Wowski – Biography

BIOGRAPHY

My name is Ricardo Eric McCalpin stage name Wowski; I was born in Kingston, Jamaica. The first school I went to was Old Providence Basic School and then on to Hope Valley Experimental School. I then went on to Mona High School; where I did 5 years of studies. I have conceptualised a program called Fighting Crime with Rhymes and have been touring different schools using music as a social tool for change. i have recently performed on Rebel Salute 2015.

Ricardo ‘Wowski’ McCalpin-Jamaica Observer

WEEKS ago, police constable Ricardo ‘Wowski’ McCalpin released his new EP called Fighting Crimes with Rhymes.

McCalpin spoke passionately about his project. He said all the tracks depict positive values and attitudes, which he hopes the younger generation will adhere to.

“I really want to establish a crime-fighting plan through music. It is about using a more holistic approach to get the youths involved,” the singjay told Jamaica Observer.

The seven-track set includes tracks like Real Friend, Pearl Black, When You Gone and Nation Crying.

Fighting Crime with Rhymes is produced by Kamal Briscoe, Star Player Music Group and Vision House Records.

McCalpin, 30, has been a member of the JCF for over four years. He is stationed at the Community Safety and Security Branch on Oxford Road in St Andrew.

In late 2013, he conceptualised his crime-fighting plan which involves music. Since the genesis of the programme, the policeman has visted over 40 schools across Jamaica to lend his talent and offer words of advice to students. Among the schools visited are Paul Bogle High in St Thomas, Port Antonio High in Portland, Charlie Smith High in Kingston and Ewarton High in St Catherine.

With the support from his colleagues, McCalpin said he is hoping to build a recording studio to not only assist with his career, but that of aspiring young musicians.

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“As police officers, we are constantly thinking of new ideas to lower the crime rate. I think this is an effective one as music has a powerful impact on the lives of our youths. Therefore, once we create positive lyrics, they will get the motivation to do good,” he said.

Later this month, McCalpin will be performing for Charity at the Hope Valley Experimental School. This will be followed by a performance at the Police Federation Conference in Montego Bay on May 25 and 26.

— Simone Morgan
I believe in community and national development, and also have an interest in the re-socialisation process of our youths locally and worldwide. Thus I went on and completed 18 months of voluntary work in the National Youth Service.

My mentor, Mr. Trevor Morgan had a keen interest in my potential as a youth from a humble beginning and gave me the motivation to develop myself educationally and professionally. Therefore I went to study at G.C Foster College in 2003; where I spent 4 productive years. Thus I was able to acquire a diploma in education and a Masters of Science in physical education. It was at G.C Foster my writing career began to develop; hence I have received a great accomplishment of writing the college pledge.

While studying at college, I engaged in a number of activities such as writing songs for my album, playing competitive football and involving in social work in my community. I wrote and perform a number of songs that gained rotation on radio in Jamaica and New York. I played for Elletson Flats Football Club; where I was the most valuable player and leading goal scorer in the KSAFA Major League. I also represented my college in the Intercollegiate Competition; where we won 4 consecutive years. I am interested to see others reaches their paradigm of their horizon and I have done some work to ensure youth development in my community. I believe that regardless of how talented or gifted you are; the best thing you will be recognized for is your humanitarian work. Hence, I am the president of the Hermitage Emancipation Youth Club and Chairman of the Emancipation Day Committee; responsible for a youth consciousness seminar on emancipation day in our community of August Town. Wowskimusic comprised a record label, barber salon and clothing brand; it was officially registered in 2008. The company is an industry which is garnering international and local recognition from the different media houses and grass roots people. Since the inception of our company, we have been able to establish a number of annual entertainment events, completed an album, written a book, established wowskidesignz fashion line and have commenced a social programme with over 25 boys.

Wowski Designz – This is the clothing brand which has been labeled the hottest fashion in the streets of Jamaica. Our products range from merinas, shorts, jeans, t-shirts and dresses; with over thousand designs. Our brand is worn by celebrities in the entertainment business, media personalities, professionals and regular people. To view more designs visit this link: http://wowski.imageloop.com

Annual Events – Evolution have been staged for two consecutive years at the Hellshire Beach in Portmore, St.Catherine. The clothing line will be model at our next event and also on Spectrum 2009. It has been showcased at a number of events at U.W.I campus. However, Evolution showcased a number of Jamaica’s top performers namely Sizzla, Alborosie, Konshens, Mr.Peppa, Andrew & Wada Blood and fast rising Influence and Wowski.

Another of our annual event is called; “Beijing” this event is a blend between sports and entertainment; it is held to commemorate the achievement of our athletes at the Olympic in Beijing, China.

Album – our album is entitled, “The Message” it contains 18 tracks which are getting highlighted in the different media houses across the world. A video is done for a single on the album entitled “Solution”. 
Wowski Designz was worn in this video which is being aired on Tempo Network. This station covers over 25 Caribbean islands and is now in the U.S.A. it is also broadcasted on HYPE TV; which covers Jamaica, the Caribbean, Europe, Parts of Asia and North America. It is also heard on local radio and in North America. We have also done a number of interviews on CVM TV, HYPE TV, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados, Roots FM, News Talk 93 FM and WUSB Radio in New York. We are currently shooting two new videos for singles from the album entitled, “Weh Mi Come From” and “My Life”, WowskiDesignz is also featured in them. The album will be ready for stores in May, 2009.

The Book – is entitled, “Overcoming Life’s Challenges” it will be published in Canada and will be ready for the stores in May, 2009. We are seeking to do interviews on Hype TV, the Oprah Winnfrey Show, Tyra Show, 106 and Park on BET, Rise and Shine on Tempo, Morning Barbados on Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation TV and all local networks. It will be highlighted on the radio network around the world. Still pictures with us in Wowski Designz are featured in the book.

The Documentary – we are in the process of doing a documentary which will be distributed to the network who offers us the best deal. The documentary focuses on the rise of Wowskimusic, our achievements thus far and future developments. However’ it will highlight the history of the August Town community and its influential persons that elevated themselves from desolate situations. It ranges from Alexander Bedward, Sizzla, Etana, Professor Barry Chevannes, Dr. Peter Phillips, Nicole Grant, Simone Edwards and Simone Forbes.

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The Social Programme – we have designed a programme which will cater for over 25 boys between the ages of 8 and 16; living in the region of Hermitage. We have noticed that boys are at higher risk of falling prey to the ill effects of our society. Thus, Nicole Grant currently business owner and captain of the national female Hockey team along with us establish a programme which will help in the resocialisaton process of youths, enhance social and technical skills, provides a meaningful channel in which they can release pent up energies and gain exposure which will help them to make better decisions in life. The programme will include excursions or field trips, educational, spiritual, physical, psychological and recreational activities.

Jamaica Observer

Police constable Ricardo McCalpin has conceptualised a new crime-fighting plan, and it involves music. Called Fighting Crimes With Rhymes, it started just over one year ago and sees the policeman visiting several high schools across Jamaica to singjay and offer words of advice to students.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, McCalpin, who goes by the stage name Wowski, said he has performed at Paul Bogle, Port Antonio, Charlie Smith and Ewarton high schools.

“The target area is really schools that are in the Corporate Area and St Catherine, because those are the divisions with the highest crime rates. The aim is to use music as a motivational tool,” said McCalpin. “Music has a great impact on the lives and thoughts of our youth. For example, when a song or a selector instructs the listener to take out his/her gun and ‘buss’ a shot in the air, even me as a police officer is tempted to pop off and buss a shot, too. I never do that though but it just goes to show the impact that music has,” he added. “If the lyrics are cleaner and more positive the youths will follow.”

Among the songs McCalpin performs for students are the originals, Pearl Black and a pre-released track called Real Friends.

“Pearl Black explores the mpact of crime and violence on the nation, the victim and the person who commits the act, while Real Friends promotes loyalty and integrity,” he said.

Pearl Black was produced by Kamal Briscoe and released last year.

Real Friends, a production of Vision House, is slated for release this week.

McCalpin and some of his colleagues in the Jamaica Constabulary Force plan to expand Fighting Crimes With Rhymes with a song completion.

It is expected to be launched during the first quarter of this year and is open to students only. Each contestant will be required to create an original song about a crime-related issue and present solutions.

McCalpin, 30, has been a member of the JCF for over four years.

Stationed at the Community Safety and Security Branch on, Oxford Road, he holds a Masters Degree in Physical Education from the University of Technology.


Constable Ricardo McCalpin, assistant coordinator of the National Safe Schools Programme, facilitates a Re-Birth Project workshop on conflict management with student-participants of the programme held at Caenwood Auditorium recently. – Contributed

Recognising the need for community in reaching and saving our youth, the Re-Birth Project has teamed up with the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to provide support to the intervention initiative for at-risk youth and their parents.

“This phase of the programme is about 3As – Aspiration, Attitude and Achievement as young people are more likely to achieve positive outcomes when they develop ambitious, achievable aspirations, combined with strong self-esteem, self-efficacy (attitude), information and inspiration. But the behavioural issues, and influences around them, many times affect their achievement. 

Thus we have included the major stakeholders – the parents, the school, corporate Jamaica and even the police – in this job of building resilience and promoting elevated academic standards,” Melody Cammock-Gayle, co-founder of the Re-Birth Project, said.

Launched in March, the Re-Birth Project, endorsed by the Ministry of Education (MoE), the National Parenting Support Commission and the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, is a nine-week programme aimed at positive behaviour modification of 20 select youth aged 14-17 residing in volatile communities in Kingston and St Andrew. The students, selected by the MoE from Norman Manley and Tivoli Gardens high schools, are pupils with the potential to do well academically, but display maladjusted behaviour which manifests in fights, truancy, failing grades, conflict with peers and blatant disrespect for authority.

Working with the Project since its inception in 2014, Constable Ricardo McCalpin, assistant coordinator of the National Safe Schools Programme, described the Re-Birth Project as very effective.

“Based on my observation, the Re-Birth Project has been, and continues to be, a fruitful programme. I have seen changes in the mindset of participants since they have been involved in the project. I have also seen better parent-child relationships, as both are now better equipped to deal with some of the challenges respective families and even the schools encounter,” McCalpin said.

He commended the hands-on, non-judgemental approach of the programme in addressing and delivering relevant topics, by giving participants the opportunity to be involved in the workshops. This, he said, enabled the participants to internalise the material being taught as well as formulate solutions for real-life scenarios.

Many of the problems being addressed at the Re-Birth Project, the constable said, are issues his team sees in schools across the island, from indiscipline to truancy, gambling, bleaching, gang-related activities like bullying and extortion and perennial fighting. The latter, also a serious concern at the Norman Manley and Tivoli Gardens high schools, recently formed the subject of a two-week workshop on conflict management facilitated by McCalpin.

“It would seem that the students’ self-esteem and self-worth are bound up in showing who is the ‘baddest’, and so everyone has something to prove. We have a child who was offered a tertiary scholarship if she could get her act together, and she’s still fighting. We are trying to get them to understand, yes, you can stand out, but with a reputation for other things. How about being the brightest, most disciplined?” Cammock-Gayle said.

“What you find is a general disrespect for authority. The children do not respect their parents, and so there is no respect for anyone. 

This, in turn, results in parent-child conflict, as parents try to enforce some regulation. 
Then there is peer-to-peer conflict. 
No one is backing down. 
They respond to everything, insisting on retribution. 
So it is important to teach different conflict-resolution styles like ignoring, compromising, collaborating and negotiating, which show the youth that conflicts can have a positive outcome, or be avoided altogether,” McCalpin explained.

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