Jonathan Shawn Philip was born on the 6th of May 1994 and always showed a deep interest in the arts. His first personal artistic experience came about when he began to write poetry as a hobby. He began reading at a very early age and as a result he was able to express himself fluently even as a child and therefore poetry came easy to him. At the age of 8 his mother signed him up for piano lessons; which he excelled at but quit a few years later because he was not passionate about playing the instrument. Soon after, he joined the youth choir, Celestial voices (directed by Deanna Clarke his former piano instructor), in 2003 as a Soprano and is currently a tenor. Through the years he has performed at various events such as the choir’s annual Christmas Concerts and St. Lucia Jazz 2005 as a backup singer for Tracy Hamlin at “Jazz on the square” and main-stage at Pigeon Island.
He attended the Camille Henry Memorial School for two years after which he skipped two academic grades and transferred to the then new private school, The Montessori Centre. After spending two years there he transferred to the new Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School as one of the first students to attend the institution. Now in Grade Six he excelled at the Common Entrance Examinations and was accepted into St. Mary’s College in 2004 at the age of 10, the youngest in his year.
Throughout his years at SMC, Jonathan took part in “Talfest”, the school’s annual talent show, with performances such as, playing the piano, acting and singing. He also took part in the school’s annual Literary night reciting poetry and playing the role of “Ti Jean” in an excerpt from Derek Walcott’s “Ti Jean and his Brothers”. In form 4 Jonathan began to teach himself to play the guitar using the internet for instruction and soon began using his new found talent as well as somewhat dormant ones to write songs. In 2009, Jonathan wrote the lyrics to and composed a song entitled “Everyday” which he performed during the meditation at his confirmation that year. He graduated from SMC that year at the age of 15 with the Drama Award and one of his poems, “Twilight” was displayed in the graduation booklet while another, “My Daily Schedule” was displayed in the “SMC Class of ‘09” Yearbook.
Jonathan continued to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where he found even more hobbies to expand his artistic ability. Through the help of his friend, Kareem Stanley he developed an interest and talent in the production of musical beats. With some of the free time at breaks between classes at Sir Arthur, he and his friend Kareem spent much of their free time conducting comical skits in the form of interviews all over the compound as a hobby to entertain their peers on Facebook. They acquired a fan base as extensive as from form ones of various secondary schools to even the parents of viewers. However, due to the damage of the camera they used, the shows eventually came to an end.
Jonathan worked with Choice TV in 2009 playing the lead role in Burger King’s “Double Stacker” advertisement. And in 2007 modeled for Digicel where the photos were used for the NCF Telethon that year. In January 2012 he performed with the “Blaise Pascal Chorale” at the St. Lucia Chamber Business awards.
In December 2011 Jonathan began his artistic journey in photography and with the help of his friend, Kareem Stanley, learnt the basics of the art. Today he spends much of his free time exploring the capabilities of his DSLR, experimenting with various techniques and honing his skills as a photographer.