And the final Popcaan feature... My photograph in print in the latest Billboard!!!
My top shotta baby gyal JUNGLEPUSSY recently released her debut album, SATISFACTION GUARANTEED! In typical girl power fashion we put together a photoshoot with the wonderful make up artist Christine Hohl and UK stylist Savannah Baker. Tish Weinstock put it all together and released it through i-D. Check out the final article below and you can stream her new album here.
Yesterday was a big day! Junglepussy and Popcaan, my two favorite young black artists out right now, dropped their albums yesterday!!! For the occasion i-D was on top of it all and released a wonderful Q&A with Popcaan the same day. The article includes my favorite photograph from the time I spent with Popcaan in Shocking Vibes Studio Kingston, Jamaica. You can hear Poppy's new album here!
As for Junglepussy, you can look forward to some goodies presented to you by none other than i-D coming very soon!
Alas! I can start sharing some of the images I shot of Popcaan during my stay in Jamaica. It was a pleasure to work with the Unruly Boss and this interview in Complex, of which my photographs are featured, couldn't have been more true to life. I'm currently putting together a visual diary of my own story behind the images and experience with Popcaan's music in Kingston, but I'm thankful that Complex writer Reshma B did his story such justice.
Popcaan's album "Where We Come From" will be coming out June 10th and can be pre-ordered here.
One day back in the Big Apple - Cris and I are at the Mac Store trying to fix the seemingly impossible mystery that is my phone service. I'm overhearing a conversation a customer is having with a sales rep, the man is surprisingly calm while he announces that an Apple charger burnt down his apartment a week ago so his current wireless problem is the least of his worries. I am already sufficiently disappointed with Babylon and have only been out of Jamaica for a week now. Cris and I take to the computer to look up some cheap flights to anywhere but here really.. and just at that moment we get a phone call from OhLa, Cris' childhood friend and one of the members of the TanBoys movement that hails from Spanish Harlem who is on the up and coming in the rap game. They're heading to Toronto for Canadian Music Week and offered us two seats on their two day road trip... Video coming soon!
As I recently got back from an absolutely life changing trip to Jamaica I finally have the chance to update my website with some of the wonderful people I've been blessed to meet and document while in Zion for two blissful months. First to be added to the list is the band the Courtney John Project. I originally contacted their management as I was interested in such musical innovation especially coming out of Jamaica, which is mostly a dancehall and reggae dominated music hub. Billboard's Patricia Meschino described their sound as the intersection of "electronic dance music (EDM) meets roots reggae. 'Roots is the foundation; tronic is the innovation,' says John, an accomplished singer/songwriter best known for his lovers rock hits 'When You Say' and 'Lucky Man'."
No words could even explain how that simple but complex thought musically manifests itself, especially when hearing it on a beautifully breezy March day, in a hidden studio behind a hair salon, away from the politics of the music industry. It was the stuff of fruits - all the juice, no pulp.
To see more of my photographs of the Courtney John Project click here.
Well I know who you are, baby
I've seen you go into that meditative state.
You're the snake charmer, baby.
And you're also the snake.
This week my trigger finger had quite the exercise! Below is a photographic update of what I've been up to - we got back to Kingston for some photo shoots with Popcaan, the Courtney John Project and Keida. The rest of the images are from the in between - getting to and from, and the photographic adventures that the lovely Keida and her manager Woodrow took us on.
Here's a sneak peak of yesterday's photo shoot with Jamaica's Unruly Boss himself, Popcaan. In the reflection to the left is myself, to the right is Rons from Shocking Vibes Studio. More to come! x
Woke up this morning to the soothing sounds of waves crashing. Last night we got into Ocho Rios around 6pm. A really nice lady who I spotted in the in the bathroom at the Jerk Centre Knutsford bus stop put us in a route taxi and Cris went to get a patty as we were waiting for the cab driver to get more passengers. Eventually three Germans get in the car and are staying at the same hostel as us! So off we go… thank God they were there or else we would’ve definitely missed the entrance to Villa Sake - a lazy house suspended over a little cove of water in the ocean. There’s 4 or 5 little cabins lining the main 3BR house where we’re staying in a perfect room to the left of the half-living-room-half-enclosed-deck (as the wall facing the water is entirely glass windows with two huge panels missing).
We’re starving at this point so we see two different Germans entering the house and chat with them. They suggest a 10 minute walk to a place called Tommy’s Jerk Center - which we shortly find out is a open-space bar with a pool table surrounded by a few large beautiful wood tables that are across between dining and bar tables. All plotted on 130 something acre land up a steep hill off the main road. We order curry shrimp and jerk chicken for dinner and although we promised ourselves to stop drinking the day before I ordered a white rum and cranberry and Cris ordered a white rum and ting. We sat down, enjoyed the adorable baby puppies - Bringles and Bella, and got introduced to the owners Lennin and his father; whose name we never got but eventually in the night christened him ‘Pops’....
Cris and I are staying right across the street from Negril's 7 Mile Beach. The balcony is absolutely breathtaking - we look out on to endless fields of luscious foliage. The hotel has a (somewhat gross) nostalgic feel about it - like it was the TOP place in the 90s and 80s but no ones kept it up since. But this morning I awoke (after seeing Sizzla perform on the beach last night), I opened all the windows and it instantly turned from a dodgy hotel room to a 5-star, clean, bright heaven of a place. We spent all day on the beach; walking up and down, drinking Pina Coladas and soaking up the sun. Now I love it here. Relaxing and beautiful - even the insistent hustlers are kind of endearing. They have like twelve different side hustles after you decline their first item or service for sale. Gotta respect it though.
"You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."
-Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
"A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire
for the mind as well as the body."
"There is only one day left, always starting over:
it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk."
-Jean Paul Sartre
"Flattery is like chewing gum.
Enjoy it but don't swallow it."
“It's quite an undertaking to start loving somebody.
You have to have energy, generosity, blindness.
There is even a moment right at the start where you have to jump across an abyss:
if you think about it you don't do it.”
-Jean Paul Sartre
"It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends. I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my finger upon the moment it ended, can never cut through the ambiguities and second starts and broken resolves to the exact place on the page where the heroine is no longer as optimistic as she once was."
-Joan Didion in Goodbye to All That