Lifestyle

Managing Director, Isle Chix, and President of Monom Productions

Sunday, October 21, 2012    

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What were your first impressions of Kingston?

I was surprised to see that within a block, neighbourhoods changed from expensive uptown communities to run-down inner cities. It was interesting to see that the backyard of a shack could be touching the backyard of a mansion. Oh, and the potholes, too.

Where are your favourite spots in Kingston?

Running a poultry farm in Jamaica and a studio in Manhattan does not allow me much time for going out. However, BNM at Fiction Lounge on Wednesdays is a must. I also enjoy dinners at Spanish Court Hotel because of the food and ambiance. I also frequently dine at various Marketplace restaurants, and Acropolis in Barbican is a great sports bar to watch games and eat Chef Peppa's well-prepared meals.

What do you miss most when you are not in Kingston?

It's more about what I miss most when I am not in Jamaica — the vibes and what I call the 'eternal summer'.

What would your advice to a first-time visitor to Kingston be?

Don't miss the National Gallery in downtown Kingston. Also, don't just stay in the city as interesting places are within reasonable driving distance, like Bob Marley Beach and the Blue Mountains.

Share the title of the last book that you read.

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

What was your last major splurge?

Even though I still favour my Bvlgari Diagono Chronograph watch, I just purchased a Rolex Datejust with a jubilee bracelet.

What's your beverage of choice?

Absolut vodka on the rocks with lemon.

Where do you go to unwind?

Behind the mixing board of my studio. Making music is my world away from this world.

What cologne are you splashing?

Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana. Great guys, by the way. I've enjoyed some fun times with them in Mykonos in Greece.

You're reported as saying: "I'm Greek by birth, American by naturalisation and Jamaican by infection." Any plans to make Jamaica your permanent home?

I used to spend three weeks in New York and one week in Jamaica. That is now reversed. Our farm in Clarendon is where my home is now.

What motivated you to establish Isle Chix, a chicklet-producing company, here?

I have fallen in love with Jamaica and its people. Isle Chix is my way of contributing to a great cause that benefits "my family" as I call everyone involved with our farm. I am hopeful that our latest product — smoked chicklets — which we plan to export, can create more jobs.

You have a background in music. Give us some insight into that.

I am an award-winning composer and producer, having received many gold and platinum records throughout my career. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in the music industry from California State University. I am also a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science, the governing body of the Grammy Awards. I used to produce for other artistes but over the past few years I have focused more on European releases of my own instrumental chill-out albums under my own name.

Who are your favourite Jamaican artistes or musicians?

I truly appreciate Junior Gong, Tessanne Chin and Wayne Marshall, and I must give major props to Protoje. I also have a lot of respect for producer Stephen McGregor.

Share some places in your black book.

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is fun. Rome, Paris and New York are great for the museums and galleries, but at the top of my list are the Greek islands, Mykonos. They are a combination of great swimming waters and amazing nightlife. I have found nowhere else in the world to match it.

What last made you cry?

I cry every day about inequality and injustice, especially for abused children and women. I just don't let others see me crying.

If you're stuck at sea for a month, which three persons do you want on the boat with you?

MacGyver, Chuck Norris and Q from the James Bond movies.

Who are you rooting for to win the presidential election in the United States?

President Barack Obama, of course. He is real and he cares. If Mitt Romney wins, it will be a disaster for the US and the Caribbean region.

What is your philosophy?

Don't let anything or anyone disturb your inner balance and peace. No circumstance or person should have that kind of control over you.

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