Introduction – This week we interview Alex Evequoz the CEO/designer of the hot Jamaican Dancehall clothing line Ma-ting. Alex Evequoz is from Switzerland and has a passion for Jamaica and reggae music. His clothing-line which features many of today’s popular Jamaican artists has gained many fans in a very short time. Alex also designed graphics the popular SongWrita facebook game by Jamaicansmusic.com. Here us our conversation with Alex.
Where are you from?
I am from Switzerland
What is your connection to Jamaica?
I don t have any except I love JA and live JA every day
How did you get interested in Jamaica and dancehall culture?
I guess i get interested in Ja 10 years ago when dancehall started and I felt in love with everything connected to JA since dat day, I really can t tell why but I breath JA…
Tell us how Ma-ting got started?
I started by myself. I love JA and doing graphic design so I decided on trying to mix both passions for fun. I started out by drawing one reggae artist in cartoon and then decided I will “mek dem all”… Then Don Corleon, which I drew, saw his cartoon and asked me if he could use it as logo. I purposed to him to mek a signature t shirt made by us, and he said yes… So then we decide, with my friend, to mek a whole t shirt line…
Where do you come up with the t-shirt concepts for the line?
We have two concepts in our line, one the signature series: a personalized t-shirt for the artist with his signature on it and the other one is a songs concept we illustrate the songs we love
Are there any news design in the clothing line that is coming soon?
Yes sure we are actually working on a second line with lots more artists, designs, shapes and hopefully a girl line….
Who should wear a Ma-ting shirt? Is it just for dancehall fans?
Of course not, I guess the subjects are really dancehall/reggae but the graphics can be liked by everybody. We wanted to “mek” something original different from the red gold and green shirts but still with JA spirit… We would like to give Jamaicans a real identity brand them could be proud of, that’s why we partner with Jamaican artists, dancers, producers… to be as authentic as possible.
How has it been received by the fans of Jamaica dancehall?
I can’t really tell, but hope them like it cuz i m doing it for dem and to promote reggae/dancehall always more far… To di world mi seh!!!
I love the Clarks design. Which one of your designs is your favorite?
I like dem all… But I’m wearing the hotskull design more lol
Your caricature has also been using in a facebook game Songa Writa. What were some of the challenges of animating these characters?
Yes it was a partnership between jamaicansmusic.com and Ma’ting, the game concept was to promote artists and their songs, I was really happy to give a hand promoting JA music industry. I was just designing the characters Jamaicansmusic.com did the rest but still it was always difficult to mek dem recognizable in cartoon style…
Are you working on any other Jamaican project you can tell us about?
You know we are up to everything can help promoting JA, we purpose graphics and promotional material to everybody needs, so yes we have some more projects on course as covers cd, logos… But now I’m focus on our next collection cuz it teks lot’s of involvement and time.
How did you get started in design?
I grow up in an artistic family my dad is a art painter and my mom an art historian teacher. I was drawing since I was child. As a teenager I use to graffiti a lot so I decide I would mek something in arts… So I went in graphic school design…
What inspires your work?
Definitely JA and his music but also a lot s of artists, graffiti painters…
What artist is playing now on your ipod?
It depends on the mood but these days mi deh pon GAZA
Who is your favorite Jamaican dancehall artist?
I love dem all but Vybz Kartel has really something more than the others for me.
Thanks for your time.
For more information visit the Ma-ting website