Melfia Ballin

Meet the Jimmy Cliff factor winners - part 2

Saturday 15th May 2010

Meet the Jimmy Cliff factor winners – part 2

Now let’s meet the other four of our lucky Jimmy Cliff factor winners…

Verona Cespedes

Hi, my name is Verona Cespedes and I live in Sherwood Nottingham.

The reason why I got in involved in the competition was just to prove to myself that wherever I set my sights, I can always reach them. I don’t claim to be a singer or a music artist, but I thoroughly enjoy performance of all kinds, be it Singing, Acting and the like.

I can remember when I was a young girl, my mother used to play Jimmy Cliff on our Stereo Gram and blast out Wonderful World Beautiful People, I Can See Clearly and Many Rivers to Cross, so when I think about Jimmy Cliff, I think of my wonderful childhood.

I have seen the movie The Harder They Come many times over and think it is a beautiful movie for all ages to watch.

I was lucky enough to visit the Caribbean when I was a teenager and had the most amazing experience of my life, from meeting my family, to touring the Parishes of Jamaica.

Although I am a little nervous about performing at Nottingham Playhouse, I am also very excited to be part of the whole production and will be able to look back and say ‘see you did it’.

Honey Williams

My name is Honey Williams and I’m originally from St Anns in Nottingham but have lived in London for a few years. I have been Songwriting & Singing since age 5 and have many diverse musical influences, I was born into a musical family.

I was persuaded to enter the competition by a number of my friends and namely a woman called Rastarella (a fantastic Promoter of events in Nottingham). The reason why I did finally enter was because I thought it was an excellent opportunity to be heard, combining it with the fact that I have heard big things about this play over the past few years.

When I think of Jimmy Cliff, I think ‘Jamaica’ the country of both of my parents birth. He is one of Jamaica’s world famous national treasures and is a somewhat celebrated multi-talented artist, actor & songwriter.

‘The Harder They Come’ is a cult classic and happens to be one of my most favourite films, a tumultuous tale of a talented Jamaican underdog set to a backdrop of 1960’s ska filled Jamaica and the birth of reggae, I’m intrigued to see how it translates to the stage.

I have been to Jamaica before many moons ago, my first trip is indelibly etched into my mind. I found it to be an intoxicatingly beautiful, raw, sizzling hot place. Many Jamaicans tend to have the charisma of a star and very much walk as though they know exactly who they are, I love that. Everything is absolute, nothing is in between, from the way colour looks there to the way people drive – they either ‘tek it easy’ easy or ‘go hard’.

The Playhouse is a highly esteemed venue, I have performed at the Playhouse before in a play called Amen’s Corner (2000) and I enjoyed the experience of my acting/singing debut immensely. I would like to thank the judges for the opportunity to perform at the Playhouse again.

Melfia Ballin

My name is Melfia Ballin from Woodthorpe in Nottingham. I have being singing in Choirs, groups and by myself doing various gigs/shows in and outside the city for 16 years and have produced my own music for 10 years. I would describe my music as soulful, just like my voice and I’m always up for trying new genres of music.

At the moment I am running a local gospel choir in St Anns and I’m part of a musical group called Greasepaint based in Loughborough.

It will be an honor for me to perform at Nottingham Playhouse, singing one of my greatest influences Jimmy Cliff’s music.

I am a huge fan of musicals and was really excited to find the ‘The Harder They Come’ was coming to Nottingham. I have seen the film, which was fantastic and know that the musical is going to be just as good.

Charrissa Castillo-Doughty

To follow.