We're celebrating another fab year of existence with MOBO (Music of Black Origin Awards) founder Kanya King, MBE at the breathtakingly gorgeous Hanover Grange — Tryall Country Club, the Jamaican home of Andrew and Theresa Roberts.
What are you drinking?
The Appleton Jamaica 50 Independence Punch created to celebrate the country's Independence. A fresh twist on the old rum punch.
What's in it?
Well, I'm here with the fabulous Tanisa Samuel, Western operations manager, J Wray & Nephew, discussing the cocktail's subtle ginger notes. The other ingredients are Wray & Nephew White Overproof rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, simple syrup, and fresh ginger juice.
You were in Jamaica last year enjoying a break at Sandals Royal Plantation and you're back again, this time in Hanover. How's it going?
It's been amazing. I mean, what a lovely place to spend a birthday. Last year I loved staying at The Royal Plantation, where I was treated like a princess. Staying at Hanover Grange has given me a different insight into a more intimate Jamaica.
What have you enjoyed the most?
Last year, I took John Lynch's advice and rode a horse in the Jamaican sea -- it was an experience I'll never forget.
This time around with Jamaica's amazing 'ambassador' Theresa Roberts, she's opened my eyes to great art, food and people. I have had such valuable conversation about current affairs.
How would you best describe your style?
Glam, with an urban twist.
LBD or jeans?
Both. Not together, of course. But I enjoy wearing both.
Flats or stilettos?
Again, both. I wear flats for comfort as I like to walk a lot. Even in London, getting from meeting to meeting I can be seen walking, rather than hopping a cab. That's if it's not raining, of course!
Stilettos, on the other hand, give you a sense of femininity and can be empowering at the same time.
Which perfume are you wearing?
Angel by Thierry Mugler.
What are your travel essentials?
Sunscreen 50, my adaptors to keep me connected, lipgloss, and most importantly, my HTC. The camera feature kills everything else I've ever used.
Who's your celeb crush?
I don't have one but am enamoured by innovators and people who are making a difference.
Who would you say has the best voice in the industry?
So close to the anniversary of Whitney Houston's death she is undeniably the greatest voice, to me, and will transcend many generations to come. I also love Emeli Sande. She has performed at The MOBO Awards a number of times now, and to see her at the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony was phenomenal.
Who in the industry is one to watch for 2013?
I get so many remarkable up-and-coming artistes across my desk that it is difficult to choose one. I think we should keep a close eye on Afro Beats, a genre that is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The Grammy Awards last week Sunday featured a tribute to Bob Marley with Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Sting, and Ziggy and Damian Marley. What are your thoughts on this?
Bob is a global icon and I'd say that the line-up represents that. Every award show has its own way of honouring an icon. As you know the MOBOs paid their own tribute in 2005. I was so happy that Kevin MacDonald's soundtrack to the Marley film was nominated by the Grammys this year.
Jimmy Cliff won the Grammy but once again this was presented off the big stage. Your thoughts?
It would have been nice if he was on the big stage. But it is more important that he was recognised. I am aware from my own experience that these decisions aren't made lightly. There are time constraints to television broadcasting.
You are the founder of the MOBO Awards. Is it still relevant now that many global awards have embraced all types of music?
The MOBO awards remain extremely relevant. Not only do we feature genres that don't always get mainstream exposure such as gospel, jazz and reggae, but primarily because the MOBO awards have been offering the first TV opportunity to many up-and- coming artistes. On last year's show, for example, we had two big talents who mentioned that their debut launch was at the Awards.
Why will the MOBO Awards take place in Glasgow this year?
After producing 13 consecutive shows in London we decided to give fans of the music a chance in other cities to experience the show.
What are some of your current projects for 2013?
We're having a very busy year. We have partnered with HTC, which has opened some very exciting digital opportunities for us.
We have our annual MOBO tour offering talent a chance to showcase as well as further portfolio expansions.
What's your idea of the perfect date?
Staying in and enjoying my loved one's company, cosied up in my home. I'm very much a homebird.
And your take on the ideal man?
My partner, he's not only my companion, he's loyal, supportive and caring.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I'd like to see MOBO continue to go from strength to strength. For the brand to branch out into many other strands. With regards to the show, 2009 saw us move out of London and since then we've been in other cities in the UK. I'd love to think that the MOBO Awards could tour the world. You may even see us here in Jamaica. Now that's a wonderful thought.
Lastly, what was it like receive that coveted MBE from the Queen?
It was really a surprise. I got a letter from then PM Tony Blair, but I actually thought it was a joke and that the people in my office were behind it.
Six weeks later, I got a call from ITN who wanted to interview me about it. My PR people broke the news to me that it was in fact true.
This recognition — which came three years (1999) after the start of the MOBO Awards — is bigger than me. I accepted it on behalf of many innovators.