Selwyn De Wind interviews DJ Diplo who will be featured together with DJ Skrillex at the Paradiseworld Music festival/conference<—(link to event )style event in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.
For more information check out Selwyn’s page he is known and admired for his radio and TV personality who has made his mark with his music, video film and production projects. Check out his blog : selwyndewind.wordpress.com
Michael Brown, is a talented artist and reggae musician in Curacao. If you walk down the Riffort Area of Otrabanda on the tourist area near the EmmaBrug, a beautiful historic floating bridge that links the Downtown areas of Punda and Otrobanda together. You will find him and his band member from Isoko entertaining the crowds with some, and sometimes a song made up just for you. Be sure to ask to see his meticulously hand-carved walking sticks! OR just him give you a call on the “Telephone”
“…Support means providing information, workshops and lectures so that everyone may have access to all the tools and opportunities I used to reach my goal. This is a very hands-on type of support. I believe it is also important to have an educational system kids can turn to, to develop their talents. This is the only way to keep local music alive, interesting and developing. It needs to grow, develop and be injected with new blood and ideas.”
Name: Izaline Francisca Juanita Calister Date of Birth: 9th of March but the year is a big big secret Place of Birth: The beautiful sunny island of Curacao
Your connection to the Caribbean: I was born there and lived there most of my life, the most important formative part of my live there. I love the vibe, the sounds, the colours, the music, the people……need I go on??? Highschool attended: Radulphus College. Willemstad, Curaçao Current Studies /Occupation: Well I finished studying a few years ago. I studied Business Administration in Groningen and when I finished this I studied Music in Groningen as well and graduated in 1998.
What is or are the accomplishments you are most proud of up to now?
Bringing the music that I write and sing in my own language papiamentu, to all parts of the world. There is no greater feeling than noticing that it works everywhere and people leave the concert with a happy smile on their face even if they don’t understand a word I am singing.
Who has been your inspiration? Oswin ‘chin’ Behilia, Richard Bona, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Sara Tavares. Artists from different parts of the world who create by mixing and matching different influences in a unique way.
What are the choices you made that you believe have brought you to where you are today? Early on in my career I decided to be a true professional; to always be on time, always well prepared, always fair and straight, always friendly….and artistically always follow my gut feeling and my heart.
What do you feel about the state of Antillean music in General? There is a lot happening and brewing underground. I can’t wait to hear and see what is going to come up in a few years.
How do you feel you are contributing to the evolution of Antillean music? That is one of the things I am most proud of. I know that even if it is for a small part, my music and my success abroad, a lot of young musicians on my island are now daring to dream bigger dreams. People are now more aware of the richness of our music and culture even though we are a small island. They are finding more and more ways to express their pride.
What do you prefer to do on one of those “I have nothing else to do, no obligation,chill out type of days” in Holland?Those days are very rare for me. But when I have them I love to go see a concert by artists I admire, catch a movie or just curl up on the couch and watch a nice series on DVD. Nowadays I have two addictions: Grey’s Anatomy and Heroes.
How do you feel about the state of contemporary music on the islands/or Holland?Well, sometimes I miss some originality I guess. I think people are too obsessed about being succesful instead of being original. Thank Goodness you always have special quircky individuals that will try something new and make it hip to be special for a while. I love real musicians, real singers, and real songwriters. I hope they are the ones who will keep on prevailing in this world filled with plastic, computer enhanced artists.
How do you think we can improve music education on the islands? I hope the government realizes how important music education is for it’s people. We need a proper way of teaching so children can get a good basic music education. We need a way to detect kids that have a special inclination or talent early on. We need ways to make sure gifted children fully develop their talents.
For this we need a methodology that fits our culture and people. This has to be designed and thoroughly thought over. This requires money, determination, tools and knowledge. We also need to realize that this should be an ongoing process with a long breath. The government is the first who can help in this process. Then we need rolemodels who are willing to teach, talk, advise, listen and form. Here is where I see a big role for me and my fellow musicians.
Why do you believe it is important to support local music, and what does Support mean to you?
Support means providing information, workshops and lectures so that everyone may have access to all the tools and opportunities I used to reach my goal.
This is a very hands-on type of support. I believe it is also important to have an educational system kids can turn to, to develop their talents. This is the only way to keep local music alive, interesting and developing. It needs to grow, develop and be injected with new blood and ideas. What’s the top five on your Play List? - Eyala-Richard Bona - Lisboa Kuya- Sara Tavares - Be still my heart-Silje Nergaard - When morning comes-Dianne Reeves - James-Pat Metheny
What is your favorite song in Papiamentu? No bai by Oswin ‘Chin’ Behilia
Any new projects or new sounds? I am preparing a new CD. I want to try something new but don’t know what yet. I’m thinking, trying, experimenting, writing, tossing and turning…….so I guess it’s 2008 were watching out for.
Message to the Global Community: “ Keep supporting the music from lesser known parts of the world. You might never know what kind of gems you may encounter and be very pleasantly surprised by music from the smallest of islands.
Shout-out to the Caribflava (The UCC) community: Hi guys, I feel honored to be part of this community. With ears and eyes wide open to what is happening in the Caribbean region and beyond. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!
( UPDATE: Watch her perform for the King and queen of the Netherlands in April of this year 2014)
A glimpse in to our in depth interview with Dinah Veeris in Curacao.
She speaks about the historical uses of the now trendy Moringa tree. And gives advice on what plants may be best to start planting in our own yards. I personally adored this interview. I can’t wait to post the full-form for you all to enjoy. Part 1 will be available shortly. I have learned so much from each segment may just inspire you ( like it did Deya and I ) to start your own herbal garden OR simply remember to water your own :)!
Tell us a little about the Caribbean Lace blog.
Caribbean Lace is a platform that keeps up with all the current fashion trends in the Caribbean, Latin America and beyond. My experiences in fashion and lifestyle publishing in the Caribbean and The U.S. made me realize that many people do not have a access to the fashion scene in the West Indies and Latin America. Therefore, Caribbean Lace is on a mission to bring this region’s style revolution to the rest of the world.
What is your take on the Curacao Fashion Scene? I have seen that fashion scene evolving at a rapid speed these past 2 to 3 years. We have internet and in particular, social media to thank for this. People have so much access to see what others are wearing and they are following these blogs, that they can actually be very much up to date with the trends.
I sometimes sit at Starbucks and see that everyone is looking amazing, and wonder where do they find these fabulous things in the first place! If you want to compete here on the island, you’ll have to bring it, so to speak! I also see great revolutions, there is a trend to wear your hair natural, or let your curls loose. I see the braided style coming back. I even saw an Emo girl the other day with her hair dyed blue, with these purple plush leg warmers and no one looked at her twice, back in the day everyone would have laughed at her.
There are more and more events being organized, we had the Curaçao Model search the other day. There have been food and fashion events. So, as far of that we see a lot of people trying to do more with fashion on the island. But I truly love the fact that we’ve had two NY based designers visiting Curacao, completely fallen in love with our tiny rock and have dedicated their collection to the island. One was during NYFW 2 years ago (Washington Roberts) and the other one will take place in Miami in July 2014 (Indashio).
What have you seen that is distinctly Curacao?
As fabulous as we are, and we are. I see some of these girls, who can give Kim K a run for her money, not Rihanna though (haha), we are still following trends. We are still looking at what celebrities are wearing, or looking at what other bloggers are doing. But we are discovering ourselves in that process as well. I don’t see many people wearing something self made or completely distinctive yet. There are a few who are bold enough to do so, but that lost is still short.
Curvy women are screaming for fashion. We have women here who know, what fashion is.
They know what they like and what they want. They know what looks good on them, but local retail still has to catch up.
Do you think the curvy style is something Caribbean women have embraced a long time already? Or no?
The amount of stores that can offer them something are limited, so they are resorted to go abroad or order clothes online. This curvy revolution is still relatively new and booming. In the US it’s a huge deal as well as in Brazil and Denmark. However, the Britts have been doing this for a while.
Honestly, I think I am in over my head, I want to show through this medium that working together and coming together to collaborate on something great, we can achieve so much. The fact that I can have a voice on Carib-Flava is proof of this. There is so much talent in Curacao, but somehow we can’t find it in us to trust one another or to share our piece of the pie. It’s a small island, so I do get it. We are hoping, through Caribbean Lace, to be that example. Especially by showing how other people do get things accomplished. Let it be an inspiration!
Name: Chantry Hodge
Date of Birth: September 19th, 1983
Place of Birth: St. Maarten
Where have you been living the passed two years? All My Life I have Been Living On St. Maarten
Where are you living now? Of Course.. St. Maarten
Current occupation: Professional Dj/ Owner & Executive Producer Of Un Authorized Studios & 187 Music
How would you describe yourself?
Well.. Dj Outkast is a down to earth, easy to talk to, and a soft spoken person who life’s passion has always been music. My father used to own a record store in St. Maarten named ” Al Hodge Records & Electronics ” where he establised a name and reputation from mix cassetes and record sales, My father has already met and worked with artists such as Bob Marley, Yellow Man, Micheal Jackson, & many more great legends. So as i got older and got more interested in dj’s, watching them on tv doing scratches and tricks and stuff.. i got so facinated with it and decided to go for it.. My start was in my basement with some old turntables from my pops, a cassette player and a portable cd player.. I started with nothing and slowly built my self up and training myself in not only technique, but in knowledge of music.. but to make a long story a little shorter… I went from nothing and built myself into what u see today… I put my mind to it and decided this is what i wanted.. and no one would stop my dream and destiny.. and it surly paid off..
How was the Heineken Green Synergy experience like for you?
The Heineken Green Synergy Experience was like nothin else in this world..Heineken really and truly gave me my big break.. i was always known as a Dj in St. Maarten.. but it was my first involment in 2004 at the very first Heineken Competition that really gave me the big break I needed.. I was approached by veteren Dj here on St. Maarten named ” Party Dude Jason ” who saw potential in me and asked me to sign up.. i didn’t want to at first but then decided it’s now or never to do this.. so I entered as the underdog going in against big names like ” Mix Master Pauly ” and ” Dj Blaze “.. and I won’t that night and it did so much for me and my career I then then moved on to the first grand regional finals in Antigua where i placed 2nd that year representing St. Maarten.
I started traveling all over the place, I was on TV and news paper here in St. Maarten on a regular basis, I became a house hold name… that really boosted my career.
I then entered it again this past year and again advanced to the grand finals in the Bahamas and again places 2nd in the caribbean. And now with the great thing we have in the caribbean now called ” Tempo” even more people now knows who Outkast is and what I am about… So The Heineken Green Synergy Experience was definitely a great step in my life and career.
What type of music do you prefer to mix with?
Well.. You can’t really have a liking to a certain genre of music too much in this profession, You really have to play for the people. It’s not about what I like.. It’s what they (the audience) like and what they enjoy themselves with.. but personally, I love Hip Hop and Dancehall.. those are my real favorites… I love the way u can mix and create different sounds when u mix hip hop, r&b, dancehall, Reggea, Soca and Zouk..
Dj’s in other different parts of the world are only known for one genre.. One can be known as a Hip Hop DJ, the other a reggeaton dj.. BUT Caribbean DJ’s know how to put everything together in one flow with out stopping… Once u can play dancehall, Hip Hop, R&B, Zouk, Soca, Disco oldies, and a little House into your mix.. So here you definitely have to be a versatile DJ and entertainer.
So you are producing music in St.maarten. Tell us a little about your company.
Well, I own a little recording establishment in St. Maarten that I like to call ” Un Authorized Studios ” I started it due to the fact that St. Maarten has many many many young and very talented local artists in Hip Hop, Dancehall and R&B but yet… all the studios that were open at the time charged very high prices that no young person could afford. But yet.. they really wanted to record, so I open my little establisment so the young and up coming artists would have some where to go that they can get their material down and be heard with out having to dig a hole in their pocket
Who’s your inspiration?
The Lord above is who really gives me the strength and patience to keep doing what I love to do, as hard as it has been and continues to get harder. My parents have also really backed me and inspired me to go on and keep doing what I love to do.
Your musical inspiration?
I looked up to many local greats here in St. Maarten growing up… such as Mix Master Pauly, Dj Sheff, Dj Dave Nice, Party Dude Jason, Nachum Frank and & Dj Wilson.
How do you feel about the evolution of music in general?
As times have changed, so has the music, the artists and the mindsets of the artists and the people who listen to music has subsequently changed dramatically. Today’s music is all about how many man in they crew, who all they killed, how shiny their gun was when they killed the guy, the car they were driving, the size of they rims, and the chains they wear…
What happened to enjoying the party, and girls, and the love that was put in to the music? Same thing with dancehall, back then it was more fun and more love was involved..it has changed a lot. Don’t get me wrong.. I love the music of today still.. It’s just that the artists of today really need to get their priorities straight… and so do the people who listen to music.. Even Soca and calypso have changed.. People really need to start listening to how music used to be before they release their material.
How do you feel about the future of Antillean bourne music?
There is no future for Antillean music until Antillean people themselves start supporting each other. Other islands support their own local talent and give them all they need to reach the top.. Antilleans on the other hand would bad talk and put down each other then actually helping and supporting each other.. The Antillean talent is getting better and better every day. But the people need to wake up and realize what they have in front of them and support them.
What is the project you are most proud of?
In 2005 my group 187 and I released a song here on St. Maarten called ” T.I.N.T ” which started as a joke.. but when it was released.. It was one of the biggest local hits on St. Maarten… and after 2 years of playing.. It is still being one of the biggest local hits.. and I am proud to be involved in such a project to effect the island as that song did..
When did you decide to start your recording studio?
I opened that studio in early 2001 and have been doing it ever since. It has had many more upgrades since I opened it though ( trust me.. ha ha ha )
So what type of music are you producing?
Well.. basically I work a lot with young people… so I do a lot of Hip Hop, R&B, and dancehall but over the years I have also worked with some Calypso and Soca artists and projects as well.
Who are the 187 Boys?
This is my crew, my organization, and most of all.. my friends.. we were always just a group of friends that chilled together.. the name 187 actually came from when we first formed the group. It was 18 people, and 7 cars.. ( but it’s a lot more then that now.. trust me ) ha ha.. but we do music of course..releasing hits such as T.I.N.T, Still Tippin On 187, Shake Dat A, and Chicken Leg & Johnny Cake..
We keep it really local and comical that every can enjoy it at any age. We also organize parties and social events to give back to the community. But basically 187 is a group of friends that like to have fun… period…he he
What events should we look out for in 2007?
A lot of stuff I have planned, I plan to do a lot of parties for the upcoming year.
I also want to do a concert and bring an artist down to st. maarten to perform, a new radio show on fm radio and online streaming. A Dj Outkast & 187 Clothing Line, a lot more mix cd’s, releases from a lot of local artists that are under my studio Un Authorized/ 187 Musc, and much much more to come.
What do you do on of those rare slow you don’t have ANYTHING else to do type of days In St.Maarten?
Ha ha.. well.. your right.. those days don’t really come around often.. but when I do get those times..I take that time to get sleep.. haha.. I work a lot, during the week I’m in the studio and I DJ at night.. So the days I do have off.. I do get as much rest as I can.. I also spend a lot of time with my family, because they mean a lot to me. But personal time is important to me so I just relax and make some ” Me ” time to just chill and relax a bit before I go crazy.
I like sports, cars, hanging and chillin with my friends, some video games, or just taking a drive around to clear my head also works for me..
Shout out CaribFlava community:
Well..Definitely a big big shout out and big up to the Carib – Flava Community for taking the time out to find out a little more about me.. I sure do appreciate it..keep it lock for much more and keep it real..
Message to the Global Community:
Never give up on your dreams or your goals in life. If there is something u want in life reach out and grab for it. even if it takes a little more time then others… If you really want it and work hard enough for it.. it will eventually come your way.
Name: Deva-dee Siliee
Date of Birth:01/05/86
Place of Birth: Curacao Netherlands Antilles
Where have you been living the past two years? New York City
Current occupation: Student/ Part-time model (UPDATE COMING SOON)
Who would you say is Deva-Dee?
I am extremely ambitious and optimistic person. I believe in dreaming and making your dreams come true. I believe the key to that is to work hard but also have a positive attitude about everything and I believe the key to success in that in is learning. A lot of people go through situations without getting the education they should in order to prosper. I believe in growth and achieving my full potentials in every aspect I am interested in.
Who has been your inspiration? My mother has been a big inspiration because I grew up in a single parent household. She s a very strong woman and has always stood behind me and beside me as a friend. She encouraged me to pursue the things I want to pursue. She inspired me with her own way of living. She is very caring, always ready to help everybody and believes in making a difference. So a lot of who I am is inspired by her teachings.
What is the experience / project you are most proud of?
I am most proud of myself. I am proud of the life I am living. I am proud I am someone that does not take life for granted. Everything I do I try to do as best as I can. So the two things I am most proud of I guess would be finishing school in Curacao and getting myself into an Ivy league College. – Columbia University. A lot of people would be surprised if I don’t mention modeling but at the time modeling was a stepping-stone for me. I connected with th right people but didn’t let it take over furthermore did not pursue it in a way in which I would “sell” my identity. Modeling is a very short-term industry and my real goals are in other areas.
What do you feel about the opportunities available to the local youth on the islands right now?
In need of improvement. We need a lot more activities and opportunities for the youth to be able to prosper according to their interests. I believe that the older generation including the government, companies and parents need to unite and work better together in order for the youth get access to new possibilities.
It has a lot to do with politics because the situation over the course of ten years has helped the island disintegrate. We lack unity, determination, and we lack discipline. We start and never follow through.
Everyone is just pursuing their own personal interests. There is no fight for a common goal. I am planning to come back to the island in about 10 -15 years. I would like to see more focus directed towards education, crime prevention and long term commitments instead of short term solutions.
What do you miss the most about being home? My lovely people. I admire how our Island is so culturally diverse yet we each seem to manage to embrace the same culture same music and language as our own. We have a lot to be proud of and we need to take better care of our heritage and our fascinating History.
What do you do on of those rare slow you don’t have ANYTHING else to do type of days In New York?
I’ll find a dance class somewhere in the city. There are soo many things going on in the dance scene here including Workshops with the best choreographers and festivals. There is something about walking around in the city, you never know who you’re going to see or meet, and where you may end up. There are always new places and sights you haven’t seen.
What’s the top five on your Play List?
– Erykah badhu
Shout-out to the Carib-Flava community
Keep doing what you do the fullest believe that you are able and you will be able.
Message to the Global Community:
Let’s stick together we all share the same fate in the end.
Basta tempu b’a entreg’é
Kada momentu bo ta anhela riba dje
Den bo body bo ta sinti’é
Surrender to the rhythm of your heart and soul
Koro: Gosa 4*
Gosa gosa gosa un bes
Den e bida aki bo tin mester
Kur’é herida den bo ser
Enjoy the life your given
Bebe un gota no kremench’é
Consume life don’t throw it away
Kada un paso bo marka bo a vense
Lanta para no lamenta bo rekompensa ta prepara
Cherish life, don’t ever let go
Koro: Gosa 4*
Gosa gosa gosa un bes
Den e bida aki bo tin mester
Kur’é herida den bo ser
Enjoy the life your given
Gosa bo ta gosa
M’a mirabo bo ta sinta wak
Kada un paso pa dilanti b’a persevera
Bo ta sinta wak pero no lubida
Bo ta sinta bo ta sinta
Bo n’ ta gosa bo n’ ta gosa
Koro: Gosa 4*
Bria pa bo mes
Lanta bo move
Ta bo mes tin ku traha riba dje
Hasi esfuerso pa logr’é
M’a mira bo blo ta sinta
Ai dikon bo no ke bringa?
M’a mira bo blo ta sinta ta sinta no warda riba mayan