Interviews

Our Stories: I’ve lived in the 14 Parishes of Jamaica – Real Verb’s Story

In this installment of Our Stories, Dancehall artiste, Real Verb shares why he has lived in Jamaica’s 14 parishes….For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!

If some Jamaicans had enough cash in the bank and fuel in their tank, they would traverse the 14 beautiful parishes of Jamaica, no questions asked!

Hands-down! Being a dry-land tourist is a dream come true for many locals but this was the unintended consequence of a life of poverty for one Jamaican entertainer and his family.

Meet Damion “Real Verb” Findlay

As far back as he can remember, public buses and taxis were natural features of his upbringing, as he and his family traveled from parish to parish in search of a better quality of life.  And while his struggling parents could hardly guarantee him a meal each day, Real Verb says an innate drive to succeed influenced his big break in the music industry.

When I sat down with the 29-year-old Dancehall artiste who has lived in the fourteen parishes of Jamaica, he told me that his love for music saved him from a life of poverty.

1. Fourteen parishes, wow! Did that have an impact on you?
Yea. ‘cause mi get fi know different people and different people perspective a life. And different experience mek you wiser.

2.How did that lifestyle make you wiser?
When mi inna high school and mi see my mother and father have it hard, mi seh ‘no mi affi mek a change’. Dem (my parents) always look up to me, ‘cause one time mi read inna di bible, in di book of Job. Job face a whole heap a things inna life…and him become di King but show humbleness. That show, through di roughness a life, greatness can appear.

3. Tell me one great thing that came out of your rough early life.
Alright music a one a dem ‘cause yuh see when music appear inna my life, mi realise seh mi can express my feelings in a music, dat a di greatest ting.

4.In addition to its therapeutic value, how has your music career improve your quality of life?
Mi can help out people now. Right now things a step up yah now, things nuh hard like one time. Right now, mi have my career looking forward, stepping up. It a blow up like a bomb.

5. How would you describe your music?
I’m a creative artiste, I’m like the variety, spice of life. Call me a fusion (artiste) still…cause everything is about creativity. Just like when you paint, cause music is about art. When you a paint, you know seh yuh use certain colours to match up…so (for music) what kinda pieces yuh use to pretty up yuh art.

6. There are so many Jamaicans living in poverty and may feel hopeless, what is your message to these Jamaicans?
Nothing name give up in life. If you have one lung in your chest, try live, try breathe with it. Never yet give up in life ‘cause the moment yuh give up in life, yuh pot a gold is ‘round di corna. Yuh neva know when yuh gold is around the corna’.

Great advice Real Verb, thanks for sharing your story.

Here’s a preview of Real Verb’s hot single- Cash Pot

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Our Stories is a feature which sheds light on real, social issues in Jamaica through the inspirational stories of Jamaicans with lived experiences. Are you a Jamaican with a story to share? Contact us [email protected]

About the author

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt

Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt is a journalist who practises her craft everyday. Ashleigh-Ann loves to tell stories, human interest stories or stories of the heart. She hopes that by sharing these stories, she is ultimately helping persons to lead better lives. Check out her other stories on her blog, http://livewellja.com/