By Mikaila Prince
Jonathan King, better known by his stage name “Lil Red”, is an undeniably talented young man who has managed to get his name on the lips of all soca lovers and Guyanese since a teen. And now, he has expanded his love and talents in becoming a health advocate with his newly established business.
King, who was born on June 20, 1993, started singing competitively back in his primary school days, but he says that he has been singing for as long as he can remember. He related that the first time he took part in a contest was at the Junior Calypso Competition back when he was in grade six attending the Redeemer Primary School.
“My mother who everyone knows as “Big Red” encouraged my brother and I to enter the competition, and even though my brother was the only one who took away a trophy from that, I still hold that memory as a cherished and valued one because it gave me an insight into the competitive singing world.”
After he graduated from the Redeemer Primary School, King attended Saint John’s College Secondary for some time, after which he was transferred to Apex Academy. At Apex, King says he fancied becoming a rap artiste and singing RNB. “In third form I was encouraged to write lyrics for my own music, and sometimes I used to remix songs with my own lyrics and turn them into a parody,” says King. “My friends and I made a group named RHC- Real Hard Crew. I don’t know man, but back then we thought that that name was hot,” he said jokingly.
In that group he came up with most of the concepts and words for the songs, and the first event that the group took part in was the Kross Kolor School Show. After the boys graduated from high school they separated to live their own lives, and while they all still displayed their love for music, King was the only one who took it seriously.
King graduated with seven CSEC subjects and sought a job at Qualfon in 2012, where he worked for some time. There he took part in their talent show, which he won. After that, he signed up for the Carib Soca Monarch Competition. He said that he felt the need to enter and win after his mother, Michelle King, had taken part in the year’s previous event, but, as he put it, was “robbed” of the crown. King didn’t make the semifinal segment that year. He entered the competition two times after that with his highest position at fourth place back in 2014.
After the Carib Soca Monarch Competition in 2014, King managed to get the attention of a local music production company, Vision Sounds. He signed his first music contract with them. “Vision Sounds has given so much to me. They took me under their wing, guided me, supported me mentally and financially, and opened me up to so many opportunities. I am forever grateful to them for all that they have done.”
It was there at Vision Sounds, King released the track ‘Water, Paint and Powder’ which became a Mashramani and Carnival favourite.
In 2018, King teamed up with Drew Thoven, a popular Guyanese artiste, who made it possible for him to be a part of Guyana’s first ever Carnival experience. There he performed with spectacular soca sensations like Machel Montano and Kes the Band. “To this day I am so stunned at the fact that I got to perform with such talented artists and on the same stage too! I am so proud of myself and all the people who got me there for that.”
But now King has found a love and passion to sing gospel soca. He says that he wants to “become the best version” of himself and “to make a positive influence in the world” with his music. So far, he has released a few tracks with his new genre of music.
HIS NEW BUSINESS
With the aim of ensuring that healthy and affordable options are available for all Guyanese, the 25 year old has presented to the people a healthy and fruity delight that they are bound to enjoy; Fruitylicious Fruit Salads. The fruit bowls, which come in three different sizes, comprise seven different fruits that are all locally grown.
The business has been in existence for the past six months and it has been flourishing even though he has been faced with a few challenges. But according to King, those challenges are not too difficult to handle. He prepares about fifty fruit bowls a day at his East Coast home, and they are distributed all across Georgetown to government agencies, businesses and schools, but now his main place of focus is sited at the Georgetown Public Hospital, a place where he believes that these patients more than deserve his product.
King plans on expanding his business by owning his own salad and fruit bar, and to add to the health menu, he plans on producing smoothies, milkshakes and juices.
King wants the public to know that they should all be more health conscious because healthy people inevitably mean a healthy and prosperous country.
Today, King is still performing and doing what he can for the Guyanese people.
If you would like to support his business or music you can contact King at +592 630 4056.
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