Filmmaker Akinola Davis Jr takes us as along for the ride as he explores the lush surrounds of Kingston, Jamaica, a place where the music is loud, the vibes are good, and people are always on hand with a compliment.
Where were you in these pictures and what were you doing?
I was mainly in and around Kingston, Jamaica. Me and a threadbare crew had gone to shoot a small music promo.
What makes Jamaica special?
I think it’s an extremely vibrant place. What I found best was how generous people were with compliments. I came back complimenting everyone all the time. Equally for me it’s an energy which I can’t quite quantify, but is always personified in being by the ocean and the company you keep.
Did you bring home any souvenirs?
I brought home two spiced buns which are long gone.
Best meal of the trip?
Best meal for me was the first meal. I can’t quite remember the place, but it took us ages to find. I had fried plantain and grilled fish. The fish was seasoned to perfection.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
I’m a filmmaker.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to make miniature models as I thought that was what architecture was.
“My first job was cherry picking in a field in Kent. I lasted one afternoon and got fired for having a cherry fight with my mates.”
How did you arrive at the point you are now?
If you mean in terms of work, I did a long and fruitful amount of work experience. I was clever enough to sustain that by having a bad job so I could live. I chased up opportunities with people I genuinely liked, who are good people. They couldn’t always pay well but the experiences were worth it. Lastly, I did a lot of homework on people, ensured I was diligent, kind, respectful, hardworking – and extremely lucky.
Any childhood heroes?
My only heroes from now and forevermore will be the women in my life. My mother and my sister.
What was your first job?
My first job was cherry picking in a field in Kent. I lasted one afternoon and got fired for having a cherry fight with my mates.
What's your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition is to start a family and raise good, honest children.
What fuels your creative practice?
My creative practice is fuelled by wanting to tell stories of my community.
Who do you most admire?
I admire anyone who is genuinely happy for themselves and others. Equally people who are charming no matter the situation.
What's the last dream that you remember having?
I had a dream where a friend of mine in LA comforted me by giving me a hug. I tend to comfort people in dreams, but this was the first time the roles were reversed.
If you could do anything without fear of repercussion, what would you do?
I would ride around on horseback all the time.
If you could ask anyone a question, who would you ask, and what?
I’d probably ask my father a load of questions. I never got to meet him. Probably what he thought when he first saw my mum.
Describe yourself in three words...
Brave, charming and patient.
Describe your style. Is what you wear important to you?
I wouldn’t say I have a style. I like to look good but to be honest, I’m more interested in comfort.
Who’s the most creative person you know?
The most creative person I know is my brother, or someone like Ib Kamara.
One thing you can’t live without?
I can’t live without Evian water.
The best advice you've ever been given?
Question everything – thanks mum.
“I admire anyone who is genuinely happy for themselves and others. Equally people who are charming no matter the situation.”
Crack Stevens' Jamaica playlist:
• Expensive Order by Busy Signal
• Dumebi by Rema
• Rapture by Koffee
• Freaky by Santi
• Legend by Show Dem Camp