Chapter 2 Hamilton Christmas Vignettes: The rising international hip hop artist
So when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old there was this massive craze just after Pokemon. My childhood dream at the time became becoming a Beyblade champion! for those reading who don’t know what a Beyblade is or if you are too young to know what one is, Beyblades was a TV show about spinning tops which people battled with.
Back then my family wasn’t very well off so I went to a hood school (although it was the nicest school in the hood because we had a few rich kids, it was still the hood). While the rich kids got actual Beyblades my hoodrat friends and I improvised with a powerade bottle top, a pen/pencil and a piece of string (occasionally using nails etc to customise our make-shift Bayblades). The rich kids also had the duel arenas which we didn’t have so we just made a circle around the two people having a duel and watched the battle begin.
That Christmas, my parents worked so hard to buy my brother and I Beyblades for Christmas (They even bought the arena!). My brother and I discovered this amazing gift when we were home alone a few days before Christmas. We decided that we would go hunting for any presents which hadn’t gone under the tree yet and then we struck gold! Upon finding the Beyblade set we sort of just sat there, ecstatic about how good our Christmas was going to be.
Then some hours passed while we waited for the family to get home and of course the inevitable happened. We decided we could play with them just quickly and then put them neatly back in their packaging and nobody would ever know right?
Well we were wrong. We had a few duels, imagining that we were real Beyblade champions and then the worst thing that could have happened happened. We broke them…
In panic mode for the rest of the day we attempted to fix them before giving up and carefully re-packaging them and putting them where we found them. We kept our secret for the next few days and then Christmas came.
After opening our presents two things happened, my parents took the treasured Beyblades back to the shop which they had bought them from (turns out they were counterfeits) and while opening presents I realised Santa was not real seeing as he did not get me those Beyblades.
– Winston Anthony
We know you as a young Hamiltonian who is a rising star on the international hip hop scene. How would you best describe what you do?
Again thank you, I’m not going to lie it is an honor for a young artist at my level to be viewed in the way you just described. Basically for anyone reading this who doesn’t know who I am, I go by the name of Winston Anthony. I am a Hip Hop artist originally from a beautiful part of Africa called Malawi and I’m basically aiming to put both Hamilton (My city) and Malawi (My birthplace) on the map. I am signed to a label called Archon Records which is based in Auckland and have been making music since I was about 16 (I am now 22).I guess I’m really just all about showing those younger than me that you can do what ever you want if you set your mind to it and work hard enough. That’s how I have managed to share stages with the likes of some of NZ’s best (Smashproof, K.One, Pieter T, Donnell Lewis) as well as some of those making it on an international scale (Big Sean, Phora). But yeah since I always feel like a self sales man with these types of questions, it’s on to the next one for me.
What is your Hamilton citizenship status?
As I said earlier I was not born in Hamilton and I actually wasn’t raised in the beautiful little city either. I was raised partly in London and in Auckland. I moved to Hamilton when I was 18 for the whole uni adventure and I got a whole lot more than I expected. Although I wasn’t born and raised in Hamilton to me it is still home, I guess its the people I met in my time there which make it home and I know it’s cliche but its true that home is where the heart is.
Where do you currently call home?
I am currently based out in Melbourne Australia, I moved out here for family reasons but it seems to have been a good move for music too and soon I will find out if it was a good move for uni.
Will you be in Hamilton for Christmas?
No, unfortunately I have never actually spent a Christmas in Hamilton. Since I moved here my family moved to Australia so I have spent my last four Christmas’s in Australia/Malawi. I definitely need to experience the Tron summer when I can though!
In 10 years’ time, you will look back on 2013 as the year that you…
I think I will look at 2013 as the year I had to decide to leave one of my favorite places in the world, Hamilton, so that I could represent my city on a much larger scale. I think I will look at 2013 as something close to the beginning, sort of like chapter 2, if my life was a book.
Have you been naughty or nice this year?
Haha I like to think I have been nice but I’m sure there has been a bit of naughty along the way somewhere.
What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?
To be honest I’m not too fussed, its been such a good year that anything I get for Christmas will just be a bonus.
The best thing about Hamilton during Christmas is…
Again unfortunately I haven’t really experienced Christmas in Hamilton yet although I do remember a couple of years back when I worked at Noel Leeming at the Base, we all wore Santa hats around Christmas time. I chose to wear reindeer antlers because Santa hats are too mainstream. The girls wore Mrs Santa outfits – Christmas sales were through the roof that year. But I thought that was pretty cool that in Hamilton we were all keen to do something a little different to celebrate rather than just the normal Christmas carols because I mean in somewhere like Auckland most people would have been “too cool” to go to work like that etc. (Yes I know, I grew up in Auckland which means once upon a time I was one of those “too cool” people.)
Hamilton’s best-kept Christmas secret is…
I’m tempted to say the amount of people that get completely smashed on good old Waikato seeing as cheap beer always makes for a good time.
Winston Anthony has been dubbed “the most prominent hip hop artist to come out of New Zealand” by UndergroundHipHopBlog.com.
Follow him on Twitter @winston_anthony and check out his music at Reverbnation.