Planet Thirty
Episode 59: Patricia Chin

Episode 59: Patricia Chin

September 29, 2021

Her name may be Patricia Chin, however, to anyone in or around the music business, she is Miss Pat.

Miss Pat, has childhood memories of running behind her mom and dad as they rode their bike to the movies in Jamaica. In those days she says, her mother and father could not afford to take the entire family to the cinema. She and her siblings could only dream about the adventures portrayed on screen. Years on, Miss Pat’s company’s name would appear on the marquee of the world-famous Radio Music Hall in New York City. The little girl who could not afford to attend the show, would eventually create the show.

Miss Pat and her husband the late Vincent “Randy” Chin came from humble beginnings, but they both had big dreams. Armed with a relentless work ethic and a knack for business, they took the road less travelled and decided to sell music. They sold all of the popular pop and R&B records of the day.  However, they took it a step further. At a time when radio stations in Jamaica did not support reggae music, the Chin’s opened a studio and started to record and press the sounds of Jamaica as they evolved and defined the culture.

What started out as Randy’s Records in Jamaica evolved into VP Records. The store, the label and the distribution company. After more than 40 years of VP Records introducing the world to reggae and dancehall’s top artists and solidifying deals with major American labels, Miss Pat sits on her throne as the reigning monarch of Caribbean music business.

With new initiatives to push Caribbean music into more spaces and a newly published book about her life’s journey, Miss Pat is showing no signs of slowing down.

This is the story… Thus far… Of Patricia Chin. Miss Pat.

Episode 58: Joy Buchanan

Episode 58: Joy Buchanan

September 22, 2021

*The following episode of the Planet Thirty Podcast contains adult themes and adult language. This interview should be consumed by mature audiences ONLY.*

 

Joy Buchanan is opinionated to say the least. In her estimation she is a beautiful blend of her calm-natured Anguillian father and her expressive Jamaican mother. Joy’s childhood journey saw her living on both islands for a time and eventually landing in the UK.

The UK brought with it a mix of experiences and adventures. She has many tales about adjusting to a new culture and learning to embrace her new home.

Joy attended Imperial University. One of the UK’s top institutions. By trade she is a construction manager. She is an executive for one of the top company’s in the world and like her childhood, her work takes her all over the globe. Though there is not an abundance of women in her industry, her work ethic and skill prove time and time again that women are just as capable in the sector as any man. Joy however is so much more than a construction manager. She is a life coach, helping persons through difficult times and issues. In her own words she does this all through a Christian lens. Though some view her approach as bold, Joy says that she is simply being honest. Even people of faith she says have to be honest with themselves and one another in order to progress.

As if that was not enough, Joy is an entrepreneur. She has started a business, manufacturing products on the African continent for worldwide distribution.

Bold, feisty, maybe quirky, but always honest and true to herself.

This is the story… thus far… Of Joy Buchanan!

Episode 57: Terrence ”Daddy Hodgie” Hodge- Carty

Episode 57: Terrence ”Daddy Hodgie” Hodge- Carty

September 15, 2021

Terrence “Daddy Hodgie” Hodge- Carty is an architect. No, he does not design homes or skyscrapers, but he does have the ability to lift you way above the earth. Daddy Hodgie as he is known to his legions of fans has masterfully created a catalogue of music that spans over 3 decades.

Music, was his only career choice he says. More of a calling. In his early teens he was attracted to the new phenomenon called hip hop that was beginning to stream into the Caribbean from cities in the United States. Though the genre caught his attention, nothing had more of an impact on him than the Soca bands of his immediate region. It was unlike the Soca music coming out of Trinidad. This style wasn’t even necessarily called Soca just yet. Though not social commentary, it was still referred to as Calypso in the smaller islands; and boy was it different. Bands like the Wrecking Crew, 17 Plus and the Burning Flames ruled the airwaves and Hodgie soaked it all in. The sounds escaping the Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten, Dominica and his Native Anguilla all landed in his headphones and he promised himself that one day he too would be a part of the fabric of sound coming from the region.

Hodgie kept his promise. Since 1998 Hodgie has been the maestro behind countless hits. More importantly his work as producer and keyboardist has won him a record breaking 13 Road Marche titles on Anguilla. Whether he is performing hits from the 90s and the 2000s with his Better Band or Exodus HD, his current band fans flock to venues knowing that Hodgie will be serving up sonic treats. Musicians in the region respect him. However his music is most loved in, Anguilla,  the place where he has been an integral part in shaping the modern sound and structure of the island’s Soca scene.

Though he has accomplished much, Hodgie is not finished. He has plans to make his BRAND bigger and yes… BETTER! This is the story… Thus far… of Terrence Daddy Hodgie Hodge Carty.

Episode 56: Hans Charles

Episode 56: Hans Charles

September 8, 2021

Hans Charles is modest. He’s unassuming. He will sit and have a conversation with you about history, music, TV… you name it. Yet still, you would never guess that he is an Emmy nominated cinematographer. He has worked on films that have won multiple awards including a Bafta and an Oscar.

The son of proud Haitian parents, Hans had dreams of becoming a professional musician. Recognizing that the journey in music may not have been for him, he decided to pursue a career in film.

Hans’ life philosophy has guided him to take small steps toward huge goals. Like anyone else, he admits that he has stumbled along the way, however through it all he says, he has remained committed and dedicated to his dream. These steps have allowed him to work with the likes of Ava DuVernay among other luminaries in the world of film.

While he is billed as a cinematographer, Hans is so much more. His passion for the craft has led him to both producing and writing. In 2018, Hans and his colleague produced the film “1 Angry Black Man”, the first in a long list that he plans to create.

Hans Charles’ name has been floating among the who’s who of the film world. While some movie lovers may not recognize his name, surely, they have seen his work. The world should stay tuned. This incredible filmmaker has only just begun.

This is the story… thus far… Of Hans Charles.

 

Episode 55: Alison Hinds

Episode 55: Alison Hinds

September 1, 2021

In the late 70s and early 80s Calypso music began to evolve. The genre, known for its wit, social commentary and coverage of serious issues set to slow tempos and delicate melodies started to adopt faster bpm rates and slightly more risqué content in its lyrics.

Lead by Trinidad and Tobago artist Ras Shorty I, this new fusion of sounds; a manipulation and interpretation of percussion, electronic instruments and fresh melodies gave birth to Soca music. Soca music was rhythmic yet sensual, energetic, yet had the ability to touch the soul just as any genre created by Caribbean people had done in the past. Soca’s popularity swept the Caribbean region and everywhere that the diaspora was represented.

The genre created several male super stars; however, few women were able to penetrate the male dominated Soca industry. That is until the mid 90s. A popular hotel and club band from Barbados named Square One decided to produce their own material. Their lead singer? A fresh faced 20 something year old named Alison Hinds. Her vocals were powerful, her stage presence commanding and her moves unforgettable. Her entree changed the face of the entire genre. Suddenly every band in the Caribbean required a female lead. Female solo artists from every island in the archipelago appeared in recording studios ready to tell their stories through Soca music. Alison Hinds did not merely push the door open, the removed its hinges and threw it away.

With a catalogue of hits spanning 3 decades and tours around the globe spreading the message of Soca, Alison Hinds has been appropriately dubbed the Queen of Soca. I had the honor of conversing with her about her storied career in music and her plans to expand the Alison Hinds empire through fashion among other things.

This is the story… thus far… Of Alison Hinds… The Queen of Soca!

Episode 54: Alwyn “Daddy Jones” Baptiste

Episode 54: Alwyn “Daddy Jones” Baptiste

January 5, 2021

Alwyn “Daddy Jones” Baptiste is a master craftsman. To music lovers in the Virgin and Leeward islands, he is not only a legend but a pop culture fixture. The master keyboardist, arranger and beat maker has been in the business of creating Soca hits for decades. There are very few producers that can match his creativity r his record of hits! Daddy Jones has produced for aritsts and bands and several islands and his productions include artists from several islands.

Growing up in St. Croix Daddy Jones was encouraged and inspired by his father, Alwyn Baptiste Sr. He remembers literally sitting at his father’s side observing his prowess, not only as a composer but as a musician. He marveled at his ability and the respect his dad had among fellow musicians. Through his teens Jones tried his hand at different sports. He was a high-level performer academically and at one point thought seriously about going to law school. As disciplined a person as he is, he more than likely would have succeeded. However, as he indicates, he had no choice. Music had a hold of him since childhood and it would not let go.

At carnival time, Alwyn Baptiste puts on his cape and transforms into Daddy Jones, the musical superhero that has inspired legions of keyboardists and rhythm programmers across the Caribbean. He has produced for some of the Caribbean’s best including the late “Daddy Friday”. Daddy Jones has won coveted Road March titles in an unprecedented 6 countries.

As much as he has accomplished, Daddy Jones is not yet done. He has his eyes set on taking his brand of Soca production into the rest of the world. He is determined to make the would bounce to a Daddy Jones Riddim.

This is the story… thus far… of Alwyn “Daddy Jones” Baptiste.

 

Episode 53: Shingai

Episode 53: Shingai

January 5, 2021

This Episode is dedicated to my dear friend Alex Horsford whom the world lost tragically in 2016. We’ll always love you and we’ll never forget you bro. #AlexForever.

In 2009 I picked up a gig as a morning DJ at a radio station on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. My daily sidekick was Alex Horsford. Alex was a little over 10 years younger than I was. However he had an interest in photography, film.. really all things media. He was also the younger brother of one of my best friends. Alex had just finished high school and was awaiting answers from job applications. He decided to join me on air every morning. We had tons of fun and really added something new to the airwaves on the island.

On an island whose radio stations played primarily soca, calypso and reggae, we decided to cater to the persons who wanted something different in their mornings. We played soft rock, pop, zouk, groovy soca, commercial dancehall, 80s and pop music. Generally, I would pick the playlists. One day Alex told me that there was a song that he wanted me to play on air. This was a rare request from him. He said that a friend of his in the UK had introduced him to the song. We didn’t have the record, so I looked it up on youtube, ran the computer’s audio through the system and played it on air. The song was “Never forget you” by a group called the Noisettes.

I had never heard of the Noisettes. However, from the moment I discovered them, I indeed would never forget them. I was smitten. From that day we played that song over and over on air.

With Alex’s passing, the song came to mean even more to me. Over the years, I continued to follow the band’s lead singer, Shingai Shinowa, and her work. It was always a dream to interview her. I added her to my wish list for this podcast. I had no connections to her within my network. The likelihood of an interview was near zero. One night I took the chance. Why not I said to myself…. And so I began… Hello Shingai. I trust that this message greets you well…

To my surprise she responded directing me to the appropriate email address and even added that she was looking forward to my invitation for the interview. Needless to say, I was ecstatic!

Shingai Shinowa has a voice that you indeed can never forget. She was born and raised in London. Her parents are from Zimbabwe. She carries her family’s roots, culture and legacy boldly, proudly and most importantly unapologetically.

No matter what she has accomplished, she remains down to earth and as centered as ever. With undeniable talent, striking beauty and an incredible work ethic Shingai continues to win. She recently released her debut album, “Too Bold”. A wonderful collection of sounds that in my estimation encompass the many parts that make up Shingai and her extraordinary journey through life. I had the pleasure of speaking with her

This is the story… Thus far… Of Shingai Shoniwa.

 

Episode 52: Jerome Willock

Episode 52: Jerome Willock

December 24, 2020

Jerome Willock is the definition of determination. After moving from his native Montserrat to Anguilla, Jerome continued to learn about his childhood passion. Flying. What began as a dream and quite frankly what seemed far-fetched, became his reality.

As luck would have it, his family moved into a house right next to the airport. Jerome would sit and watch planes land and take off at Anguilla’s airport, dreaming about flying one of the aircraft one day. After high school he worked for a telecommunications company. While many his age were partying and spending frivolously, Jerome was saving and focusing soley on his dream. He eventually gained employment at a local aviation company. This motivated him even more. With a stroke of luck, seemingly straight out of a movie, he was able to go to flight school and become a pilot.

Although flying smaller aircraft was a huge accomplishment, Jerome wanted more. He traveled through many hills and valleys, had several ups and downs. But today, Jerome has a mass of experience and is a pilot for one of Dubai's top airlines. He flies throughout the Middle East Europe and Africa. He is living his dream. Jerome’s story is certainly a testament to discipline hard work and never allowing your dreams to disappear. This is the tale of a little boy from a tiny island who has accomplished exactly what he set out to.

This is a story… thus far… of Jerome Willock.

 

 

 

 

Episode 51: Bianca Dijkhoffz

Episode 51: Bianca Dijkhoffz

December 17, 2020

Bianca Dijkhoffz has red hair. However, that is not the only unique thing about her. She is a burst of energy and quite honestly one of the most awesome persons you’ll meet. She was raised on the island of Saint Maarten. Her dad is from the island and a mom is from the United States. This gave her a very unique perspective, experiencing the Caribbean, yet having access to the thoughts and perspectives of someone that was raised in a larger country. Both philosophies on life resonated with her and shaped her view of the world.

 

At a tender age Bianca fell in love with the arts. She took lessons in violin and the piano as well as dance. Along the way she left the violin behind and stuck with the piano and dance. To this day she plays and composes her own pieces on the piano. Dance however, took hold of her from the very beginning and never let her go. To see Bianca on stage is to be entertained and to be inspired. Whether viewing her work on television, in films, on stage or in a music video it is quite evident that she has a burning passion for the art form and is immensely talented.

Her zest for life is undeniable. As long as it is positive and helps her to grow, Bianca, will sign up for it. She is adventurous yet practical. She has her sights set on big city lights and global performances yet retains a soul of that sweet little girl that was raised in the Caribbean.

Bianca Dijkhoffz however, is not done. As a matter of fact, she is far from it. She has now taken on a new challenge.

This is the story ... Thus far ... Of Bianca Dijkhoffz.

Episode 50 Part 2: TV Boss and Paul Haughton

Episode 50 Part 2: TV Boss and Paul Haughton

December 10, 2020

Welcome to part 2 of episode 50.

We continue our conversations with the talented cast of the short film for Busy Signal’s single “Seen it before” Directed by Dameon Gayle. In this episode we learn about the journeys of two very talented Jamaican actors TV Boss and Paul Haughton.

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