Planet Thirty is where aspiration meets inspiration. We interview the best and the brightest in music, film, TV, fashion, travel, writing and business.
Episode 68: Twilla Amin
Many times in the world of film and television, people are encouraged to pick a role. Producer, Director, writer? Which one are you? Sometimes however, someone like Twilla Amin arises. Twilla has experience working as all of the aforementioned and more.
Born in North Carolina to an African American Mother and a Cameroonian father, Twilla fell in love early with art and media. By childhood she was auditioning for national commercials as an actor and performing. As she grew, so did her love for show business. Twilla entered the famed Univerity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and excelled. If ever she was weary about what she wanted to do in life, this was confirmation. She completed UNC and continued her journey into film in Howard University’s MFA program.
Ready and prepared to take on the world, Twilla moved to Los Angeles. Years on Twilla has touched virtually every facet of show business and has worked for major networks, production companies and music artists. She has even won some awards along the way. She is capable of birthing a concept and shepherding it to completion. Her ability to do this lead to her team up with her colleague Dion Lack to start Lacktoast Entertainment, an innovative multimedia production company that develops web content, short films, comedy sketches, and promo videos.
Twilla has accomplished much, however the world has not seen her best work as yet! She is filled with ideas and concepts that once released are sure to shift the world. Remember her name. She is a growing force in the world of entertainment. Get used to hearing the phrase “And the award goes to Twilla Amin” because Twilla… Is not done yet. This is the story… thus far… Of Twilla Amin.
Episode 67: TK Dawkins
TK Dawkins is an intellectual. TK Dawkins is a leader. Perhaps most importantly, TK Dawkins is an executer.
Born and raised in Jamaica, TK Dawkins had dreams of becoming an attorney. Afterall, society dictated that that was the path to success. Luckily, by the time TK entered University she realized that success could be reached via many paths. TK took advantage of everything the university experience had to offer both inside and outside the classroom.
Upon completion she returned to her beloved Jamaica. While many were seeking ways to stay abroad, TK was trying to find out how and where she could help her community. This in itself tells you everything you need to know about TK’s character. She is a giver. She gives of her time, knowledge and resources all for the improvement of others. Since moving back to Jamaica, TK has established herself as a force in the corporate world and as an entrepreneur. She works hard to succeed at everything she touches in her professional life… and she does. What pleases her soul most however, is her ability to reach others who are less fortunate and those who need improvement in their lives. TK is not shy about using whatever she has to help in whatever way she can. Her recent project titled the improvement movement is designed to teach people how they can use small steps in three key areas to improve their lives overall. You see TK is not one to accept the word “no.” She dreams BIG. Nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to the betterment of her beloved Jamaican people.
TK is a woman of service, knowledge and love. She is selfless and exemplifies what we should all strive for. She has accomplished much and still has much to achieve. In this conversation, I guarantee that you will not only fall in love with TK Dawkins’ personality, but you will learn a thing or two. And you will seek to improve your life in some way.
This is the story…. Thus far… Of TK Dawkins.
Episode 66: Janay Reymond
Simply put, Janay Reymond is a creative and has always been. Though she was fascinated by all forms of art, fashion mesmerized her most. Her paternal grandmother was a seamstress, while her maternal grandmother owned one of the most popular boutiques on her native Anguilla. Janay was smitten by clothing and in particular swimsuits. As a little girl she would sketch patterns for all types of clothing however, by age 12 she had designed her first evening gown for a pageant contestant. That contestant came 1st runner up.
In her final years of high school, Janay decided what industry she wanted to work in for the rest of her life. Against all odds she started to craft swimsuit and legging designs while building a team of models and support staff. By her late teens Janay was designing for pageants and swimsuit competitions across the Caribbean as well as producing her own runway shows.
Janay Reymond, has been instrumental in shaping the fashion scene on Anguilla and is considered a pioneer in local fashion. After showcasing her work at her annual shows, and participating in shows across the Caribbean, Janay took her designs to two of the biggest stages in the world. LA Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.
By her 20s Janay had accomplished much of what she set out to do. Most persons around her knew that she was a talented makeup artist as well, however Janay surprised many people when she decided to pause on designing and fashion shows and enter the beauty arena full time. In typical Janay fashion, she went in 100% and immediately cut out a niche for herself. Today, she is one of the most requested makeup artists in the immediate region. While her skills speak for themselves, she has taken it a step further and opened her own headquarters and retail outlet called The Face Lab.
Janay however, is not done yet. This is the story… thus far… of Janay Reymond.
Episode 65: Maya Gilliam
Maya Gilliam is a consummate entrepreneur. This introduction could possibly end right here. My first sentence more than aptly describes Maya, but, she is so much more.
Born in the Tar Heel State, North Carolina, Maya was surrounded by a family teeming with entrepreneurs and investors. She remembers observing family members as they tended to their separate businesses and made decisions. Her lessons in business came directly and indirectly. Maya, soaked it all up.
By the time Maya walked onto the infamous yard at Howard University, she was prepared for greatness. Her college years saw her becoming a photojournalist for the university’s newspaper. She had the uncanny ability to slip into concerts, parties, press conferences and other exclusive events. Maya always came home with the perfect shots from her assignments prompting her fellow students to label her “All Access.”
While working for the school’s paper as a sophomore, Maya recognized that there was a need for a strong digital agency especially for small businesses. Thus, Third Eye Digital was born. Third Eye Digital would go on to secure contracts from Howard University and other major businesses in the Washington DC area. All before Maya even graduated.
Upon graduation, Maya became a photo editor for one of the largest newspapers in the United States. With time she decided to move on to explore other talents. She became a licensed massage therapist and in true Maya fashion opened her own Spa. A very successful spa might I add.
In 2020, when the world was turned right side up, Maya swiftly turned on a dime and reinvented herself. She closed her spa and used the opportunity to invest time and money into a new company creating products from hemp. With acres of land in her possession she is well on her way to becoming one of the industry’s rock stars. Maya is also on the verge of developing similar businesses in Rwanda and Ghana.
But Maya is not done just yet. This is the story… thus far… Of Maya Gilliam.
Episode 64: Sabrina Francis
Sabrina Francis is brave as she is charming. The Grenadian chanteuse fell deeply in love with music in her childhood but began her professional singing career in her late teens. Like many singers in the Caribbean, Sabrina held down traditional jobs in order to provide for herself. Though she appreciated the opportunities, she was convinced that her soul could only be happy if she was doing music full time.
Sabrina began working the local circuit in Grenada. Local gigs turned into regional ones and eventually international. What is remarkable is that Sabrina is not performing sets of the proverbial Reggae, Calypso and Soca songs. She prefers to perform Jazz and songs filled with African and Caribbean rhythms infused with Jazz. Sabrina decided to grab her career by the horns and face her challenges head on. To follow your own plan and strategy by offering your own style of music when most would advise against it, takes tremendous courage. Sabrina did it and is winning. She says that she had to adhere to her own authenticity. Like most young West Indians she loves the Soca genre, but, she admits that is not her home sonically.
Now on the cusp of a fourteen-venue tour in 3 of Europe’s most popular countries, Sabrina Francis is out to prove yet again that a little Grenadian girl with a dream and an abundance of talent will be the Caribbean’s next success story on the global music scene. The melodies and lyrics that she has packaged in her studio deep into the mountains of Grenada will be introduced to audiences under the bright lights and bustle of cities in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
Sabrina Francis is the perfect blend of discipline, determination, humility and talent. Listening to Sabrina’s music is like sipping a glass of fine wine surrounded by light rain and cool breezes while observing the last bits of a Grenadian sunset. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the story… thus far… of Sabrina Francis.
Episode 63: Bramma
Take 2 parts historian, one part activist, 3 parts teacher and 4 parts fashion guru and you will end up with a potent blend called Bramma.
Bramma is a man of many talents who thinks on many levels. He was born and raised in Trinidad by a Trinidadian mother and a Jamaican father. Having parents from two different countries contributed to his understanding of the Caribbean, its people and its culture. What added to this, was the fact that he had the opportunity at a young age to travel. Bramma was not only a “Beewee” baby, but was a decorated swimmer for Trinidad and Tobago’s National team.
Bramma would go on to Howard University to study engineering. He became a teacher in Washington DC. He admits that while it was his job to teach his students, he soaked up many lessons from them. His students inspired him. The true understanding of African people developing new cultures through the lens of slavery and colonization in the Caribbean, North and South America started to intrigue him more and more. Bramma, an already avid reader began to read voraciously about the movement, culture and general history of all African people. He expanded his studies to other ethnicities as well.
Though Bramma always had a love for history and culture there was another passion that he would not begin to fully explore until recently. In his teens and early 20s, he remembers having a love for styling himself particularly when it came to sneakers. Years on, Bramma is one of the founders and the Creative Director of Third World Famous. Third World Famous is a clothing line that merges fashion with the cultures, history and style motif of third world countries. Bramma’s vision for 3rd world famous is enormous. With his drive and knowledge, there is no stopping him.
These are just a few parts of the Bramma blend, and this is the story… thus far… of Bramma.
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I am learning about so many amazing people that I never knew existed! This podcast has proven to me that the world is full of extraordinary human beings, we just have to know where to find them...and they are all on Planet Thirty.