Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blind Shotta keeps it positive - New Jamaican Movie

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BORN and raised in the crime-ridden St Andrew neighbourhood of Admiral Town, Rayon Walker knows a thing or two about area dons. But not even in his wildest dreams did he envision becoming one.

For one month last year, Walker played a don in producer Diavallan Fearon's low-budget movie, Blind Shotta. The 28-year-old has the starring role of Father Blinds, a visually impaired area leader who runs a tough St Andrew inner-city community.

Rayon Walker (centre) with cast members Phillip Lee King (left) and Raneal Onfroy in the movie, Blind Shotta.

Though he had no acting experience, he was drafted into the project by Fearon, a musician/producer known in dancehall circles as 'Dia'.

"Him sey to mi, 'my youth, mi a do a movie an' yuh a right man fi it'," Walker told the Observer. "So, mi jus' tek it wid both hands."

Blind Shotta was largely filmed in the Grants Pen community of Kingston last summer. Its small cast includes several dancehall acts whom Fearon has produced, such as singjay Bridgez.

Walker says spontaneity was the most satisfying aspect of the movie which is expected to be released in 2012.

"We didn't do anything from a script. When we were filming, a lotta people come outa them house an' jus' start dead wid laugh," he chuckled. "That was the best part of the whole thing."

Like Fearon, Walker has a strong musical background, though their tastes are considerably different.

Walker says he is a committed Christian and member of the Apostolic church. He is also head of KGA (Keeping God Alive) Productions, which records and promotes gospel and cultural artistes.

To date, he has recorded three albums including the recently released Godman and Friends Revival. He sees nothing wrong taking on a character that is arguably the most vilified in Jamaica.

"Winston Bell is a Christian an' he's in Third World Cop. Tyler Perry is big in his faith an' look at the movies he does," Walker pointed out.

"This is a comedy, there's no killing an' I have no regrets."

With Blind Shotta completed, Walker says he will concentrate on promoting his new album and shooting a music video. He admits being stung by the acting bug and is looking forward to appearing in more films.

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