up to those of us that are aware to teach the younger members our community these nuggets of common sense. So in the interest of playing your part, create your own top ten sayings and teach them to the young people in your circle making sure that they “pick sense outta nonsense” and walk away with a lesson that will serve them for life. Remember you are a leader
and it’s your time to positively represent all those that came before you, as well as to take responsibility for your children’s future... Don’t be the weakest link!!
Vision/ Spring 2013
Mixed emotions at the ‘World Rub-A-Dub Masters’
Historical stage show let down by some technical errors
by Nadine White
"The World Rub-A-Dub Masters", courtesy of BJ Productions, LV and Tease & Reveal, was a historic concert, as the world had never seen the two heavy-weight sound systems 'Volcano' and 'King Sturgav' play in the same vicinity! When it comes to the development of dancehall music, sound systems were key and hence they were responsible for the success of many artists' careers - such as all of the billed artists, for starters. 'Volcano' was formed in the 80s, under the leadership of Danny Dread and producer Jungo Laws; whereas 'King Sturgav' was formed by Daddy U-Roy in the mid-70s, and he himself, has much to owe to the sound system culture: "Soundsystems played a huge part in my career. It is where i started from and where I come from". Having spoken to 'the Godfather of Dancehall' a couple days before the big concert, I learnt that he received his big break on Dickie Wong's sound system, back in 1951 and this was the beginning of his career. From there, he has worked with the best producers: from 'dubbing it' with the legendary King Tubby to 'making musical Treasures' with the late Duke Reid. Leaning back further into his chair, things seemed a world away from 1969, when he changed the dancehall game and influenced rap music with his distinct 'toasting' style. Interestingly, the whole idea of artistry started out as just a mere creative outlet for the star: "I had no idea, when I started, that I would be still doing it today, but I give thanks." With all those who have tried and failed to crack the music industry, U-Roy says that there is no secret to his longevity. Having been in the business for over 5 decades, he puts his fruition down to humility, being true to oneself and minimalising 'hype'. Sounds like the perfect recipe and it clearly works! Despite visiting the city of London, the 'Wake The Town' (1970) maestro spoke of no plans to go and smoke a 'Chalice In The Palace' (1975), although we did have a good laugh at the idea!
However, who did speak of visiting Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, was Yellowman. He deemed it only right, being the 'King of Dancehall'! "I am the reigning King of Dancehall, of course I am!" he confidently declared, with a glint in his eye, before chuckling "I should to go to Palace, but the guards look scary!" Yellowman has scored a shed-load of hits, toured the world several times over and also makes history as the first dancehall artist to be signed to an american label. Sadly, the Monarch refers to nowaday's dancehall as 'Garbagehall'! Disappointed with its deterioration, he claims that "the talent is there, but it's not particularly being used in the right way", with many of the younger artists lacking the real knowledge of "vintage music". He says there are a few exceptions to these such artists though, such as break-out roots artist Chronixx! "Things are definitely changing. You have artists kicking down dem one another on stage!" Yellwoman commented in reference to the Popcaan & Black Ryno saga at Sting 2012. With even institutions like the Jamaican Sting stage-show failing to impact dancehall fans in the way it has done in the past, the state of affairs makes patrons and artists alike quite concerned for the future of dancehall music. There are others who agree with King Yellowman. Casually, yet vehemently, Frankie Paul stated "I am simply not interested in nowadays’s dancehall music, as it has no teaching. I am interested in the veterans' music."
pparently so are a legion of dancehall patrons - who turned up to Brixton O2 Academy in their numbers on Saturday 30th March, to see these veteran artists sing, toast and 'fry' some magic! There was definitely a unity in the air, a common gladness. The building's capacity was really full and simply bursting with the spirit of red, gold and green! Anticipation continued to grow, as a couple of well-known selectors played, what was meant to be, a ‘warm-up’ set. It became quite apparent though, as more and more time passed that none of the
billed artists, selectors or sounds were present. They were all actually running late! Of course, the audience had no idea of this and unapologetically started to inundate the poor selectors with 'boos', once the '2am' mark was surpassed, with the scheduled show time being midnight. No form of pacification or 'chat' was accepted by the keen and slightly irate crowd - they wanted a show!
Yellowman and Cocoa Tea working the crowds at the World Rub-A-Dub Masters
ventually, after one or two more interjectory reggae tracks, Daddy U-Roy arrived onstage. An apology for lateness would have been nice, but once he performed a few lines from one of his songs, the crowd applauded, were charmed and the show began. Each artist performed in that iconic 'pass the mic' (cipher) style, where one rode the same riddim as the artist before. Classic! Some of the lower billed artists were quite unknown and where a comperer would have been on hand for introductions, the audience did not know who was who at times. In between 'one foot skanks', I saw a few looks of puzzlement on the faces of some and echoes of 'Who's dat'? A consistent problem throughout the evening, which proved to be the event's major flaw, was the sound itself, which was flat. This had a knock-on effect on the energy amongst the attendees, which started to dramatically dip. Nevertheless, credit has to be given to headliners - Cocoa Tea and Frankie Paul who (pardon the pun) frankly carried the concert - despite Cocoa Tea's slightly unprofessional onslaught of profanity towards the end, in frustration.
Yellowman burst onto stage for a very bubbly set, blazing a trail from left to right as he jumped and “pallaved”, singing through a few of his hits like 'Zungguzung' and 'I'm Getting Married'. He only performed for 10 minutes due to health reasons, we came to understand afterwards. Still, our 6 foot King brought such vitality to the place!
U-Roy, Yellowman and Frankie Paul at the press conference below: Cocoa Tea, Frankie Paul and Yellowman on stage
Given the cruciality of sound for any stage show or performance, many left the concert at the end, slightly disappointed. It was a technical issue, which was unfortunately beyond the organisers' control, however they have released a formal apology.
ll is not lost though - the masses turned out to see great performances and they did see this in abundance. In 2013, it was a joy to see the Veterans paying ode to the days when ‘Dancehall was Dancehall', captivating that time and place, with steely flair. The concert did bring sweet nostalgia and that was certainly needed.
Apology “World Rub a Dub Masters” Dear Customers, We the promoters BJ Productions, LV and Tease & Reveal would like to apologize for the difficulties and inconvenience you experienced with the event “World Rub a Dub Masters”. We are deeply troubled that this issue has caused so much distress to you, our valued customers, and have looked into your complaint. After much review, we have narrowed down the cause of the issue to be technical difficulties with the sound equipment. As concert promoters we are in constant pursuit of perfection and are already working on solutions that will prevent similar problems from occurring in the future, our process will be stronger than ever and will help eliminate the problems you experienced. We can assure you the next “World Rub a Dub Masters” event will be bigger and better with a few surprises in store. Yours in service BJ Productions, LV and Tease & Reveal
Vision/ Spring 2013
TANYA CARTER CALLS ON BIRCH FOR EX-BOYFRIEND
The sultry voice from Belize meets authentic Reggae After more than two dozen performances across the world, Belizean songstress, Tanya Carter, has decided to spread her wings to Jamaica. Excited about crossing over to reggae, she has been working closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend. Singing since the age of 5, Tanya takes her inspiration from Jamaican greats: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and Burning Spear; and discovered at an early age her passion for reggae. The Belizean is no stranger to Jamaicans, having opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage and decided to come to the home of reggae music to get a better understanding of the culture around the genre she loves. Tanya is currently working on her second album, which contains reggae, jazz, electro, pop, dancehall and R&B infusions. Her versatility knows no bounds and her passion for music has
resulted in a number of accolades. The greatest of which is being named “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Belize Music Awards three years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012). Tanya’s debut album Daydreaming was named the best album in Belize upon its release in 2011 and tunes from the album graced the airwaves in Jamaica, Los Angeles, Africa, Mexico and even climbed to number 3 on the Lithuanian music charts. Now, on a path to making authentic Reggae music, Tanya’s new single Exboyfriend, produced by Birchill Records, is a one of a kind composition. The infectious beat and catchy lyrics make it impossible for you to listen to the song just once. It fully captures the common emotions involved with having an exlover you are not quite over, something many ladies, and even some men, can identify with. Christopher Birch of Birchill Records says he was happy to work with Tanya:
”She is a real artiste, a great singer with the full package, she writes and she harmonizes; she is very talented. I think she can make it in this industry. We have plans for more tunes, so Jamaica needs to watch for Tanya.” Tanya’s sultry voice and precise melody on the track allows for easy listening and in no time you realize you are singing along. Although several songs have been written about this relationship dilemma, Ex-boyfriend brings a fresh spin on the situation. Tanya also shows her excellent command of patois in the chorus where she sings: “Although mi new man a treat me right, mi wah back mi ex-boyfriend”. And the story continues to unravel, after she confesses: “I must admit I’m not over you although we parted ‘bout a year or two, my new man he’ll never know, you’re the star of my show”.... Get the full story by listening to Tanya’s first Jamaican-produced single Ex-Boyfriend.
Belizean recording artist Tanya Carter now resides in Jamaica
Guyana’s artists want more challenges The growth the reggae dancehall genre and particularly how it transcended national boundaries is truly amazing and thought provoking. An example of this phenomenon is Guyana’s Ruff Kut Productions, a relatively new production studio that is producing beats comparable with the best Jamaica has to offer. Conceptualized and built over time by Neil ‘Cody Ruff Kut’ Cadogan , a selfstyled television and radio broadcaster, Cody Ruff Kut evolved over the last decade and a half as the country’s premier reggae/dancehall broadcaster including a vintage reggae radio program and promotional company. The move towards music production and ultimately, setting up the studio was in Cody’s words: “inevitable due to an intimate relationship with Jamaica and its music, after becoming a faithful disciple of the genre since an introduction to Michigan & Smile’s and Yellowman’s music in the early 80s. There was no turning back.” In a converted home garage and with the aid of Pro Tools 10 and engineers Willy Wally, CeeJay, Cody, Smallman and a combination of musical and engineering talent, waves are being created in a market filled with talent, vibes and limited infrastructure. Chat with Jory, Guyana’s top locally based artiste Who is Jory Hector? Jory is a humble down to earth god fearing person. How far do you want to go as an artiste? As far as the father wants me to go. They say the sky is the limit but I’m going to try to go beyond.
What do you think of the state of music in Guyana ? I think it’s terrible. The bigger heads really need to look in to it and know that it is not a play thing. It’s a powerful weapon and when it hits you, you feel no pain. They need to look into enforcing copy right and see music as a tourist attraction and source of revenue. It isn’t easy for young artistes to do music in Guyana. What messes us up is the lack of production facilities, studios etc. Once there’s good engineering we’re just as good as any other. To what extent do you think an artiste’s lyrics can influence people’s behaviour? To the fullest extent. Young people in particular tend to follow and act on what they hear. It’s very influential especially if it plays a lot on radio and streets. Have you any words pertaining to music that you want share with the world? There’s a lot of talent here that needs to be exposed. Artistes need to keep making music and be themselves. The world is looking for new stuff so variety is what’s needed. Once you bring good music you will be accepted. Any words for broadcasters and DJs ? Although everybody wants to play their own they should encourage new talent. Where do you get your lyrics from? From observing what’s going on in the world and society at large and from inspiration from the almighty and certain other artistes.
Vision/ Spring 2013
WINNING IS NOT ALL THAT MATTERS Talent show contestant JAH BOUKS proves what matters is content - and his lyrics have enough of it The audience voted, the decision has been made, the winners have been announced and the crown for Jamaica’s new King and Queen of the Dancehall and a JA$1 million cheque has been passed on to this years winners. Both, equipped with nuff lyrics, battled their way through a competition where every contestant has to sing their own songs. However none of their predecessors have made an lasting impact on the dancehall arena yet. In an interview with the newspaper
Guardian the popular UK singer Jesse J said about the Voice - the talent show of which she is one of the judges - that: “winning the show is no guarantee of success”. Indeed winning is not all. And so has every talent show a secretly admired favourite. This year the title of the secret favourite or better the people’s choice of Magnum Kings and Queens goes to Jah Bouks, a handsome Rasta with a smooth attitude.
“That crown would not fit me, my locks are too nuff fi it,” he said with a smile. “I’m glad for the exposure though, you can not pay for TV time for weeks. I can safely say that my journey on Magnum Kings and Queens was flawless. There was not one bad comment I got throughout the competition.” The resident judges, who have been there since the show’s inception in 2008, are not tight-lipped when it comes to criticism. Downsound Records producer, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell, prominent media personality, Miss Kitty and highly regarded veteran deejay, Professor Nuts invite a guest judge to every show, like Ricky Trooper, Mad Cobra or Ninja Man, who do not have to asked to comment. So has Mad Cobra credited him for his stage confidence, Miss Kitty praised him of
Vision’s top songs for mothers day
being in a lane by himself and Skatta even compared him to Peter Tosh. On point, lyrical relevant and confident has been the verdict throughout the show. Having his say sums up Jah Bouks’ mission in music too: “We cant vanish from earth without taking a stand. There are people who are defenseless and get pushed around. To ensure that this does not happen again you have to push back and fight if necessary. You have to stand up for what you believe. You don’t fight for yourself alone but to set standards for the generations to come. I want to take black people out of stress.” As a Rasta, Africa is a central focus point in Jah Bouks’ life, a place he likes to refer to as his birth place, although he came into this world in Winchester/ St Thomas, where the video for his song Angola was shot with the support of Magnum. “To me I was there at the times of slavery. It sounds like me mad right now, but I feel a deep relation with and responsibly towards my ancestors.” Jah Bouks is due to release a Mama song in time for Mother’s Day.
JAMAICA’S FINEST RUM CREAM
12th May is Mothers Day in the Caribbean! We have chosen some of our favourite songs honouring Mama! The songs tell the stories of how much a mother means to an individual, how important her advise is, how wonderful it is to have her around and also how much pain it causes to loose a mother.
• Clancy Eccles - What Will Your Mama Say (1967) • “What will your mama say, girl/ When she finds out that we’re in love” • Heptones - Mama Say (1976) • "Mama say/ son, I ain't got no food today" • Baby Wayne - Mama (1992) • "Mama, come check mi regular/ bring mi toothpaste, mi soap and nah left mi dinna" • Merciless - Mama Cooking (1996) • “I will always be thankful and always be true/ for all the things mama taught me to do” • Sizzla - Thank You Mama (2003) • " Thank you mama for the nine month you carry mi" • Lady Saw - Dedicated To Mama (2004) • "Mama I love even though you nah here with me" • Jah Cure - This Is For You Mama (2008) • "This one is for you mum/ been through the struggle you one" • Jacob Miller - Discipline Child (197?) • “Oh mama I wish you were around/ to see how they track me down”
JAMAICA’S FINEST GOLD RUM
• Garnet Silk - Mama (1987/8) • "Oh mama I love you true/ and I know you love me too" • Droop Lion - Mama Soon Come (2009) • "Mama say she soon come back/ and all now she nah come back"
T: (44) 0844 879-4964 M: (44) 0776 062 9477 E: email@example.com
Vision/ Spring 2013
Alkaline likes it theatrical
Nesbeth ties the knot
Selector Foota Hype pops the question
Jamaican newcomer Alkaline has made the headlines after he tattooed his eyes, giving him all black eyeballs. He said it is a new, fresh and theatrical look for dancehall and it has done wonders for him. It has indeed created a momentum of publicity for the artist as people are intrigued. Being the first in Jamaica who has ever tattooed his eyeballs, the student for Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies, does not encourage anyone to copy him as there are risks such as haemorrhage associated with the procedure. He claims Kartel is not a mentor but he respects him as an entertainer as much as any other artist. The tattoo will dissolve over time and as is dissolves the initial hype around him will dissolve too and make way for him to prove himself as an artist with witty and quick lyrics.
Reggae singer N e s b e t h recently got married to his longtime girlfriend at the Struan Castle Gardens in St. Andrew. The Kingston born singer, known for songs like ‘Drive By’ and ‘Board House’, urged fellow entertainers to follow his path because: marriage “looks and feels good”. We love to hear of happy couples and wish them all the best!
During a big party with many celebrities of the music fraternity present, Foota Hype proposed to his long-time girlfriend Ishawna. During a love-song Ishawna was asked to come on stage where he popped the all important question. Ishawna was in tears but very happy. The couple, who has been dating for 8 years, has a 6-year-old-son. Ishawna is a recording artist signed to Downsound Records who have also signed Ninja Man & Nature.
Arrest warrant for mother of Vegas’ child A warrant has been issued for the immediate arrest of Shellian McBayne, Mr Vegas’ babymother, after a no show in court for a second time in their custody trial. The warrant was issued by the Family Court
of New York Bronx County after Shellian did not appear in court to settle the child custody battle. All this comes following Vegas’ public split from his baby-mother who was reportedly caught on camera in the deejay’s home with another man in bed, in the presence of their two year old daughter. The child custody court battle was put-off until May 28.
Anthony B forced to cancel European club tour
Anthony B was forced to cancel tour dates due to his current legal and immigration issues. This current tour should have taken him to Germany, Poland, Italy and the Netherlands all throughout April. He is still expected to perform at all the major festivals this summer in Europe. The reggae entertainer got into a bit of hot water with the law this January when he was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Sizzla Collaborates with violinist Orisha Sound
Tommy Lee Sparta without fans in Trinidad?
Stone Love visa denied Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell, the CEO of the Immortal Stone Love sound system, had to deal with a major setback after several of his top selectors had their work permits denied and visas for the United States cancelled. Nine members of the team recently went to the US embassy to secure work permits for upcoming tours, but six persons were reportedly denied the permits and some even had their visitor’s visa cancelled. After 30 years of travelling back and forth to the US this decision is puzzling.
Mutabaruka leads pe
Dubbed an ‘epic fail’, a meagre nine patrons turned up for a Tommy Lee concert in Trinidad at end of March. The promoters, who expected a huge turn-out, were disappointed and had to refund the admission to those who paid. It is said that Trinidadians do not support his music and radio stations have pulled his songs because of his demon persona. Tommy Lee’s publicist on the other hand claimed that: “Tommy Lee received a warm welcome by Trinidadian fans and the low turnout was due to a high crime rate in Trinidad which makes many stay at home, alongside false allegations that the entertainer was not permitted entry by the Trinidadian immigration”. On his tour he was approached by Jr Dillinger who left a demo tape with him. Impressed by his talent Tommy Lee linked with the upcoming Dancehall/Hip Hop deejay/rapper name Jr. Dillinger and is planing to release their first track in summer this year. But it is not all doom and gloom for the DJ.
On 28th March thousands joined a peaceful march, organised by Mutabaruka of IRIE FM, the Rastafari Millennium Council and the Coral Gardens Committee, to remember 50 years since the Coral Gardens Massacre. The protest started at Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston and ended at Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree. Mutabaruka, known for his outspoken programme on Irie FM called ‘Steppin Razor’, broadcasted live from the event. Speaking to the protesters, Mutabaruka drew parallels between Coral Gardens and Tivoli Gardens, both incidences of people falling victim to police violence. Quoting the words of Peter Tosh he reminded onlookers that: “There is no peace until there are equal rights and justice”, referring to the fact that Jamaica is a country still struggling with high rates of police killings and incoherent court rulings.
Following the release of his single “Captain Sparta”, Tommy Lee Sparta has secured his first children’s show in Sweden and is booked for a five week tour of Europe that includes Holland, France, Italy, Switzerland and England, which kicked off with sold out shows in Paris and Den Haag. Surprised that Tommy Lee chose to record children songs, in a recent interview on Jamaica’s Entertainment Report he stated that he still wants to stick to his Uncle Demon character, which like Doctor Evil or Merciless is just a character. He also stated that he did not believe in religion or demons and that he just wants to live a happy life.
Mutabaruka said he would like to see the government acknowledge the atrocity committed against Rastafarians 50 years ago and would want the authorities to pay compensation to the victims, some of them still alive. Many know figures from the entertainment fraternity turned out to support the event like Irie FM’s Amber, Ron Muschette and Droop Lion amongst many others. Not long after independence in 1963 the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians, killing six civilians in an attempt to get rid of the Rastafarian movement. The then Prime Minister Bustamante demonised Rastafarians subjecting them to state violence, instructing police and armed forces to: “Bring all Rastas, Dead or Alive!” As a result, Rastas were forced to flee or cut of their locks to avoid persecution.
Universal record’s artiste Orisha Sound has collaborated with Sizzla Kalonji in the song called Embrace It. The two have also produces a seductive music video for the single, unfortunately without Orisha hitting the strings of her violin. Orisha is a recording artist of Slavic and Scandinavian ancestry, currently based in Los Angeles. In the meantime Sizzla Kalonji has announced the completion of his 70th studio album called The Messiah.
Flippa:”I was DJ-ing before Bounty Killer” In a recent interview Flippa Mafia, who has changed his name to Flippa Moggela, claimed that he started DJ-ing before Bounty Killer and attended the prestigious Sing show before the ‘5 Star General’. Bounty Killer was not amused by this claim and went to Twitter to hit back with a vocabulary best described as cross, angry and miserable. Flippa Moggela is know for his flamboyant stage appearances in which he likes to throw cash money into the audience (which caused a frenzy at last year’s Sting) and spills champagne bottles.
Vision/ Spring 2013
Magnum King and Queen of the Dancehall crowned The Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall talent show has come to an end. Walking away with the crown and JA$1 million are Sassy Silva - Kimberly Brown, 29 years Old from Clarendon and Kingston and Jonnah – Jonah Jack, 22 years Old from Old Harbour and August Town. This years series had seen some ups and downs. On the down side was Skatta Burrell’s unruly behavior when he broke Khago’s cd live on TV. Skatta refused to apologize to Khago insinuating that the deejay has mental issues. Later Khago was invited to the show to perform live and surprised both his fans and nemesis Skatta Burrell when he said: “Big up yourself Skatta Burrell,” to loud cheers from the audience. Despite the gesture, Skatta Burrell still has beef with Khago. A 30-minute power cut and a short stampede during the final show could not disguise the joy of the two winners. Sassy Silva has a fiery attitude and lyrics that can match it, making her one to watch out for. Jonnah has been a worthy contestant all through the show, although his final clash was criticised for being too tame. Why did you enter MKQ? Sassy: I wanted a face to go with the voice, I love music so I just follow where ever music goes. Johnnah: Because I have the talent. I want to uplift people with my music and be a positive role model to young kids.
Watch This Vision’s Favourite Online Hits
What will you do with the $Million? S: I will give back something to a school because I believe in education. I have 2 daughters so of course put something to their future and of course use some $$ for the music. J: Build a studio to help the young talent in the community (Old harbour) and have a fun day to raise $$ for the community. What is your plan to make sure you do not disappear after the competition is over? S: I have been in dancehall for a while so if I was to win there is no way I can disappear, not a hit and run thing, I want to shine. It doesn’t just stop at Magnum win lose or draw, I running with the baton. J: Push the song same way, give away CD’s, and make links with people in the business. Me a tek my music far and wide.
What an idea! Major Lazer and Busy Signal are bringing back the 90s with ‘Watch Out For This’. Busy looks smashing in his rather large red and gold attire and the bashment girls are looking very sexy indeed; making the 90s look brighter than ever! With a driving 90s beat and typical Major Lazor signature sound, the whole package is very convincing. It seems as if the period may be having a revival.
Have you been approached by any producers? S: Quite a few like Exodus and Ninja Man. J: Not yet.
inset: Sassy Silva and Jonnah, winners of the Magnum Kings and Queens talent show No Jamaican would think of Jamaican food as bizarre but an American TV series called ‘Bizarre Foods’ is discovering the cuisine of the island. Hosted by chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern, his natural curiosity and appreciation of Jamaican food makes it a joy to watch and gives some interesting insider tips.
right from the top: judges Skatta Burrell, Miss Kitty and Professor Nuts/ Khago’s peace gesture to Skatta Burrell/ guest judges Mad Corba, Ninja Man and I Octane/ always a hit - the host of the show Yanique Barrett
Album/ Single Review
Yellowman Young Gifted and Yellow
This two CD/DVD anthology features 40 essential tracks of Yellowman’s prolific career. As an added bonus, the deluxe package includes a 25-minute DVD of Yellowman’s 1988 electrifying live performance at Jamaica’s longstanding annual music festival Sumfest. The first set of the anthology opens with his early ‘80s breakthrough hits like “Mad Over Me” recorded for Channel One, “Death of Barnabas,” “Operation Eradication” and the infamously “slack” “Shorties.” The second disc moves toward his later hits like “Who Can Make the Dance Ram”, “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng” (one of Jamaica’s most sampled songs to this day) and a cover of Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill. Released: April 2013
Snoop Lion - Reincarnated
Bunji Garlin - Differentology
Snoop says about his new self that the Snoop Lion is the elevation of Snoop Dog. With Reincarnated he has released his first album since ‘elevating’ to Rastafarianism. It crosses over many genres, and so features the collaboration with Rita Ora heavy dub beats, or the one with Mavado and Popcaan a hip hop flavour with a heavy horn section that just blows you away. The album, which saw production work from Major Lazer, is very well put together albeit not strictly reggae it will however expose the millions of Snoop Dog fans who have never listened to reggae to the genre. Released: April 2013
Trinidadian hottie Bunji Garlin has teamed up with the American DJ and music producer Diplo known for his productions under the name Major Lazer for his song Differentology. The original version was already a hit of the 2013 carnival season with a catchy hook line and melodic rhythm. The Major Lazer remix gives the whole song an urgency and new futuristic sound starting of very melodic just to drift off in some kind of lazer sound mumble which has nothing to do with the original vibe. The official “Differentology (Major Lazer Remix)” will appear on the Major Lazer Strikes Back EP. Released: April 2013
Jesse Giddings ft. Tiana Back To Me
Canadian pop singer Jesse Giddins has released a new single featuring the Dancehall Dutchess Tiana. Giddings’ new single - influenced by the Celine Dion hit “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (1996)- was produced by Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor. The song goes down like a good brandy: Jesse’s smooth voice and the happy vibe of the song make it perfect for a summer holiday. It’s good to see international collaborations working well. Geared towards a mainstream market this song has the potential to be played on any radio station. Released: April 2013
His private life might be in turmoil but his music career is not. As a setting for his new video ‘Whenever You’re Lonely’, Mr. Vegas has chosen Paris - the city of love! The video effortlessly merges the flair of the European metropolis with the vibe of the Caribbean music, and Vegas pulls off the role of metropolitan gentleman nonchalantly.
In 1991 the song ‘Another Day In Paradise’ landed Phil Collins a Grammy and in 2013 Duane Stepehenson has come back with an equally powerful version called ‘Think Twice’. Placed in today’s Kingston, representing any city, it tells an alarming story of highly charged social content. Would you help a woman in the middle of the night? Sometimes you really should think twice!
Vision/ Spring 2013
Straight from Yard with Irie FM’s DJ Amber MARCH FOR JUSTICE The march for justice, commemorating 50 years since the Coral Gardens Massacre, lead from Downtown Kingston to Half Way Tree, on the 28th March. It became clear that the Rasta community is no longer a small community as a lot of supporters came out, considering that there were similar events taking place in Montego Bay for instance. I was broadcasting for Irie FM during Mutabruka’s programme. I realised that some people viewed it as a Rasta March. It was a however a march about Rastas who where murdered and prosecuted in 1963 in Coral Gardens. More importantly the march made a statement that we are tired of the crime and violence. In Jamaica we have the highest rate in the world of the police killing fellow citizens and this year the extra-judicial killings have risen already compared to last year. This concerns Jamaica as a country which already has a high murder
rate. The march was significant as it was the first of its kind. Furthermore it touched a topic most people do not want to talk about: some people can not get certain jobs because of their complexion even though they are qualified! People are discriminated and there is still colour and class-prejudice in Jamaica. It is a very serious thing and does not only concern Rasta. Justice concerns everyone! This March for Justice was followed one by the people of Tivoli Gardens. Even after almost three years no-one has been charged with the murder of over 70 people of the Tivoli Gardens insurgence in connection with the capture of Christopher ‘Dudus‘ Coke. Marches like these are good, it shows that people can come together and demonstrate in a peaceful way to bring across their point. We need better governance. The lack of good governance has lasted for so many years.
NOISE ABATEMENT ACT The 2am Noise Abatement Law will be enforced even stricter. Usually the promoters get a 2am permit from the parish council with the ok from the police; an extension to keep your show until 4am
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Live Links Thursday’s: 2:30pm - 3pm on WVOF 88.5 fm in the USA Friday’s: 3pm - 3:30pm on Bess 100 fm in Jamaica God Alone Radioshow Tuesday’s: 10am - 12pm on Metrolove 92.2 fm Thursday’s: 10am - 12pm on Metrolove 92.2 fm www.wvof.org www.bessfm.com www. metroloveradio.com
is negotiable. In my opinion however the law is currently enforced in a biased way. We see some shows that are kept until daylight and others locked down before the main acts get a chance to perform. It is a complex problem that can only be solved with co-operation. The promoters should really put the
Revelers enjoying themselves at outdoor party until late in the night. The Noise Abatement Act however foresees a closure at 2am for these kind of events. performers on stage before their permit runs out and the police needs to be more humane in doing their job. They could for instance review the situation on the day, rather than ending the show abruptly without giving the MC the chance to say to the people that the show is being locked down. Sometimes the artist does not show up until after the permit has expired. That is unfair towards the promoter, who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the show work. The artists need to be on time. Music is a business, not enjoyment alone. Money, time and thought is invested into it. Just as much police earn a living with what they do, promoters, artist, selector and vendors come together to earn a living too. If we are fair and honest we must accept that this problem is the responsibility of the promoters, artists, police and government. They need to form a committee with people from different areas in order to solve the problem and amend some of the laws who are not working well. Entertainment plays a big part in Jamaica and people come from abroad to enjoy Jamaican entertainment. They will go to other places to find that vibe. Recently the Police Commissioner made an announcement, that there are discussions to regulate what can be played in the dancehall. It is the first time we hear that apart from the music on the radio, which has been censored by the Broadcasting Commission since 2009, the music on the road and in the dance is under consideration. We have to look out for what is coming out of that as it is getting more and more complex. People keep meetings in order to touch entertainment folks but a lot of the ideas are not practical or reasonable. How would they want to enforce it? Will they give selectors playlists? At the moment the Broadcasting Commission can not keep up with monitoring all the new releases.
HOT IN THE DANCEHALL RDX Broad Out, QQ with Ghetto Gyal and One Drop, new songs from Aidonia and Busy Signal and Major Lazor are played in every dance and ruling the ladies right now.
Fi Real? by Nadine White Snoop Dogg has been receiving death threats from some members of the Rastafarian community, because of his unconventionality as a Rastafarian. Snoop publicly converted to Rastafarianism, whilst on a trip to Jamaica, earlier this year. He also changed his name to “Snoop Lion’’ and started to record Reggae material. Snoop shot a documentary - ‘Reincarnation’, outlining his religious transition. Since its release & the subsequent announcement of Snoop’s new Reggae album, sceptical members of the Rasta community have questioned Snoop’s ‘true intentions’. The ‘Rastafarian Millenium Council’, charged with the responsibility of protecting the interests of Rastafarianism, have demanded a public apology from Snoop for his failure to “since meet contractual, moral and verbal commitments to Rastafarianism”. They have also been said to have made some monetary demands. Triple Grammy-award recipient Bunny Wailer has been at the forefront of this very public attack on Snoop for his “fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism”. The way I see it, we don’t need to hear anything but more great music from Bunny. His involvement in this matter is uncalled for, unrepresentative of the argued humility of Rastafari and thus, casts aspersions on him. I, for one, am shocked at his stance because, out of the 3 original members of ‘The Wailers’, Bunny’s always been known for being ‘the quiet one’, whereas the late Peter Tosh was seen as the more militant individual. Although the recent death threats towards Snoop’s life came from a small, “unknown” portion of the Rastafarian community, the overall reaction to his conversion is quite discouraging. Rastafarianism is supposed to be a peaceful and loving religion, founded upon principles of inclusivity and non-judgement. Bob Marley once sung “Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny” (taken from track ‘Zimbabwe’); if Snoop Lion wants to declare Rastafarianism as a new direction in his life, then that is his perogative. And only his perogative. The ‘Rasta Millenium Council’ state in their doctrine that “Rastafarianism remains socially and economically marginalised in Jamaica”. Instead of attacking Snoop Lion, surely their time would be better spent continuing to legitimise their faith to the masses? The appropriate saying would be “Dance ah yard, before you dance abroad”. The common primary purpose of religion is to bring comfort to its follower and Snoop Lion cites his latest change as “a growth into the next phase of his life”.Who are we to argue this? The relentless study of everyone else’s life-decisions, but one’s own, is just one of the reasons why most religions are starting to lack focus and hence, become corrupt. Snoop should be free to make whatever decisions he sees fit, concerning his life. In a time such as this, there’s a greater work to do besides studying his every move and criticising it! Needless to say, following the death threats, Snoop Lion has started to re-think his decision to return back to Jamaica anytime soon.
Vision/ Spring 2013
The ‘Top Model’ reality series has finally arrived in the Caribbean
by Lee-Ayesha Antwi
Caribbean’s Next Top Model hosted by Wendy Fitzwilliam and set in Trinidad & Tobago first aired on 18th February 2013. The 'Top Model' series was created by Tyra Banks, hitting the screen in 2003, and since then has become a global sensation being aired worldwide as well as being adapted in 52 countries. It seems that the search for the Caribbean's next top model was overdue, the majority of the contestants have already gained modelling experience in some form and have been anticipating the show's arrival. I have watched the 8 episodes that have aired so far and can say that I am most definitely hooked. What makes the show more irresistible this time around is the diversity that it brings to the screen. The contestants were selected from around the Caribbean (hence the name) and among the top ten are: Shiriza who is of East Indian background, and Susan whose roots are Chinese, both representing Trinidad & Tobago. Unlike contestants in other series of Top Model who only saw modelling as a vehicle to
travel, be famous, or pursue ventures such as acting, the Island beauties present a clear understanding of how winning the show will enable them to encourage the young women of their communities to work hard to pursue their dreams. For those that are eliminated, some see this as a door to their future while others view their departure as an end to their life long dream of modelling, leaving with plans to venture onto other things and taking on board all they have learned and using it as a life changing experience.
Let us not forget the drama! There's nothing like a good argument to really get things heated up, and nothing beats hearing it in a Caribbean accent! Tempers flare and harsh words are exchanged amongst the girls, in particular between Lisa (Jamaica) and Ataliah (Trinidad & Tobago). Emotions run high when the girls get their make-overs; drastic changes
The contestants of the first Caribbean’s Next Top Model series. above: Top Model host Wendy Fitzwilliam
a r e m a d e w h i c h leaves some of the girls feeling insecure and faced with learning how to work their new looks. The show is everything it should be from theme tune to judging panel, and former Miss Universe winner Wendy Fitzwilliam is the perfect host and role model. The challenges and photo shoots are at their best and really show off the heritage and beauty of the Caribbean. The show serves as a refreshing representation of beauty itself.
At the time of the editorial deadline these two finalist were anticipating to become the first Next Top Model of the Caribbean, namely: Treveen from the Cayman Islands and Stephany from Curacao.
Hooked on Crocheting
Jamaica’s crochet genius MINKA stitches deep symbolism into her designs
Dubbed the Crochet Couture Diva and Crochet Queen, Gillian Francis, better known as Minka, has for years made colourful designs and individual fashion. Her new Maverick collection adds to her body of work with a different twist, or rather, stitch. She combines part African fabric and part crochet together with sequins, most notable in her evening gowns. "If you think of evening gown you think of satin and silk but I have introduced a look reminiscent of Africa, an Afro-centric look. It's part of my latest Maverick collection which had a successful show last December at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston." Conscious, down to earth and bubbly, Minka explodes with energy when talking about her work. As a newly certified Family Herbalist, Minka has a spiritual side to her which she also expresses in her designs, mainly through materials such as crystals and amethysts or healing stones, and through symbols. "Clothes help to beautify the place, that's how I look at things. My Maverick collection is embedded in spirituality, inspired by African, Chinese and Indian material. I tried to make it a universal collection, depicting that we all need to get together and work together. I also like to incorporate symbols like the butterfly or lotus-flower. To me the Butterfly represents change. There was a crucial moment in my life where I changed. I was an angry person and very miserable never knowing why until I went back to my childhood, where I was abused, almost raped and beaten up a couple of times. Symbolism has become very important to me and I am trying to express that in my clothes. One symbol can have several meanings, however I don't think there is a evil or negative side to a symbol as such. The question is
rather how we use and interpret it. I have a swastika symbol on my arm. This symbol has been used in various ancient cultures, representing good luck, long before the Nazis used it too.“ The name of her current collection - Maverick - is not a coincidence. A maverick is a person who is independentminded. “People asked me why, as a successful designer, I don't drive a big car and so forth, but I don’t like society to tell me how to be successful. I have a piece of mind, I live my dreams. It‘s not so important to have material things, its more important to do your own research and be free from ‘mental slavery’.”
More information under: www. minkaluv.com
You have to be confident to wear a Minka design, because they attract a lot of attention.
Arts & Culture
Vision/ Spring 2013
A Scape of Consciousness
‘I learnt all over again to have a sense of wonder for simple things, the nearness of nature, and the ease at which you can immerse yourself in growth.’ by Darin Gibson
There’s a quietness that surrounds Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné as she sits across a table slightly nervous, anticipating my first question. Between us are sheets of watercolour paper covered with movements of vibrant colours, dark, bold swaying lines and a mosaic of curvilinear weavings. Cradled in each are figures, their bodily and facial expressions contemplative and yet distinctly communicative. Fortuné approaches questions both from me and from life with this very quality, a quiet, yet purposed consideration. Her responses to both have only a few specific answers. Her art and her poetry, like her thought, carry only suggestions toward new possibilities for living, inviting the viewer, the reader or the listener (if one is so fortunate) to a closer exploration of the indivisible scape of one’s consciousness and environment. Her stay in Sangre Chiquito in northern Trinidad over the period of three months in 2012 brought her in close confrontation with a land with which she was acquainted from childhood but never knew. It was here that she rediscovered a landscape that was open to the intimacy of its inhabitants, that revealed both the beauty and the cruelty of nature and their parallel in human consciousness. ‘I learnt all over again to have a sense of wonder for simple things,’ Fortuné remarks, ‘the nearness of nature, and the ease at which you can immerse
yourself in growth.’ Her artistic process then became both deliberate and intuitive, and as she engaged her experiences, giving form and colour to her thought, her paintings began to
unveil their own meaning, rooted in a conscious and subconscious interplay. They, along with her poetry, allowed her to articulate perceptions and understandings that she would have otherwise found difficult, if not impossible, to adequately express. It was in fact through poetry that
Fortuné became acutely aware of the precision and concision of her expression. The close and careful editing of her written word crept into her psyche, beginning an increased awareness of her everyday speech, even her thoughts. All came under inspection for truth and accuracy in meaning and this accounted for the cautious, measured way Fortuné spoke, as though she were scrutinizing every thought before she uttered it. The translation of this approach into her art implies a critical honesty but it also demands a self-effacing courage. For without any furnishings that could guarantee public appreciation, the artist/writer is then left naked before an uncertain public; her thoughts, her experiences, her dreams, her emotions, all laid open for scrutiny and the presumption of opinion. There is a risk involved that is far beyond that of an emotional fall. But Fortuné is exposing such intimate selves in the hope that the viewers, readers, listeners— the participants—in that experience, in the moment/s of contact, can recognise their own intimate longings, their own private selves and the daily, powerful interface between these and their physical surroundings. Fortuné’s paintings can be valued purely as arresting aesthetic works. But those whose interest moves past the form to its meaning, can unearth memories and ideas that can reshape present experience. They can rediscover paths into an internal and external scape that, though
Vybz Kartel’s book ‘The voice of the Jamaican Ghetto’ soon to be taught in schools? Renowned Professor for Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, Carolyn Cooper has recommended Vybz Kartel's book to be included into Jamaica's school curriculum. Her recommendation has raised a few eyebrows. Cooper however has defended her decision, claiming the book to be an 'excellent text before any judgmental attempts'. She further stated that: “The Voice
Danielle Boodoo-Fortune’s watercolours have distinct movements of vibrant colours and dark, bold swaying lines above: Self portrait, middle: ‘Among Flowers’ perhaps neglected or even forgotten, continues to voice wordless, incisive truths. www.wildflower-studio.tumblr.com
Lee “Scratch” Perry exhibition shows his paintings
of the Jamaican Ghetto should be read in and out of school. It ought to be on the CXC social studies syllabus. It raises complex issues of social justice in an accessible way. This book will engage the attention of every student, from Champion College to Gaza Secondary. And Adidja Palmer needs to be given a fair trial. Quickly! Otherwise, we run the risk of turning Vybz Kartel into a political prisoner, fulfilling the expectation of the book cover.”
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Lee “Scratch” Perry is known to be Jamaica’s most innovative and eccentric producer; music connoisseurs say that he produced Bob Marley’s best songs. The veteran producer has now crossed over to a different genre: visual arts. Perry unleashes his creative energy on canvas and
paper with vibrant colours, frantic brush-strokes and messages of Rastafari. “Repent Americans” is a solo exhibition dedicated entirely to the paintings of Lee “Scratch” Perry, shown until the 15th June at the Dem Passwords gallery in Los Angeles/USA.
Vision/ Spring 2013
The Sassy Guide M A D E I N J A M A I C A to surviving a Comedian Tony Hendriks: “We are not just one thing” blackout by Nadia ‘Sassynadz’ Akram
Good Friday in Trinidad and Tobago was quickly dubbed “Black Friday” as the country suddenly descended into darkness thanks to a nationwide blackout that left residents searching for their chocolate eggs by torchlight. The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) engineers took a shameful 12 hours to restore power. Thousands of Trinbagonians suffered a long, thirsty, mosquito filled, and extremely sweaty night. In sympathising with the situation, Vision wondered what one should do when a blackout strikes, these are the suggestions we came up with:
Voted Best Jamaican Comedian in 1999 & 2000 by the Jamaican public, and with several TV appearances on British and Jamaican TV, Tony Hendriks has carved out a special character stage-persona as Paleface: "If I had a mission statement it would say: my comedy is there to open people's minds to the universality of being Jamaican and the fact that we are not just one thing."
• As soon as the blackout hits, stop moving. With the fans cut out and the air conditioner at a halt, you should only move when necessary so as to avoid working up a sweat. Stand at least 4ft away from other people so you don't run the risk of sharing body heat.
“To me the question is: are we dealing with stereotypes or archetypes? A stereotype is a cartoon character with no real value, except to poke fun at. Let me give you an example.
• Start to use up all your perishable food (like those prime steaks and Häagen-Dazs you've been saving for that special occasion), eat up everything in sight before it, well, perishes. Just remember you won't have any cold beverages to wash it down with. • Dine by candlelight and tell your other half it's a romantic meal for two and earn some brownie points! Remember no cuddling though, or any other heat inducing activities. • Embrace the darkness and make the time pass faster by catching up on some sleep. Close your eyes and let the sound of mosquitoes singing in your earholes allow you to drift away.
• Daylight finally comes; you're hot, sweaty, thirsty and severely cranky. Grab the suntan lotion and head to the nearest beach; submerge yourself in the deliciously cool water and soak. Take in the breeze and enjoy nature's air conditioning. • Find yourself at the nearest outdoor bar and knock back some lukewarm beers, since there's no ice cold water it's a good excuse to drown your sorrows of being electricity-free.
Hendriks grew up in Jamaica and vividly remembers his grandfather nurturing his appetite for words and stories. “After school I would go to my grandparents and when my grandfather woke up from his siesta nap he told me stories of two young boys, one white, one black, who always got into trouble. He entirely made those up and I later found out that he had different stories with different characters for each of my brothers and cousins.” Hendriks’ own stories and sketches circle around Jamaican life and realities, but is there an element of stereotype in them?
• Your laptop is dead and your phone needs a charge, which inevitably means no Facebook (shock horror!). Practice the ancient art of talking with one another.
• Too hot, can't sleep? Find that book you've been meaning to read for ages, rip off the front cover and use it as a fan to cool yourself down.
how important a moment it was; knowing I caused that laughter.”
His popular TV show ‘Paleface Point Of View’, aired on Jamaican channel CVM in the late 90s, has cemented his place as a much loved comedian. His popularity is not confined to Jamaica alone. Audiences in Britain and the USA have embraced him, especially since his award winning comedy 'Laugh Jamaica' which he wrote, produced and starred in and sold out over 100 shows. Due to its success 'Laugh Jamaica' went on to be broadcast on British TV and to date the video has sold over 50,000 copies. Having a special talent is one thing but pursuing it as a career path quite another. Is Tony Hendriks a comedian by chance or by choice? “My earliest memories are making people laugh and enjoying it. The fact that I can remember means
Suddenly his voice changes into an old-lady quiver, spiced with an unmistakable Caribbean sound. Mimicking an old Caribbean woman he says: "come 'ere I'm going to just beat you, because you deserve a beating."
That’s a character on the basis that it’s absurd and we sort of know that character of an old, knowledgeable woman. An archetype talks about something more and leaves more room for social commentary, because what I am also trying to point out is that a lot of the time people in the police station are there for completely the wrong reasons or simply don't understand different cultures. I try to go beyond stereotypes and use archetypes. Although it is comedy you might at times default to a simpler, stereotypical statement. However a stereotype wont tell you anything new. Are you patriotic? “Very.” How does it show? Showing his T-shirt with a Jamaica 50 slogan: “I did not put this on for you.” He also rolls up his sleeve to display a tattoo on his upper arm has which reads: 'made in Jamaica'. “We were just re-doing our front door and I suggested to my wife that we could paint it black, gold and green.” He adds with a smirk. “You will find that in most conversations the word Jamaica will slip in. I was born there, came to England when I was 11. When I went back after 15 years it was like re-finding my soul. This is who I am.”
That's a stereotype of conservative values within the black community. Hendriks explains. But if you would say something like - and again he slips into this Caribbean lady character-: "They should give Brixton police station to a Black woman to run because I could tell you from who is guilty from who is not guilty. I know who deserve a beating and who just need send home."
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Vision/ Spring 2013
World Rub-A-Dub Masters with Cocoa Tea, General Trees, Little Twitch, Little John, Brigadier Jerry, Frankie Paul U-Roy and Yellowman supported by ‘Volcano’ and ‘King Sturgav’ at the Brixton Academy
Women in Jazz & Funk with Lorrain Briscoe, Evettemay Briscoe and Natalie Steward at Cottons
Spring 2013 / Page 15
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