There are so many people who live, visit, or are from some really great places.
So I thought it would be cool to have a section called Spotlight Travels.
This section will feature different people giving a glimpse into their lives and travel.
Brockton, Massachusetts with Noel Gourdin
Soul and R&B singer Noel Gourdin (Gor-Deen) emerged on the music scene with his number one hit song “The River”, which stayed on the Urban AC charts at number one for 15 weeks! Noel’s childhood was not a traditional one; he was born in Brockton, MA., but spent his summers with family in Pachuta, Mississippi.
His current album,“City Heart, Southern Soul” is a musical expression of his life. It is already producing hits like “FOXXXY”, which is currently top 10 on UK’s urban radio soul charts and is in getting heavy rotation on UK radio. The single “Don’t You Wanna”, which was featured on VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop – Atlanta” show, is also becoming a fan favorite.
“I grew up on music that had meaning and it’s still around today; that music was made in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. What I want to be remembered for….. Timeless, Real and Soulful, music,” said Noel Gourdin.
The result is a man who is city to the heart but southern to the soul!
Noel Gourdin: His hometown of Brockton…
Noel: If you’re there in the summertime then I would most definitely recommend going to experience the Brockton Fair while it’s in Town. Another things that I would say is to eat at any one of the spots that I talked about in the answer just before this one, haha… The third would be to check out a game of the sport that’s in season, whether it be the Celtics, the Patriots or the Red Sox, for obvious reasons of course. Haha… But the electricity while being there live is incredible and unforgettable.
Holly Dayz: Do any of your songs reference Brockton and have you ever shot a video there?
Noel: I always have Brockton in my mind while I’m writing songs, like the reference of riding up to the lake in my song “Foxxxy” off my latest album “City Heart, Southern Soul” is actually about parking near the bodies of water at DW Fields Park in Brockton. I have never shot a video there and that’s just because I’ve never really had the opportunity to do so, wherever the videographer has been is where I’ve shot my videos due to budgeting.
Holly Dayz: What are some family friendly places to go in Brockton?
Noel: There’s a lot of places to go, but I’d say you should take the short ride to Cape Cod, to really experience an unforgettable time and all that New England has to offer. Fun Parks, beaches, board walks with arcades, and shops with souvenirs etc.. If at all possible take a ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard as well, but try to spend at least a week there.
Holly Dayz: How is your hometown different from where you live now and does it affect your writing?
Noel: Brockton is a little faster in terms of pace and how folks are always in a hurry and here in Alabama, things are a lot more spread out and folks are a lot more laid back. It’s quieter where I live now, and I prefer quieter. Doing what I do for a living, I’m frequently in places that are so loud and lively and I like getting back home to peace and quiet, and peace of mind. So if it’s had an effect on my writing, I’d say it’s been a great effect, and I’ve welcomed it.
Holly Dayz: Besides Brockton, what has been your favorite place to visit and why?
Noel: I absolutely love and feel blessed to go and perform where ever people request and want me to perform, but my favorite places would have to be Atlanta, Georgia, and Mississippi. Simply because when I go to those places to perform, I know I’m gonna get a chance to see my family that I haven’t seen in a little while. It’s always good and worthwhile to hang out with the Fam!
Holly Dayz: Any hometown performances in the near future?
Noel: I do have a few things in the works, and I’m so hoping that they pan out because it’s always a special place for me to perform and show out! My People are my People and it’s all about LOVE!
Holly Dayz: What is your favorite hometown venue to perform at, or a place you would love to perform at?
Noel: There are well-respected, “hole in the wall joints”, in Brockton named “Pete & Mary’s” and “GiGi’s” and they were always a couple of my favorite places to perform! Everybody went there, I mean generations and they were the types of places where everyone knew everyone. So when I would perform there and get props, it was like getting recognition from Family.
Holly Dayz: In your opinion, when would be the best time to visit Brockton?
Noel: I would say the best time to visit would be the summertime. There’s just so many things to do, and if you do go, tell them Noel Gourdin sent you and you just might get a discount! I’m not promising anything, but you just might! Haha…
Learn more about Noel Gourdin at www.noelgourdin.com and follow him on twitter @noelgourdin
**FUN FACT ABOUT NEW ZEALAND: The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit were filmed in New Zealand,and it is possible to visit Hobbiton yourself! **
SPOTLIGHT TRAVEL with Basketball Player –
Meet Glenn Dandridge. A professional basketball player from Virginia who has played in different parts of the world.
Today you will get a glimpse of Glenn’s life playing basketball in New Zealand for 5 months…
Holly Dayz: I know you went to New Zealand to play basketball, what part were you in?
Glen Dandridge: I was in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the South Island.
**(Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand‘s South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.)**
Holly Dayz: How was playing basketball there,different from other countries you have played in?
Meet Dear Pricey, a hip-hop artist from Brooklyn by way of Barbados.
Dear Pricey gives us a glimpse of his hometown, Barbados…
DEAR PRICEY formerly known as LYRICZ is a rapper based out of New York who was born in St. Michael, Barbados.
Dear Pricey grew up with his aunt and three cousins in Barbados before relocating to Brooklyn, New York at the age of seven.
He signed his first management deal with Nickel Plated Enterprise in early 2005. During this time, he recorded 400+ songs. Later he signed with Musik Note Entertainment after a conversation sparked at a local barbershop with Jay Dunning, the CEO, who has worked with musicians such as Jermaine Dupri and Alicia Keys.
He also went on to release four mix tapes: “The Commercial”, “Flow With The Stars”, “The Hottest Youngest Unsigned Artist”, and 2011’s most inspired mixtape,“Dollar And a Dream.” Dear Pricey implemented his persona all over New York City, frequently performing at local shows and conducting radio interviews to build a fan base. A defining moment in his career came in the form of June 5, 2010’s Musik Note Black & White Affair, held at Brooklyn’s Oceana Hall.
We interviewed Dear Pricey about his native land of Barbados.
Holly Dayz: I know you flew standby to Barbados, can you relate to my “Passing On Buddy Passes” post?
Dear Pricey: Yes, I can relate to passing on the buddy pass! It is a great price, BUT not being sure if your going to get on the flight can be frustrating. I flew on stand by to Barbados (which by the way was a great experience flying in first class! S/O to my cousin Julie!) Then coming back to New York was a hassle! I couldn’t get on a flight for 3 days. Then I had to spend the night in Miami for a connecting flight to NY!
Holly Dayz: What is the best mode of transportation?
Dear Pricey: If you are comfortable with driving on the left side of the road a car, if not there are a bunch of public buses that run.
*(Public transportation on the island is relatively convenient, with “route taxis”, called “ZRs” (pronounced “Zed-Rs”), travelling to most points on the island.)
Holly Dayz: What do you consider to be the best beach for singles vs families?
Dear Pricey: I’ll go to Brandon Beach in Barbados to get away and be private. For the family we would have to go to the beach by Sandy Lanes.
Holly Dayz: When you’re in Barbados do you go to the clubs? If so, what clubs are your favorite?
Dear Pricey: I haven’t gotten the chance to “turn up” how I really would like to in Barbados! I heard they have a few dope places down by Harbour Lights.
Holly Dayz: What is YOUR go to place to eat in Barbados?
Dear Pricey: You have to go and visit Chefette. You can’t miss them, go check them out in Bridgetown or the local airport.
Chefette is known for its roasted chicken meals as well as a local curried-meat and vegetables (similar to the European Gyro) roll-ups or wraps that are locally known as a roti.
Holly Dayz: What type of music is most popular there?
Dear Pricey: Calypso, Spouge, Contemporary Folk and World Music. They have a festival every year called Crop Over!
Crop Over (formerly called “Harvest Home”), is a traditional harvest festival which began in Barbados, having had its early beginnings on the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. The crop over tradition began in 1688, and featured singing, dancing and accompaniment by bottles filled with water, shak-shak, banjo, triangle, fiddle, guitar, and bones. Other traditions included climbing a greased pole, feasting and drinking competitions. Originally a celebration signaling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest, it has since evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. (From Wikipedia)
Holly Dayz: What is your favorite time of year?
Dear Pricey: My favorite time of the year is during the summer. Barbados is hot all year around, but in the summer it is cooler unlike in the States.
Holly Dayz: I recall you saying that the prices compared to New York were much higher.
Dear Pricey: Expensive!! I once went to a local supermarket in Barbados to buy a bag of Doritos chips. Can you believe it cost $12!!! Which is $6 in US currency.
Holly Dayz: Do they play a lot of American music?
Dear Pricey: Yeah, on the radio. I heard 50 Cent recently there & Chief Keef.
Holly Dayz: Between USA and Barbados, who is your favorite artist?
Dear Pricey: Jay Z.
Holly Dayz: I know you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a huge lover of music, so who are your idols?
Dear Pricey: Warren Buffett, Jay Z, My Mom, Birdman, and Diddy.
Dear Pricey is quickly becoming a successful major recording artist and entrepreneur.
He is ready to establish his name all over the music industry. He is now on a mission to knock down barriers, build new beginnings, and breathe new life into the rap game.
Contact Dear Pricey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dearpricey
Keep your eyes and ears open for Dear Pricey!