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Mini Trini maxing out
My name is Vanna Vee and I am a singer, actress and I hate to say it but also a model.
I was named after Vanna White. And Farrah Fawcett. Most people call me Vanna. Sometimes Vans – but that’s already taken by the sneakers!
I’m a Town girl. I’m from mostly Valsayn and Maraval. I went to Blackman’s Private School. Mrs Blackman is a definite character. You learn some interesting things for life from her.
Right after leaving Providence [Girls’ Secondary School] I did an internship with Question Mark Entertainment. Simon Baptiste and Carolyn Pasea. Really nice people.
When I just finished high school, aged 17, I did a feature film called Between Friends. I recently did a short film, Fade to Black, with Christopher & Liselle Guinness, Oliver Milne and everyone. Earlier this year I did my first feature film I was the lead actress in, Moko Jumbie. Vashti Anderson was the director. I spent a whole month in Cedros and that was a life-changing experience!
It’s not that I don’t like being a model, it’s that I don’t like being called one. Because models are told what to do and can be like hangers [for clothes].
My first song release was on an underground independent label called Kult Records. It was a deep house song called ‘Feels Good’, produced by LAZAbeam. You can YouTube it and see videos of me shaking my waist.
Most of my friends are just bursting with, like, creativity! It’s so cool to co-lab with them! I’m working with Barbados’ Red Boyz to come out, hopefully, with a great summer song. And I hope to work on a song with [Rihanna’s brother, music producer] Rorrey Fenty.
I do a lot of film production stuff on films, short films, ads. I’m helping the Viscuña Bros, who did the Digicel ads.
On my mum’s side, we’re all small. Fun size! I call myself, ‘the Mini Trini’ sometimes. Because people see me in pictures and then, when they see me in real life, they’re like, “Oh! You’re THAT small!”
I could eat a whole pizza by myself. I eat, like, six pancakes, six doubles. I’m very active. I do wake-boarding with Liquid Adrenalin, Berkeley Bharath, Michael Wiltshire and they’re great. It’s a full body workout.
We call paddle-boarding “supping” – standup boarding. It’s a cool term for it. I have done it, with Brett Kenny from Radical Sports, but it’s not my favourite thing.
Barbados is my second home but my favourite place in the world is Camden Town in London. It’s like an adventure, like all of the world in one place. I love the food court there: Thai food, Malaysian food.
I sing and dance with the duo, Jus Now. A guy called Sam Chadburn in Bristol and the other half is a Trinidadian called Keshav Chandradath Singh [aka LAZAbeam].
All my careers complement each other and I’d love to be able to continue doing all of them.
I love a lot of Italian and French films. I can’t remember the names but I love to watch them.
I’m very selective about who I work with. I’ve had situations where it’s been a complete headache. Where they don’t pay you what you deserve as a model. But it’s very fun. I love what I do.
I was by myself in Turkey and that was something else. The men over there are, like, REALLY aggressive!
I’ve never voted. I’m usually not in Trinidad at election time. I’ll read the news and see what’s going on. I’ve worked local elections, in the campaign, for the Congress of the People. After that experience, so much bacchanal, I was turned off.
For me, being a Trini is being mixed. In everything, there are so many influences: music; food; dance. I’m very, very mixed. My mom is Indian, my dad is everything rolled into one – French, black, Portuguese, Chinese – so I come from a very mixed background.
T&T will always be home to me. No matter where I go.
Read a longer version of this feature at www.BCRaw.com
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