Coolest Caribbean People Of 2013 - Pt 2
Previously, I started my list of the Coolest Caribbean People of last year with Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Tessanne Chin, Joan Smalls and Melodie Monrose. Now we see who else made the cut, in no particular order:
In 2013, Bunji Garland demonstrated how soca music can make an impact on the global music scene. His hit 'Differentology' was nominated for Best International Performance on the 2013 Soul Train Awards and won the Hot 97 Battle of the Beats Competition, beating out superstars Eminem and Dj Khaled. 'Differentology' also pleasantly surprised soca fans when it appeared on an episode of ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy'. To top off the Trini soca artiste's great year, 'Differentology' tied with G-Dragon's 'Crooked' as Song of the Year on MTV Iggy after a contentious voting battle among the fans. Here's to a tremendous 2014 for soca!
Many of you may not have heard about Stella Jean but she is one to watch! This Haitian-Italian designer has become one of Milan's rising stars. She has managed to bring her cultures together with 'a wax and stripes philosophy' – brightly coloured prints made with wax to represent her mother's Haitian culture and Italian dandy-inspired stripes to symbolize her father's Turin origins.
"Fashion gave me ample space to manoeuvre and find a place where both of these cultures could coexist. This weak point became both a strength and a fresh start," said the 34-year-old. Stella's high profile fans include Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozanni and Giorgio Armani, who allowed her to show her Spring/Summer 2014 collection in the Armani Teatro.
Cricket fans may know Shivnarine Chanderpaul as the first Indo-Guyanese cricketer to play 100 tests for the West Indies team but last December he made history. The veteran batsman became the sixth highest all-time run scorer in Test cricket – scoring his 29th test century and his 17th unbeaten test ton – placing right behind Trinidadian legend Brian Lara. Chanderpaul now has 11,199 runs from his 153 Tests.
Let's Do This Filmz
Shakirah Bourne, Selwyne Browne and Marc Gibson of Let's Do This Filmz took the Caribbean film industry by storm with their hilarious Bajan movie 'Payday' last summer. Despite operating on a shoestring budget and facing resistance from local cinema theatres, the film crew were able to take their home-grown comedy to audiences in Barbados and get screenings in New York, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, and the Havana Film Festival. Look out for their upcoming thriller this year 'Two Smart' as well as Shakirah Bourne's collection of short stories 'In Time of Need' on sale now.