By St. Kitts Nevis Times Writer
BASSETERRE; St. Kitts: IN our second edition of ‘Get to Know A Kittitian’, we feature Alicia V. Wattley. Alicia possesses a plethora of talent and experience in the entertainment and arts industry. From modeling to choreographing dance routines, writing and photography, she is currently the manager of Kittitian recording artist, ‘Imark’ and Kittitian music producer ‘Magician’. She is also credited as a screenwriter, director and producer for some of Imark’s music videos.
She believes in the importance of putting in the work to achieve success and hopes to make a difference in the entertainment industry especially with the imminent launch of her company, Precedence Set.
We spoke exclusively with Alicia who gave us some insight as to who she is and her experience in the entertainment industry.
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Alicia V Wattley (AVW): I was born and raised on the beautiful twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. I have over 20 years in the entertainment and performing Arts industry with an archive of achievements ranging from dancing, acting, singing, choreographing and modeling. I hold a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Management Studies from The Humber College Institute of Technology and Learning in Toronto, where I graduated in June 2018. My love for the Arts and the stage soared when I joined the Children’s Dance Theatre, a prestigious dance school in St. Kitts, during my pre-teen to teenage years. I later joined the Movado Dance Company, now the Movado Modeling Agency, LEAP and The Aces where at the latter, I discovered my love for choreography.
My creativity and talent propelled me to choreograph for one of the leading bands in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis—The Nu Vybes Band International. Where they entrusted me with choreography, costume selection and dance performance, for their highly rated St. Kitts Music Festival performance in 2012. I have also choreographed and danced for artistes who have been finalists at the St. Kitts Soca Monarch competitions and have also done Photography and event reviews for www.sknvibes.com. I’ve modeled with the Sacada Modeling Agency, acted in Under the Sun (a local soap opera production) and assisted a hopeful beauty queen on her quest for the crown. Social Media Management is another area I have dabbled in as I hold the position of Social Media Coordinator for Cane Juice; an entertainment company that hosts some of the largest fetes in St. Kitts namely: Cooler Fete, Tropixx and Soca Revenge.
SKNTW: Was artist management something that you have always been interested in?
AVW: No, I never saw myself as an entertainment manager. I’ve always been involved in entertainment in some shape or form for almost all of my life and I’ve always been interested in the arts, so one might say it was inevitable. My passion is really acting, writing and directing which I intend to focus on more in the future.
SKNTW: How did you get into managing Imark and how has it been going?
AVW: My good friend Shakila asked me while I was attending college, if I was willing to try, however, I knew that with all the pressure of college and everyday life it would be too much for me at the time. When I graduated and came home for the St. Kitts Music Festival, she asked again. I then reached out to Ivan Berry and Phonse Rodney who both are part of the entertainment industry for their advice and I made my decision from there. Imark then reached out to me via text and I explained that this was new and I cannot sell him any dreams as this will be a learning experience for me just as much for him. But he needed to be serious, listen and be able to communicate effectively. The rest is history, so far so good.
SKNTW: How did you make the additional choice to also manage, producer ‘Magician’?
AVW: Magician has produced some of Imark’s biggest tracks and he also produced Imark’s first song. We had been communicating and working back and forth throughout the earlier stages of the pandemic on releases for Imark. He asked me to be his manager and I said yes.
SKNTW: What are your views on the present entertainment and music industry in St. Kitts?
AVW: The entertainment industry in St Kitts and Nevis has a lot of potential. There are so many talented individuals in our federation. When I speak on talent, I’m not just speaking about the singers, entertainment goes so much deeper than that. We have talented dancers, djs, choreographers, painters, graphic designers, videographers, poets, photographers and athletes just to name a few. Sometimes we forget that sports also fall under entertainment. I just would love to see more done to help the entertainers of the federation. Too many of us have the vision but not the resources and the support. My advice to the powers that be is, do not wait until your people have done it all on their own to show support. Entertainment has the power to stimulate your economy, garner foreign interest, boost tourism and create a trickledown effect of jobs.
SKNTW: What impact would you like to make on the industry here with your company?
AVW: I don’t care about being the first of anything. I care about longevity. So impact for me is about breaking barriers, opening doors and keeping them open, being an inspiration to someone to go for it no matter how out of the norm it may be. My intention is to take whoever I work with beyond the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis.
SKNTW: What is your favorite type of music and artists and why?
AVW: Let me just say, I love all genres of music, there is something that you can take away from every genre. The music I listen to depends on my mood, somedays I want to bump some Tupac,
other days I want to listen to Anita Baker and The Isley Brothers, other days I listen to Christmas Carols even when it’s not Christmas. I might even listen to some Elvis Presley as well but every day I listen to my artist Imark.
SKNTW: Who are some of the national artists that you listen to besides your artist?
AVW: In no particular order, Jay Do$, Mod Stoney, AkaiiUSweet, Dejour, Byron Messia, Nu Vybes Band, Colin Wyatt, Grand Masters Band, Rucas H E, Mr. Mention, Erica, Kollision Band, Delly, Eazy, Ideli, Rodney, Myda, Peppers, Born Singer, Trigga, Raw, Small Axe, Lady Diva, Infamus, Unexpected, Elliematt, Pat Ross. There are a few more that I listen to. I can’t list everyone but St. Kitts and Nevis artists are definitely doing their thing.
SKNTW: What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
AVW: Watching a good movie at home with my phone on ‘do not’ disturb. Having fruitful conversations with the people closest to me. Listening to a good audiobook, writing and listening to music.
SKNTW: Favorite place to hang out in St. Kitts or Nevis?
AVW: The beach.
SKNTW: What motivates you?
AVW: Wanting better for myself. Wanting to live life on my terms motivates me.
SKNTW: What is something that no one knows or rarely knows about you?
AVW: I have a fear of snakes, a fear I intend to conquer.
SKNTW: How would you describe yourself?
AVW: I am multifaceted, there is no one layer to me.
SKNTW: How would your friends describe you?
AW: Most would see me as fun, very low key yet outspoken, helpful and driven.
SKNTW: What are your views about the current pandemic that is affecting many
livelihoods including the entertainment industry?
AVW: The pandemic is something nobody expected. It’s heartbreaking to see so many people suffering, especially where there seems to be no end in sight. Entertainment was hit very hard due to the pandemic, it was an eye opener for many of us in every aspect. I’m looking forward to seeing entertainment recover and be bigger than ever.
SKNTW: Who do you admire and why?
AVW: I admire myself and anyone that gets up every morning with a broken spirit, trials, tribulations, depression, anxiety and any form of hurt and pain and they still find a way to push through and make things happen in this world.