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We meet Billy Mystic, an avid surfer, who shares his philosophy through music. Then we race to meet athletes competing to represent Jamaica in the Olympics.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- [Stephen] - If you had the choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in what would you do? You ask yourself what I have to lose? - We find ourselves living on this planet we call home yet we are so disconnected from it all we feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of love, the pursuit of adventure, the pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman and this the story of Chasing The Sun. Yeah you always picture what it's going to be like and you arrive at that place and you get more than what you imangined then that's what it's all about. You can tell someone is from Jamaica. Yes, their dialect, their language, but it's more than that. It's the way the represent. They way they are passionate about one another and yeah it kind of rubs off on you in a good way. And, As I always say, yeah mon. How to describe a person like Billy Mystik is hard to do because he's such a unique person like he's colorful, he's kind of a poet, he's a philosopher, he's a musician, he's a surfer, he's Jamaican. He's rastafarian. He is a person that when you speak you listen. [Billy] - My name is Billy Mystik otherwise known as Uncle Billy. My official name is Anthony Wilmott. And you are presently sitting at our establishment Jamnesia Surf Club. Which is just eight miles east of Kingston. [Stephen] - The Jamnesia Surf Camp is a twenty minute drive from Kingston situated in area called Wabang. This is where I find myself as the simplicity of riding a wave is more captivating with a story attached. [Billy] - How can I say and express my love of Jamiaca. A lot of the time your love for some place doesn't take on any real meaning to you until you have somewhere else to compare it with. And this is what traveling has done for me so I think that when you ask me to explain my love for Jamaica it's a slanted one because I'm someone who has had the opportunity to visit many places in the world for which I can compare Jamaica, you know? So my love for Jamaica wouldn't be comparable with a lot of people in Jamaica who may have not had the opportunity to travel that much. But my traveling has caused me to love Jamaica more I think than most people who don't travel. Because I get to appreciate what a wonderful country I live in and how many things about my country that I appreciated without recognizing that they were something to be appreciated, you know? The fact that I can be on a bus driving in to town I don't anybody on the bus and you can drive past a situation taking outside of the bus and as the bus passes the situation somebody on the bus says "What can I eat here driver man?" And then somnebodu else on the busy says "No man I remember him. Its somebody else it was the guy in the red car." And all say "no it's not" And all of a sudden you have a big discussion that's going on on the bus it's a whole bus load of people nobody knows each other and they end up shouting at each other voicing their opinions about this and then when they get off the bus they say "All right! Tomorrow!" And them gone. It's a very out relationship. I didn't realize that this wasn't something that happened every where in the world. I go to Germany I walk down the road and if you say, walk past somebody and say, Morning! They look at you like What's wrong with this guy? He's saying good morning, he spoke to me, ya know what's that about, you know? I didn't understand that. And I didn't understand that was something I appreciate I love about my country. So that's the way in life you know. The more you're honest, the more your part is easy. And it's a real. That's not a thing just to be said in church on Sundays. It's a real thing that when you practice it you see it working and it prove to you that Whoa this really is like magic it really works you know what I mean, it's like, it really work for truly and you do good and good will follow you. You know just have faith. And believe that if doesn't happen it didn't happen for the best. If it had happened it probably will be that tremendous disaster maybe somebody would have been hurt or worse or you don't know why it didn't happen but yourself have faith and know that if it didn't happen it wasn't meant to be. I have to have faith in that and don't try to force things. When you force things most time that's when it goes wrong. So you have to go with your gut you have to feel like it's right. So if you're forcing it it has to be because you're standing for the right and you will not be turned away from the right which you stand for. But if it's just like a personal gain thing, and you say wow this might work, and yah mean? And it don't work you have to just believe that it wasn't for the right reason, it wasn't the right time, same kind of thing. You know what I mean? So let's say that I give them the gift, the gift was there and they saw. And they could be a part of it and when they tried it they enjoyed it just like I did. Yeah of course I said come here's a board. Get on it I'll push you off, yah mean? Yeah at that level. You know, but like insisting you know? Come you have to you know? They did it because it was something I was doing and if they want I'd say I'm going to the beach anybody coming to the beach? Yeah! We wanna go there. Same kind of way you know? You gotta go out when the sea is rough and when a wave is coming towards land you try and paddle and stand up just before it breaks and you just have to stay in the unbroken section of the wave. Stay away from the white water. And the energy of the wave can actually push you all the way to the beach and you can execute maneuvers on your way to the beach. That's what surfing is to me. It's a sport, it's a sport, enjoy. That's what surfing is to me. It's an opportunity for employment for those kids as I expressed, yah mean? It's an opportunity for expression. It's an opportunity to travel. It's an opportunity to meet people. It's an opportunity to improve yourself as a human being by interacting with other people who share things in common and common values, yah mean? That's what surfing is to me. It's another plane of social interaction. That is very unique because it's like sailing if you're a member of the yacht club but you don't have to have a yacht, yah mean? So it's like exclusive kind of group of people who do something very unique and very inspirational and once people get in to surfing they never stop because it's so special and therefore when you get in to surfing you get to share that common realization with other people that have realization with you, you know? And that will do a lot for you in terms of comradery you know? And feeling that you belong to a group of people that share values with you like that helps to re-reinforce the belief in yourself. Yeah well for me it's not so cool because they rip and I don't so. You know? I like jump in to a barrel and they get shot deeper and longer then me so it's like. Used to be great because I'd go then they would get back from surface, "You saw that barrel daddy got?" It's the wicked-est thing I've ever seen in my life! Drop in behind the beak and he was behind the full one and then the side come out and he's like. Now I take off on a wave and they say Daddy you should have turned in quicker you wait too long. You blow that bottom turn too far that's why you wipeout. Now it's great to have the kids in the water. Their kids you know? But now I've become more of a photographer then a surfer. I only go out when it's like perfect and epic, you know? For a set of time I just take pictures. Now even now is a good time still. It's a still a good time. There's only one time and it's now. The past is memory of now. The future is a dream about now. But there's only now. Now with music for a slave country music is the only way you could probably express yourself. So songs became and because the songs were associated around work, dig in songs, that sort of rhythm.. the music always had that drive to it you know like.. same way with the one jump in the reggae. You know what I mean there's a work thing to it. And there's a call and response thing. Everybody going on.. ..and somebody calling, what are you gonna call out to keep the work going? People working and them laughing because they hear what the singer, what the caller, is saying as the work going on so it'll always be a story. Sometimes about injustice, sometimes a sad thing, sometimes, you know song has been the one release for our down tribal people from ever since. So Jamaica just took that and made it to a phenomenon. [Stephen] - If you're going to record an album in Jamaica you go to Geejam Studio. [Ryan] - Well Geejam is unique for a number of reasons. One, the studio is inside a hotel. Geejam is one of the most advance and one of the best studios in the English speaking Caribbean. My name is Ryan Smith and I am the assistant studio manager and engineer. And this is Geejam Studios in Cortland. Because we've had persons like such as Amy Winehouse, Drake, Lily Allen, Snoop Dogg, a number of artists have come here. Recently Rich Homie Quan was here doing his album. Ryan Leslie was also here doing his album. So it has had a number of popstars and rock stars and hip hop stars coming through. [Stephen] - Ryan is currently working with a band called the Jolly Boys. He's reviving an old style of Jamaican music and mixing it with the music of today. For the Jolly Boys, they does what we call classical mentor. Classical mentor music. Mentor is one of the early forms of Jamaican music and from then there came ska there came rock steady, there came reggae, dancehall. So what we did with the Jolly Boys or what John did with the Jolly Boys is he took more contemporary style and we fused it with classical mentor music. So it is taking the old classical music form and then giving it that twist with new music. The lead singer Alvin is quite the character he is very energetic. When you see him on stage you go this man is as old as he says he is. Mentor music is story telling. A lot of the songs are about stories. Whether it's about relationship, whether it was about a fight that happened or something political generally about stories. A lot of it. Mentor music is happy music. It brings across this vibe this feel to just relax and smile, just look at them and enjoy yourself. Welcome to Jamaica this is Jamaica this is the source of Jamaican music, the root of Jamaican music, this is where it all came from. This is where it came from and it's going places. It's captivating people. Yeah, Jamaica no problem. Even when there are problems, we still rise above. Because you know there are challenges but we try to rise above whatever challenges there are. And level of perseverance helps us ride through our life, it helps us to become better persons. Because adversity does help to train one in to becoming a stronger person. To becoming a more focused person, dilligent. It helps you to really go for you goals and get them. Really no don't stop until you get them. Yeah, so, even though I say we have adversities it's still no problem. Come to Jamaica, Come to Jamaica and enjoy yourself it's fun. [Usain] - Jamaica people are warm, loving, you know? We have our good athlete, our singers, reggae music, we have our cricket team, our football team, so you know, sports and entertainment. [Stephen] - Everyone knows that fastest man in the world comes from Jamaica. So if you lived here you would find yourself at an athletics meet on a regular basis. It's just one of the things to do here on the island. [Stephen] - So I'm at the national stadium in Kingston, Jamaica this is where all the top athletes from Jamaica come and compete. I mean there's so much going on I can't just look in one place. You got shotput, long jump, high jump, the runners are getting ready. Everyones clapping this is what it's all about man. It's pretty cool. Wow. Jamaica is very passionate about athletics it's crazy. And once there just sitting literally by myself and as ten minutes, twenty minutes, go by you know it was pretty packed and that was a small event at the stadium. So I can just imagine when the big dobbies how many people actually arrive out there. I was lucky enough to chat to one of the guys that ran 200 meters and he just gave me really good insight on what it's like to be Jamaican what it's like to be associated with athletics, what athletics has opened up for him, from a college scholarship, to all these amazing opportunities. And just think running has given him so much. [Trevon] - Hello my name is Tervon Morrison and we are now at Kingston, Jamaica, at the national stadium at the national senior championships. Well in Jamaica runner is well the top sport in Jamaica right now. As a Jamaican runner we're under a lot of pressure because to beat the national record here you have to beat a world record in the 100 and 200. So yeah. The main thing I've gotten since I started track and field, which I was aiming for since I started, was a university scholarship. I'm now in my third year going in to my final year right now. Half the battle is won mentally. So when you step in to a race and your name is announced, and Jamaica follows your name around all over the world, people start calling. Especially if they know that they're not all that fast. Even if you're just average people will think that okay you're Jamaican so you have to be fast. So half the battles already won in Jamaica, so, it's pretty good. It's nice being Jamaican. When the stadium is packed like for me personally that's when I perform my best here. For me personally I was looking to finish school and go pro, run faster. Because here, as you know, you have to do a lot until you make the team here. So it's just train harder, run faster. [Stephen] - It was the first time I ever went to an athletic event and it's actually really really cool. Just keeps you going the whole time and also especially being here the atmosphere was mind blowing. And we all know one thing about the Jamaicans, they are the quickest runners in the world. And just being there and seeing the up and coming runners was mind blowing. Yeah I think this whole experience in Jamaica has really been a time to recess a lot of things. And yeah and stop moving my mouth now. And thanks to Billy and his philosophy and his way of life. He's a great man.