Features

Marvelon “Stixx” Mitchell Master Drummer & History-Maker

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by Anthony Williams

It takes quite a lot to be a good drummer.Almost every day you’ve got to spend hours perfecting your drum beats and your coordination.

To be a great drummer, one whose talent is sought after by international music stars, you must be able to perform with a level of skill, style and sophistication that is way beyond the ordinary. That’s what Marvelon “Stixx” Mitchell discovered in his quest to become not just a professional drummer but one determined to distinguish himself from the pack wherever he performs, be it at home in St. Lucia or any other part of the world.

Stixx, 30, was  in  his  late  teens when he decided that he wanted to be a fulltime drummer. He has always had a  passionate  love for music. After graduating from secondary school, he worked briefly and then realised that the eight-to-four treadmill was not for him. He persuaded his mother {“Joan Mitchell-Anius”} to buy him a drum set and then taught himself to play them.

Subsequently he hooked up with the band DeN5 and they did local gigs at various shows around the island, and at some of the hotels.

Stixx was then contracted to play on cruise ships. Eventually, he moved to New York. While there, a music producer spotted a couple of his demos via social media and he was fascinated. The producer happened to be Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown, the keyboard player for none other than Stephen “Raggamuffin” Marley, six-time Grammy Award winner and son of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Continue reading

Coach on a Mission Peter Philogene taking Youth Football to the Highest Level

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By Reginald Andrew

With all the added dimensions and applications being engineered into sports, the art of coaching and sports development have taken on a new twist in this modern era.

No longer can professional coaches be content to just get players going through the regular drills and exercise regime. Adopting strategic and scientific techniques is vital to enable them to transition into a fully fledged coaching career with the ability to nurture highly skilled players.

Peter Philogene is keen on helping to push for the overall development of   professional   and semi-professional players from a football league standpoint.

Coaching and sports development   now   require insightful delivery, excellent communication and mobilization skills and the ability to develop good rapport with young players and their parents or guardians.

Philogene has taken up the formidable task with his sights set on bolstering the holistic development of a breed of players with excellent physical fitness and an awareness of what is at stake for professional players who are committed to honing their skills. He is currently doing his utmost to elevate Reduit FC to a higher level in the game.

Philogene put Dazzle through the drills to give us an insight into what has become his mission.

Dazzle: Tell us how your sports business venture began? Continue reading

Heidi Child Care Visionary & Gutsy Entrepreneur

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by Angela St. Denis


“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” Helen Keller

Heidi St. Clair, a Babonneau Secondary School alumni had her sights set on becoming a fashion designer  until  her  introduction to childcare. This experience commenced her daring adventure into the world of children through her business, St. Clair’s Sitting Service.

In an interview with Dazzle, the 26-year old talks about her love for the business and what keeps her going. In all things she holds God as a vital component of her life. She did not get it right initially but in her own words, steady does it.

Dazzle: Who is Heidi St. Claire?

Heidi: I was born in Gros Islet town and spent a number of years in Switzerland. I can remember some of the sights and smells from my time there but not the language. I undertook most of my primary schooling at Gros-Islet Primary, where I wrote the Common Entrance Exam. I did well and was placed at Babonneau Secondary, where I met my best friend, Nasha Joseph. Continue reading

Claudia Edward: The Diva – Multitalented, Soulful and Vivacious

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At home and abroad her fans hail her as one of the Caribbean’s top vocalists and a mesmerising entertainer.

A consummate singer and songwriter, her speciality is R&B/alternative rock. Affectionately known as ‘The Diva,’ she was once rated as St. Lucia’s top female radio announcer.

Yet the truth is Claudia Edward is not only gifted and musical. She’s one of a special breed of multitalented St. Lucians with a deep sense of self, who view the world as their oyster – not just St. Lucia or even the Caribbean. This refusal to limit herself or to be contained has been her driving force since the age of 14 when she started out as a lead choir singer for her church. Later she began performing at local hotels as the lead vocalist for Magic Circle Express.

In 1998 after completing voice training classes in the USA, she featured on the Square One hit single Electricity alongside Alison Hinds. The song became a chartbuster in the English, Dutch and French Antilles. Claudia has since formed her own band, Naked Chords and has released several albums and music videos. She has performed at musical festivals and events locally and internationally, including the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival and the Soul Fusion Concert at the London 2012 Olympics. She has wowed audiences in Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, Costa Rica, Martinique, New York, Malaysia, Thailand and several other countries. She has also been contracted by the Hilton Hotel Group and the Conrad Hotel in Thailand where her talent is in high demand.

Claudia has collaborated with several internationally renowned musicians, including St. Lucians Ronald Boo Hinkson, Christopher Neil, T C Brown, Jamaican ‘Bad Gyal Cecile’, Michele Henderson of Dominica and the famed music producer, Jonathan Waller of the USA. In 2005 she toured Europe with Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott as lead vocalist in his play ‘The Odyssey’, and also played the main female role is his play ‘Helen of Troy’. Continue reading

Shorne Benjamin – St. Lucia’s Master Chef: Cooking Caribbean Delights with New Age Flair

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St. Lucia has always been known for its twin peaks, the Pitons and its two Nobel Laureates. A few years ago, the island would become famous for  one of its daughters who became a  runner-up  in one  of  the  world’s  top  reality  cooking  shows.

Never before has St. Lucia garnered so much attention as a result of the culinary skills of one of its nationals, namely Chef Nina Compton. She performed spectacularly before an International audience numbering in the millions. She was then succeeded by a son of the soil who would perform just as outstandingly.

Given the amazing successes of these two chefs, it’s no wonder that more talented young chefs are emerging and touching the lives of many.

Meet 36-year old Chef Shorne Benjamin, a St. Lucian master chef based in Brooklyn, New York. For the past seven years he has gained popularity for his ability to infuse Lucian cuisine with a modern flair.

Shorne Benjamin hails from Entrepot, Castries. A past student of the Marchand Combined and Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary, he left St. Lucia in 1998 to study finance at Mercy College in New York. Subsequently, he landed a job as a stockbroker at the Bank of New York Mellon on Wall Street. When the tides got rough during the 2008-09 financial crisis, Chef Shorne had to reconsider his career path. He attended and graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York. He currently resides at Andaz 5th Avenue and is the Executive Chef of his own catering company, ShorCulinaire. We sat down with Chef Shorne to discuss the spicy experiences that have flavoured his career path and taken him to where he is today.

Tell us about your origins and what led to to you becoming Chef Shorne. Continue reading

Terril Nicholas – Jewellery is Redefining Art

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Earrings from pop tabs of canned drinks you say? I mean who would have thought of that? Necklaces and keychains made from spoons? Well I’ll be! Might shock you and I but for the creator/artist/designer of Illuminating Designs, it’s simply all in a day’s work. And work she takes great pride in.

Terril Nicholas developed a passion for creating jewellery from as far back as her secondary school days and despite every other career opportunity she has had, fashion jewellery making is the one that has clutched her heartstrings to this day. 

Terril’s jewellery crafting started out with creating bracelets from rope and beads, which quickly became popular, encouraging her to challenge herself to make more interesting pieces from rather unusual materials. Some of her pieces are created from upcycling, which is the process of using discarded or old materials to create something useful and beautiful. The materials include, pop tabs of canned drinks and used plastic bottles, in addition to all-new and imported materials such as enamelled copper, beads and trinkets, and her signature element, stainless steel spoons. Yes, spoons! 

Of course, Team Dazzle was totally intrigued by the works of this artiste and could not resist finding out more about what’s behind this creative company, Illuminating Designs. Wait ‘til you read about some of the crazy requests she has received. Dig in Dazzlers! Continue reading

Sabbatus Hunte – on the Hunt for Goals

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Sabbatus Hunte  longed for the freedom to play sports to the fullest. Growing up in Dennery where the passion for sports was fierce and intense, he was infused with a competitive zeal.

Though he initially started playing cricket at the junior level, it was soccer that helped widen his horizons. Along the way he was fortunate to attain professional qualifications in physical education  and sports development, while maintaining his prowess as a tough and wily footballer.

He has played with the Dennery team for the past 10 years, serving as captain. Known to his fans as ‘The General’ in defense, his energy is relentless and he has a steely grip on the game.

Sabbatus is a Manchester United fan and his idol is Rio Ferdinand. He admires Fernandez’s defensive skills and tries to emulate them to further enhance his own talents.

His yearns to develop the sport at the ‘grass-roots’ level and wants to be a role model for the youths. Presently. He’s a teacher at the Grand Riviere Secondary school.

Sabbatus took Dazzle on a journey into his development as a footballer. Continue reading

Daniel Marcion: Presenting ‘Belle Portwe’ – Anything Else will just be a PICTURE

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When a young man overcomes personal heartbreak and manages to transform that bitter experience into a ‘celebration of life’ through artistic creativity, such accomplishment is a fulfilment in itself.

Daniel Marcion was just perusing his architectural career when he lost his loved one, Sheena in 2010. They had been together for about 10 years. Instead of giving in to despair, he overcame his grief by channelling his energies into developing his flair for photographic art. Sheena was the one who had given him a digital camera originally given to her by her step-dad as a gift. Before she died, she had always encouraged Daniel to stay focused on life and don’t allow her personal experience to hold him back and with that he took her advice.

After Sheena’s passing, Daniel “took that energy and used it to fuel me forward.” In hindsight, he turned to photographic art as a tribute to her. “Because of her, I am pushing this thing to literally get me focused

… It is like a tribute to her,” says Daniel. I prayed for strength and was blessed with close friends and family who were supportive and I’m thankful to them all the time. Continue reading

Mandisa Morrison – Shoe Rehab Helps You Walk with Flair and Style

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Shoe Rehab Helps You Walk with Flair and Style. Throw in passion, innovation, exquisite workmanship and shoe-repair mastery and you’ve got Shoe Rehab – not your typical shoe repair company.

The company is the brainchild of Mandisa Morrison who has changed the status quo for shoe repair and restoration in Saint Lucia. She spoke to Dazzle Magazine about her business ventures and the challenges she has faced as a young entrepreneur.

Dazzle: Please share your story with us.

Mandisa: I own and operate Shoe Rehab, a shoe repair business that was launched in June 2013. The concept for the business blossomed when I realized that there was no outlet in the north for anyone who needed shoe repairs. People used roadside repair stalls in Castries but the standard was not of the highest level. I did some market research and discovered there is a demand for a better service, so I opened my first store. Continue reading

Aimran Simmons – Rise of a Music Maestro: Nothing and no one can keep him down

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Often, when we hear a song, the first thing that comes to mind is who’s the artiste?

One must always remember that in order to create a song, there needs to be a vocalist (artiste), the writer and the producer.

For the past few years our ears have been delighted by the infectious sounds from a veteran pan player. He has produced some of the biggest hits for St. Lucia’s carnival. His résumé boasts a host of impressive productions, including the Road March-winning HURT IT by JMouse, as well as MADD TING and INDIAN GIRL by Ricky T. Added to that, he was the producer behind Ricky T’s Mega hit THREE PEAT back in 2011.

Meet Aimran Simmons affectionately   known as PanmanAimran of Marchand, the  mastermind producer behind those hits and many more. Aimran founded Studio No Xcitement five years ago. The studio is situated at Entrepot and has welcomed the likes of Soca King Ricky T, Ambi, J Mouse, and most recently, Mongstar. We sat down with Aimran at our offices to get an insight into his rise to fame to become one of St. Lucia’s biggest and most talented musician/ music producers. Continue reading

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