3 May 2018; Christopher Leacock, Major Lazer, on the Musicnotes stage during day three of Collision 2018 at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Collision via Sportsfile

Collision 2020 in Toronto ON June 22 to June 25

A new Collision is rapidly approaching, and the events of Collisions’ past seem to pale in comparison to what Collision 2020 in Toronto will offer. In preparation, my recollections went to the incredible people that I’ve enjoyed journaling in past Collision summits.

The crowd influencer for me at Collision 2018 in New Orleans was Chris Leacock, better known as Jillionaire. I invited him to speak his thoughts on the politics of his naïve Trinidad. This sitdown became a mind-expanding exploration of the approaching new political landscape. He described the new political and economic universe designed by his generation and those that will follow.

Here are my recollections of that interview.

 Christopher Leacock, better known as Jillionaire, the Trinidadian celebrity DJ and music producer.

Watching Chris as he approached the Collision Media Village, he seemed calm and out of sync with the cacophony that defined the Collision 2018 technical summit.  The celebrity DJ owned an intense expression, which made him remarkable in any crowd.  So, my desire to script the essence of how Jillionaire crafts his art suddenly felt daunting.   I wanted to know what influencers shaped his world, the ones that energize the global phenom of Jillionaire. Five minutes into the conversation, the agent of cultural change awakened. And it was nothing I expected to find at a Collision tech summit.

I wanted to know what thoughts and ideas lie behind the warm brown eyes and musical drive.

Chris was born April 3, 1978, in Trinidad, during a time of political upheaval. A government struggling toward cultural reform was the environment molding Chris’s social-economic beliefs. Considering the social unrest that has defined the small country since 1971, I wanted his opinion on Trinidad’s new political leadership. On the 19th of March 2018, Paula-Mae Weekes became the first woman to hold the office of President of Trinidad-Tobago.

The conversation went immediately to the ideologies that his generation embrace. Older generations have failed to do away with the politics of marginalization, the inclusion, exclusivities, and the disparities.  I realized that I was staring into eyes, mirroring thoughts of the remolding of societies in perfect ways. Through music and art, Jillionaire and others are the cultural architects shaping our future. This new generation disavows our need for Tribalism and the politicization of marginalization.

Jillionaire’s embrace of global music and its creators’ examples

There’s a stream of awakening that has become a commonality energizing global musical sounds, no matter the genre or language.  Christopher Leacock realizes that thoughts shape our worlds and spaces, and that meme is reflective in his art. His choices of collaborations and new projects serve as examples of how he views his world. He freely shares future works on his YouTube and SoundCloud channels.

Marginalization–no matter how politically needful must end to create real autonomy.

Jillionaire spoke forcefully of the need to dispel the “isms” of race, religion, and gender.

The moment we ignore the overworked political upheaval of marginalization and its consequential exploitation, inequity, and political tribalism will no longer be our norm.