JAMusic: What gave you the nudge to take this daring fashion step, to align yourself with eyewear and promoting your life, GLEAM.
T: Well basically, I was signed as the brand ambassador to the Bone & Eye Clinic / Pure Vision Ocho Rios. The heads notice my love for glasses & approached me with the idea to do a line of glasses for myself. I jumped at the opportunity! I didn't see it as something risky because glasses are an integral part of fashion & finishing touch to almost any outfit. It's just never been done on a serious level by a Jamaican.
JAMusic: Take us into the brainstorm session for the look and feel for the glasses and the naming process.
T: I wanted it to be a reflection of me as well as to appeal to the masses. So it was kind of a long process in terms of coming up with/ choosing a design, choosing the right colors, the shade lenses, the branding. Kinda like growing a child ’til they grow up & become something successful! (laughs)
JAMusic: What would you say the premise of GLEAM is built upon? The ideology behind it all.
T: With regards to the naming of Gleam. I kept thinking light! Light! And everything that goes with and contrasts with it. In my research I found the word "GLEAM" and I thought it was an awesome paradox. Gleam embodies light! But the glasses are suppose to block the light. So if you look at it from a literary aspect when you wear the glasses you'll be gleaming (shining) because the light will be coming from you. You're not fighting the light! Instead you posses it and hence the tag line "Be your true reflection" ... shining, hot, gleaming etc. (laughs)! That was long
JAMusic: Can you talk about the fashion culture of Dancehall and the importance it plays on musicians and the music itself?
T: Well that's pretty straight forward, we are selling a product and the product is ourselves. Hence, the package has to look good. That means not only the songs that sound good but who's singing it. That's where fashion comes into play. Not only that but fashion is an integral part of dancehall culture. They're hit songs made about fashion.
JAMusic: GLEAM will be seen as redefining preconceived notions of ‘statement pieces’, how do you see the vision of the line evolving over the years?
T: Glasses are glasses, and they will always be worn whether fashion or prescription. So like my music I believe if I continue to appeal to the masses the GLEAM line shouldn't have a problem with evolving and sticking around for a while.
JAMusic: Simplicity appears to be the focal point of the piece, is this intentional or more so adapting to modern pop culture?
T: I was going for mass appeal. So even though they are cat eyed frames I didn't want to go too crazy. So they're fashionable but sophisticated and young & old can wear them and still be cool in their demographic.
JAMusic: What is the ultimate aim for the brand?
T: TO GLEAM THE GLOBE!!!
JAMusic: If you don’t mind us asking, how are you utilising social media and digital influence to market your brand?
T: Well obviously I'm not gonna give away my tricks (laughs), but the internet / social media plays an integral role in the in the promotion of anything because that’s where persons head to first for information about anything. So clearly it would have to be a machine for me.
JAMusic: With you upcoming performance on the 25th staging of Reggae Sumfest, do you have anything specific planned to ‘wow’ patrons?
T: I love putting on a "show" especially on such a major platform such as Sumfest. Expect fun, exciting and entertaining dancehall, but expect it at on International level.
JAMusic: Can you talk a bit on the single Ride Up with Khalia? How did the collaboration come to fruition?
T: Well basically I went to the studio for a session with Tony Kelly, we started to exchange ideas, he started playing stuff, riddims as well as stuff from Khalia & I was impressed by her. He played another beat, she shared an Idea and I was like let's do this. We wrote and recorded it the same night! The rest is history.
JAMusic: It’s being noted that you’ve taken upon yourself a ‘big sister’ role of some sorts with Khalia, how important is it for you to mentor younger entertainers? Female artistes to be more specific.
T: I was just really blown away by her talent and the fresh positive energy that was at the studio. I've always believed that there is a great deal of talent here in Jamaica that is not getting the due shine because of one reason or the other. I just wanna see real talent shine. I’ve been through a lot in this business, so if I can help to steer her in the right path or impart my knowledge why not?