The London Office Speaks to: Beatnik Rubaine
In the first interview for the new ‘Our People’ section we talk with Bermuda Day in London event organizer, chef, DJ, father, husband and proud Bermudian Beatnik Rubaine
Could you give us a brief description of who you are, and what you do?
“Well who am I? I would first say that I’m a DJ because DJing has brought me to this point in my life. I am a creative person who is blessed with a number if talents. I love cooking and baking and since I moved to London I have been very fortunate to have worked as a Chef for a few well established award winning restaurants and caterers despite having no formal training. At the moment I’m starting up my own food venture called “Beatnik’s Delicious Eats” through which I’ll be concentrating on baked goods, and will expand into pop up restaurants/supper clubs-hopefully! I also paint and draw and I would also say that I’m a self-taught digital artist. When I first moved to London I was doing extra work on film, TV and commercials which was an amazing experience I’m also a promoter and organize events through Spredluv Collective, an organization I started up back in 2006 and best of all I’m a father and a husband. I see myself as a person who’s glass is mostly half full rather than half empty.”
How long have you been organizing the Bermuda Day in London event and what made you want to start?
“We have been organizing Bermuda Day in London for 6 years now. I think initially we wanted to put on an event to bring Bermudians together, but obviously it has mushroomed into something far bigger then we first envisioned.”
Did you ever expect it would be as popular as it is?
“No, not initially, but after the 2nd or 3rd Bermuda Day we realized that it has the potential to be huge.”
What have people told you they like most about the event?
“The comments are varied, but the ones that stand out are the appreciation people have for the effort, especially when they learn that there is absolutely no budget for the event. They like the fact that there is an event that they can call their own, a Bermudian event in London. People are very much looking forward to seeing the Gombeys and other Bermudian elements at Bermuda Day in London.”
What do you enjoy most about the event?
“Well I just love doing my own events, so there is great personal joy and pride in putting it on. I also like the fact that through putting the event I realised how just how beautiful we are as a people, so bringing people together feels really good.
The most joy comes from you telling non-Bermudians about what’s going on, and seeing that people are interested in Bermuda’s artistic side makes me feel very proud to be associated with that.”
Where do you see yourself, as well as the Bermuda Day event, in 5 years?
“Well I’m not someone who does the whole 5 year projection thing, I’m more of a – all things in the fullness of time- person! Let things manifest themselves when the stars aline, but to answer the question –for Bermuda Day, the sky’s the limit really… Our vision is to establish a Bermuda Festival here in London where we can showcase and celebrate more of our heritage and culture. There is a lot of interest in Bermudian culture that has come about through Bermuda Day in London and other events that Spredluv hosts. I feel that over time more Bermudian talent will look to be a part of the event and will mark in it their calendar as a priority event. I truly believe it’s only a matter of time before we see the Gombeys on the streets of London every year for Bermuda Day in London.
As for me, I have already done so much more than I ever dreamed of doing since I moved to London, but of my latest project, I’d like to have “Beatnik’s Delicious Eats” well established as a food business. Also my 1st art exhibition is long overdue, so doing one in the near future is high on my list. Competing on Master Chef UK is something I’m very interested in doing also.”
Do you do other events as well?
“Spredluv have been hosting events since 2006, so we have done a number of music events from Live Music to DJ/ Club nights. At the moment we also host Bermuda Nights Out, an all reggae night called ‘Dub Inna the City’. In 2013 we hosted our first Cup Match after party where we showed the final day on big screen, so we hope to do it again this year and develop that further.
We are in the process of organizing some events coming up during the World Cup. We will look at fine tuning our Bermudian Film & Book event which we started this year as part of the Bermuda Day celebrations.”
When you tell people in the UK you are from Bermuda, what sort of response do you get?
“Funny you should ask because just this weekend someone asked where my ascent come from – which happens quite often – when I said Bermuda, he said Bermuda! Three times as in shock! Then he asked why leave sunny Bermuda to come here? I simply replied that for me there are more opportunities here.
One of the more common ones is about the triangle, which is always a great way of giving more insight about Bermuda, they then ask about what is there to do in Bermuda. Though this tends to be more from English and European people, everyone says it’s a place they’d love to visit – someday.
People ask about our music, they see other islands -in the Caribbean- have their own brand of music among all the other genres and are often disappointed when I embarrassingly tell them that we may have missed that boat decades ago.”
What do you miss most about Bermuda when you are not there?
“The little things like cherries, loquat – there are loquat trees here, but they don’t bare any fruit! Tree frogs and crickets, yeah I really miss them! I miss the fact that meeting up with friends is as easy as dropping by their house, here it takes months of careful planning!
But most of all I miss my family, my sisters, my nieces and nephew are all grown up now and I often think that it would have been nice to have been there when they were teenagers.”
What is it about being Bermudian in the UK that makes you proud?
“Living here in London has shown me that I really appreciate our outspokenness, whether we are right or wrong, there is always an honest and open debate amongst Bermudians. There have been many of times when Jeremy and I have had a debate about something or Cha’Von and I and people are asking why are we arguing? We just smile and say “you think that’s arguing?” I guess I’m proud of our uniqueness, you can spot a Bermudian a mile off, whether it’s in Italy or London. But I think mostly it would be that for a place of our size and only 60 thousand plus people, we are incredibly talented and gifted! Be it arts or sports. We continuously punch above our weight, we just need to believe in ourselves more in terms of internationally. People are very interested in Bermuda, not just as a tourist destination, but as untapped artistic resource. When people say but it’s so small! I say well paradise has to be small! And I’m a product of that paradise.,baby!”
Follow Beatnik on Twitter and the Bermuda Day UK Facebook page: