St. Thomas 𑁋 There are 45 days left in the year and 45 days left in the second decade of the 21st century. With the rise of social media, Virgin Islanders are consuming information online in ways that did not exist when radio and print papers were the main sources of news and information.
In just ten short years, services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube have transformed the way we consume information in the Caribbean. Here is a short-list of content creators we recommend you follow before this decade ends in December:
1. Gyul Meets World
Gyul Meets World is a world and lifestyle blog run by Crucian, Jeaiza Quiñones. Jeaiza is a social media specialist that has mastered the art of sharing her stories with the world in an effortless way. Jeaiza is also a contributor for State of the Territory News and has written about the cultural impact of madras on local fashion.
Gyul Meets World receives hundreds of thousands of views from her blog posts about life, work and adulthood on various platforms. Umm… she also published her first book in November!
2. Local Lady Media
Local Lady Media is a photographer and content curator based in St. Croix that pushes photography and fictional literator to new heights. Founded by Markida Scotland, she captures Virgin Islands culture though a lense with her whimsical shots of local models and culture bearers.
Markida has worked as a journalist for the St. Croix Avis, the longest-running print newspaper in the Virgin Islands and is a Public Relations Coordinator in the 33rd Legislature.
3. Kickin it w/ Kyra
Kickin it w/ Kyra needs no introduction 𑁋 so here’s her content discussing the tart wars in the Virgin Islands.
4. Finding Your Voice Blog
Finding Your Voice is a blog created by writer and creative Ajayi Pickering. Ajayi is from St. Thomas and explores self-care, achieving goals and finding truth in one’s life through his blog posts. Finding Your Voice also explores building healthier routines and lifestyle choices that can allow people to maintain their happiness and inevitably share that happiness with those around them.
State of the Territory News recently became a contributor to Finding Your Voice to share perspectives with its growing audience who seek to find their voice in the 21st century.
5. SheRea DelSol
SheRea DelSol (to our knowledge) is the most followed millennial content creator living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her YouTube channel boasts over 70,000 subscribers and her Instagram profile adds an additional 65,000 followers to her list of accomplishments.
She runs a world travel, fashion and beauty blog, focusing on her many adventures and how she manages to style her hair and keep it moisturized. SheRea has also worked at Government House, the 32nd and 33rd Legislature in her past jobs. 4 continents + 27 countries & counting.
6. Amal Bryson (Malz Minaj)
Amal Bryson is a skilled dancer from St. Croix. Earlier this year, he traveled to Toronto to perform with a dance company before bringing the same dance company back to St. Croix in a performance called Facing Home, in support of LGBTQ+ Pride in the Virgin Islands.
The dance was a visual conceptualization of what many LGBTQ+ Caribbean men and women face when they return home and inevitably reunite with their families, friends, and neighbors who may not understand them anymore — including those who refuse to understand them. Amal is a brilliant dancer who recently released a mixtape under the stage name Malz Minaj.
7. Sanctuary Festival Troupe
Sanctuary Festival Troupe may not be a bonafide content creator — yet — but it was founded by one of the most known content creators in the Virgin Islands. Chalana Brown is the genius behind the madras inspired cover of Viya’s 2019 phone book.
Her troupe, which launched this year on St. Croix graced Carnival Meets the Runway and received rave reviews and a standing ovation. Sanctuary Festival Troupe seeks to take costumes showcased in cultural events in the Virgin Islands back to their roots. Chalana is also a journalist, a photographer, and a skilled video curator.
You can follow Sanctuary Festival Troupe on Facebook.
9. Nomad En Noir
Nomad En Noir is a travel blog created by Crucian high school English teacher, Joseph Bess. Joseph travels the world to experience cultures that offer him better insight into his own life and the lives of others. Joseph is particularly fond of Africa and the African diaspora.
Nomad En Noir or Nomad in Black hosts many of his stories of travel, friendship and loss as he shares his life with the world. Nomad En Noir is on a brief hiatus as he completes his Ph.D. program at the University of the Virgin Islands. Joseph is also an advisor and contributor to State of the Territory News.
10. Bajo El Sol & Art Bar
Bajo El Sol isn’t a digital content creator but it is a curator of art, perspectives and cultural context on St. John. The art gallery located in Mongoose Junction has now expanded to include a bar and “over the past three years our gallery, Bajo el Sol, has hosted more than 50 events, to include book signings, movie screenings, art shows, meet and greets, panel discussions, poetry readings, and more,” co-founder David Knight Jr. said.
The venue now holds one poetry event per month and the events are free and open to the public. You can follow their Facebook page for event updates. Bajo El Sol maintains one of the most diverse meeting spaces for ancestral St. Johnians to express themselves and share their art with the world.