Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 2nd 2014 Contents Friday, May 2, 2014 • Issue 138
Friday, May 2, 2014 • Issue 138
With Welcome to the Carnival, a collaboration with Kerwin
Dubois, MX Prime, formerly known as Maximus Dan, made a
return to the airwaves over Carnival. His new song Juice is also
garnering maximum rotation on the urban stations signaling a
resurgence in the artiste’s career. This weekend, MX will per-
form at the DeciBel Entertainment Festival at Pier 1. Metro
spoke to the artiste about his evolution in music.
Metro Magazine: What have you been up to?
MX Prime: Well seven years ago I decided that there was need for
change in order for me to become the artist I needed to be (which
wasn’t seasonal) and predictable, so with the aid of my longtime
friend and producer Johann Seaton of Madmen Productions we
started to experiment with other genres of music with the inten-
tion of creating a fresh sound.
MM: What's your musical direction lately, what's new?
MXP: My musical direction came out of the same experimentation
I mentioned. I started listening to EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
about five years ago and I said to myself this is what I would like to
fuse with my vibe knowing fully well that there would be some
funny looks at me as well as heat from my hardcore fans, that’s
how it goes when you take risks but with the help of other artistes
in the industry we can now appreciate the fusion of dance music
MM: What have you learnt so far in your career?
MXP: I’ve have learnt that starting over is not a bad thing and that
you can impact the entertainment industry in many ways if you
acquire new skills and not limit yourself to something even though
it’s popular and safe. Over the past three years I’ve become a pro-
grammer/music producer and recently a radio presenter (Boom
Champions 94.1 fm) so there is no limit to how far one can go.
MM: What do you want to accomplish with your music?
MXP: My music is for the world so the message is important but
also the musical appeal, to push the boundaries from right here in
Trinidad and Tobago out to a wider audience but not restricting
myself to staying here to get things accomplished.
MM: How do you plan to do so?
MXP: At present I’m working with a group locally that has a unique
approach. Everyone knows about marketing through social media,
itunes etc. but it’s about developing concepts to work with these
networks and planning all the way through, collaborating with
other creative entities as well.
MM: What inspires you to create music?
MXP: Watching how people respond to music when they love it is
enough inspiration for me to create as well as my son
MM: Besides music what else have you been up to?
MXP: I became the proud father of a general! Xavi Ignazio!!!!!
MM: Who are your musical influences?
MXP: David Guetta, Sam Cooke, Jacob Miller, Carl and Carol Jacobs,
Major Lazer, Steve Aoki
MM: Do you prefer to be in a recording studio or performing?
MXP: Studio from day one, I love the creative process .
MM: Have you got any upcoming gigs? Where can we see you
MXP: Decibel music expo tomorrow and Point Fortin “Back A Yard”
the following day.
MM: Describe your style in 3 words.
MXP: For The Future
MM: How was Carnival 2014?
MXP: I’ve been having low key carnivals since I switched my focus
to unseasonal artiste...lol but this year I wrote and produced a little
track called “Welcome to the Carnival” featuring Kerwin Dubois
and the response was good so I would say it went well.
MM: Do you have any post Carnival music plans?
MXP: I’m on radio every day in the week so that’s a new platform
for my supporters to check out as well as my new music, my latest
track “Juice” has been lighting up the airwaves.
MM: You've been scheduled as a headline act for the DeciBel
music expo, how do you feel about that?
MXP: I’ve been a part of the DeciBel family from way back in the
day so to see it re- emerge is good and performing there would be
just like old times.
Decibel is finally here!! The Entertainment expo
officially got underway yesterday with several
feature speakers, among them Adam Sevani
from the Step Up movie franchise. The confer-
ence continues today with a slew of speakers,
among them Project Runway winner Anya
Ayoung Chee and music mogul Ken “Duro” Ifill,
to name a few. On Sunday, the event culminates
with the DeciBel Entertainment Festival at Pier
One. Entrance is free to the event with a contri-
bution to Republic Bank’s Youth Literacy Fund.
DEF will have performances from Groovy Soca
Monarch Kerwin Dubois, MX Prime, Blaxx and
Tenille Amor, among many other local acts.
Below are the profiles of the speakers that will be
at the expo:
A native New Yorker, Terese was born to parents
that emigrated from the Caribbean. With her
father from Trinidad and mother from Grenada,
Terese was raised with a love and passion for
Caribbean culture and its music. A graduate of
Queens College with a BA in Media Studies,
Terese got her start as an intern with the Island
Def Jam Music Group immediately after earning
her degree. Within nine months she was promot-
ed to Coordinator of A&R Administration and cur-
rently serves as the Director of A&R
Administration for Universal Music Group East
Coast Labels Shared Services. With a career span-
ning over a decade in the music industry, Terese
has been an integral contributor to the recording
projects of legends such Jay-Z, Kanye West,
Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Ludacris and Nas as
well as newcomers 2 Chainz, Frank Ocean, and
Justin Bieber to name a few. Terese is also a vot-
ing member of The National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences.
Jason Kpana's career spans over 14 years in the
music industry. Starting out as an intern for
Universal Records in 2001 and eventually becom-
ing the Vice President of Operations/Director of
A&R for SRC Records, a division of Universal
Motown Republic Group. SRC was founded by
music mogul Steve Rifkind, who also founded the
legendary label LOUD Records in the early 90's.
During his tenure at SRC, Jason was instrumental
in launching the careers of multi-platinum selling
artists Akon, Shontelle and Melanie Fiona as well
as working with hip-hop legends like Wu-Tang
Clan. A few years ago, Jason started an independ-
ent artist development and consulting company
named Chyld's Play Entertainment who's client
list has ranged from new and established talent to
companies like Republic Records and Bravo's Real
Housewives of New Jersey. Starting next month,
Jason will be rejoining his mentor Steve Rifkind
and his business partner Hip Hop's legendary
Russel Simmons as head of A&R at their newly
formed digital talent discovery website ADD52; a
partnership with Samsung Galaxy.
Ken “DURO” Ifill
Ken "Duro" Ifill is the man who signed chart-top-
ping rap star, Fabolous. The CEO of Desert Storm
Records, whose initial interest in the art of engi-
neering came in 1991 after noticing a sonic differ-
ence in how A Tribe Called Quest's album, Low
End Theory, was produced and put together, Duro
has worked with some of the world’s biggest
super stars, including Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Diddy,
Will Smith, Alicia Keys, and the Backstreet Boys,
to name a few. He has worked on seven
Grammy® award-winning projects.
Anya Ayoung Chee
Anya Ayoung-Chee is a Caribbean designer hailing
from Trinidad and Tobago to New York City. In
2011, Anya Ayoung-Chee was cast as the under-
dog in Season 9 of Lifetime Television’s ‘Project
Runway,’ she emerged the victor after showing a
stunning Spring/Summer 2012 Collection named
TOBAGO LOVE at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week
in New York. She won the entire competition, the
‘Fan Favorite’ prize as well as prizes from HP/Intel
and L’Oreal. Anya emerged from Project Runway
as a personality with an amazing story. From then
to now Anya has shown her collections in various
parts of the US, London, South Africa and
throughout the Caribbean. She has also spoken at
schools throughout the US and Caribbean and
shared her inspiring story.
Christopher Guinness is a director and animator
from Trinidad and Tobago who has won Vimeo
Awards for his work on two short films: “Pot
Hound” and “Captain T&T”.Graduating from
Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, he is a multi-
award winner in the advertising and animation cir-
cuit and a former President of the Caribbean chap-
ter of the American Advertising Federation.
Having worked as an Art Director at McCann
Erickson Port of Spain and Lonsdale Saatchi and
Saatchi, Christopher now operates a design, film
and animation agency, Bepperton. Christopher’s
work has won over 70 awards including the
Advertising Agencies Association of Trinidad and
Tobago Campaign of the Year Award, Caribbean
Advertising Federation Best of Show TV, Print
and Overall Awards, Ads of the World Best from
Emerging Market Award, Adobe Cut and Paste
People’s Choice Award, 2 Animae Caribe Awards,
and three American Advertising Federation US
National ADDY® Awards.
Independent feature film producer Franco Sama
has a history in public speaking, public relations
and a decade of independent film development,
production and financing. Sama has Executive
Produced an impressive array of over 20 inde-
pendent feature films including most recently,
"Guns, Girls and Gambling" starring Gary Oldman,
Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly
becoming a cult favorite; this film was released
into theaters on December of 2012 and, in January
2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from
Kees Dieffenthaller, lead singer for KES the Band,
skyrocketed to stardom when he released a single
by the name of “Wotless” in 2011, penned by
musical genius Kerwin Du Bois. Since then KES
has been on fire, racking up hit after hit, including
out of the box summer time favorites which
include, “Tuesday on the Rocks” and “Can’t Wait”.
In the last three years Kees has performed in
numerous festivals all over the world, including
the Antillean Festival in Belgium, as well as show-
case events in Greece and Dubai. There are no
boundaries for this singer, as he continues to work
with Grammy Award winning producers, writers
and singers in an effort to push the Trinidad and
Tobago brand to the rest of the globe.
Rikki Jai is a Trinidadian chutney-soca artiste
born Samraj Jaimungal in Friendship Village, San
Fernando. Jai's 1988 debut single "Sumintra" told
the tale of an Indo-Trinidadian woman
from Debe who informed her boyfriend of her
preference for soca over the music of Indian
artist Lata Mangeshkar. Jai returned the following
year with "Pumping", then "Bolo" and "Show Me
Yuh Motion". His 1993 song "Wine on a Bumsee"
signalled Jai's exit from the soca world, opting for
the "chutney soca" arena, in which he continues to
perform. His most commercially successful
release is "Mor Tor"! In 2007 he released songs
such as "Aj Bhi Jeen" and "Bodekidal", followed by
"Barman". Jai has won Chutney Soca Monarch a
record-breaking six times, and has placed in the
top three finalists since 2012.
Jacob Snyder is an
American film, television and musical theatre per-
former. Beginning his acting career in community
theatre at the age of five, Snyder is known for his
acting, singing, and dancing abilities, starring as
"Young Tarzan" in the
2006Broadway musical, Tarzan, as "Timmy" in
the 2009 feature film, Life During Wartime and as
"Milton" on the Disney channel comedy
series, Kickin' It.
Leo Howard is an American actor and martial
artist. Beginning his acting career at the age of
seven, Howard is known for incorporating
his karate skills into his feature film and television
roles; as "Young Snake Eyes" in the 2009 action
film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, as "Young Conan"
in the 2011 fantasy film, Conan the Barbarian, and
as "Jack" on the Disney XD comedy series, Kickin'
Jason Earles played a nerdy card gamer who was
friends with the character Brian Miller on the
2002-2006 sitcom Still Standing. In 2004, he
appeared in the movie National Treasure as
Thomas Gates, ancestor of Ben Gates (Nicolas
Cage). In 2005, Earles played Ernie Kaplowitz in
the movieAmerican Pie Presents: Band Camp. He
guest starred twice on the 2004-2006 Disney
series Phil of the Future as Grady Spaggett, an
advanced math student. Earles was in the
2006 Disney Channel Games on the Blue Team
and in the 2007 and 2008 Disney Channel
Games on the Red team. Earles was the co-host
of Disney Channel's Sing-Along Bowl-
athon (Disney Channel's 2006 New Year's
Eve special) and the corresponding online voting.
Earles' most well-known role was as Jackson
Stewart, the older brother of Miley Stewart (Miley
Cyrus), in the Disney Channel series Hannah
Montana from 2006 to 2011. Earles was notably
older than the character he played: Jackson
Stewart was born in 1990, making Earles 13 years
older; when the show began, he was a 29-year-old
playing a 16-year-old. Earles played Hunter, the
android protector of the main character, in the
2009-2010 Disney XD series Aaron Stone. He also
voiced Spudnik in the 2009 talking dog
movie Space Buddies. He currently appears as
Sensei Rudy in the Disney XD original
series Kickin' It, which premiered on 13 June 2011.
Adam Sevani appeared in the Touchstone
Pictures dance drama film Step Up 2: The Streets,
the second installment of the Step Up film series.
The film centered on a group of students who
form a dance troupe and battle on the streets.
Sevani's performance as Robert "Moose"
Alexander III was praised by critics, such as The
New York Times, for portraying a character who
"might be the baddest nerd in movie history". The
film, which received generally negative reviews,
went on to gross over $150 million worldwide. For
his role in the film, Sevani received the "Best
Scene Stealer" award at the 2008 Young
Hollywood Awards. In May 2009 Sevani was con-
firmed to reprise the role of Moose in the planned
third installment of the Step Up trilogy. Filming
took place in New York City on a $30 million budg-
et. The film centers on Moose and his best friend
Camille moving to New York to start University
until Sevani's character gets mixed up in the
underground dance scene. Step Up 3D was
released in August 2010 to generally mixed
reviews from critics. As of August 2012, the film is
the highest grossing installment of the trilogy,
with over $159 million worldwide. In July 2012,
Sevani made a small appearance in the trilogy's
fourth installment, Step Up Revolution. In August
2010, Sevani was confirmed to star in the
American remake of the 2008 French film LOL
(Laughing Out Loud), alongside Miley Cyrus, Demi
Moore and Ashley Greene. The film centers on
Cyrus's character finishing her final year of high
school. Sevani has appeared in music videos such
as: Mase's "Breathe, Stretch, Shake", Will Smith's
"Switch", T-Pain's "Church" and a little part
in NLT's "That Girl." He also did the choreography
for NLT's music video for "Karma." He is credited
as a back-up dancer for Kevin Federline's perform-
ance on the Teen Choice Awards in 2006. Adam
also formed a dance crew with Jon Chu and sever-
al California area dancers with celebrity cameos in
2008 known as the ACDC, or Adam/Chu Dance
Crew. The crew had a highly
publicized YouTube dance battle with Miley Cyrus.
The battle ended with a final dance off between
the two crews at the 2008 Teen Choice
Awards. In November 2008, he was featured in a
tribute video to Michael Jackson's 25th
Anniversary 'Thriller' video for Halloween,
with Alyson Stoner.
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