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I knew of Jody-Ann Brown as a drummer and percussionist, and probably assumed that she had some singing skills as well. However, it was a post she made one day on her social media that had me surprised – she was a star in the cricket world, too! As someone who could never understand the love for cricket (or any other sport, generally) I had to visit with her to find out exactly what drove her passions. Come along with us.
What makes cricket fun?
“First off, I love healthy competition. Any sort of healthy competition gets my adrenaline pumping, but cricket in particular…as a youth, there was a certain level of challenge that came with grasping the technical aspects of cricket that really excited me as a young girl growing up, and I was really drawn to that. I was really drawn to the challenge of learning how to bowl and learning how to bat; what the difference between a forward defensive and a backward defensive was, or the difference between a faster delivery or a slower delivery – you know what I mean? Those little things, those little details really excited me.”
How would you describe the process of holding your focus in a male-saturated space?
“It’s really about seeing men as equals; not them as superior or myself as inferior. We possess the same skills, we have the same knowledge; I can do what they can do, they can do what I can do – “ebb and flow” kinda thing. Seeing them as equals makes it much, much easier to maneuver spaces that are male dominated so that way I really don’t have to feel intimated or feel like I don’t belong because I have every right to take up as much space as any of the men.”
Are there any disciplines from cricket that carried over to your life as a musician?
“I’d say about three: hand-eye coordination, sharp reflexes and wrist work because as a spin bowler, it would have been a lot of wrist and finger movements and placements; and even in batting, some shots required like, a flick of the wrist versus strength in the arm. Also, there’s staying present and enjoying the moment, definitely.”
Are there any persons or groups that inspire you?
“I am inspired by Hector Lewis (@roots_percussionist), yeah definitely. I admire the freedom with which he expresses himself onstage. I admire his creativity; I admire how in love he is with his craft. He’s also multi-talented, and he’s just a joy to watch, you know?”
What was your most memorable moment onstage?
“My most memorable moment onstage…two come to mind, to be honest. First would be performing with Tanya Stephens in Anguilla. I mean, Tanya Stephens is just one of the best lyricists and storytellers we have in this country, and you know, I grew up on Tanya Stephens’ music – to be able to be on a stage performing with her is just an amazing moment for me. Then, there was “Unplugged” with Joby Jay; the energy of the crowd that night when she did the Kartel medley…the entire performance, enuh…but the Kartel medley, the energy of the crowd for that part of the performance was…(takes a deep breath)…yeah…(laughs at the memory)…that was a great moment, that was a really great moment.”
Blessings in abundance!