BY: KABRENA ROBINSON
BASHY, the quarterly magazine by and for Jamaica is now in full effect and here to bring us the Jamaican content we deserve!
BASHY was founded by Toronto-based Jamaican writer Sharine Taylor after she identified “the need for Jamaican creatives, content creators, and writers to reclaim the narratives often written for them or have a say in the discourse surrounding themselves and their cultural production”. Taylor expressed her elation towards seeing her very own creative idea come to fruition at the recent magazine launch.
“It feels cathartic. Everything is out, it feels real and I’m so grateful to be working alongside an amazing team and that people are gravitating towards it so much already,” she said in an interview.
The launch party for the magazine was held on Thursday, February 22nd at A Different Booklist Cultural Centre in Toronto.
The evening event packed with many well-wishers was an opportunity for the creators to present a snippet of what was to be expected from an outlet like BASHY. Attendees were also delighted with a private screening of ‘Starving Artist‘ a short film directed by Jamaica-based director Chad ‘300k’ Plummer, now available for public viewing on the BASHY website following its official launch on February 25th. The film brings to viewers a raw and candid depiction of the interconnectivity between art and life of a Jamaican creative.
BASHY’s first cover story was written by Taylor featuring Jamaican reggae artist Protoje. In an interview with Taylor, Protoje speaks on his journey to becoming an international reggae sensation and his positive aspirations for the genre’s future.
Other pieces now available on BASHY showcase various elements of Jamaican culture from music to arts and social commentaries. BASHY provides pure and riveting Jamaican content that “embodies the outspoken and unruly spirit of Jamaica’s ancestors, with aspirations to speak to the millennial Jamaican diaspora included, who is bold and is unafraid to stand in their truth”.
“The theme for the first issue is ‘The Beginning’,” said Taylor. “We wanted to use the space to introduce or reintroduce aspects of our global or local culture and experiences to our audience.”
Taylor added that among the many pieces are photography, illustrations, essays and creative works that all conceptualize the focal theme.
“We explore safety and security, language, food and are really trying to give our readers an understanding of how Jamaican identities are fostered and maintained between and beyond borders.”
A piece contributed by BASHY music editor Shanice Wilson presents a curated playlist with the sounds of underground artists within the diaspora and Jamaican Dancehall, a creation that echoes the theme of beginnings by showcasing Jamaica’s newest and hottest trendsetters in music.
Wilson expressed that the experience of being not only a contributor but an editor for BASHY is an experience that she is grateful to be a part of.
“I am a first generation Jamaican Canadian and I’m very passionate about my culture and I’m always talking about how to help the culture, how to help Jamaica and how to put us at the forefront,” she said in an interview. “Many spaces you navigate through it’s either you’re Canadian or you’re Jamaican, so having BASHY and being apart of it shows that we can also be Canadian and stay true to our Jamaican roots.”
She also added that as the music editor for the magazine one of her many hopes for future content is to see more work and contributions from artists of the Jamaican diaspora in Toronto highlighted.
“Its nice to see people from the diaspora actually contributing to both their cultures making more Toronto sounding hip-hop also with the Jamaican influenced rapping, so I’m really excited and I hope to see more of that, more of the spotlight on Jamaican Canadian children using both sides of the diaspora to come together and make music,” said Wilson.
Editor in Chief Sharine Taylor added that a major goal for the magazine is to see it become an active competitor among other outlets, even some of her favorites.
“I have a very clear vision now that it’s out and I’m excited to work alongside my team to bring it to life and add new verticals,” she said. “I really want a brick-and-mortar for BASHY in both Toronto and Jamaica. That is ultimately what I’m working towards.”
Those wishing to support Bashy in their movement towards producing authentic and insightful Jamaican content may do so by pledging via Patreon at www.patreon.com/bashymagazine.