Sunday, June 24

Aziatic – The Son of Hopkins

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The renowned, Belizean garifuna artist, Aziatic, has been one of the most dynamic and energetic stars in punta rock and paranda music for over 20 years.  With a style that combines the energy of his north American home with the rhythmic, cultural roots of his Belizean birthplace, the young man born as Vince Lewis was not only among the legends that helped bring young people back to the punta rock scene, but is in the studio even now working on his latest project for today, while looking to help mentor and produce the young Belizean talent of tomorrow.

Bursting onto the punta rock scene in 1996 with his debut CD, Jam 96X, Aziatic is recognized by a generation of adoring fans and fellow entertainers as a ground-breaking artist, innovator, entrepreneur, promoter and investor.  His story has become one of both courage and inspiration to an entirely new generation of Belizean youth, a journey that began in the coastal village of Hopkins, just south of Dangriga in Belize.

From making homemade instruments with his childhood friends in Hopkins, to being drafted into holiday plays and productions in school, Vince’s natural ability to take the lead in both musical and theatrical shows was clear.  But it was young Vince’s first glimpse of Michael Jackson in the music video, Thriller, that first blew him away, and ignited a fire in him for the entertainment aspect of performing that remains burning in him to this day!

Upon moving to California, he again was recruited for plays and singing in church, and by junior high he was already inspired to start producing shows at school assemblies inspired by Michael Jackson videos like Man In The Mirror and The Way You Make Me Feel, for which he was already beginning to make a name for himself.  After a brief time back in Belize, Vince and his family moved to New York where he began to learn song writing and professional studio recording, and eventually began to do background vocals, which led to an opportunity to audition for a boy band produced by Jackie Jackson, where he learned about writing and the music business.

After joining a group called Kid Power where he was the lead singer and choreographer, he met such influential people as Barry Fasman (producer of Fame), Billy Blanks Jr. (son of TaeBo creator Billy Blanks Sr.), through whom he got to know Paula Abdul, who offered Vince the opportunity to be a part one of her workout videos.

With all of the exposure to such talent and experience, Vince was determined to take what he had learned back to his community in Belize, in order to “take things to the next level” back home.  Soon after, as Aziatic, he dropped his first CD, the now classic Jam96X (to this day, one of the most successful CDs released in Belize), followed by The Rebirth, and then went to Stone Tree Records to produce The Most Wanted, followed by The Scripture, then back to Stone Tree for the CD Crazy For We, with the Griga Boys.

Aziatic has shared the stage with legendary Belizean punta rock artist Andy Palacio, paranda music icon Paul Nabor, and famed garifuna paranda musician Junior Aranda.  

As an entrepreneur, promoter, and investor, Aziatic created the first website of its kind dedicated to promoting Belizean artists; and started Sta-tic Productions from which he not only released 11 studio albums of his own, but produced those of other artists as well. As the creator of DaNetwork magazine, the “Best of the Best” punta rock concert series, and Thatch House Records, Aziatic has always been dedicated to featuring, promoting and producing Belizean artists as well as the businesses in the local community.

He is in the studio now working on his latest project that will move to a more mature paranda sound that will showcase Aziatic’s vocal ability, while conveying what’s going on in the culture and social issues that affect the Belizean and garifuna communities.  

Today, Aziatic’s journey has come full circle; and after going through all of the ups and downs, the trials and triumphs that are an integral part of where he is today, his mission is on automATIC now.  From singing on stage to giving back to his community, it is all automATIC . . . a natural outflow of this new season in his life and career, leaving a legacy of hope and inspiration for the next generation.

Watch highlights from Belikin Fest 2017 in Belize City, Belize.

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