Category Archives: Fashion

Garth Voisin…Model to Author

by Marshelle Haseley | Photos courtesy of Garth Voisin

Garth Voisin is a US-based writer from the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He is the author of “The Journey Continues- Evolve,” a book he wrote with the hope of inspiring others to dive deeper so they may grow into the better versions of themselves each day.

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Photo by Nathan Pearcy

In his book, he shares life-altering experiences and tips he learned along on his own journey. The book includes activities that require deep introspection—leaving each reader in a state of reflection at the end of every chapter.

At first glance, one’s first assumption would not be that he is a writer. Traditionally, writers seemed to have always manifested as middle-aged scholars, who would seem far removed from most of their potential audience. Voisin however, shows up in the world in a way that could make anyone comfortable and see him as relatable, while asserting himself in a way that effortlessly commands attention and respect.

“My mantra is, ‘Faith has to be more than a fancy saying. Faith has to be an action’,” Voisin said. “I say this because everyone prays, but fail to take actions toward what they want. People say they have faith, but they are afraid to take the leap in the direction of their dreams and goals— not me.”

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He recently released his second book, “My thoughts on the way over.” He has been receiving feedback proving the profound impact of his work from readers in the Caribbean and US. Readers range from the youth in Trinidad, to well- known actors in Hollywood.

This neo-Caribbean man, who now has the ability to impact a new generation of creatives said he did not see himself becoming a writer. He had options that would probably give him greater financial rewards by popular vote, but he decided to do something to make a deeper impact on a wide scale.

PANACHE asked Garth what he wanted to be as a youngster— he said, “I thought I’d be footballer at first,” after which he laughed. “I then thought I would be a celebrity trainer— writer was not on the radar, even though I’ve been journaling since I was young.”

Voisin said, “Truth is, I had a few acting gigs, and my experiences were not good.”

“I was introduced to some grimy people, and realized I was not willing to give what they wanted from me,” he said. It was as a result of the speed bumps encountered that he decided to change the trajectory of his life.

“So writing and publishing my books (which I had lots of material from writing on Facebook) was the one thing I remained passionate about, and felt good about creating, day in and day out.”

He said becoming focused on one thing allowed him to invest 100% of his creative energies. Voisin said his perception of things changed, and he realized that writing was his passion.

He realised what he felt inspired to share through writing had profound purpose attached to it. His new mindset was therefore to help as many people as possible through writing— if even one person at time.

“My motivation comes from all the things I am still able to do for my family. I’ve always had what I needed growing up, so ensuring my parents are comfortable is first on my list, and the kids having all they need is a priority,” Voisin said.

Asked if he has gotten less than favourable responses. He said, “Funny thing is when I decided to start writing was told no one would want to read my writing, so I should stick to modeling and acting. But I believe everyone will have their opinions— good and bad, favorable and unfavorable. So I guess this serves as my motivation, to prove them wrong.”

Asked how he balanced writing with modeling and personal training, Voisin said it took time, but he learned along the journey. He learned to not only seek balance, but to learn how inject his energy into one thing at time, and said this practice takes some tunnel vision at times, but by doing things fueled by passion he remains consistent and persistent in spite of how challenging they may be at times.

In closing the interview, PANACHE asked Garth a few more questions:

PANACHE: What inspired you to work on another book?
Garth: The Journey itself is inspiration. I really think that we’re put here to have experiences, good and bad, and we should share them with the ones that haven’t had them as yet. I think I just attached a purpose to my passion.

PANACHE: How has it been, making an impact on a larger scale?
Garth: It feels great! The idea behind the Journey is to share it with at least one person— and if that helps make a difference, then my job is done. So therefore, helping on a larger scale means you can’t feel anything but great about that.

PANACHE: Does being from the Caribbean make a difference in how you see life?
And does it affect how people interact with you?
Garth: That’s a great question. Being from the Caribbean does make a difference in how I see life, and how I think about where I’d like to be. I have an appreciation for how I grew up in Trinidad and the interactions with people. It’s where I learned the idea of family and community— which is ingrained in me. As for how people interact from me, it does make a difference. It’s a great conversation starter, once they hear the accent. People seem to have less walls up as their questions are initially directed toward finding out which island I am from, and how the beaches are there—or at what point of the year we’re having Carnival (hahaha).”

Garth Voisin is a man who may be generally prejudged based on his physical appearance, but he passionately continues to prove onlookers wrong along his journey by seeking to become his best self—mind, body and soul. While seeking to become his ultimate self, Voisin retains passion for inspiring others to acknowledge their innate right as human beings to do the same.

Asked what he would tell his 18- year-old self, his response was, “Don’t worry, everything will fall into place. Keep being consistent, and keep the faith.
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Kristie, Kinisha & PANACHE… It’s A Celebration! #NewIssueAlert

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Kinisha, Kristie & PANACHE…We’re celebrating our win for Best Feature at this year’s CTO Travel Media Awards in New York!  If you didn’t know now you know…Story & Myth is More Than Just Beads…

In this issue, we island hop over to St. Lucia for their Jazz Festival and share with you a summer of super savings sure to entice you to make Grenada your next trip! After that you can join us at the American Black Film Festival in Miami for our exclusive interview with HBO Insecure’s Jay R. Ellis.

Other features include JMMB’s “Bold Step towards Financial Independence”; reviews of DodoCool, Shinola, ThinkSound and MIIEGO Headphones; Journeys of Fatherhood by three Jamaican Dads; Wedding Trends for 2018; Great Gifts for Him; and delight in a taste off the beaten path at Stush in the Bush… Plus so much more!

PANACHE Magazine Wins Big at CTO Travel Media Awards In New York

Best Feature by Caribbean Journalist for a Caribbean Media

June 8, 2018, New York, USA

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Kinisha Correia (L), award-winning journalist, and Tricia Williamson, CEO & Editorial Director, PANACHE, proudly display their winning award at the recent Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York.

PANACHE Magazine (the flagship travel and lifestyle magazine from the PANACHE Digital Media family), has won the Best Feature Award that appeared in a Caribbean-based media by a Caribbean-based Journalist.  This was announced at the coveted Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York on Friday, June 8, 2018.

The award-winning feature, “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth,” which was written by Kinisha Correia, was published in the October 2017 issue and showcased the work of Story & Myth, a Jamaican brand which specialises in, “island-inspired handmade jewellery.”   The four-page feature, which included photography by Niesha Brown, was a unique celebration of stunning earthiness behind each Story & Myth bracelet and necklace.  The feature shared details on how each bead is made and highlighted the fact that they are created by local artisans, many of whom are physically disabled.   The creations of these individuals provide them with much-needed income for their families.

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Tricia Williamson, CEO and Editorial Director of PANACHE Magazine, said, “We are honoured by this achievement.  This win speaks volumes to our unwavering commitment to being the voice for Jamaican and Caribbean stories that truly connect with our readers. I commend Kinisha on the way she utilised her writing prowess to produce such a well-written story that captured the imagination of the readers and I am forever grateful to Story & Myth for allowing us to share their powerful story through our magazine.”

Award-winning writer, Kinisha Correia, shared, “I’m appreciative and honoured that my work has been recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). I’m also proud that the piece selected was on a business creating change by weaving environmental and socially conscious practices into its work. Winning this award strengthens the message that business can be a force for good in the region. I’m grateful to be a part of that cultural shift.”

Kristie Stephenson, owner of Story & Myth, added that she was, “…thrilled and excited that these long time oral mythical stories are getting acknowledged in the mainstream.”

This was PANACHE’s first time participating in the prestigious travel media awards and along with the historic win; the magazine was also a finalist for Best Photograph Accompanying a Feature.  The image by Ikenna Douglas, which was displayed on the PANACHE Magazine Cover of April 2017, was the entry in this Category.

We’re very proud and excited at PANACHE!  This win is a “celebration of excellence” and we are humbled to know that our efforts are seen in that light!  We are also truly grateful for the recognition of our Caribbean talent by the CTO, as we know that this will serve as motivation to other upcoming Caribbean journalists,” shared Tricia Williamson.


About PANACHE

PANACHE Communications/ PANACHE Digital Media is a magazine publishing and digital marketing company based in Jamaica and the USA. PANACHE Magazine is published six times annually in print on demand via Magcloud and free digital editions at www.panachejamagazine.com

For more info, visit www.panachedigital.media

About the CTO Travel Media Awards

The Caribbean tourism industry cherishes its strong relationship with the media and in appreciation for their constant positive coverage of the region, recognizes media for influencing their readers to travel to the Caribbean.  This recognition took place in New York City during Caribbean Week New York.

To honour the media’s exceptional work in promoting the Caribbean, in feature print, broadcast and online, we invite CTO government members, their public relations agencies and journalists to provide us with their top media placements for 2017 on CTO member countries. Awards will be presented to journalists from US and Caribbean-based media.

For more info, visit: http://www.onecaribbean.org

Introducing Tribe Nine by Troy Oraine Williamson

Troy Oraine Williamson, Stylist & Fashion Designer, a former dancer (he’s worked for Beyonce, MTV and X-Factor), turned entrepreneur, started Tribe Nine Studios after a brainwave moment in the Big Apple, while working at M5, a multi-branded luxury sportswear showroom. It was the amalgamation of his fashion, photography and design experience that drove him to conceptualise Tribe Nine, a multi-functional branding and design agency.

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Photography by Dash Productions

PANACHE: Stop! You worked for Beyonce…. BEY! Do tell us more?
Troy: (Laughs) Yeah, back in my deep dancing days. Performed Sweet Dreams with her on her Beyonce Experience Tour in O2 Arena, London. Before moving to Jamaica, I worked for twelve years as a commercial dancer, which included music videos, commercials, theatre, road shows and TV.

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The London native said, “New York is all about hustling. Some people had three to four jobs so what made me different? Moving back to London I couldn’t find anything that gave me the same drive to go to work as the showroom though, that’s when I thought Tribe Nine has to be that!”

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The Jamaica-born designer envisioned that he could create a marketplace for a new, unapologetic brand. ”I named the company Tribe Nine because I am a ‘tribalist’, I know it’s not a word but, that is what I am! I feel that collectively we are strong, so I set out to create a space where visionaries can express freely. The number nine represents my favourite creative disciplines.”

PANACHE: “The number nine represents my favourite creative disciplines.“… Explain
Troy: Photography, Illustration, Video, Music, Web Design, Motion Graphics, Writing, Dance, Theatre – see why I don’t spell them out. The number nine also connects me with the universe.

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PANACHE: Do you have any events/fashion shows planned for later in the year?
Troy: My focus is really on designing a custom line, not really focused on creating a collection so much. I want each piece I create to have the personality of the person wearing it. However, I am the creative producer of Yello’s Fashion Directory, (I took over from my dear friend and business partner Dexter Pottinger) so maybe I can show a capsule collection there.

All Tribe Nine products are lovingly handmade in Jamaica.

Email: troy@tribenine.co
Website: http://www.tribeninestudios.co
Instagram: @tribeninestudios or @iamtroyoraine
Facebook: Tribe Nine Studios

MEILING

Very few people in the Caribbean are automatically known by their first name and Meiling (Esau) is the tour de force behind the premier fashion house, not only in Trinidad but throughout the Caribbean and South America.

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“People think, because I’m a Caribbean designer, everything that comes out of me must be bright and tie-dyed. I say, no, I’m just a designer who happens to be in the Caribbean.”

— Meiling for Caribbean Beat. (2004)

ACHIEVEMENTS

2018

– Meiling was honored to represent her country at the first-ever Commonwealth Fashion Exchange event, which hosted designers and artisans from 52 Commonwealth countries producing a design using principles of sustainable excellence. The main event was hosted at Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London, UK.

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2017

– Meiling was appointed Board Member of the Common Wealth Fashion Council.
Honorary Distinguished Fellow in Fine Arts from the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

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2013

– National Icon of Trinidad & Tobago

– Invited as one of the top five global designers to Women of Purpose Global Summit

– Ocean Style Award

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2012

– Meiling was honoured with the Women of Influence Award The Association of Female Executives of Trinidad & Tobago

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2010

– Meiling was one of only two designers in the English-speaking Caribbean to be invited to show at Plataforma K in Colombia. This is the most prestigious fashion trade for Latin America and in 2011, she was the only one invited back

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2008

– Chaconia Silver Medal for long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago’s business sector

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– “Grand Master of Fashion Design” award at Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica.

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2005

– Absolut of Sweden commissioned Meiling to design uniforms for the Absolut bar at 51 Degrees, a local nightspot. This collaboration proved so successful that the company concocted an “Absolut Meiling” martini.

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– Designed the Opening Ceremony uniforms for the Trinidad and Tobago team at the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.

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COLLABORATIONS

Meiling is also known for designing and dressing celebrities in the region; from Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, Rapso artistes 3Canal, Soca artistes Machel Montano and David Rudder and C in Barbados. International celebrities such as celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck wears her classic white shirts on a regular basis.

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Since 1983, Meiling has worked closely with Emmy Award-winning costume designer, Peter Minshall on his Carnival productions and other artistic presentations. This collaboration has won her accolades, notably for her involvement in the opening and closing ceremonies of the1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, She has also helped raised the bar in her work with the Miss Universe Pageant, which was held in Trinidad in 1999.

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Meiling is also a recipient of the several Cacique Awards, her latest in 2012 was for costume design.

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meiling@meilinginc.com

1 (868) 627 – 6975 / 2122

Davina Bennett… The Afro Queen

Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett might not have won the first place crown at this year’s Miss Universe pageant, but she definitely made a lasting impression. The 21-year-old philanthropist chose to take the pageant stage with her natural hair, an afro, instead of the common blowouts and extensions we see time after time on pageant stages.

Afros and the natural hairstyles of people of colour are still frequently considered unprofessional or deemed inappropriate so Bennett’s act of wearing her true hair is a statement against the norm. Bennett chose to use her platform and provide representation to the countless faces at home watching who share her natural hair texture, but rarely get to see the attribute reflected in beauty pageants.”- Chloe Hall, Elle.com

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A few months now have passed since the Miss Universe Competition where Davina was awarded 2nd Runner-Up and proudly represented Jamaica. Amidst her crazy schedule of appearances and photo shoots and interviews were honoured to get a moment and reflect on all that has transpired and the what the future holds.

A lover of her parish Clarendon, she calls it her “favourite chill spot”. A foodie at heart, like a true island girl she loves her seafood. Davina by any measure is a stunning beauty with a regal air about her when she walks into a space. She is the perfect model in front of a camera lens and needs little or no direction- she loves the camera and it certainly loves her back.

Our Miss Jamaica has a mantra that believes “a positive mind with positive thoughts will bring positive results.” An inspiration to many herself to so many, she recounts, “Yes I am surprised that I have inspired so many people because of what I did on the international stage.” She shares that her greatest inspiration has come from her grandfather.

Read our full interview with Davina Bennett below:

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Creative Direction & Interview by Tricia Williamson | Photography by Craig Harley | Makeup Artist: Rasine Hamilton |Art & Design by Oneil Banton | Photoshoot Assistance by Chantel Bailey | Dress: Uzuri International & Tia Clothes Girl 

PANACHE: Everybody loves your hair, your crowning glory so let’s begin there… What would you say was a turning point in your hair journey- was it ever a love/hate relationship?
Davina Bennett (DB): I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with my hair because it’s sometimes hard to maintain and handle on my own, but I love it because it inspires others to just be themselves and embrace their natural looks and it plays a significant role in the representation of one’s self-value.

PANACHE: The wearing of your natural hair at the Miss Universe pageant was a redefinition of international beauty standards. What made you decide to wear your hair naturally and free (no ponytails, no flat iron needed)?
DB: I decided to keep the natural hair to break the stigma and perception of how beauty queens should look.

PANACHE: What products do you use in your hair to keep it so lustrous and beautiful?
DB: My favourite products to use are from ORS Olive Oil, from their moisturizers to their shampoo and conditioner. I am also a fan of natural products like castor oil and coconut oil.

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PANACHE: What advice would you give to someone who wants to go natural?
DB: I would advise them to give it a try and embrace their natural beauty.

PANACHE: We love your beautiful skin, what is your beauty regime?
DB: For my skin, there is not one specific regime but I tend to use a lot of natural body oil products mainly from Kihara’s line and drink plenty of water.

PANACHE: Jamaica supported you before, during and after the Miss Universe pageant, what did the outpouring of love mean to you?
DB: The love I’ve received thus far is indescribable; I am humbled and grateful to have been received so well by the public.

PANACHE: From Pop Sugar to Allure to People to Essence to Elle international media have fallen in love with you and your Afro-American, you’ve ignited a fire in natural hair movement. What was your reaction to all that press and attention…even #AfroFriday here in Jamaica?
DB: All the love from the press is still overwhelming and I am filled with such gratification from all the exposure…I’m still pinching myself!

PANACHE: You looked stunning in yellow and red, do you have a favourite colour?
DB: Thank you, my favourite colour is gold.

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PANACHE: When someone says to you “How can you be the physical representation of your country?” What’s your response?
DB: Our motto is out of many one people and that is significant as we are a melting pot of different ethnic backgrounds, cultures and religion and I am a testimony of this. My family line is a mixture of Indians, Africans and even Afro-Latina and the greatest thing is that they all coexist in one love just as the people in Jamaica.

PANACHE: How did your friend Jermaine Dyer motivate you to enter the competition?
DB: Jermaine Dyer motivated me by being positive, by helping me and guiding me along the way and the constant talks about how great I am and how much greater I will become.

PANACHE: What was the reaction of your Mom and Dad when you told them you were going for the crown?
DB: I wasn’t with my parents physically to see their reactions but it was always my dad’s dream so he was over the moon, my mom, on the other hand, was a bit hesitant because she knew I was afraid of speaking in front of a large audience and she was wondering if I was really ready.

PANACHE: People see the glitz and glamour, but tell us about the work that you and the team put in behind the scenes from speech sessions with Paula Ann and more… The hard work and guts begin the glitz…
DB: It was a team effort that involved so many individuals. I had plenty of speech sessions with both Paula-Anne Porter-Jones and Fabian Thomas, Hard-core gym time with Debbie Hall from Spartan Health Club, Dance & Movement with Marlon Simms of NDTC, Stage Presentation & Runway sessions with Yendi Phillipps, Etiquette sessions with Angelie Martin-Spencer, Current & World Affairs Training with National Directors Mark McDermoth and Karl Williams and even makeup classes with Oneil Baugh and Dawn Lindo from D’Marie Institute. Styling was also vital and so we had a few fittings that created the perfect wardrobe. Karl and Mark also did an excellent job in getting local designers and boutiques to contribute to the wardrobe as well as putting the pieces together.

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PANACHE: On August 27, you posted ” I did it” with a portrait of tears of joy… What was that moment like for you…being crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2017 now that you reflect on it.
DB: It was a wonderful feeling to have won the Miss Universe Jamaica title because I felt like I was always losing and needed that victory to prove to myself that I could do anything once I worked hard and I did just that.

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PANACHE: You once said you knew what it meant to “fail and work twice as hard”. What major challenge(s) have you faced in life and how did you rise above it?
DB: I have faced many challenges, medical problems, a struggling career, robbery et al… I overcame all the adversaries because I had a good support system from both family and friends.

PANACHE: As our queen, you represent Jamaica by being yourself, authentic and bold- how would you like to inspire other young girls?
DB: I would like to inspire other young women to keep fighting for what they believe, never give up on themselves and to know that they are beautiful just the way they are.

PANACHE: Tell us more about your foundation, it’s work and the goals you have for 2018?
DB: The Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf is to spread awareness for the Deaf community and eradicate the barriers of communication. The goals for 2018 would be to continue on that path with new projects and partnerships along the way.

PANACHE: You are very passionate about the work of your Davina Bennett Foundation for the Deaf. Your emotional reaction to your friend and mentee hearing clearly for the first time with an hearing aid was powerful. Please share more about that project of distributing hearing aids to 500 people across Jamaica.
DB: The hearing aids were not distributed by me but by the Starkey Foundation, I was a Patron and witnessed the work they were doing, and I got so emotional when Britney was given the hearing-aid and heard me for the first time.

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PANACHE: What changes would you like to see in Jamaica to better support those who are hearing impaired?
DB: I would like for the Deaf community to be granted equal opportunities as those in society from their educational facilities and system to their social everyday duties. I’d like to see more of them being employed.

PANACHE: As an Ambassador for Ending Bullying, what positive impact do you see yourself having in that capacity?
DB: As an End- bullying Ambassador I can certainly relate to being bullied because I too was a victim and this platform has allowed me to not only share my experiences but how I overcame bullying. My message is to love who you are and embrace yourself.

PANACHE: You are a social influencer, who/ what are some of your favourite accounts to follow?
DB: I love to follow other influencers like Oprah and Rihanna.

PANACHE: Social media has its pros and cons… It has been a great platform for fans to show their support and for you to raise awareness of worthy causes. So as an Ambassador to End Bullying, what advice would you give for youths on social media today?
DB: I would tell the youth to love themselves, to understand that all names are temporary and they are all uniquely made.

PANACHE: Is there any style or dress that you love the most from your collection?
DB: I would have to say my favourite dress would be my yellow final gown worn on the final night of the Miss Universe competition. The first time I saw it and fitted it, it brought tears to my eyes…tears of joy!

PANACHE: Name one fashion trend you hope never comes back?
DB: I am a lover of fashion and appreciate all kinds however I think it’s safe to say (and I know many females will agree) that I hate to see men wearing sagging pants…it’s not sexy at all!

PANACHE: Your current role aside, what would be your dream role?
DB: My dream role was always to be an international model.

PANACHE: How do you deal with negative people?
DB: I don’t focus on negative people so I don’t normally allow their energy to consume me.

PANACHE: Where do you see yourself in three years?
DB: I see myself as a philanthropist and successful entrepreneur.

PANACHE: What would you say to the next young Jamaican girl looking to enter the Miss Universe competition next year?
DB: I would say, give it a try, don’t be afraid of your voice, help make a difference and wow the world. |P

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Capturing The Jamaican Culture (Shot By Deth)

Photography by Keanu Gordon

To quote words from the most prolific dancehall artist of the 21st century, Vybz Kartel “Dancehall a mi everything”, is a sentiment shared by many both locally and internationally. Within the dancehall sphere, many jobs and opportunities are created, but being able to capture an image of a particular time or occurrence could shift the way we view the dancehall industry or even the Jamaican society itself. This is why photography is considered an art because it literally encapsulates and immortalizes the world in a single shot/moment. Jamaica, being a breeding ground of art, has its fair share of photographers but only a few stand out from the very expressive bunch. The “few” are the ones who possess the capability to instantly evoke an emotion that enables the viewer to create a conversation about/around the story they just saw, that and the unique way that the image is taken and edited. Looking at the artist, dance moves, fashion and just the richness of culture, one is often prompted to ask about the person who is able to put a thousand words into a single image.

Keanu Gordon (Shot By Deth) is a 19-year-old self-taught photographer hailing from the capital city Kingston,  who captures the Jamaican dancehall scene through an artistic millennial purview. His excitingly colorful yet often somber pictures usually showcase somewhat of an x-ray into the content of the image. Seemingly candid, the pictures give a youthful take on the ever so evolving dancehall scene which in my opinion gives international viewers a modern take on the Jamaican culture and dancehall industry. Being this creative with a fresh eye and a unique signature, Keanu has most certainly begun to charter his course in photography and the artistic arena. He is also proof that the memories of particular dancehall happenings will most certainly be preserved.