The Vincentian - Nov 15, 2012
By: J.P. Schwmon
MEET AKLEY OLTON, graphic designer, contemporary visual artist, Founder/Creative Director of iREBEL Inc.This 20-something-year-old Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking graduate of the Cave Hill UWI Campus is a kaleidoscope of talent, drive and passion, and is already making waves locally and internationally.Just one year back home and Akley has already produced, directed and edited several music videos, including Vincentian Reggae Artiste Yaphato’s classic hit ‘Concrete Jungle’, now available on youtube.
According to Akley, this video was selected by The Annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival (caribbeantales.ca) held in Toronto earlier this year. But his phenomenal success story does not end there. He further relates plans by the distribution arm of the Festival to add the ‘Concrete Jungle’ music video to its repertoire of visual audio projects “to be distributed though out the Diaspora… New York, London, Toronto….”
What else is up
Video production aside, Akley Olton has represented St. Vincent in the Youth-IN Visions initiative – a part of the UNDP’s project Youth Innovation (Youth-IN): A Caribbean Network for Youth Development - which highlights the stories and lives of 30 Caribbean Youth who are working through various fields and interests to shape and change the dynamics of their communities.
He has also worked with Nailah John on her LOVNSVG stop violence campaign; was a Film Counsellor at Camp InnovateIt produced by Film Production Collective St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where 10 to 18 year-olds were introduced to basic theory and practice of film making; and even made his debut as a Public Speaker at the SVG National Youth Lecture Series 2012, presenting a noteworthy case for Youth in Arts & Culture: The Age of Self Expression.
Combating isolation While all this is inspiringly great news, Akley told THE VINCENTIAN that he still felt alone and isolated conceptually, “... so I went out looking for like minds to connect with... .”
This search was not in vain as he was able to network with Motion Graphic and Visual Effects Designer, Jomol James, recent Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV) graduate and Documentary filmmaker, Raisa Bruce-Lyle, and Sion Hill’s own home-based Music Producer, Colin Browne.
This ‘networking’ has given birth to his long-time dream venture, iREBEL Inc. which has as its core focus; ‘the drive to change or even kick start the local entertainment industry’.
To do this though, Olton realises that a team is necessary and says, “Our coming together allows a complementary development of the work we produce…” while recognizing that “the ideal situation would be to emulate the ‘Wailers’ … and have a 56th hope road. Vincy set up... .”And so the search for a house is on – a house to which these young creators would relocate and together, create Art.
According to Akley and his group, the talent on the streets of Kingstown is “mind blowing,” with so many dancers, writers, actors - young people - fighting to express themselves.
This energy resonates with a collective mission to build our people, as the Creative industries are vital if our country is to grow and develop, the group says.
But they understand that it’s going to be difficult. “Right now the economy is not the best ... at the same time we are fuelled by creativity, we will do whatever it takes ...,” the iREBEL Founder discloses.
Aside, when asked what he thought about Tommy Lee being allowed to perform here while Movado is banned for life, Akley remarked, “Movado and Tommy Lee are irrelevant... We relate to the stories they tell cause we see ourselves… but what we really crave is our own, a symbol of Vincy; positive and strong to remind us of our resilience and power!!”