'Chiney eye' .....Remains Conscious

No. 118 Monday, July 19, 2010
The rise of deejay 'Chiney Eye' in the beginning of the nineties in Montego Bay, Jamaica was a militant one which drew eye­brow-raising responses from the general audience.

    He has been hailed as a no-nonsense black­conscious entertainer. His inspiration comes from artistes such as Mutabaruka, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Admiral Tibet gave him that early inspiration on the stage, Chiney Eye admitted. Yet, his first real influence to become an entertainer came from his paternal grandfather, Ivan who he thinks was a good singer.
    However, a few years ago he saw the need to dispose of this name for something that is more relevant with his black identity. The new name is Iziniga. Chiney Eye's moniker is derived from a family tradition with their eyes. His elder sister is even called Chiney Eye.
    He said that it was his lyrics that made his general audience feel that he was reactionary as he took aim at the white people who were still enjoying some privileges (especially on the Gloucester Avenue - the hip strip of Montego Bay) which certain ghetto youths were denied.
    The deejay has worked on all the major shows in Montego Bay including Reggae Sumfest, All-Schools Jam, After Exam Jam, Schoolers Showdown - to name a few. He was on such a roll that he copped the Great River Talent Contest in 1990 and took the JCDC
competition the following year; However, his most memorable moment was when he was called on stage by Tony Rebel at Reggae Sumfest in 1993.
    Unlike his other fellow aspiring entertainers at the time, Iziniga (Chiney Eye) did not depend on the music alone for survival as he was a lawn tennis instructor at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay for six years before retiring.
    Iziniga's talent enabled him to secure a ticket with a band of western Jamaica entertainers to tour Europe with the late David Grizzle in 1993.
    After about four years of stage performances, Iziniga (who was christened Vollin Headley) took a break from the stage. He was blossoming not only in a Rastafarian but also in a personality similar to Mutabaruka as he was no longer wearing shoes. However, Iziniga was quick to point out that he was not following the lifestyle of Mutabaruka nor anybody, but his decision not to wear shoes was borne out of the idea that he was a strict vegetarian who did not support the practice of slaughtering animals to wear their carcasses as shoes. The wearing of leather shoes is cited by Iziniga as condoning with
cruelty towards animals.
    Nowadays, Iziniga wear shoes, but they are made from canvas. He points out that he only wears them in "Babylon" towns because of the filthy water and broken bottles (etc.)
on the ground.
    Within his sabbatical period, Iziniga resorts to farming and learning the crafts of various disciplines which would earn him a livelihood such as mixing herbal medicines and fruit wines.
    After four years in the wilderness, Iziniga decided to re-emerge in the music business. His first stage appearance was called 'Coral Gardens Incident' at the now defunct Amphi­Theatre in Montego Bay. His next show was 'Empress Salute' in Belmont, St. James. He was one of the organisers of his next show which was entitled 'Supper Of Rastafari'.
    His first album 'Lightning In Sound' had a single entitled: 'Dem A Globalize' on the Humble Lion label (a company out of Holland).
    He was born in the parish of St. James to a woman who is a craft vendor and a man who operates a passport office. His birthday falls on the 3rd day of February.
    His school life began at Flour Hill Basic, continued at Salt Spring All-Age and ended at the Montego Bay Secondary (now St. James High).
    His first time in a recording studio (Gussie Clark's) was to do three singles for a New York-based producer called Joseph. The singles he did were called 'Accident Gone Ahead', 'N aw Talk and Run' and 'Heavenly Father Hear My Cry'.
    Recently, he did three singles for Rohan Wynter on the Wyniga label. They are 'So Many Sounds', 'Six O'Clock' and 'Kindle The Fire'.
    His favourite colour is black; his favourite food - peanut stew; and his favourite drink is ripe and green plantain blended with ripe and green banana which he describes as iron drink.

No comments:

Post a Comment