By: Anthony Turner
Photo by: Carlington Wilmot
Almost 2 weeks ago, sound system selector/ dj Tony Matterhorn, who was barred for almost three years from traveling to the USA, secured his travel documents and work permit to enter the USA. Matterhorn garnered worldwide notoriety last year when his controversial hit song "Dutty Wine" shot to the top of the charts and became number around the world. The song was the rave in dancehalls across Europe, Jamaica, the Caribbean, the USA and Canada. Ms. J. Lexy Brooks, CEO of VIP Connected Entertainment - the agency that handles management, bookings and promotions for the DJ was very instrumental in helping the DJ regain his travel/working privileges to the USA. In a recent interview, done at her office in NY, Brooks candidly answered questions about the DJ's future and outlined plans which her company has to celebrate his long awaited return to USA.
Q1: Now that Tony has his travel documents, what does this means for him?
A1: First let me say how really excited I am that Tony now can travel and work in the USA again. I know it was a very, very long wait but fans stateside will soon be graced with his presence and the opportunity to see their favorite selector turn DJ perform live. I know the United States; specifically New York is one of Tony's favorite places. I am certain that it’s somewhere he is anxiously looking forward to returning to.
Q2: How difficult was it to secure his visa?
A2: It was quite a long and at times tedious task to secure his visa. At times it seemed almost impossible but we kept the faith. My company, VIP Connected Entertainment first started working with his immigration case a little over 3 years ago. Although the hopes of him getting his Visa looked bleak, we really believe that there was no legal reason to keep him from coming and working in the U.S.A. So we kept working on it, believing that one day he would once again return to the U.S.A. After all, there are thousands of adoring fans who are anxiously waiting to see and enjoy his live performances. We brought the Attorney's Office of Spar and Bernstein on board to assist us. They worked hard and for this we would like to thank them for their kind assistance. We would also like to thank the Office of Congressman Gary L. Ackerman and the Jamaican Consulate for the role they played as well. But just to be clear --- at the end of the day the reality of what Tony has been preaching all this time came to pass and that is he has done nothing wrong and he stuck to his argument.
Q3: What plans do you have in place to celebrate his return to the USA?
A3: We are currently working with MARS 2112, a trendy hot spot in Times Square, NY to host a welcome back party for him. They are excited and we are as well to host this historic event there. It is ironic that we choose this venue to host the party given that one of Tony's biggest songs is called "Man from Mars" and the name of the venue is Mars 2112. We plan to really go all out to make this a special event. A lot of his friends in the dancehall fraternity, also many in the R&B and Hip Hop community have already indicated they plan to attend the event. We are also planning a private VIP/Press Reception for him. For this event we have started to reach out to media entities across the US, Europe and from Jamaica.
Q4: What plans do you have for him regarding a US tour?
A4: In terms of touring, his return has been quite anticipated by fans all across the U.S. Remember that even before he became a mega superstar with hits like "Dutty Whine," "Goodas Fi Dem" and "Man from Mars," he made a name for himself as one of the top selectors in the business. Now that he has established himself as a talented DJ, he is the most demanded artist out of Jamaica today. And he will definitely be on the road touring those states where fans have long awaited his return.
Q5: When was the last time he performed in the USA?
A5: Tony's last performance in the U.S. was October 2003. It is hard to imagine that almost three years have gone by but what is important is that Tony is back and ready to make a lasting impression on fans.
Q6: What parting words do you have?
A6: I am certain that there are a few persons that Tony would like to thank for continuing to believe in him and for their words of encouragement over the years. But I will leave that for him to do himself. My company VIP Connected Entertainment would however like to thank those government agencies and persons who were instrumental in helping to make his return a reality even when some thought that it would not happen. I would also like to thank the fans and friends who continue to believe in him and never gave up hope that he would one day return to the USA. Thanks again.