24 hours in kingston, jamaica
i-D photographer Stephanie Sian Smith spent 24 hours in Kingston. Here's what she saw and who she shot during her brief time in Jamaica's awe-inspiring capital city...
I got the opportunity to go to Jamaica at the end of last year for my friend, Koko's, wedding. When I was at uni, I received a subliminal reggae education from my flatmates who played reggae 24/7. That was it - I had a Reggae love-bug deeply ingrained in me. I thought while I was in Jamaica, it would be wise to spend some time after the wedding immersing myself in the music and culture of the island.
A couple of friends and I took an amazing cross country tour for a week drifting through the holiday compounds and rather remote countryside of Jamaica eating lots of Scotches Chicken! We hung out with new friends, some from Winifred Beach, before realising that everyone is a musician here.
I ending up in Kingston for a mega 24 hour stay, resting my weary bones at the Spanish Court Hotel. Thanks to my new friend Tameka, I put the feelers out about taking some portraits of any musicians who happened to be around. I asked reception if it was ok for a few friends to pop by and meet me on the roof for a drink... a lot more people turned up than I imagined. Before I knew it, I was shooting Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Busy Signal and many more. We were then taken on a tour of Kingston with Clive Hunt and Droop Lion, who took us to his recording studios where we met some of the youth that he looks after. Then we went to Tony Rebel's house, where we chatted for hours with many more artists. I wished my friends from uni could have been in my pocket!
Photography Stephanie Sian Smith