Chanel DaCosta, Beauty and Brains on the Rise

Chanel DaCosta, the face behind the popular LASCO iDrade television commercial is making major moves to cement her stay in the creative industry. The 23 year old, who sings, dances, acts and models, among other things, most recently landed the role of House of Flowers (H.O.F.) Decor’s bride at the Jamaica Bridal Expo held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre late September.

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H.O.F. Decor’s blushing bride Chanel DaCosta was radiant in her role as Mrs H.O.F. on Sunday, September 24 (day two) of the Jamaica Bridal Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The blushing bride was the centre of attention during H.O.F. Decor’s launch concept staged as a wedding ceremony in a garden styled setting and reception set in H.O.F. Decor’s lavishly decorated 20 x 20 booth space at the prestigious event.

Not yet married, but a true romantic at heart, Chanel had no challenges being in character for the company’s debut.

“It wasn’t difficult. I have been in love before. I think it is something that everyone should experience. It’s definitely an amazing feeling. I think that love is out there, and you can definitely have more than one love in a lifetime… I am old school. I definitely want to get married first, then have my kids after,” shares the beauty.

The Jamaican born Chanel DaCosta is a citizen of the United Kingdom and an all-rounder. In addition to her many ventures, the budding biochemist, project manager and actress has been dancing since age three and has had many modelling exploits.

Picture 8 Chanel DaCosta doing a regal photoshoot in collaboration with fashion designer and stylist Kurt Campbell and photographer Steven Roper.jpg
Chanel DaCosta doing a regal photoshoot in collaboration with fashion designer and stylist Kurt Campbell and photographer Steven Roper

DaCosta has already worked with esteemed productions including the 2017 Caribbean’s Next Top Model, season four, and the 2017 Crop Over Carnival Campaign in Jamaica dubbed “No Crew Left Behind” through the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). She has also been part of various commercial promotions as well as marketing internships with Jamaica Producers (2015 and 2016); and worked as a performing arts and group counsellor at Edutech Summer Camp along with short administrative stints with ELDAC Consultancy and Scorch Limited.

DaCosta, who has resided in Jamaica for most of her years, is currently wrapping up her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Management Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI); and is also a Sales and Marketing Executive at Jamaica Island Roasters and Co-Director of ChloMo Projects and Events.

Her original interest in pathology has inspired her to pursue a medical degree, commencing in 2018. However, Chanel admits that her passion for genetic engineering and charity work with Angels of Love, a local non-profit which assists critically ill, disadvantaged and underprivileged children with cancer, has inspired her to specialise in paediatric oncology after medical school.

“My work with Angels of Love has inspired me to perhaps go into the specialisation after med school. But really and truly, I won’t know until I start practicing – to see what I like.”
The effervescent scholar also admits that her specialty could also be in sports medicine based on her interests in sports and nutrition.

“Fitness and nutrition and general well being are big parts of my life. I started track from around age seven and I competed in prep champs. I was a sprinter. I did up to 200 metres, relays and medleys. I did football and badminton for a while before I fell in love with rugby and competed on the Trinity College School Varsity team at the CAIS [Canadian Accredited Independent Schools], CISAA [Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario] and OFSSA [Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations] Championships for three years. Going to the gym has been a hobby for the past four years and I’m also into yoga and meditation.”

When asked how she locked in her lead role in the iDrade commercial, the fitness expert stated it could have possibly been due to her participation in the inaugural Guardsman Games in 2016.

Picture 7 Chanel DaCosta crawls her way through a leopard crawl challenge
Chanel crawls her way through a leopard crawl challenge at the 2016 Guradsman Games in Kingston, Jamaica.

“I was on the A Team the first year. It’s a cross-fit, obstacle course with running as well as mental puzzles and team work. Maybe after they saw me compete they thought I’d be able to do what was involved in the ad, which was similar to what I did in Guardsman Games. All the circuits in the ad are real. Believe me, it was real sweat,” shares DaCosta.

 

Chanel attended Covenant Christian Academy and Preparatory School before passing the local Grade Six Achievement Tests in 2006 to attend the revered Campion College in Kingston. In fourth form, her curiosity about the world and the need to experience new things led to her secure a scholarship to continue her secondary studies at Trinity College School, a coeducational, independent boarding school located in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.

“I like to travel and experience different cultures and new languages. They had a lot of sports, arts and academic courses which peaked my interest,” she shares.

Picture 9 Chanel DaCosta in full wardrobe in her major role as a venticello in Mozart Amadeus in the Dick and Jane LevanTheatre at Trinity College School in 2013
DaCosta in full wardrobe in her major role as a venticello in Mozart Amadeus in the Dick and Jane LevanTheatre at Trinity College School in 2013

While at Campion and Trinity, Chanel participated in numerous clubs and charity based initiatives. However, it was at Trinity that she really followed up on her charity work and theatrical talents. She landed many roles in multiple theatrical productions, showcasing her acting and singing skills as well as her skills on the handbells and the recorder. She has since continued to participate in theatre while attending the UWI.

 

While studying French and Spanish from 2006 through 2013, her ardour for varied cultures has also caused her to commence studies in Portuguese, German, Italian and Dutch; while her travel interests have led her to visit countries such as Spain, England, Belgium, France, Poland, Italy, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Barbados and the United States.

According to Chanel DaCosta “Happiness is a priority in my life. I am sure that once I am happy and enjoy whatever I do, I will be successful.”

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D-Medz to lead May Pen Peace March on Heroe’s Day

D-Medz
D-Medz

Reggae Peace Ambassador D-Medz will lead Clarendonians in a walk for peace dubbed the Nuh Falla Bad Company Peace March on Monday, October 16, National Heroe’s Day in the Clarendon capital, May Pen.

Named after one of his more popular hits “Nuh Falla Bad Company”, D-Medz has single handedly garnered support from parish officials, the Ministry of National Security, local businesses, community based organisations and the many concerned citizens in the crime riddled parish.

The chanter is advocating for peace to return to Clarendon.

“I born and grow in May Pen. This is home for me and my family and it hurt to see so much murders taking place right next to me. I already lost a brother to the gun and I decide that I am not going to sit and watch anyone else fall victim to crime,” shares a passionate D-Medz.

The Reggae Peace Ambassador goes further to share that  “This March is supposed to show the murderers that there is power in numbers and that the law abiding people of Clarendon are taking a stance to save our lives and the lives of our neighbours, family and friends. Give the people a chance. Come talk to we, speak up to the leaders, mek we help you. Taking a life doesn’t make a point.”

The Nuh Falla Bad Company Peace March will commence at 2:30 pm on Main Street in May Pen before moving unto Sevens Road, leading to Farm. The Peace March will then move to Effortville before returning to Main Street.

Sponsors of the Nuh Falla Bad Company Peace March include Kenny’s Total Service Centre; Banton Gym; Rural Area Productions; Stop Light Wholesale and Manning’s Key Shop. D-Medz anticipates that even more sponsors will come on board in the coming days, based on feedback in the parish.

On the day, peace advocates participating in the March are being asked to wear blue, or a branded shirt representing the organisation which they represent.

H.O.F. Decor Makes Bold Move to Take Local Wedding Industry

House of Flowers (H.O.F.) Decor, new comer and first time exhibitor at the sixth annual Jamaica Bridal Expo, was ranked among the top four most impressive booths at the two-day exposition hosted at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on September 23 and 24. The prestigious consensus based on the use of the latest trends, styles as well as booth elements and details came from the approximately 350 international travel agents who attended.

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Joanne Paxton, executive producer at Events and Entertainment Services, organisers of Jamaica Bridal Expo speaks with Kevan Stewart (r), managing director and Chloe DaCosta (l), project manager of H.O.F. Decor on Saturday, September 23 (day one) of the Jamaica Bridal Expo held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The new company and first time exhibitor, H.O.F. Decor, placed among the top four exhibitors based on the use of the latest trends, styles as well as booth elements and details.

Joanne Paxton, Executive Producer at Events and Entertainment Services, organisers of Jamaica Bridal Expo says the event continues to receive much interest and participation from brides, grooms, hoteliers, suppliers and travel agents as Jamaica remains an attraction for destination weddings.

“Majority of them [exhibitors and sponsors], they’re here annually. This is on their calendar as an event that they have to participate in. A few exhibitors came on board for the first time this year. H.O.F. Decor is actually new and they came on as a sponsor this year. They launched their company at the expo with a mock-up wedding in their booth.”

H.O.F. Decor launched its suite of wedding decor elements with the concept of a wedding ceremony representing its entrance to the wedding industry. H.O.F. Decor presented Mr and Mrs H.O.F. during a staged elaborate garden ceremony, followed by a reception, set in a 20’ x 20’ booth space. The spectacular set-up had the attention of attendees, many of who grappled to get photos with the beautiful couple following the union.

Kevan Stewart, Managing Director of H.O.F. Decor says the concept was a strategic one.

“We have been in operation for roughly a year and a half, perfecting our craft and getting the kinks ironed out. Launching at the Jamaica Bridal Expo was a very strategic move for us to make a direct impact on business and individual prospects that are typically present at the expo to view the latest trends in the industry. My team actually  started preparation months ahead of the expo. Our various tweaks and fine tuning of a very creative concept allowed us to get the stamp of approval from industry critics. I am extremely proud of my team,” shares Stewart.

Pleased with the reviews coming out of the esteemed occasion, Stewart believes the commendations are a clear indication of the company’s future in the wedding, corporate and lifestyle markets.

“Based on the feedback we have received, H.O.F. Decor is on the fast track to becoming a major player in event decor. We have big plans in the making and my team and I are ready to cater to the varied tastes, lifestyles and needs of our clients.”

H.O.F. Decor offers a full suite of event decor services for large and small events spanning weddings, business functions, trade shows, and parties; incorporating floral designs, high quality furnishings and custom fabrications.

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Chanel DaCosta (bride) and Daniel Cousley (groom) are in full character as Mr and Mrs H.O.F. Decor with the H.O.F. Decor bridesmaids following a staged wedding ceremony on Saturday, September 23 at the Jamaica Bridal Expo in Montego Bay.

Local Casting Call in the Wings for “So Enticing” Movie

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A December 2017 casting call is in the wings for the upcoming local production of the movie So Enticing. Gothic Entertainment Group and 20/20 Visions Entertainment Group, producers of the film, intend to enhance Brand Jamaica by showcasing the island’s talent, culture, sites and attractions.

Joshua Coates
Joshua Coates

Director Joshua Coates says “The cast and crew will be 90 percent Jamaican. We will be shooting scenes all across the island and we are looking for talented Jamaicans to complement a brilliant script.”

Coates goes further to share “When the film is complete, we plan to have an exclusive red carpet event only in Jamaica. Our desire is for Jamaicans to participate in the celebration of the film before it hits the United States.”

The production’s first casting call in December will require professional headshots from interested females ages 15 through 24.

“In December we’ll be looking for females with a background in acting or modelling. We only have roles for four to five male characters, but these we plan to recruit at a later date,” shares Coates.

The producers intend to complete casting as early as January 2018 and commence production thereafter. Dates, venues and other details surrounding casting calls will be provided through local media outlets and via social media in the coming weeks.

Already in talks with several big name actors from the US for the leading roles, Coates is tight lipped about other exciting details surrounding the flick.

So Enticing is based on Jamaican author Colin Don Rose’s first novel released in 2015. It is an original sultry murder mystery set in the US in the early nineties. Earlier this year, the book was re-written into a screen play by Rose for the Jamaican film adaptation.

The author, excited to showcase the visuals of his literary works, believes the film is another opportunity to promote Jamaican music.

“We hope to have a few cameos by popular Jamaican artistes in the movie. Just as well, we are currently putting together the soundtrack. So we are looking for music beds and songs that will enhance an already awesome product,” explains Rose.

With several other manuscripts in waiting, Colin Don Rose has positioned himself to become a major stakeholder in the local film industry. Plans are already in place to produce a sequel to the movie So Enticing.

So Enticing, the book, is available on Amazon and in Kingston Bookshops across the island.

D-Medz drops management and forms own label, Highly Medz Entertainment

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Reggae Peace Ambassador, D-Medz

Rebel Souljah and Reggae Peace Ambassador D-Medz has confirmed rumours of his departure from Joseph Moore’s EPP Jam Records in recent months. The “Nuh Falla Bad Company” singer has also corroborated that he has since formed his own production company, Highly Medz Entertainment.

D-Medz affirms that “It is better this way. I have grown to learn a lot about the music business. I have decided to focus more on my message and what I can do to help uplift my brothers and sisters. There is no sense in having influence and not using it to help others. I wish my old management all the best, but I believe now the world will truly see what D-Medz is about. I am about the people” shares the singer born Dwayne Adams.

D-Medz’ first single out of Highly Medz Entertainment is a thought provoking piece entitled “Muta Boot”. Explaining the reasoning behind the title of the hard-hitting track, the Reggae Peace Ambassador says “Everyone knows that Mutabaruka [dub poet and talk show host] don’t wear shoes. It is a powerful thing, because that is as close as you can get to the energy from the earth. “Muta Boot” is simply saying that the song is truth. We nuh hold back nuttn pon that single. The lyrics are about real life issues that we as Jamaicans are facing right now.”

The Reggae Pace Ambassador will also be working with upcoming acts through his label. Tokeno, Gabedon and Pipeline are a few of the talented acts already working with Highly Medz Entertainment.

“After “Muta Boot”, fans can expect to see even more D-Medz productions and productions from my artistes. But it won’t be all about putting out music. A lot of the work will be about sharing the message of peace. Jamaica ah get wicked and I refuse to sit down and watch things fall apart. I am playing my part. We’ll be doing other things in addition to the school tours I have done in the past,” says Adams.

“Muta Boot” will be available on all major digital music outlets in September.

D-Medz’ “Muta Boot” out today

MUTA BOOT graphicD-Medz’ “Muta Boot” hits the airwaves today. “Muta Boot” is the Reggae Peace Ambassador’s first single since his departure from Joseph Moore’s EPP Jam Records in recent months. The “Nuh Falla Bad Company” singer has also corroborated that he has since formed his own production company, Highly Medz Entertainment.

Released on his Highly Medz Entertainment label, “Muta Boot is a thought provoking piece”. The title, inspired by dub poet and talk show host Mutabaruka, symbolises truth. D-Medz believes that the practice of not wearing shoes, as practiced by Mutabaruka, allows one to truly feel the energies from the earth.

“Muta Boot”. is another one of D-Medz’ hard-hitting melodies. On the track, the Reggae Peace Ambassador is candid and calls out politicians, high society people, disc jockeys who take payola and murderers who are playing a role in degrading Jamaica’s culture or causing too much violence.

“After “Muta Boot”, fans can expect to see even more D-Medz productions and productions from my artistes. But it won’t be all about putting out music. A lot of the work will be about sharing the message of peace. Jamaica ah get wicked and I refuse to sit down and watch things fall apart. I am playing my part. We’ll be doing other things in addition to the school tours I have done in the past,” says D-Medz.

“Muta Boot” will be available on all major digital music outlets in September.

Warrior King added to the line up of One Love One Heart Reggae Festival

Popular reggae act Warrior King joins Steel Pulse, Anthony B and Sizzla, and others, for the eighth annual One Love One Heart Reggae Festival on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3 at the Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodlands, California, United States.

Warrior King, confirmed for the Saturday edition of the One Love One Heart Reggae Festival, has been making a slew of appearances across the US and Europe in recent months.

“2017 has been a great year so far. I give thanks for the recognition and the love from fans all across the world. The catalogue is big and it is a really good feeling to perform in places so far away from Jamaica and feel so at home because of the love from my audience,” shares the singer born Mark Dyer.

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Warrior King performs his 75 minute set at Reggae Jam on Saturday, July 29 in Bersenbrück, Germany with his Rootz Warrior Band. Reggae Jam is a major European reggae festival which attracts music lovers and musicians from all across the world. This year, the festival ran from July 28 through 30.

Coming off of a successful European festival tour, in July, with his Rootz Warrior Band, the “Virtuous Woman” singer engaged thousands of fans at Texel Island Vibes, the LB27 Reggae Camp, Reggae Jam and Reggae in Wulf before heading to California for club and concert performances in August.

 

The highlight of Warrior King’s trip to the US this time around was his return to the 33rd annual Reggae on the River Festival in August after 13 years.

According to Dyer “It was like me return home. The vibes was right. Reggae on the River is always a nice mystical kind of vibe out in the country where you have a lot of farmers. It is a big show that really supports true reggae acts from Jamaica and across the world.”

Warrior King’s next appearance with his Rootz Warrior Band in California will be at the Anderson Valley Grange on Friday, August 18 – in celebration of Marcus Garvey’s 130th birthday. The “Never Go Where Pagans Go” singer has long been a supporter of Garvey’s teachings. In 2010, he received The Marcus Garvey Music Award, along with Jimmy Tucker, for their musical work; and this year, June 11 was proclaimed annual ‘Mark “Warrior King” Dyer Day’ by Buffalo, New York’s Mayor Byron W Brown, ahead of the annual Junteenth Festival initiatives which promotes Garvey’s teachings among young people.

2017 will also see the “Rootz Warrior” embarking on first-time performances in China – a territory where reggae music has only just started to break ground.

Warrior King will kick start his 2017 Caribbean tour with a headline performance at Country Fest slated for Saturday, September 30 at Tabaquite Recreation Grounds in Trinidad.

His latest studio album, The Rootz Warrior, is available on all major digital music distribution sites.